2013 Moderator Election

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!

This election ended May 28 '13 at 20:00.

Anyone may download the election data. Voters have access to pre-built OpenSTV software to audit the results; all others may use this source distribution

1,342 voters were eligible, 540 visited the site during the election, 362 visited the election page, and 231 voted

Seeing as a 2 horse race for 1 moderator isn't really in the spirit of an election, I'll chuck my hat into the ring. 2 horses and a lame one are more fun :)

I've been working in the IT industry (predominantly Telecoms) for 14 years, 10 of which have been as a Sybase and Oracle DBA. I think myself lucky to have discovered the amazing DBA.se community 16 months ago - The quality of answers and helpfulness displayed by the main contributors to the site is truly outstanding.

I am incredibly active on DBA.se - 105 helpful flags, 191 days of consecutive visits, 7th in yearly rank for reputation, and always maintaining a presence in the site chat room, The Heap, and have just recently hit 10k reputation .

My Meta participation isn't great by any stretch of the imagination (unless you count my epic Christmas competition contribution), but that is something that is easily fixed.

I am already fully committed to the quality, community and spirit of this site. The addition of a little blue diamond to my profile would just reinforce that commitment.

  • SE are trialling an alternative way of asking the candidates questions: please see this meta question ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… well done, mate! me was waiting for you! Good luck! – Marian May 19 '13 at 16:22
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    you're a good man Phil :) – Jack says try topanswers.xyz May 19 '13 at 17:17

I am going to toss my name in the ring. I'm willing to commit myself to this site to help grow and maintain it. Even though I just lost my consecutive days usage, I am active on the site by flagging and am typically available in chat.

While my rep can't compete with some of the other users of this site, I have been extremely active on StackOverflow and others so I know how to maneuver the Stack Exchange sites. I care about these sites and want to see them grow.

In the real world, I am still learning the ropes of being a DBA but I consider myself a pretty level-headed person and I believe that I would be a good fit for moderator. I would like to give back to the community that I have learned so much from.

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    SE are trialling an alternative way of asking the candidates questions: please see this meta question ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… In your opinion, what are the major strengths and weaknesses of how DBA.SE is currently moderated? – Matt Fenwick May 14 '13 at 11:29
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    @Matt The biggest strength is the availability of the current mods. I have interacted with 3/4 of the current mods and their presence demonstrates their commitment to the community. From what I have seen, they have handled disputes with fairness and are not heavy-handed. I have no complaints about the mods that I have dealt with. Overall, the weakness is not about the mods but the possibility of becoming a dumping ground for Stack Overflow. It is key to keep content on-topic and have users understand that if banned from asking on SO, they don't drop in on DBA.SE for basic DB questions. – Taryn May 14 '13 at 13:45
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    great point about basic DB questions, we really don't want to start drowning in that stuff. Now pivot questions on the other hand… – Jack says try topanswers.xyz May 14 '13 at 21:44
  • @Matt sorry to hijack your comments :) – Jack says try topanswers.xyz May 15 '13 at 14:04

I would like to assist in as many ways as possible to prevent dba.SE from becoming the next StackOverflow. I think we can achieve great things here with high volume and valuable discussions without the inevitable onslaught of low quality posts and help vampires.

Now, I will be the first to admit, I am not StackOverflow's poster child for patience. But I do believe I have set a much better example here, very likely correlated with the difference in quality. I have also been involved in many discussions with existing moderators about certain aspects of the site, its users, and what kind of traffic we wish to encourage.

I've contributed to meta here, but most of my meta contributions have been on the main site's meta. That said, they would also affect this site - I don't believe any of my feature requests, bug reports or discussion questions would apply only to the main SO site unless they involved a very specific incident.

I do believe I meet the reputation and active participation criteria.

