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.

Not every question was compiled - as noted, we only selected the top 8 questions as submitted by the community, plus 2 pre-set questions from us.

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):

Moderator note:

Please don't vote on the answers! We don't want to skew the election; voting will change the order in which the answers are shown, unfairly benefiting some more than others. Votes on the questionnaire answers don't count for the election; you'll have the chance to cast your actual ballot starting Monday, July 9th.


  1. As a moderator, you'll have to deal with some of the worst content on the site, clean up after users, remain patient in the face of conflict, be subjected to abuse without lashing out . . . you get the idea. Often, moderating can be stressful and not a lot of fun. We're benevolent janitors, not benevolent dictators. Given the job description, why do you (still) want to be a moderator?

  2. 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?

  3. It's a pretty important topic, and one that is being discussed a lot right now: Where do you draw the line as to whether real world questions are on-topic?

  4. How will your attitude towards close/reopen voting change now that your close/reopen votes are binding?

  5. How would you handle a user whose attitude is "I am surely right, it's the entire site to be wrong"?

  6. 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?

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

  8. 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?

  9. What time period are you typically most active during, and how often are you active during that period?

  10. If you could add, rewrite, or delete, one thing from the Help Center, what would that be?

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    For this question, votes on answers aren't meaningful -- you'll have a chance to vote n the actual election in a week. I recommend using the links in the question (and/or nomination posts) and an answer sort of "active" to make sure you've seen everything. – Monica Cellio Jul 3 at 1:26
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    I'd go a step further and suggest that unequal answer-scores here may even be harmful: FGITW isn't necessarily a signal we want to unintentionally capture in elections. – nitsua60 Jul 3 at 1:32
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    People, don't vote on the answers here, please. You will have every opportunity to vote in the election, and answer votes on moderator questionaires don't (shouldn't) mean anything at all. Let's just keep all the answers at the same net vote count for now, and you can start casting votes that actually matter on Monday. – α CVn Jul 4 at 15:15

I'm JBH and I would appreciate an opportunity to serve as a moderator. I've been participating on the site for just under a year with consistent participation. I enjoy the creative aspect of this site very much and enjoy even more the amazing answers that come from this community. I believe I've regularly encouraged good participation and have shown a willingness to help new users improve. With your help, I'd like to take a turn sweeping the halls after the party to ensure there's always a great place for imagination and science to meet.

  1. As a moderator, you'll have to deal with some of the worst content on the site, clean up after users, remain patient in the face of conflict, be subjected to abuse without lashing out . . . you get the idea. Often, moderating can be stressful and not a lot of fun. We're benevolent janitors, not benevolent dictators. Given the job description, why do you (still) want to be a moderator?

Moderation isn't about control, it's about teaching, and I love teaching. It's a chance to help people become strong participants and find the greatest enjoyment themselves from the site, all while allowing others to have fun right along with them. I agree that hot emotions occasionally happen and that unpopular decisions must occasionally be made — but if the ultimate outcome isn't a willingness to continue supporting the site, then I failed as a teacher, a motivator, and a supporter. I'm willing to step up and face that storm because I believe we have great people to support and lots of fabulous new people to motivate.

  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 a great question. Worldbuilding.SE is, perhaps, the most inherently subjective site on the SE map. After all, how many of us can draw from experience with magic? aliens? and parallel universes? What we do is intrinsically opinion-based and that's why I've spent a fair amount of time asking questions in Meta that help me and others to better understand how to as a good subjective question. This has included a catalog of question types and a discussion about dealing with personal interpretations of the Help Center rules concerning real-world questions (which lead to a Moderator-sponsored question seeking community input on a clarification).

Therefore, how would I handle questions like these? First, by erring on the side of mercy. I'd prefer to work first with the OP to craft a better question: through editing if we can, by deleting and re-asking if we must, and encouraging the use fo the Sandbox as often as possible. Second, with clarity. I'm a fan of helping the OP understand why I think the question is or is not suitable. I'm not a fan of downvoting or casting a close vote and expecting the OP to "figure it out." I'd prefer the site be more welcoming than that.

  1. It's a pretty important topic, and one that is being discussed a lot right now: Where do you draw the line as to whether real world questions are on-topic?

