19
votes
$\begingroup$

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. As noted, not every question was compiled - the top 8 voted questions were selected along with our default 2 questions for a total of 10 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 first set of three dashes.Please consider putting your name at the top of your post so that readers will know who you are before they finish reading everything you have written, and also including a link to your answer on your nomination post.

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.

Good luck to all of the candidates!

Oh, and when you've completed your answer, please provide a link to it after this blurb here, before that set of three dashes. Please leave the list of links in the order of submission.

To save scrolling here are links to the submissions from each candidate (in order of submission):


  1. What do you think about the current moderation style with regard to closing and reopening questions? We, the current mods, generally have a laid-back style in a few areas. While we won't hesitate to move long, unproductive comments to chat or delete spam on sight, we'll often let the community delete posts on its own, and we almost never mod-hammer a post closed or open. Do you agree with this method of dealing with closing and reopening questions, and if not, how do you think it can be improved? How would you, as a mod, work to change it?

  2. How do you feel about the scope of World Building SE? What if anything would you want to change about the site's scope? How would you go about ensuring community involvement in the conversation and decision of scope change?

  3. Good Subjective, Bad Subjective describes what makes a good subjective question -- it inspires longer answers explaining "why" and "how", it encourages answers that are backed up by facts and references, and it's more than mindless social fun. Worldbuilding gets a lot of questions in the gray area here. Some of them get closed as primarily opinion-based or too broad, others are left open and attract 10+ answers, and members of the community are confused about which precedents to follow. As a moderator with a binding close (or reopen!) vote, as well as the usual abilities to edit and comment, how will you handle questions like these, and their answers?

  4. Why do you want to be a moderator? Similarly to what Grace Note said, there are motives behind every action. It's important to distinguish if someone is in it for the title or if they have genuine intentions.

  5. 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?

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

  7. A genie appears and grants you one wish related to Worldbuilding Stack Exchange. You can change one aspect of the site. It could be something about the community (people post more questions, people post higher-quality answers, people deal with review queues quicker, …), about moderators (they start closing more/fewer questions, …), about the way the site works (some feature request gets fulfilled), etc. The genie adds, “no funny business about what ‘one aspect’ means!”. What do you wish for?

  8. What do you think the key traits of a moderator are, and how have you demonstrated them thus far in your activity on the site?

  9. What are your qualifications? i.e. Do you have previous moderating experience on SE or from somewhere else? What qualities make you suited for this position? Is there proof of your convictions on this site; can you show us examples of circumstances in which you helped, or could have helped?

  10. How would a diamond change the way you discuss on Meta? A lot on discussions on Meta require the finding of a "sweet spot" between extremes (mostly, the definition of some closing reasons). In those discussion, the voice of a moderator tends to have a higher influence than others. This is mostly a good thing: a moderator spends time thinking about it, has a lot of meta-experience and has been elected "because they're good at it". As a casual user though, I also find it intimidating as it always feels like the discussion is closed after one of our moderator has answered. How do you feel about it? Where would you position yourself between "discussion ender" and "casual dude"? How is it going to change your tone? (if it does at all)

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11
votes
$\begingroup$

James

Let me know if you have questions on my responses in the comments below or hit me up in the election chat room, thanks for taking the time to read.

  1. What do you think about the current moderation style with regard to closing and reopening questions? We, the current mods, generally have a laid-back style in a few areas. While we won't hesitate to move long, unproductive comments to chat or delete spam on sight, we'll often let the community delete posts on its own, and we almost never mod-hammer a post closed or open. Do you agree with this method of dealing with closing and reopening questions, and if not, how do you think it can be improved? How would you, as a mod, work to change it?

I support the current style. People put (in most cases) a lot of work and thought into their questions and to see those diamond hammered shut can be really demoralizing and drive people from the site. Heavy handed moderating would also contradict the design of SE, where the community is intended to moderate itself. In short, I agree with the way things are currently handled.

  1. How do you feel about the scope of World Building SE? What if anything would you want to change about the site's scope? How would you go about ensuring community involvement in the conversation and decision of scope change?

Scope wise I think we are actually doing well. World Building is a really really big topic. By definition it can include pretty much anything. I think our implementation of the scope is perhaps lacking in some ways. As I mentioned in chat the other day, I don't think we can completely get away from subjective questions, there will always be things here that have multiple possible answers. We do need to make sure questions are properly constrained so that answers are at least comparable to each other via the requirements of the questions.

  1. Good Subjective, Bad Subjective describes what makes a good subjective question -- it inspires longer answers explaining "why" and "how", it encourages answers that are backed up by facts and references, and it's more than mindless social fun. Worldbuilding gets a lot of questions in the gray area here. Some of them get closed as primarily opinion-based or too broad, others are left open and attract 10+ answers, and members of the community are confused about which precedents to follow. As a moderator with a binding close (or reopen!) vote, as well as the usual abilities to edit and comment, how will you handle questions like these, and their answers?

Much like our current moderators in grey cases I would wait to use a close/reopen vote until three or four votes had come in from non-mod community members. As mentioned in my answer to the previous question I would suggest we have work to do in enforcing our standards and personally feel we are allowing too many bad subjective questions to remain open. Its a conversation we need to continue having and I would hazard a guess it is a problem that will persist indefinitely which is ok so long as we continue to address it as it starts to veer to far to the bad subjective side.

  1. Why do you want to be a moderator? Similarly to what Grace Note said, there > are motives behind every action. It's important to distinguish if someone is in it for the title or if they have genuine intentions.

Simply put I love the site and the conversations that are had on WB.SE. I've been around the site since shortly after it appeared on Area 51 and helped get the proposal reopened after it had been closed there. I don't plan on going anywhere either way but would be happy to serve in a moderation capacity.

  1. 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 start with a one on one conversation mentioning the following: - The issue has been raised, and explaining the problem. - Ensure the expectations of the community regarding behavior were explained. - Inform the person that if it continues to be an issue the impacts for them will gradually escalate...or less gradually depending on the nature of the offenses.

In short, it is situation specific, but I tend to give people clear explanations and expectations, ensure open communication and ample opportunity to improve and adhere to community norms. Failing that enforcement of the rules is carried out.

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

This one is pretty straightforward. I would have a private conversation with the moderator in question and come to a mutual agreement on the proper course of action. If it is a matter of opinion I would be ok agreeing to disagree. Disagreements between moderators should generally not be public knowledge, it just serves to divide the community.

If the other moderator is abusing their authority or unwilling to discuss in a reasonable manner (not being a respectful community member) escalate to the proper authorities

  1. A genie appears and grants you one wish related to Worldbuilding Stack Exchange. You can change one aspect of the site. It could be something about the community (people post more questions, people post higher-quality answers, people deal with review queues quicker, …), about moderators (they start closing more/fewer questions, …), about the way the site works (some feature request gets fulfilled), etc. The genie adds, “no funny business about what ‘one aspect’ means!”. What do you wish for?

Right now the most pressing issue I see is that users seem hesitant to use close votes. We have a fair number of questions that are in the subjective category and falling on the bad side. The questions are interesting and could be edited to fit the site if they were edited appropriate.

The problem in my mind is that people are not closing the questions quickly enough. This leads to those questions getting a bunch of answers. At which point the question is often closed. The irony is now the question shouldn't be edited to make it on topic because the necessary changes would invalidate answers which is generally frowned upon.

So two parts. 1. Don't answer questions that are off topic for whatever reason. 2. Close said questions and help people make them better through comments/edits.