  • SE are trialling an alternative way of asking the candidates questions: please see this meta question ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… There are varying opinions on what is wrong with StackOverflow. Can you be more specific on what problems you see with it, and what you would do to deal with them or prevent them from happening on DBA.SE? – Matt Fenwick May 14 '13 at 11:21
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    Hi @Matt, in my opinion the biggest problem on SO is noise. There is a lot of traffic on that site, but very few questions are truly new (or on-topic). Sadly, it continues to be proven that it is easier for people to provide an answer to a duplicate or off-topic question than to vote to close. This is where an active and proactive moderator can shine - making those sometimes tough but sometimes really easy decisions to close down a duplicate question without having to wait for five community members to come to a consensus (and 5 answers spring up in the meantime). – Aaron Bertrand May 14 '13 at 12:44
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    @Matt at the same time, I still want to be able to participate in the site as a normal user, and feel that in some cases a moderator's power should be somewhat lessened. For example, I fully support this feature request to allow a moderator's action to be non-binding, and even though it was status-declined two years ago, I fully intend to bring up the issue again. – Aaron Bertrand May 14 '13 at 12:47
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    I understand what you say, but do you feel you have the patience for it? Would you consult with other mods if you start seeing red and your blood is starting to boil? Or apply indiscrimate ban hammers? – gbn May 14 '13 at 13:29
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    @gbn yes, I do, and I would not take banning lightly. I have a good rapport already with the other moderators here and think that any borderline scenarios would involve a discussion with them before any action is taken. – Aaron Bertrand May 14 '13 at 13:41
  • thanks. Had to ask :) – gbn May 14 '13 at 13:50
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    I think your diagnosis of SO is spot on, we need to keep dba.se 'upmarket', and that includes being strict(er?) with questions. – Jack says try topanswers.xyz May 14 '13 at 14:17
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    @JackDouglas I believe you mean "more stricter." – swasheck May 14 '13 at 18:33
  • Is it just questions that need strict moderation, or is it important that answers are strictly moderated, too? Should answers that are real answers but don't really answer the question be moderated, and if so, how? (btw, thanks for answering my earlier questions) – Matt Fenwick May 14 '13 at 18:44
  • @Matt if an answer is answering a different question, then I'm not sure they should be moderated. Typically moderator behavior that I have observed has been to respond to flags marking an answer as not an answer as opposed to not the right answer or the answer to a different question. In that case I would probably rather comment and ask that the poster improve the answer to make it relevant to the question at hand, perhaps explaining why it doesn't currently answer the question. I don't think this correction needs to be heavy-handed unless it is a repeat offender or spam. – Aaron Bertrand May 14 '13 at 18:47
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    @Matt that said, I think the focus needs to be predominately on questions (without ignoring answers). Without questions, there are no good or bad answers, and in many scenarios only a bad question leads to bad answers. In a very, very high majority of cases, if an answer is not "not an answer" it is usually answering the right question. – Aaron Bertrand May 14 '13 at 18:52
  • For those who don't know, there are a few ways the mods keep in touch with one another on network that give us plenty of room to defer to other mods to handle a situation, and we use those other methods quite frequently. I for one am known to have a short fuse, and it's really easy to open one of those other lines of communication and go "I'm pissed, and I'm leaving. One of you deal with this asshat" ;-) Sometimes all that's needed is a fresh perspective, and sometimes you just need a night's sleep, and sometimes you just need to ignore the situation. – jcolebrand May 15 '13 at 1:01
  • @jcolebrand agreed, and I've always felt that if I were a moderator and felt "too close" to a situation, I would defer to another moderator. – Aaron Bertrand May 15 '13 at 1:02
  • Another facet that might be of good concern is that we should be having a "Town Hall Chat" so if you want to keep your questions to ask the mods at that time, you're welcome to tune in for that (but keep in mind that we may schedule that at a time when you're unavailable). Regardless of availability, there will be a meta post for that topic in the very near future. – jcolebrand May 15 '13 at 1:03
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    @jcolebrand well further down in that post they say that the community can hold chats if they want, but there won't be an official session. Which is ok with me, because with my luck, it would happen while I'm in Alaska. :-) – Aaron Bertrand May 15 '13 at 1:08

This election is complete.