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In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. Questions collected from an earlier thread have been compiled into this one, which shall now serve as the space for the candidates to provide their answers. Due to the lack of submission count, we have selected all provided questions as well as our back up questions for a total of 9 questions.

As a candidate, your job is simple - post an answer to this question, citing each of the questions and then post your answer to each question given in that same answer. For your convenience, I will include all of the questions in quote format with a break in between each, suitable for you to insert your answers. Just copy the whole thing after the three dashes.

Once all the answers have been compiled, this will serve as a transcript for voters to view the thoughts of their candidates, and will be appropriately linked in the Election page.


How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

In the couple of years I (paulmorriss) have been active on this site it seems to me we have a large number of questions, but no so many answers or answerers. My question is - how would you make sure that new and old questions get more and higher quality answers?

How can you ensure that you have enough time to dedicate to your moderation duties?

What's your opinion on the where to draw the line between questions that belong to this site and the others that are closely related - serverfault.com, stackoverflow.com and wordpress.stackexchange.com?

If one of team members of Stack Exchange responsible for future developments to SE sites was to approach you and pop the question: "What would you change, or add to better the Stack Exchange Network?" What would be your response?

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How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

Luckily, we don’t have anybody participating in webmasters that currently meets this criteria. I certainly wouldn't want such a person as part of a community that I’m involved with. I like good answers, but it wouldn't be enough to excuse unwelcoming behavior that drives other users away.

How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

Moderators have a lot of power regarding the closed/opened state of questions. I wouldn't want to abuse moderator privileges in regards to this, or do anything that would alienate another moderator from me. I would try to handle it by improving the question with an edit, adding comments, and chatting with the other moderator.

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators take care of the stuff that voting can’t take care of: spam, disputes, gray areas.

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

It is a big responsibility. I try to be helpful and friendly at all times, it shouldn't change the way that I approach my activity on the site.

In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

Moderators can take care of spam directly rather than raising flags. I expect to use this feature.

In the couple of years I (paulmorriss) have been active on this site it seems to me we have a large number of questions, but no so many answers or answerers. My question is - how would you make sure that new and old questions get more and higher quality answers?

The best way to get better answers is to encourage users to contribute by voting on their helpful answers. Also by editing old posts to make it clearer what is being asked so they are more likely to get a response. I do these actions now, and will continue as a moderator.

How can you ensure that you have enough time to dedicate to your moderation duties?

I typically check the site at least once a day (often many times a day). I would continue to do so.

What's your opinion on the where to draw the line between questions that belong to this site and the others that are closely related - serverfault.com, stackoverflow.com and wordpress.stackexchange.com?

I would tend to move questions which would get more attention and better answers on a different site (even if they are relevant to webmasters). I would prefer to leave questions that have gotten good answers because somebody here was able to help.

If one of team members of Stack Exchange responsible for future developments to SE sites was to approach you and pop the question: "What would you change, or add to better the Stack Exchange Network?" What would be your response?

  1. I would make it easier to move questions between sites. I feel that very often good questions get closed when they would be better off moved. This would entail expanding the list of sites where off-topic questions can be forwarded by non-moderators. It would also involve setting up a queue of likely off-topic questions based on the tags and keywords in a question with suggested sites to which they could be moved.
  2. I would expand and clarify the reasons that questions get closed. For example “too localized” would be better as several reasons and would only apply when the question already has an answer, or is old enough that it is clear that nobody is interested in answering it.
    • Too specific: Only the person who asked this question is ever going to have this exact problem
    • Too geographically local: This question is only relevant to a small geographical area
    • Obsolete: This question is about a technology that is no longer widely used
    • No longer relevant: This question is about an event that is over
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    Nice answers! but I win in terms of length and bore factor ;) – Simon Hayter May 14 '13 at 16:54
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I apologise in advance for such a long read, I wrote this in word and then imported it and noticed just how much I wrote. Thanks.

How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

It would vary depending on the nature of the comments that the individual was leaving on the site but for a typical example of a user just engaging into unnecessary arguments then I would contact them using the private message system which I believe moderators have access to, I would ask the user to stop using the comment system in such a way.