  1. What do you think the key traits of a moderator are, and how have you demonstrated them thus far in your activity on the site?

Patience, knowledge of the community and patience.

I would submit my activity on meta as an example of how I have handled things patiently...and actually its a pretty good resume for the knowledge of the community portion as well.

The best tool for being familiar with other community members is chat in my opinion and I am there basically all day long :D

  1. What are your qualifications? i.e. Do you have previous moderating experience on SE or from somewhere else? What qualities make you suited for this position? Is there proof of your convictions on this site; can you show us examples of circumstances in which you helped, or could have helped?

I have moderated plenty of non-SE sites in the past and am familiar with all the tools available to a 20,000 rep user on World Building, but I have not been a moderator on a SE site before. That said part of the beauty of the SE system is how they easy you into moderation responsibility gradually as a user.

In my day job I am a scrum master (its like a project manager but nicer) so my job is to coordinate things as needed and de-conflict priorities all the while keeping people playing nice and acting as mediator as necessary.

Proof of conviction...I would suggest reviewing the meta thread I linked in the previous question. I am also user 189...so...yeah :). I am not really sure what qualifies as proof of conviction beyond what I have mentioned in other answers but I am happy to answer any questions regarding the topic over in the election chat room if anyone has anything specific in mind.

  1. How would a diamond change the way you discuss on Meta? A lot on discussions on Meta require the finding of a "sweet spot" between extremes (mostly, the definition of some closing reasons). In those discussion, the voice of a moderator tends to have a higher influence than others. This is mostly a good thing: a moderator spends time thinking about it, has a lot of meta-experience and has been elected "because they're good at it". As a casual user though, I also find it intimidating as it always feels like the discussion is closed after one of our moderator has answered. How do you feel about it? Where would you position yourself between "discussion ender" and "casual dude"? How is it going to change your tone? (if it does at all)

Moderation/leadership privileges would actually not change much in my behavior. I am not oblivious to the fact that the opinions of moderators can carry extra weight and that comments from a moderator can have a case closed effect on conversation.

With that in mind, I would certainly still share my opinion but I would generally wait longer than normal to do so. I want to make sure people are willing to share their opinions.

I would also feel an obligation to make sure I bring issues up on meta (by asking questions) more regularly.

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  • $\begingroup$ I am also user 189...so...yeah :). – and this is why there should be a space before an ellipsis. This user is also a user 189… $\endgroup$ – Wrzlprmft Feb 14 '17 at 13:18
10
votes
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Michael Kjörling

  1. What do you think about the current moderation style with regard to closing and reopening questions? We, the current mods, generally have a laid-back style in a few areas. While we won't hesitate to move long, unproductive comments to chat or delete spam on sight, we'll often let the community delete posts on its own, and we almost never mod-hammer a post closed or open. Do you agree with this method of dealing with closing and reopening questions, and if not, how do you think it can be improved? How would you, as a mod, work to change it?

Worldbuilding SE has a broad scope, and it is often difficult to tell at a glance whether a given question fits within its scope or not. Questions may appear at first glance to not be about building a fictional world, but turn out to be; there are very few clear-cut cases. While I wouldn't hestitate to close outright by mod hammer a question that I can tell for certain is not about worldbuilding, I would be much more inclined to either let the community work it out (as long as the community is able to work it out without getting into a close-reopen-close-reopen wrestling match), or bring it up to discussion for example in chat or on Meta. To that end, I might also use non-binding flags to bring posts to the attention of the community.

  1. How do you feel about the scope of World Building SE? What if anything would you want to change about the site's scope? How would you go about ensuring community involvement in the conversation and decision of scope change?

If it was merely about my own opinion, I would be working toward a clearer distinction between questions about hypothetical worlds, and questions that, while answers may have worldbuilding applications, are actually about how things work in our real world. I have discussed this at length previously on Meta, for example in my answer to Is a “real world” question off topic?, and will not repeat that discussion here.

However, as a moderator, it wouldn't be merely about my own opinion. This is not to say that I wouldn't still very likely be making my point in comments, chat or on Meta (wherever happens to be appropriate), unilateral, diamond-powered action is not the way to effect change. A change of site scope depends on broad understanding of the change throughout the community. Such a discussion would need to be held through Meta and perhaps in chat, and the outcome may be different from what I would personally want. In such a situation, I would do my best to defer to the community consensus, preferring to take no action (and deferring to the community) over taking unilateral action.

  1. Good Subjective, Bad Subjective describes what makes a good subjective question -- it inspires longer answers explaining "why" and "how", it encourages answers that are backed up by facts and references, and it's more than mindless social fun. Worldbuilding gets a lot of questions in the gray area here. Some of them get closed as primarily opinion-based or too broad, others are left open and attract 10+ answers, and members of the community are confused about which precedents to follow. As a moderator with a binding close (or reopen!) vote, as well as the usual abilities to edit and comment, how will you handle questions like these, and their answers?

This is probably the hardest part about Worldbuilding SE. To me, the question here is really about whether it is possible to write answers that have a basis in more than mere opinion. If a question as asked cannot be answered with more than opinions, then it would be a candidate for putting on hold until it is clarified; if a question is gathering lots of answers, but those answers are approaching the question in terms of facts and logical reasoning rather than opinion, then it is probably fine. At the same time, a question that is gathering a lot of short answers may be worth protecting (a choice that can be overridden by the community) until it can be analyzed and discussed in more depth.

  1. Why do you want to be a moderator? Similarly to what Grace Note said, there are motives behind every action. It's important to distinguish if someone is in it for the title or if they have genuine intentions.

Stack Exchange's format, for all its virtues, can be confusing to newcomers who are more familiar with regular web forums. Worldbuilding adds on this by, by its very nature, being speculative. We are bending the Stack Exchange question and answers format into something useful for speculative questions, which inherently causes some amount of friction. Lots of users need guidance in figuring out how this works, and it is not at all uncommon that early attempts require some degree of cleanup. Having a diamond will allow me to keep keep doing what I have been doing in guiding new users and helping to make the site easier to use, without needing to rely on others for actions out of reach of ordinary users. While most guiding should be done in public to maximize the benefit for everyone, not just those directly involved, there is invariably going to be some cleanup required afterwards, which having a diamond helps with.

  1. 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?

By the time we are seeing "a large number of arguments/flags", I expect the user has already been instructed in comments by other users on the kind of behavior we want to see, and what comments are for. If there is a consistent pattern of flags, I would look at some comment threads the user has been involved in, and aim to start there, as well as by cleaning up any inappropriate comments and moving longer discussions to chat instead.

If that does not stop the problematic behavior, the next step would be to contact the user through private messages and attempt to both determine the root cause for the behavior in comments, and to guide the user in what type of behavior we expect of users. Since this is a user who "tends" to get into this kind of situation, I would also deal with the situation in cooperation with the other moderators on the site, to ensure that all moderators respond to the situation in a similar way. (A similar situation has already happened, which was discussed among us pro tem moderators and eventually more or less resolved.)

Should the disruptive behavior continue despite attempts to talk it out with the user, timed suspension may become necessary. I would be hoping that the situation can be resolved long before it comes to that, however; timed suspension is the last, not the first or even among the first, option that a moderator should reach for.