I believe real-world questions are a necessary component of Worldbuilding.SE and that they should be accepted. I recognize that this opens WB.SE to the possibility that we become the "dumping ground" of Stack Exchange (the site that will answer questions no other site will), but I frankly think that's OK. What I specifically do not want to see us become is elitist, as I have personally experienced at Stack Overflow. We have plenty of people willing to answer questions here, and hard drive space is cheap. Therefore, I believe the only bad questions are those that are improperly scoped, too vague, or are argumentative.

  1. How will your attitude towards close/reopen voting change now that your close/reopen votes are binding?

I'll be slower to judge. I've been trending toward slower to judge since I passed 15K in rep and realized that new users were "following my lead." (This isn't a statement of arrogance, I began noticing that new users frequently followed the lead of all 15K+ voters.) That's a fair amount of responsibility. It suggests that, unless there's an obvious problem that must be immediately remedied* my actions should be slow and deliberate, giving the community its chance to grow and participate before biasing the debate.

*Asking the pretty much impossible to answeer one-line question, "why can't I be wealthy?" would be a good example of a question requiring immediate assistance. Even if it's unlikely such a question would appear on Worldbuilding.SE.

  1. How would you handle a user whose attitude is "I am surely right, it's the entire site to be wrong"?

With humor and patience. After all, I've been there myself. Part of why I hope you'll agree that I'm a good candidate for Moderator is that I've had to learn that lesson: how to swallow your pride and realize that maybe, just maybe, you're not quite, exactly, right... maybe. It's my belief and experience that honey works better than salt, and combined with patience, folks that are trying to continue the argument because they don't want to face the possibility that someone else could have a good point can be helped to become strong supporters and mentors themselves.

  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 see two issues here. First, there are people in the world who make Stack Exchange — a Question & Answer service — a social experience (this includes everyone from those who use vulgar language to those who enjoy off-color humor to those who are actually trolling). I believe this is the tough case, because the offending participant believes they should be capable of carrying on inappropriate conversations in comments. In this case, I'll be in the moderator chat room asking for advice about what has and hasn't worked in the past, because my experience does not yet extend to dealing with people who have tied their sense of social satisfaction to SE's indulgence.

On the otherhand, I suspect that most simply haven't yet worked out for themselves the fact that there is a code of conduct. In this case we're back to patience and education, even pulling people into a chat room to have a quick discussion.

But, all in all, we can't force people (well, we can ban them, but that's a dramatic break-glass-in-case-of-emergency solution), and that means patiently and consistently sweeping the halls and emptying the trash. Part of my willingness to be a moderator is my willingness to be one who deals with the flags, even if we can't stop the flags.

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

I suggest that this is the simplest quesiton brought to the nominees. The Moderators have their own chat room, and I would lose nothing by asking the previous mod for their reasoning and inviting them to consider mine. In the end, I need to be as understanding as I hope the other Moderator will be and the two (or more!) of us can quickly arrive at an appropriate action. After all, as a Moderator, I can't afford to be one of the people that brought about question #6.

  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 the ability to modify all aspects of the Vote to Close process, including the list of reasons and their explanations, so that we can craft direction for our site that balances our naturally creative and subjective content with SE's desire for objectivity and clarity. Regretably, I don't believe I'll receive my wish, which means compensating by using Meta to build concensus concerning our site's paramters, limitations, and expectations and then consistently directing people to those Meta posts.

  1. What time period are you typically most active during, and how often are you active during that period?

I'm most often available between 6pm-10pm GMT and most weekend afternoons. I generally keep an eye on activity during that time even when I'm not actively posting.

  1. If you could add, rewrite, or delete, one thing from the Help Center, what would that be?

I'd like to make two changes:

  1. I would update the What questions can I ask about here? page to clarify both the on-topic and off-topic lists and include links to appropriate Meta posts that discuss why things are on-topic or off-topic.

  2. I would update the What does it mean if a question is "closed" or "on hold"? so that it reflects Worldbuilding-specific explanations and justifications for VTC/VTH behavior. My goal would be for this page to be the go-to page for OPs to better understand their closure (it isn't particularly valuable right now because Worldbuilding isn't as definitive in nature as, for example, Stack Overflow, and so the explanations don't really work for us).