If I believed the user was being engaging in anti-social behavior such as being abusive to other members then I would first issue a warning after I had deleted the comment, If problems would still arise after issuing a warning then I would proceed to temporary suspending the account.. Which I believe is used for severe cases and at last resort. With this said I would hope there is some guidelines for such issues for moderators to follow.

How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

It would depend on the nature that the question was closed, If I believed the question was not duplicate then I would edit the question and make it clearer what the person is asking so it’s more obvious that the question is not duplicate, if another moderator thought the question was off topic but I believed it was on topic then I would want to speak to the other moderator so I could establish if we stopped allowing this topic or if it was a mistake by the moderator to close/delete.

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

I believe the job of the moderators is to ensure that everyone players nice in the community to ensure that everyone’s experience is not dampened by anti-social behavior, furthermore I believe that the moderator is the sites last line of defense against spam, and questions/answers that are not fitting per the FAQ requirements – Should users with high enough rep are not around then the moderators can take over this task without the requirement for votes. I also believe that the moderators are there for clarifying issues asked on the Meta to give users answers that questions are not fit on the main site, i.e. help on using the site and querying information provided by the FAQ.

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

I believe that moderators represent the site, in this case Pro Webmasters. I feel that the comments, questions and answers that I make will always represent Pro Webmasters in a professional manner and this will come naturally for me as I have been doing already. I do however believe I will be more self-aware of my actions.

In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

I believe that our site lacks members in the 10k and 20K reputation so I believe there is a greater need for moderators on Pro Webmasters but to answer this question was asked I would perform tasks that the 10k, 20k mark would normally do but also do other jobs such as cleansing abusive comments, spam and just general tidy up on questions which are not being flagged by the community.

In the couple of years I (paulmorriss) have been active on this site it seems to me we have a large number of questions, but no so many answers or answerers. My question is - how would you make sure that new and old questions get more and higher quality answers?

I often revisit unanswered questions on the site and try to answer them myself; I hate unanswered questions as I love things being kept tidy and neat, even in the virtual world. I believe that the site is currently running at about 6% that is unanswered which is a good figure but I would love to be able to motivate others to get this down to a mere 1%. Other than answering unanswered questions myself, if I didn’t know the answer to an unanswered then I would look why the question was unanswered, it could be a simple case that it’s not suitable for the site per FAQ, or the question is not very obvious then I would edit and bump it by doing so.

How can you ensure that you have enough time to dedicate to your moderation duties?

I am lucky enough to work from home and time is not an issue, I experience lots of downtime during my working hours and if I don’t then there’s always the night, I enjoy Pro Webmasters therefor a lot of time goes into it, nothing will change regardless if I’m made a moderator or not.

What's your opinion on the where to draw the line between questions that belong to this site and the others that are closely related - serverfault.com, stackoverflow.com and wordpress.stackexchange.com?

I’d try and establish which I believed topic it was more heavily directed at but with this said it’s unlikely that a question would be fit for both serverfault and wordpress at the same time since the person posting is more than likely asking several questions at once so it could be unsuitable for both as it would not agree with their FAQ and rules so I would close the question as its unlikely to be accepted on either. If I thought it could be but unsure then I would talk to with the moderator team and learn from this situation.

If one of team members of Stack Exchange responsible for future developments to SE sites was to approach you and pop the question: "What would you change, or add to better the Stack Exchange Network?" What would be your response?

1. Custom Field on Vote Closing

I would like closing questions with a custom field that allows you to enter the close reason, when final votes are in this message is displayed when the question is closed, this would give more indication to users why.

2. How to Get Question Reopened.

I would like to see a standard message displayed when questions are closed on unconstructive such as Please edit your question and address these issues, then submit a reopen request.

3. Klout

I would love Stack Exchange be integrated into the Klout engine, I see Stack more than just a Q&A site, I see stack as a Q&A social platform and believe it would be absolutely fantastic to be able to view and increase klouts scores based on Stack Usage.

4. Self-Answering Questions

I would love to see Self answering questions improved, I would think it would be a better direction to allow people to post guides in a blog system that allows upvoting based on the guide and those that are awesome get featured on the main site.