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

This should be brought up either with the specific moderator, with all the moderators on the site (both of those almost certainly in the private moderator chat room), or on Worldbuilding Meta, which is meant for discussion about the site. Exactly which of these avenues is most appropriate depends on the specific circumstances. Taking the matter to Meta may be particularly appropriate should the action that the moderator was involved in not be something only a moderator took part in; for example, if a moderator cast a delete vote after the post had already been delete-voted by community members, but I disagree with deletion.

Moderators are humans, too, and even with just five moderators there are bound to be disagreements on various issues. Those disagreements need to be ironed out in appropriate forums; we might not all always fully agree on what we each think is the best course of action, but we should be able to determine whether a given action is the one that most closely matches the community consensus on similar issues. Sometimes that does mean bringing the discussion right out in the open, and letting the community chime in.

  1. A genie appears and grants you one wish related to Worldbuilding Stack Exchange. You can change one aspect of the site. It could be something about the community (people post more questions, people post higher-quality answers, people deal with review queues quicker, …), about moderators (they start closing more/fewer questions, …), about the way the site works (some feature request gets fulfilled), etc. The genie adds, “no funny business about what ‘one aspect’ means!”. What do you wish for?

I would wish for more people downvoting low-quality content.

Way back in the beta (I think before the site even entered the public beta phase, but haven't checked the dates to confirm this), I posted Should this be a high-voting site? which drew lots of attention for the time. Unfortunately, people are far more likely to vote up than down, which results in a situation where even outright incorrect content barely receive a downvote. I would ask the genie to make people more likely to vote down low quality content while maintaining peoples' willingness to vote up high quality content, both questions and answers. To the extent that this requires people to actually cross-check claims made, I would hope for such claims to be checked with at least the same rigor as on the less strict scientific sites in the network.

  1. What do you think the key traits of a moderator are, and how have you demonstrated them thus far in your activity on the site?

I think the key traits of a moderator are patience, humility and a willingness to guide people as opposed to imposing your will on others. I have spent a lot of time on the site guiding users in comments and occasionally in chat or on Meta, re-tagging questions with tags that aim to categorize the question better (this is especially common with relative newcomers to the site, who are unlikely to be familiar with what tags are available), and trying to improve tag wikis where I have seen a need for improvement. Some of this has been subsequently deleted, and in general this is something I would very much strive to continue to do while having the powers to handle more situations myself instead of relying only on flagging.

  1. What are your qualifications? i.e. Do you have previous moderating experience on SE or from somewhere else? What qualities make you suited for this position? Is there proof of your convictions on this site; can you show us examples of circumstances in which you helped, or could have helped?

I was a pro tempore moderator during the Worldbuilding SE beta phase. I have also held a diamond as a pro tempore moderator on Amateur Radio, which I voluntarily relinquished in good standing. My oldest accounts on the network are from October 2010, and I have accounts with more than 1,000 reputation on a dozen different sites in the network, including Meta Stack Exchange.

To the extent that it matters, my profile shows that I have visited the site on 819 different UTC days, and that I have visited the site at least once every day for the past 344 consecutive UTC days.

  1. How would a diamond change the way you discuss on Meta? A lot on discussions on Meta require the finding of a "sweet spot" between extremes (mostly, the definition of some closing reasons). In those discussion, the voice of a moderator tends to have a higher influence than others. This is mostly a good thing: a moderator spends time thinking about it, has a lot of meta-experience and has been elected "because they're good at it". As a casual user though, I also find it intimidating as it always feels like the discussion is closed after one of our moderator has answered. How do you feel about it? Where would you position yourself between "discussion ender" and "casual dude"? How is it going to change your tone? (if it does at all)

I would probably not change my tone on Meta very much. It is possible, however, that I would preface more of my contributions with a statement to the effect of that while I hold a diamond, I am inviting other users to discuss the pros and cons of what I am suggesting, or make alternative suggestions. Being a moderator does not make you all-knowing, and to those who look to see who's writing before deciding whether what you wrote is good or bad, it is especially important to be humble in your actions.

Some questions are naturally going to be ones where holding a diamond can effectively function as a "discussion ender", but it is my hope and sincere aim that the number of questions where this happens should be very limited.

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  • $\begingroup$ «to contact the user through private messages» I thought there is no such mechanism, even for mods. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Feb 13 '17 at 9:32
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @JDługosz There is. Diamond moderators (and Stack Exchange employees) have the ability to send private messages directly to users (unless that feature has been removed in the last year, which I very much doubt). It's usually used for serious problems, not everyday things that can be sorted out in comments, on meta or in a public or private chat room. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Feb 13 '17 at 9:33
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling no, the feature still full functional/works, was contacted once few month ago on another SE site. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Feb 13 '17 at 9:40
4
votes
$\begingroup$

JDługosz here.

  1. What do you think about the current moderation style with regard to closing and reopening questions? We, the current mods, generally have a laid-back style in a few areas. While we won't hesitate to move long, unproductive comments to chat or delete spam on sight, we'll often let the community delete posts on its own, and we almost never mod-hammer a post closed or open. Do you agree with this method of dealing with closing and reopening questions, and if not, how do you think it can be improved? How would you, as a mod, work to change it?

Yes, I agree with it.

The only “improvement” would be to better facilitate hand-holding and guiding new users to come up with a good question.

I’ve also wished that duplicates were closed before gathering a bunch of new answers, especially when those answers duplicate what’s been said elsewhere, or worse, should have added to the original topic and are now kind of in limbo.

  1. How do you feel about the scope of World Building SE? What if anything would you want to change about the site's scope? How would you go about ensuring community involvement in the conversation and decision of scope change?

It would be good to have a community for discussing the specific story development and plotting ideas, which is not on topic here nor on Writers. But that would not fit as an extension to the scope here.

For how to deal with the ever evolving scope and intentional shifts, look at how it’s being done now: Idea generation used to be a close reason. The correct venue for community involvement would be Meta. Ideas should be discussed with reference to specific questions that would be subject to the rule change.

I think more often we have specific questions/answers we like or dislike but have trouble formulating a clear-cut rule that encapsulates that. So examples are definitely key.

  1. Good Subjective, Bad Subjective describes what makes a good subjective question — it inspires longer answers explaining "why" and "how", it encourages answers that are backed up by facts and references, and it's more than mindless social fun. Worldbuilding gets a lot of questions in the gray area here. Some of them get closed as primarily opinion-based or too broad, others are left open and attract 10+ answers, and members of the community are confused about which precedents to follow. As a moderator with a binding close (or reopen!) vote, as well as the usual abilities to edit and comment, how will you handle questions like these, and their answers?

I think POB is a tricky beast, as it applies here. After all, look at a normal question that inspires any number of different creative approaches in the answers. There is no single best material for a submarine that operates in liquid helium, unless it was a hard-science question and the detailed engineering tradeoffs were elaborated. This came up in this Meta question a short time ago.

To avoid POB while still soliciting varied and creative answers, first of all avoid absolutes in the wording of the question. “What is the best material…” is un-answerable, while “What material could be used…” is open.

The real issue, I think, is broadness. If answers are all over the place and don’t address the same question (as interpreted by the answerer), then even if there are answers appearing it is “too broad”. If the different answers nibble away at different aspects, it is clearly too broad. If the different answers don’t seem to interpret the question in the same way at all, it really should be “unclear what is being asked”. Point is, the badness overlaps all of these and the real reason for badness is the lack of coherence in the answers.

So to avoid confusion, we could be more consistent with using the right close reason, and perhaps improve the wording on POB. Or treat POB-ness as something to be fixed with an edit, not closing. As explained above, get rid of the absolute qualifiers like “best”, and if the resulting question is clear and sufficiently narrow, then there is nothing wrong with it.