  • On point no. 2, the moderator sponsored portion seems to have stalled a bit. (The discussion area has been closed and there seems to be no new action (last time I checked)). How interested / prepared / gung-ho are you to revive such important discussions and see that they come to their natural conclusion? What sort of follow-through plan(s) might you have in mind? – elemtilas Jul 3 at 1:09
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    @elemtilas, it hasn't stalled. That the Mods basically said, "we're doing this, what are your comments?" From that point of view the discussion was "can you convince us not to do this" and, having not been convinced, they added the limitations and expectations they require to their post and expected us to use it. If your perspective is, "fine, now what?" then we need to propagate that info to the Help Center. If your perspective is, "I still disagree" then I'd need a chance to see if there's enough consensus to continue the conversation. Do you want me to make that judgment now? – JBH Jul 3 at 2:10
  • The latter: now what? It's my opinion that, since the mods took the step of creating that question and discussion, and since the community have discussed, voted and seemingly largely arrived at something approaching consensus, they must have some kind of plan for how to implement the next step. I withdrew my reservations long since!, so no disagreement. – elemtilas Jul 5 at 2:48
  • @elemtilas In that case, my goal going in as moderator would be to get the help center updated with the description with an appropriate link to the Meta question for details. – JBH Jul 5 at 3:32
  • Awesome! Thanks taking ownership! – elemtilas Jul 6 at 0:44
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    I have a question. How will your political believes (worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/117789/34064) influence your moderation? – DonQuiKong Jul 11 at 11:39
  • To the users up/downvoting this response, this is not up for a vote. Whatever your feelings about any of the candidates it is essential that their actions and words speak for themselves and not your public vote. – bendl Jul 11 at 13:08
  • @DonQuiKong, my political beliefs wouldn't affect moderation at all. Above all, I believe in free speech and freedom of thought. I neither downvote nor close questions simply because I disagree with the position posited by the author and never have. – JBH Jul 11 at 13:35

I am Renan :) I would like to be a moderator because I already enjoy doing some maintenance tasks such as editing questions, reviewing posts in the queue, protecting questions and other things. I would like to be a moderator to help with flags, mergers, migrations and wherever else I may be able to help.

  1. As a moderator, you'll have to deal with some of the worst content on the site, clean up after users, remain patient in the face of conflict, be subjected to abuse without lashing out... you get the idea. Often, moderating can be stressful and not a lot of fun. We're benevolent janitors, not benevolent dictators. Given the job description, why do you (still) want to be a moderator?

Like I say in my intro - I like helping around. I am glad to help as I can with the responsibilities given by reputation. I think that even if there are stresses attached to moderation tasks, keeping Worldbuilding shining and running well more than makes up for it.

  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 believe the Stack Overflow model works so well because of consensus. I trust the community. I would rather not cast a binding close vote, if it can be avoided. I will use these only if necessary, and always with open dialogue with the community, through comments in the question and through Meta, as it should be. I will also point to proper precedents and to our site rules and previous consensus when making decisions.

I am also reasonable. There have been many situations where I have rethought my votes in either way, due to dialogue with other members. I will strive to use dialogue as the means to solve problems, including doubts about whether a subjective question is good or bad.

  1. It's a pretty important topic, and one that is being discussed a lot right now: Where do you draw the line as to whether real world questions are on-topic?

The fact that a question is about the real world does not make it automatically on or off-topic. How it relates to building another world does. Each question should be judged regarding its own merit in that regard. And each case is a different case.

In addition to the question linked above, the help center page on what is on topic is the baseline we need to follow.

  1. How will your attitude towards close/reopen voting change now that your close/reopen votes are binding?

We are fortunate that our review queue gets emptied very quickly. It means lots of people participate in the closing queue. As long as there are members doing that, I'd like to avoid casting a binding vote. I trust in community consensus. I will only interfere to avoid things such as voting wars.

  1. How would you handle a user whose attitude is "I am surely right, it's the entire site to be wrong"?

First we listen. Then we dialogue.

I believe in consensus. If one random person believes that X is right, while the community believes that X is wrong, I am with the community.

Now as long as the hypothetical person is not causing problems, they are free to express what they think. But the moment they start causing problems, then they must be dealt with.