5. Chat

I'm sure this issue gets raised a lot in regardless of the chat engine, while I'm not a Facebook fan I do believe the chat system is more forthcoming. I'd love to see Stack introduce such a system that allows chat initializations to be easier.

6. Moderators Blog

I like the newsletter we receive but I'd love to get email that directs to a guide or blog post of some sort, maybe like a moderators monthly blog entry, something to read that is not found on the site as a Q&A. The news letters are great but as a heavy user its often posts you already seen.

7. Badges

The badges are a nice touch but I believe they could be further improved by Alerting users when they receive such a badge, after all they worked for it. Similar to online gaming games that reward achievements I would introduce a dialog box that popups. I know its only virtual incentives but many people get motivated by virtual reward schemes, maybe add some fun ones.

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I'm going to post short answers to allow all to read them.

How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

I would explain to this user the rules of the community by sending him a private message. If nothing changes, I would talk about it to moderators to take a frank decision.

How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I would contact him in private to clarify why he did it.

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

They act to make cleaner this website, to answer questions...

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

I feel good about it, I have disposition for leadership.

In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

I can be more effective with moderators tools to maintain this website cleaner.

In the couple of years I (paulmorriss) have been active on this site it seems to me we have a large number of questions, but no so many answers or answerers. My question is - how would you make sure that new and old questions get more and higher quality answers?

If I see these questions, I edit them to make them the most understandable as possible.

How can you ensure that you have enough time to dedicate to your moderation duties?

I'm drugged of this website and I would be able to dedicate time every day.

What's your opinion on the where to draw the line between questions that belong to this site and the others that are closely related - serverfault.com, stackoverflow.com and wordpress.stackexchange.com?

I would participate to all these websites to move questions on the site where user would be able to get the more effective answers according to my opinion.

If one of team members of Stack Exchange responsible for future developments to SE sites was to approach you and pop the question: "What would you change, or add to better the Stack Exchange Network?" What would be your response?

For example, I would propose the possibility (as a moderator) to send to a user an email to think about his forgotten asked questions to suggest him to accept an answer or post a self-answer.

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How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

Actually, this really depends on the situation. There are some questions which people feel very emotional about. Generically, I'd probably cast a vote with the moderation team and have a decision taken, plus actively approaching the user. Offensive, rude and other sorts of unwelcomed behaviour will lead to warnings up till deletion of the comments.

How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I believe in trusting moderators to do the right thing. If something is highly questionable and/or up for debate I am more than willing to discuss the matter at hand privately with the moderator which took the decision.

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

A moderator should keep the site clean, welcoming new users, helping new and old users getting along and most of all be a trustable person.

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

I am fully aware of that, but would not change my nature in any way. I am who I am and a diamond next to my name will not change that.

In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

Honestly, I don't feel reaching 10k or 20k reputation anytime soon. At least not with the professionalism I like my answers on Pro Webmasters to be. The tools moderators get will help me to maintain this site more effectively, from day one.

In the couple of years I (paulmorriss) have been active on this site it seems to me we have a large number of questions, but no so many answers or answerers. My question is - how would you make sure that new and old questions get more and higher quality answers?

Editing questions, editing answers (if I know it myself) and thus reducing the already small percentage of unanswered questions.

How can you ensure that you have enough time to dedicate to your moderation duties?

I can't. What I can say though is that I am online 24/7, Pro Webmasters is bookmarked and my startpage in all my browsers and that I do monitor the site on a daily basis for at least a couple of hours. Addicted. Guilty as charged.

What's your opinion on the where to draw the line between questions that belong to this site and the others that are closely related - serverfault.com, stackoverflow.com and wordpress.stackexchange.com?

I am already participating on all these sites and being a programmer, designer and wordpress enthusiast myself, I would say the decisionmaking would come very natural for me. Although I may not always know all the answers, I do know where they belong to.

If one of team members of Stack Exchange responsible for future developments to SE sites was to approach you and pop the question: "What would you change, or add to better the Stack Exchange Network?" What would be your response?

Change already accepted answers, where it's obvious that cheating was involved and where the answer is no longer valid.

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