  1. Why do you want to be a moderator? Similarly to what Grace Note said, there are motives behind every action. It's important to distinguish if someone is in it for the title or if they have genuine intentions.

It seems like the next logical step, as participant with a lot of involvement already. My intention is to keep it great and feel a part of making it so. I don’t have a big platform or anything.

  1. 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?

Keep the good content, delete the “rude or offensive” or “not constructive” comments. By arguments from comments, do you mean he raises points that indeed need to be answered in the post to make it better? Note that there are separate delete reasons noted above: a comment can be deleted as being rude/offensive, even if it is useful. Hopefully it will be “obsolete” (if the real point is addressed with an edit) and then it will be gone with no reason to keep looking at the rudeness.

I’ve never seen this as being a problem here, and the question is a little vague on the exact situation. But interpreting it as above as the worst case of rude/offensive but still useful, off the top of my head I note that diamond mods can edit comments. So, I could bleep out the racial slurs or whatever it was while keeping the real point. If this was going on, regardless of whether said user was providing good answers too, I think it would have been under discussion by the community and not simply my decision out of the blue. After all, the question was “tends to generate…” which means it’s an ongoing thing.

And there’s a real answer for you, albeit a bit more meta than was asked: I would not simply make snap decisions and take unilateral action on an issue that was an ongoing thing known to the entire community.

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

Well, I already mentioned this Meta post which was, on the face of it, a question that was closed and I thought should not have been. It was reopened and got silver badges for both votes and views. Although this was not really a meta post for just this question, but a clarification/discussion as mentioned earlier in this narrative. But in general, bringing it up in Meta is a good answer.

A second example, some time ago, a very high voted post of TrEs-2b (as he is known now) was closed, but had been edited and seemed to be just fine now. I brought it up in chat, and he said that it never got enough reopen votes. I lobbied for it in chat and nominated for reopening again, and that was enough to get enough people to take note that it needs voting on. I suppose this is an example were I could have “correctly” just re-opened on my authority, if I had that power at the time.

In the first example, I would avoid doing so for my own question as a conflict of interest or personal biased understanding of the question.

But I’d like to point out that I can already reopen some questions single-handedly.

I don’t get in edit wars on Wikipedia, either. After one round of disagreement, the issue needs to be discussed with both sides explaining reasons.

  1. A genie appears and grants you one wish related to Worldbuilding Stack Exchange. You can change one aspect of the site. It could be something about the community (people post more questions, people post higher-quality answers, people deal with review queues quicker, …), about moderators (they start closing more/fewer questions, …), about the way the site works (some feature request gets fulfilled), etc. The genie adds, “no funny business about what ‘one aspect’ means!”. What do you wish for?

Better integration of the Sandbox as a real feature. This would include having it appear as a review queue, so people would do so, as well as making it easy to move newcomer’s posts to this area rather than just closing them!

(Well, really I want the status bar to show when my points is a prime number.)

  1. What do you think the key traits of a moderator are, and how have you demonstrated them thus far in your activity on the site?

  2. What are your qualifications? i.e. Do you have previous moderating experience on SE or from somewhere else? What qualities make you suited for this position? Is there proof of your convictions on this site; can you show us examples of circumstances in which you helped, or could have helped?

I believe that’s what the badge count noted in the box score is for. I’ve mentioned a few things as part of this narrative already.

No, I’ve not been a moderator on any SE before.

  1. How would a diamond change the way you discuss on Meta? A lot on discussions on Meta require the finding of a "sweet spot" between extremes (mostly, the definition of some closing reasons). In those discussion, the voice of a moderator tends to have a higher influence than others. This is mostly a good thing: a moderator spends time thinking about it, has a lot of meta-experience and has been elected "because they're good at it". As a casual user though, I also find it intimidating as it always feels like the discussion is closed after one of our moderator has answered. How do you feel about it? Where would you position yourself between "discussion ender" and "casual dude"? How is it going to change your tone? (if it does at all)

I would follow these discussions and make it a point to weigh in. As indicated earlier, I think the best points are made through examples of actual Q/A posts and how those would be affected; it appears to be difficult and even problematic to formulate hard rules using simple descriptive language.

Since the point has been raised, I’ll be careful not to be a discussion ender. I can see that experienced mods are familiar with the rules and the many precedents, so their notes on the subject can be much better informed than, say, some newcomer. But he’s not making the rules. Those are decided by community consensus and the current “enforcer” is following the democratic law, not acting as a dictator.

I’m generally good, as a skeptic etc., of qualifying my statements as to what is personal feeling or authoritative result. I’ll be sure to do the same here with policy discussions.

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for those very good insights on too broad. $\endgroup$ – PatJ Feb 13 '17 at 6:02
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    $\begingroup$ "Better integration of the Sandbox as a real feature." - oh yee that would be a super feature $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Feb 13 '17 at 8:02
  • $\begingroup$ @MolbOrg is that literal or with irony? Sorry, I can’t tell if «oh yee» is supposed to be a cue. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Feb 13 '17 at 9:10
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    $\begingroup$ Literary, something in that direction would be a very interesting feature. It is rather a pipedream considering how the engine works. But if to jump around the idea a bit more there are interesting possibilities trough tags and rules and public agreements. But involving the public into action is always good, they can test their skills on questions which are currently on hold and where OP didn't succeed to rearrange the question. There are few things to test and to try before the separate private queue of possible questions. Most important there are things to test, it needs the will to do so. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Feb 13 '17 at 9:38
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    $\begingroup$ It's a magic genie feature, not something that could be implemented any time soon. But it seemed a good way to express related issues while sticking with “one aspect”: people need to tend the sandbox for it to work; as our existing idea, there is manual work posting comments to encourage the newcomer and inform him of the sandbox after he posts a to-be-closed question, and that still doesn’t make him use the sandbox rather than wander back out again. In reality, a re-engineered approach would not be “the sandbox” anymore. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Feb 13 '17 at 9:49
3
votes
$\begingroup$

AndyD273

  1. What do you think about the current moderation style with regard to closing and reopening questions? We, the current mods, generally have a laid-back style in a few areas. While we won't hesitate to move long, unproductive comments to chat or delete spam on sight, we'll often let the community delete posts on its own, and we almost never mod-hammer a post closed or open. Do you agree with this method of dealing with closing and reopening questions, and if not, how do you think it can be improved? How would you, as a mod, work to change it?

I agree with the current policy. I think that if a mod is going to step in, it should be for major things like abuse, doxing, and other things were users can be harmed.

  1. How do you feel about the scope of World Building SE? What if anything would you want to change about the site's scope? How would you go about ensuring community involvement in the conversation and decision of scope change?

I like the sites scope. Questions about Worldbuilding should be encouraged and cultivated, and non-Worldbuilding should be closed down by the users.

  1. Good Subjective, Bad Subjective describes what makes a good subjective question -- it inspires longer answers explaining "why" and "how", it encourages answers that are backed up by facts and references, and it's more than mindless social fun. Worldbuilding gets a lot of questions in the gray area here. Some of them get closed as primarily opinion-based or too broad, others are left open and attract 10+ answers, and members of the community are confused about which precedents to follow. As a moderator with a binding close (or reopen!) vote, as well as the usual abilities to edit and comment, how will you handle questions like these, and their answers?