I will provide an actual example of my attitude towards this. I don't like the be nice policy. However, it is the democratic will of the majority to uphold it, so I uphold it as well. I follow the policy and I will enforce it as a moderator. Because if one person thinks they are right, and everyone else thinks they are wrong... It means that person needs to rethink their point of view. And I have been that person more than once.

  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?

Each case is a case. I might take action regarding the flags, and use comments to advise both the community and the person on how we should treat each other. I may even invite the user to a chat, to talk about it.

If the person is causing problems, I would like to give them the second chance they need. But if they insist, a moderator is equipped to deal with that accordingly.

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

Dialogue and consensus. People should talk about their decisions.

I could also be the mod who closed something another mod thought should be open. I'd like to have a dialogue about that, if it happened. I might reverse what I do. And I would let the community know about what is going on. There is no shame in changing a decision if the change comes from dialogue and consensus.

  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 we had a catalogue of worlds built by us - not blog posts, not a wiki, but something like the Stack Overflow documentation project. That would be cool.

  1. What time period are you typically most active during, and how often are you active during that period?

I live in the GMT -3 time zone. I am active during morning, afternoon, and on most nights.

  1. If you could add, rewrite, or delete, one thing from the Help Center, what would that be?

I would have a note there with a thought I have regarding the and tags:

Remember, something not being realistic is not the same as that thing not being fun and enjoyable to read or roleplay. A gamma ray shower will not turn you into a super strong giant green monster, you cannot bend light into a sword and the square-cube law will keep giant flying reptiles from ever existing. Yet the Hulk, lightsabers and fantasy dragons are things we like to read about. Don't let answers discourage you - suspension of disbelief is a thing, after all.

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    I like point no. 8, but is SE, a pure Q&A service forum, the kind of place for such a resource? What form would it take and where would it reside? What use would it have as an adjunct to our basic model? – elemtilas Jul 3 at 1:16
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    @elemtilas our mother site, Stack Overflow, had a project like that. It resided in an address of its own and was aimed at having the same community that partakes into Q&A colaborating into writing technical documents (Stack Overflow focuses on computer programming). My idea is that something similar here would help us turn good answers into example worlds we could point to when answering new questions. It is just a pipe dream, though. – Renan Jul 3 at 2:27
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    I really, really do like the value you put on consensus and dialogue. While i am also not the biggest example of the be nice policy, i would you to elaborate on your "I don't like the be nice policy"? What exactly do you dislike about it? – ArtificialSoul Jul 3 at 7:57
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    @ArtificialSoul I like the part where you have to be civil and you are forbidden to bully others. I don't like the part where expletives are banished, because I see no value in limiting vocabulary. They are useful as adverbs and mood indicators, for example. However rules are rules, and as I do have editing powers right now I remove those from posts when I see them. – Renan Jul 3 at 10:33
  • @Renan That is exactly how i see it, too. The need to censor "bad words" is something i will never understand. If you use bad words to insult someone that is in disruption with the good part of be nice, but if you don't then were is the harm that is being done? Overall, i really like your stances on things. You probably make a good moderator. :) – ArtificialSoul Jul 3 at 11:10
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    Renan, I really like your idea about using the documentation function from SE for people that want to catalog their worlds...not sure if it would work but I like the idea. – James Jul 3 at 15:42
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    @Renan --- thanks for the explanation! I think that's actually a wonderful pipe dream! I've often made "example invented languages" to illustrate a point in question. Making smallish and I would suspect somewhat standardised descriptions of invented worlds to illustrate questions would be a similar endeavour and also may prove helpful to others reading these questions in the future. – elemtilas Jul 4 at 2:45
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    @ArtificialSoul (& Renan) I'm guessing the ban on foul language stems from this forum being a place where younger folks are likely to land sooner or later. (The worldbuilding bug often bites in the single digits of age!) We should be mature enough to be able to communicate our moods and adverbs effectively without resorting to obviously foul language. We're supposed to be creative the people on SE! If you need to release a "more colourful metaphor" into the wild, at least let it be one wonderful to behold and one resonant to the ear! – elemtilas Jul 4 at 2:51
  • @elemtilas about foul lamguage, what you just said is one very good argument for the ban. I hadn't thought of that. – Renan Jul 4 at 3:38
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    @elemtilas i don't see much of a difference in articulating using cussing words and regular words. When i stub my toe i am not an evil person to curse because of it, not even when it is in front of kids. No one is harmed. Of course, I see little reason to use such words on a neutral topic with strangers on the internet, but the ban on "bad words" still kinda bugs me, even if i don't recall using any on this site. But it might just be because i am very much anti-censorship in all regards... – ArtificialSoul Jul 4 at 14:06
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    Fair enough. I see much more of a difference! No one is saying you're an evil person for stubbing your toe and letting loose a good old Anglo Saxon. There is also the valid argument for some level of decorum in public discourse. Consider it not so much "censorship" but rather "civic minded exercise in self control"! – elemtilas Jul 4 at 17:33