I think it should mostly be handled by the users. There may be cases like spam where a question crosses a line and needs to be shut down fast, but otherwise the community can take care of itself.
Edit: moderators have a lot of power. If a moderator says a question should be closed then it is, no discussion. If a moderator decides to reopen a question, it overrides the community votes. This is a powerful tool, and so should be used with care. Unless something needs to be handled decisively, a moderators main duty is to mediate and clarify disagreements about Worldbuilders site policy.

Edit 2:
On the subject of subjectivity, I feel that Worldbuilding is a lot closer to Moms4Mom than Physics in the examples give, with the disadvantage that it's harder to apply the Back It Up! Principle when your question is about dragons, vampires, artificial gravity, time machines, or other non-hard-science topics. Often the best that can be done is to help users fix problems with internal consistency.

  1. Why do you want to be a moderator? Similarly to what Grace Note said, there are motives behind every action. It's important to distinguish if someone is in it for the title or if they have genuine intentions.

I love the Worldbuilding community, and I want to be more involved in what's happening here.

  1. 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?

Controversial does not mean bad. If a user is breaking rules or being abusive, then steps should be taken, from a warning to be nice to more drastic things, but otherwise there is no rule against being challenging.

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

I'd talk to the other mod to see what their reasoning was, and if I still didn't agree I'd try to communicate my thinking in regards to why I disagreed with the decision.

  1. A genie appears and grants you one wish related to Worldbuilding Stack Exchange. You can change one aspect of the site. It could be something about the community (people post more questions, people post higher-quality answers, people deal with review queues quicker, …), about moderators (they start closing more/fewer questions, …), about the way the site works (some feature request gets fulfilled), etc. The genie adds, “no funny business about what ‘one aspect’ means!”. What do you wish for?

A way to directly message people that don't use chat. A messaging system that could still be visible to mods but that would allow for personal messages that shouldn't be in open chat or comments.

  1. What do you think the key traits of a moderator are, and how have you demonstrated them thus far in your activity on the site?

Open minded, a willingness to listen and try to come to an understanding. Slow tempered and unwilling to jump to judgement.
Edit: for example, the ongoing Too Broad debates in chat. I do have an option on the subject, but I've definitely done a lot of listening too, and can see some of the valid opposing points. I think the subject needs more discussion, and I wish there was a better venue, but it's been very civil so far.

  1. What are your qualifications? i.e. Do you have previous moderating experience on SE or from somewhere else? What qualities make you suited for this position? Is there proof of your convictions on this site; can you show us examples of circumstances in which you helped, or could have helped?

I very often leave comments for newer users on ways to use the site better, and look at my role on Worldbuilding as an educator as much as anything else.

  1. How would a diamond change the way you discuss on Meta? A lot on discussions on Meta require the finding of a "sweet spot" between extremes (mostly, the definition of some closing reasons). In those discussion, the voice of a moderator tends to have a higher influence than others. This is mostly a good thing: a moderator spends time thinking about it, has a lot of meta-experience and has been elected "because they're good at it". As a casual user though, I also find it intimidating as it always feels like the discussion is closed after one of our moderator has answered. How do you feel about it? Where would you position yourself between "discussion ender" and "casual dude"? How is it going to change your tone? (if it does at all)

Be quick to listen and slow to answer. Let others have a chance to give their side before jumping in, and then try to find a middle ground that will help the most people possible while staying true to the purpose of the site.

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you elaborate on #3? I agree, it is best left to the users to decide, but they will likely look to you for guidance. Additionally, you may be involved in some of that discussion as a moderator, so it is important to know your personal opinion on that type of question. $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Feb 7 '17 at 0:14
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    $\begingroup$ Could you elaborate on #8, which asks for examples? $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Feb 7 '17 at 0:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Zxyrra added a little more to help clarify. Typed on my phone so I may add more later. $\endgroup$ – AndyD273 Feb 7 '17 at 4:47
3
votes
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Aric

  1. What do you think about the current moderation style with regard to closing and reopening questions? We, the current mods, generally have a laid-back style in a few areas. While we won't hesitate to move long, unproductive comments to chat or delete spam on sight, we'll often let the community delete posts on its own, and we almost never mod-hammer a post closed or open. Do you agree with this method of dealing with closing and reopening questions, and if not, how do you think it can be improved? How would you, as a mod, work to change it?

I see no problem with short conversations in the comment section, however, if it is unrelated to the question this is unnecessary. Spam is never needed. I think that giving the community a chance to run itself gives everyone a responsibility to give input and increases involvement; if a post is off-topic it is acceptable in my eyes to make the OP aware that this is so and recommend another site to post it on, however down-voting will achieve nothing. There is no need to close the post unless it remains active, and it may be that the poster can edit the question to make it suitable for the site, or remove it by themself.

As a moderator I would certainly warn posters if they are posting incorrectly, however instead of closing the post I would recommend changes. If an innapropriate response is received, I see no problem in closing the post if there are no signs of the OP trying to improve their work.

  1. How do you feel about the scope of World Building SE? What if anything would you want to change about the site's scope? How would you go about ensuring community involvement in the conversation and decision of scope change?

I enjoy the wide ranges of scope on this site. Anything from science, magic, mapping, language, history, and war tactics can be on-topic. There is a wide interest in creating one's own world and many different topics can be explored in doing so. I see few reasons to change the site's scope other than to increase the number of interested users, or to limit the number of seemingly meaningless questions asked for the sake of asking a question.

Encouraging the community to get involved is a big step in the right direction. While it would not be well-received to fly around the site telling everybody within range to get involved with the decision, I would certainly alert any members who show an interest in this, since meta is an important part of the development of the site. Often I see posts across Stack Exchange where someone has voted to close because the question is off-topic, and a debate in the comments as to what the scope of the site includes. In these cases, getting the opinions of those people would likely be very beneficial and it would be possible to get them involved in the meta.

  1. Good Subjective, Bad Subjective describes what makes a good subjective question -- it inspires longer answers explaining "why" and "how", it encourages answers that are backed up by facts and references, and it's more than mindless social fun. Worldbuilding gets a lot of questions in the gray area here. Some of them get closed as primarily opinion-based or too broad, others are left open and attract 10+ answers, and members of the community are confused about which precedents to follow. As a moderator with a binding close (or reopen!) vote, as well as the usual abilities to edit and comment, how will you handle questions like these, and their answers?

If I see a question which is debatable or otherwise subjective, I would likely recommend that the OP makes additional changes to the question to remove this to an extent where the question can be answered clearly. If no attempt is made and discussion continues in the answers, closing the post would likely avert further argument or unnecessary debate. I would only re-open a post which has shown significant changes to make it answerable and non-subjective.

I enjoy this site specifically because a question can spark several ideas among the community, and open-ended questions are somewhat more acceptable than on other sites, as long as the question and desired type of answer are made clear.

  1. Why do you want to be a moderator? Similarly to what Grace Note said, there are motives behind every action. It's important to distinguish if someone is in it for the title or if they have genuine intentions.

To be honest, my main goal is to research and answer other people's questions. Being a moderator makes no difference to this and does not give me more of an ability to help others.

There is no real personal advantage to being a moderator, other than teaching myself the skills to deal with people and to take on a role with responsibility. I will hopefully get the satisfaction of knowing that a small part of this site has been somewhat improved by my presence, and in return I will help the community in the ways I can: closing and re-opening threads when needed, providing a positive example for other users to follow, and responding to flagged posts. Few people enjoy settling disputes in the comments or even over email, however I think that experience doing this will improve my judgement and mediatory skills. This, of course, mainly benefits the members I am conversing with at the time, however it will likely teach me skills for the future, which is why I am interested in taking on a role as a moderator aswell as being a regular visitor to the site.

  1. 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?

Advice. How to create unambiguous answers that avoid dispute; how to accept other people's points and incorporate them into your answer instead of arguing your side out of pride; and most of all how to politely reason with people who comment on your answer. I would make sure that they are aware of the effect their answers are having, and I would take necessary action only if the user refuses to take advice and causes consistent disruptions.

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

Talk to the other mod in private. If they do not reply, check with another moderator before re-opening the question.

  1. A genie appears and grants you one wish related to Worldbuilding Stack Exchange. You can change one aspect of the site. It could be something about the community (people post more questions, people post higher-quality answers, people deal with review queues quicker, …), about moderators (they start closing more/fewer questions, …), about the way the site works (some feature request gets fulfilled), etc. The genie adds, “no funny business about what ‘one aspect’ means!”. What do you wish for?

I wish for more questions. Not questions for the sake of asking, but genuine interest which can be seen and replied to. I want more questions that make you go "huh, maybe this..." and then research and find out. More questions will mean more active users, more ideas, more information. The site in its current state is a perfectly capable tool for requesting and receiving ideas, I just wish that more people would use it to its full extent.

  1. What do you think the key traits of a moderator are, and how have you demonstrated them thus far in your activity on the site?

Sadly, I fall behind most other applicants here. Mose moderators are active, and help the community while also continuing to answer questions. While I am most active on WorldBuilding compared to other SE sites, I have not been the most active member. I started using worldbuilding last summer and was online nearly every day. I spent my time looking for questions which demonstrate interest in that area, and I researched to find what solutions I could find which used elegant systems to solve complex problems. Since september I have been unable to visit the site, however I still maintain that same interest and desire to learn something new. If being a moderator requires constant vigilance at your post, I am not best suited for this. I would check SE once every day or so, however I would not be on hand to respond to members within the hour if I was needed.

Being a moderator isn't just activity. It's fair judgement and a will to be involved. I am enthusiastic to take on a role of responsibility on this site, and I believe that I can approach problems without bias and give the most fair judgement I can with the information given to me. I want to continue to give meaningful answers to questions on the site, and being a moderator will not detract from this ability.

  1. What are your qualifications? i.e. Do you have previous moderating experience on SE or from somewhere else? What qualities make you suited for this position? Is there proof of your convictions on this site; can you show us examples of circumstances in which you helped, or could have helped?

I have not moderated before. The idea of helping others has been my motivator for answering questions on these sites, however I have never used this in the fashion that a moderator would. I have always wanted to teach myself to teach others, but I have always concentrated on answering the question involved. I can't remember a time when I have helped in any way other than this, and I'm sure many readers will take this to mean that I am not suited for moderation. If so, then that's a fair judgement. I haven't really shown that I am capable to be a moderator because I never considered doing it, however my desire to provide worthwhile answers for others will extend to providing worthwhile services as a moderator.

  1. How would a diamond change the way you discuss on Meta? A lot on discussions on Meta require the finding of a "sweet spot" between extremes (mostly, the definition of some closing reasons). In those discussion, the voice of a moderator tends to have a higher influence than others. This is mostly a good thing: a moderator spends time thinking about it, has a lot of meta-experience and has been elected "because they're good at it". As a casual user though, I also find it intimidating as it always feels like the discussion is closed after one of our moderator has answered. How do you feel about it? Where would you position yourself between "discussion ender" and "casual dude"? How is it going to change your tone? (if it does at all)

In a discussion situation, I have a way that I like to deal with it. I lay out the facts as they are and let others in the conversation interpret them. Once a couple ideas have been put forward, I give my own interpretation and compare it with the others. I see where mine is stronger, and where it is weaker. In this way I act as more of a director than anything else. I give my own thoughts, however I do not try to force the outcome. I lead the other people involved to come to their own conclusions and share them, and by a group effort find a solution. If a long-lasting debate ensues I will have to intervene, however for the most part I aim to move the discussion forwards towards a conclusion instead of ending it early.

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1
vote
$\begingroup$

Youstay Igo

  1. What do you think about the current moderation style with regard to closing and reopening questions? We, the current mods, generally have a laid-back style in a few areas. While we won't hesitate to move long, unproductive comments to chat or delete spam on sight, we'll often let the community delete posts on its own, and we almost never mod-hammer a post closed or open. Do you agree with this method of dealing with closing and reopening questions, and if not, how do you think it can be improved? How would you, as a mod, work to change it?

I believe in division of duties. While some mods could be quite suitable and active for the tedious work of keeping the site clean and nice for users, others (with more experience than me) could be more experienced with the the scope of the site and better handle the subtleties of reopening and hammer-closing the questions. I do believe that one or a couple of senior mods should reopen the questions which they find closed unjustly. As for closing the questions, I believe that members should be able to vote for closing of a question, but the final act of closing the question should be taken by a mod. This would help in controversial situations where a question is voted closed and then voted reopened without any major edit in the question body.

  1. How do you feel about the scope of World Building SE? What if anything would you want to change about the site's scope? How would you go about ensuring community involvement in the conversation and decision of scope change?

I feel that the scope of the site should be very slightly broadened. Sometimes a question is relevant to the site's scope, but does not quite exactly fit in. Sometimes a couple of users are also willing to answer such a question. These questions are usually voted-closed. I think in case such a question is coming from a novice user, they should be notified about the site's scope, but their first couple of questions should not be shutdown and they should be given some grace period to get acquainted to the site's scope and merge in.

All in all, I feel that if a question is relevant to the site (even if not exactly fitting in), the question should be given 12 hours before shutting it down, in case some member is willing to help answer that question. If a member can help reword it to fit it in the site's scope, all the better!

  1. Good Subjective, Bad Subjective describes what makes a good subjective question -- it inspires longer answers explaining "why" and "how", it encourages answers that are backed up by facts and references, and it's more than mindless social fun. Worldbuilding gets a lot of questions in the gray area here. Some of them get closed as primarily opinion-based or too broad, others are left open and attract 10+ answers, and members of the community are confused about which precedents to follow. As a moderator with a binding close (or reopen!) vote, as well as the usual abilities to edit and comment, how will you handle questions like these, and their answers?

I don't feel that a mod should hammer down a subjective question if someone is willing to answer it. However, I do strongly support the idea of making the question more precise, so as to limit the subjectivity part. In case of such a question, I would try to reword the question in order to make it more precise, without derailing the soul of the question.

In short, subjectivity of opinion about technicalities is good, but a question reading "Which system of government is better for my world? Please explain in detail" would not generate helpful content for other users of the site who might have similar question in mind, because the topic of opinion is too broad and non-technical.

  1. Why do you want to be a moderator? Similarly to what Grace Note said, there are motives behind every action. It's important to distinguish if someone is in it for the title or if they have genuine intentions.

I have been a member of this place for more than a year now (cannot recall precisely when I joined) and I just want to try and make it more newbie-friendly.

  1. 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?

My course of action is clear about comments and arguments. As long as the writer of the content (question or answer) has not presented any misleading/false/offensive material, they have the full right to complain and get any comment removed from their question which they feel aggressive or non productive. However, if they do want to go on answering the comments/arguments, of course they can. As a moderator, I would remove all comments which the writer of the content flags inappropriate (unless the comments point out a factual error in the content or complain about the tone of the writer, in which case their case would be considered seriously).