I'm Secespitus and I would love to serve as a moderator for WorldBuilding.SE in order to help keep our beautiful site as clean as possible. I am already participating a lot in community moderation: editing, Meta discussions and flagging are some of the things I mostly do on the site, apart from guiding new users and participating in our Sandbox.

I'd like to be able to more efficiently help with keeping our site clean - being able to nuke spammers, keep comment discussions in check and cleaning up the Sandbox after it's been used during a time period when less people are online and bad or unnecessary stuff tends to stick around longer than during the high activity times.

  1. As a moderator, you'll have to deal with some of the worst content on the site, clean up after users, remain patient in the face of conflict, be subjected to abuse without lashing out . . . you get the idea. Often, moderating can be stressful and not a lot of fun. We're benevolent janitors, not benevolent dictators. Given the job description, why do you (still) want to be a moderator?

I am already trying to keep the site clean wherever I can, because it has been my belief from the beginning that everyone can contribute to our great site in their own way - and my way is keeping the site clean to make it easier and more interesting for people with great questions and great answers to contribute content to the site. I love reading the creative questions and answers on this site that explore topics I never knew I wanted to know more about.

Being a benevolent janitor actually sounds more interesting to me than being a benevolent dictator. I am not nominating myself to get the power to close stuff or anything along those lines - I want to support our great mod team and help keep our site clean so that those who don't like editing and other janitor jobs can enjoy the site and contribute their knowledge and ideas so that I can read them.

  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?

When a question starts getting a lot of traction I am keeping a close eye on it to see whether it needs protection. But especially with very popular questions I think that it's important to let the community decide. If I feel that a question doesn't fit the sites scope and is attracting lots of votes and answers or if I feel that a question fits the sites scope and is attracting a lot of close votes I would raise the issue on Meta.

A Meta discussion is often a good idea to explain your reasoning in a more elaborate way. My posts are often quite wordy and comments tend to be far too limiting for me to express what I am trying to say. That's why I like Meta discussions where I can raise all the points I see with a post and listen to what others think about the topic.

Being a moderator allows to cast binding close and reopen votes and whenever the moderator feels these are appropriate they should be used. But such a powerful tool should be used carefully and we are community driven for a reason. If you are not sure about anything start a discussion and listen to what others have to say before acting. Even if that means that a question attracts what you perceive as unjustified answers or close votes. Nearly all actions can be reversed, so waiting a bit and accepting that others feel different is important - we can always reopen or close a question at a later point. Nothing is set in stone.

  1. It's a pretty important topic, and one that is being discussed a lot right now: Where do you draw the line as to whether real world questions are on-topic?

As I've said in the chat before: Give me some context about what you are building (Book? Game? ...) and why you need help from people with experience in building fictional worlds (Why is Wikipedia not enough?) and I am fine with a lot.

But I am not fine with this being used as an excuse to ask anything that comes to your mind just because there could be a fictional world that is exactly like ours and where your character has the exact same problem with programming that you do.

We are still WorldBuilding, a site dedicated to creating fictional worlds. Using the real world as a basis for everything is normal - it's the only world we have after all - but it should still be visible how you will be using the knowledge from answers in your world. Asking only about the real world might give you some answers, but it might very well be the case that if you mention what your goal is that someone will be able to not only tell you how something would work in the real world, but also give you valuable advice about how to incorporate that into your own fictional world.

The worldbuilding context, that shows how you will use the answers you get, is one of the most important parts of every question.

  1. How will your attitude towards close/reopen voting change now that your close/reopen votes are binding?

I will vote to close or reopen less.