However, no warning would be issued to the writer of such comments as long as their comments are not flagged as aggressive or offensive, in which case the complaint would be processed with other mods and a warning message issued if the allegations are right.

About all non-offensive comments which the writer deems non-productive and wants removed, I guess the mod team would just have to do silent cleaning. yawn

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

If the community does not vote against this closing/deletion, I would respect their (the other mod and the community) decision and stifle my opinion. However, if the community votes against such an action (through comments or writing about it in meta), then I would discuss the matter with other mods and sort it out according to their (the mod team) aggregate decision.

  1. A genie appears and grants you one wish related to Worldbuilding Stack Exchange. You can change one aspect of the site. It could be something about the community (people post more questions, people post higher-quality answers, people deal with review queues quicker, …), about moderators (they start closing more/fewer questions, …), about the way the site works (some feature request gets fulfilled), etc. The genie adds, “no funny business about what ‘one aspect’ means!”. What do you wish for?

That somehow we could get people with firsthand, personal knowledge about the subject matter, to answer the questions (as opposed to answering based on subjective internet searches and personal opinions where an objective answer exists). That would be the best and most productive progress I could ask for, right now.

  1. What do you think the key traits of a moderator are, and how have you demonstrated them thus far in your activity on the site?

Willingness to go an extra mile to help/guide a member. This is the most important.

Flexible, but not compromising.

Helps to manage the place according to the principles agreed upon, instead of pulling it to suit what they prefer.

During my time on the site so far, I have tried to help newbies about the site's scope and question wording. As a mod, I would be more concerned about helping people use this site more productively, instead of resolving disputes, which I would leave for seniors.

The guy at the help-desk, if you please.

  1. What are your qualifications? i.e. Do you have previous moderating experience on SE or from somewhere else? What qualities make you suited for this position? Is there proof of your convictions on this site; can you show us examples of circumstances in which you helped, or could have helped?

I have been a moderator (and part of the admin staff) on 2 forums in the past. I have not been a mod anywhere on any SE site.

While I have not been much active in the last few months, I have always tried to help newbies and junior members about how to get the best out of this site while being productive for others. You can see this attitude in my comments in newbies' questions/answers and my long answers to subjective questions.

  1. How would a diamond change the way you discuss on Meta? A lot on discussions on Meta require the finding of a "sweet spot" between extremes (mostly, the definition of some closing reasons). In those discussion, the voice of a moderator tends to have a higher influence than others. This is mostly a good thing: a moderator spends time thinking about it, has a lot of meta-experience and has been elected "because they're good at it". As a casual user though, I also find it intimidating as it always feels like the discussion is closed after one of our moderator has answered. How do you feel about it? Where would you position yourself between "discussion ender" and "casual dude"? How is it going to change your tone? (if it does at all)

It will not change my tone at all. I see myself as someone people call for support and guidance, not someone who hammers down their opinion on how things are and ought to be. If anything, I would try to make it so that lesser questions get closed and newbies get to merge in the community more smoothly and rapidly. That's all.


In reply to Monica Cellio's question/comment:

I cannot link to the actual questions (as I have forgotten their exact wording), but I have seen some questions with a tone of What should I do in my world, to make this and that occur at some point? and the more general What are some fun ways of using black holes in my world?

I do understand that these questions are too broad and that it would be asking too much to expect the members to answer them in full detail, but I do support the idea of providing quick, short guidelines to OP (as answer) about which aspects (of science or magic or initial settings in their world) do they need to work at, and how they would change the mechanics of their world.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Please don't forget to add a short nomination on the election page. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Feb 8 '17 at 14:39
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    $\begingroup$ For #2 you wrote: "I feel that the scope of the site should be very slightly broadened. Sometimes a question is relevant to the site's scope, but does not quite exactly fit in." Could you add an example or two of what you mean by questions that are just outside but you'd like to see included? (Hypothetical is fine if you don't want to link to specific questions; I just want to understand how you'd like to broaden our scope.) Thanks, and as HDE said, don't forget to make a nomination post too. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Feb 8 '17 at 15:42
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    $\begingroup$ "As a moderator, I would remove all comments which the writer of the content flags inappropriate" - not good, the answer is public information, and removing comments just because of writer frustration, if there is no other reasons, not good. "That somehow we could get people with firsthand, personal knowledge about the subject matter, to answer the questions" - would be super )) $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Feb 13 '17 at 8:10
  • $\begingroup$ The answer is public information. You are completely correct. As mentioned in my post, I stated that if the comment points out a factual error or complains the tone (aggressiveness, bias etc) of the writer then of course the case would be considered seriously. However, if a commentator goes on arguing with the writer based on personal opinion, then yes, I did and still support removing all such comments if the writer of the post flags them for removal. $\endgroup$ – Youstay Igo Feb 15 '17 at 15:53
0
votes
$\begingroup$

MolbOrg

  1. What do you think about the current moderation style with regard to closing and reopening questions? We, the current mods, generally have a laid-back style in a few areas. While we won't hesitate to move long, unproductive comments to chat or delete spam on sight, we'll often let the community delete posts on its own, and we almost never mod-hammer a post closed or open. Do you agree with this method of dealing with closing and reopening questions, and if not, how do you think it can be improved? How would you, as a mod, work to change it?

Even less intervention, less of that While we won't hesitate to move long, unproductive comments to chat. A mod should act on known cases with preferably a clear understanding what he is doing. Moving regularly 20+ comments on a 3k+ views question with 10+ answers into chat just because it is more than the usual threshold for a 150 views question, is not a good way of handling it.

And more intervention on shaping the community, teaching it what is good what is not so good, why and how, and more not in closing open questions, but find other ways to conduct a message and form public opinion. And the message should be well thought and tested and have the support of noble members.

  1. How do you feel about the scope of World Building SE? What if anything would you want to change about the site's scope? How would you go about ensuring community involvement in the conversation and decision of scope change?

Exchanging the reasons of decision is a good way to sync ways of thinking for a community. There have to be more dialogues inside of the community on different topics, and the meta do not have to be a forgotten place but should be more active used for that, it is not just a support forum and a place to express the discontent or occasional voices.

  1. Good Subjective, Bad Subjective describes what makes a good subjective question -- it inspires longer answers explaining "why" and "how", it encourages answers that are backed up by facts and references, and it's more than mindless social fun. Worldbuilding gets a lot of questions in the gray area here. Some of them get closed as primarily opinion-based or too broad, others are left open and attract 10+ answers, and members of the community are confused about which precedents to follow. As a moderator with a binding close (or reopen!) vote, as well as the usual abilities to edit and comment, how will you handle questions like these and their answers?

Good question, thank you. Now about of how to make the piece in the world. B.N. asked me once about why Graph Zeppeling decided to build his first ...

I'm joking, good question and it can't be answered easily. A lot of people can write an essay about the situation, similarly to the one you have linked.

The community defines the types of question it asks and how it perceives the questions and answers, and at any stage, it has some sort of agreement and consensus. Disagreement is also a part of the community consensus. It has to be understood that in general, the consensus can be any of.

Willing to understand the agreement is a good community member treat.
Willing to influence the agreement is a good community member treat.

And to voice and influence and to exchange the understanding of the consensus or trying to understand it, there are tools for that(limited but still functional) - comments, voting(up/down), meta, chat.

The understanding of the agreement, in general, is not a must of being a part of the community. You have to understand your part of the agreement because we are here pretty multispectral community(have different fields of interests) and no one should expect to understand everything about the community. (There is a lot to say, that as example Answer to: Why is Worldbuilding Stack Exchange so good at answering questions?, and other meta posts in general(by many other users since the beginning), the question will never find its final answer, and you have to be prepared for that)

The role of the mod is to help to navigate trough different IRL obstacles to allow the healthy communty to exist, it is not their function to rule, except the pledge to SE to be the WB site of SE.

As for your question, those meta post intention is to clarify why we do what we do, even if they doing not so well atm.
http://meta.worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/4284/hot-or-not-the-opinion-based-question-the-sandbox-game
http://meta.worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/4270/putting-opinion-based-questions-on-hold-too-fast
http://meta.worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/4407/hard-science-tag-possible-approach-changing-how-to-ask-these-particular-types

I would like for us to make of semi-permanent meta activity(like the sand box, but more well known) or once week/month activities - where the reasons can be disclosed, in a form when a reader can easily and quickly to determine/see a pattern.

I would like to promote such topics from meta at the main site, may be in form of comments or plates when it is appropriate and when there might be a controversy or when people voice their interest in the information(in form of arguable disagreement as an example).

It will be useful for new users to learn and more mature users to learn for practical reasons to be more certain in their votes/comments/edition actions and thus being more active in that sort of activities.

  1. Why do you want to be a moderator? Similarly to what Grace Note said, there are motives behind every action. It's important to distinguish if someone is in it for the title or if they have genuine intentions.

I would like to have more and better questions on WB, especially reality-check, space and tech questions in general. I would like to see a tech oriented mod as a 5th mod, as I think fantasy part of WB is too strong at the moment. I do not want to be a moderator, I just want such person to be the 5th mod, and I do not care who it will be even if it have to be me.

  1. 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?

The situation does not have the place on WB. The situation is very improbable, as generally, they do not participate in both of those activities equally good. Sometimes sacrifices have to be done for the well-being of the community.
Community first.

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

The situation has to be discussed, and reason has to be understood. Mods have to have agreement on things(perfect world). In real live, it is more about separation of roles and finding some agreement and convincing, testing. Overriding decisions is bad practice, but it depends on situation and type of agreement which has place(verbal and non verbal), as long as we are not military personnel here.

  1. A genie appears and grants you one wish related to Worldbuilding Stack Exchange. You can change one aspect of the site. It could be something about the community (people post more questions, people post higher-quality answers, people deal with review queues quicker, …), about moderators (they start closing more/fewer questions, …), about the way the site works (some feature request gets fulfilled), etc. The genie adds, “no funny business about what ‘one aspect’ means!”. What do you wish for?

I do not get what genie mean by “no funny business about what ‘one aspect’ means!” but same as for the World, more brains for everyone, and as far I do not get what genie mean by the funny business, and I understand it might have limited capabilities, more wisdom for me and brains if you can, plz.

  1. What do you think the key traits of a moderator are, and how have you demonstrated them thus far in your activity on the site?

Understanding the humans. Understanding the humans on the internet. Сonsistency. Patience.
I'm working on that.

  1. What are your qualifications? i.e. Do you have previous moderating experience on SE or from somewhere else? What qualities make you suited for this position? Is there proof of your convictions on this site; can you show us examples of circumstances in which you helped, or could have helped?

Good question, and the question where I for real should begin to talk about important role which zeppelins will play in the world history in the future.
So far I have successfully avoided such type of duties when they were not part of the job.
Honorable mention is - I'm actively participating at 4chan-like site(less so in recent time), and I know the bottom of the human on internet (or something which is close to being called so)

  1. How would a diamond change the way you discuss on Meta? A lot of discussions on Meta require the finding of a "sweet spot" between extremes (mostly, the definition of some closing reasons). In those discussions, the voice of a moderator tends to have a higher influence than others. This is mostly a good thing: a moderator spends time thinking about it, has a lot of meta-experience and has been elected "because they're good at it". As a casual user, though, I also find it intimidating as it always feels like the discussion is closed after one of our moderators has answered. How do you feel about it? Where would you position yourself between "discussion ender" and "casual dude"? How is it going to change your tone? (if it does at all)

I do not see why anyone's saying have to stop you from voice your opinion or argument. It does not matter who and what said before and do he have mod "badge" or not, and if you have a point/opinion/argument to add to the conversation it has to be presented, it is a part of being community driven management. Do not wait until you snap, let other know what you think because if you do not voice yourself nobody will know what you have to say.

If you do not have new point, vote for the things you like, downvote thinks you do not like.

But also, You have to try to understand the reasons of other, and do not hesitate to ask for clarifications, when decisions have long lasting effect it is in your best interests to participate in the dialog, but it also have to be expected that not everything will be like you would like it to be, but do not be shy, voice yourself and let people know about your existence.


Worth noticing questions from electorate from different sources

From Michael Kjörling, by a comment

When you say that "WB needs a bit of fresh blood, to develop further", could you elaborate a little on how you feel having a diamond attached to your name, and having access to the moderator tools, would help you further that goal? Lots of the ways a user (any user) can affect the community's direction and development are equally available to all users with a minimal amount of reputation required, no diamond needed; what would the diamond add in your case? Pointing to e.g. previous work in your desired direction on Worldbuilding Meta or Worldbuilding Chat would work; I see very little Meta activity from you.

At the moment WB is doing pretty well and there are 2 ways further - keep it as it is or try to extend/grow/add some aspects. There are already solid candidates for the first course of actions. The second course of actions can be taken by involving one who is different enough and the difference will affect mod group decisions, and that is the reason why I agitate low rep users to nominate as they have a real chance to make WB better with help of more experienced mods and nominate myself.

Usually, people need time to understand what I say and why I say, time and will to do so. My best hope is that it worth their efforts, at a good amount cases. I can convince and explain a thing to a million of people, but it might probably take million of years to do so, and I more than willing to do so if I could squeeze the million of years in one. Hierarchical organization is intended to do exactly that, squeezing millions of years. So far my experience is not so impressive and limited to conducting a message to about 30 thousand people, trough hierarchical system, but I'm looking forward.

As for a way of making WB better, so far, I have chosen to give free internet points for all users who make the WB better right now, by voting for their answers/questions, so they can gain reputation and eventually get privileges according to their reputations.

The obligatory part of my decision-making procedure is collecting information, and it has to gain some critical mass and generate decent understanding before I can make valuable suggestions, decide, judge. The treat work the best in teamwork and in situations where I have the time to make the preparations for changing the course of my actions. I have reached the point recently and will continue my course actions and it does not depend on election results. Examples of meta activity which are the result of the process mention in 3 question of the questionnaire(and they are easy to access as they are 3 questions on meta).

Diamond part

It adds nothing in 99% cases to what I already have, my words.
But it adds statistics which I might find useful, access to agreements and rules from SE to mods which might affect the field of possible decisions.

One of the main problems of the second path, of adding or extending aspects(the technological theme in my case) is a low rate of gaining the reputation if one will consider answering only the type of questions, for reason not being competent in magic as an example.
With the current rate of suitable questions, it will take me(or similar candidate) about 3-4 years to get 10k privileges, 8+ years to get to 25k reputation.

The problem is with any candidate which can bring something new to the WB table, and that is a reason why I suggest to take fresh users as candidates more seriously, less attention to their rep and more attention to what they might bring. And do that at candidate stage and further stages of the election in case if you choose development.

$\endgroup$

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