I will use my votes to close questions that are blatantly off-topic, for example when someone clearly mistook the site for StackOverflow or when they wanted to ask something about the site and the question should be migrated to Meta. Furthermore I will vote to reopen questions that have clearly been edited to address all the points raised in comments or Meta discussions.

I like the pratice that I have seen from some of the existing mods, which is to vote as the fourth or fifth person where your vote may be binding, but only counts as the normal vote or maybe as a second vote if you are very sure about what you are doing. If there is a direction from the general community and I feel the same way I might I might try to speed up the process of putting a question temporarily on hold and reopening it once all the issues have been addressed.

But for the very, very big gray area I will leave it up to the community. Moderators are not dictators that should force their will upon the community.

  1. How would you handle a user whose attitude is "I am surely right, it's the entire site to be wrong"?

As long as everything is civil there is nothing to do.

We get a few such users from time to time, but as long as they abide the Be nice rules there isn't anything moderators should do about them. Guide them like other users. They can say that the entire site is wrong all they want - they are still just one user with one vote. The community will automatically show them how the site works.

Sooner or later they will learn that they can't force their will onto the whole site. Either they have convincing arguments and voice these arguments in discussions, especially on Meta, or they will see that the site is just different from what they expect, leaving them the choice of adapting to the site or taking their leave.

New users with new ideas and a different view on things are important to keep the site going and regularly ask the important questions about how to use the site again to evaluate whether existing guidelines still apply. But whether the ideas and views they offer will be accepted by the community is written on a different page. Being part of the process part and learning how the site works and what the community expects are important to being an active member of 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?

Especially with high-reputation users it's important that they adhere to the general guidelines because new users will look up to those people with really high numbers next to their profile picture. But they are still just normal users. Everyone should try to gently guide them by writing comments about what to do and what not to do, or for example by talking in the chat with them.

If this turns into an extreme case where the answers are high quality, but there are regularly comments that are getting flagged as rude/abusive and long, completely tangential, comment discussions something has to be done. But they are still normal users and the normal rules still apply to them. They won't be treated more harshly just because "they should know it better" and they won't get treated more easy-going just because "they are valuable members of the site".

There are rules and everyone has to follow them. If you don't follow them you should expect the consequences.

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

I would ask them in the chat what their motivations for their actions were. If we can't agree to something I would raise the issue on Meta and let the community decide. Most actions can simply be reversed by normal community members, whether it's about closing, reopening or deleting questions or answers. Everyone has different criteria for when actions should be taken. We should talk about it when this happens. As long as everyone is civil about it, willing to talk about it and possibly accept the opinion of other people there is no problem that needs any kind of special recourse.

Reopening/undeleting unilaterally is just as arbitrarily as closing/deleting unilaterally, which means there is no reason for me to just cancel their votes. Let the community decide if they were not clearly abusing their mod powers.

  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 that more people write comments when voting to close or reopen a question explaining why they are acting the way they are acting and what that means in case they are dealing with a new user.

Many people already write such comments, but very often I come across a post by a new user with a couple close votes and no comment about what it means if a question is temporarily put on hold, what they can do if that happens, why people are voting for that and where they can find help if they don't know what to do.

It's a lot of work and even with tool like AutoReviewComments and custom magic links it's still a lot of work, which is why I am thankful for everyone who takes the time to help others. But I feel that this is an aspect that we, as a community, can still strive to be even more awesome than we already are.

  1. What time period are you typically most active during, and how often are you active during that period?

I am living in Europe and am therefore currently online at UTC +2 in the morning and evening. If something comes up you can normally find me in the chat. I tend to have a tab with the Factory Floor open. You will see me around quite often at those times, but I can't guarantee that you will see me every day or always at a certain time.

I am online sporadically throughout the day and often for longer periods in the morning and evening. My profile currently says that I've visited the site on 541 days in my 1 year and 8 months on the site - 534 of which were consecutive.

  1. If you could add, rewrite, or delete, one thing from the Help Center, what would that be?

Magic links are great and should be mentioned more prominently in the Help Center.

They are an extremely useful tool, especially when it comes to writing useful comments with helpful links to important resources on the site. Using them means that you will be able to type useful comments faster, making your life more easy and it will give new users access to the most important pages they can find. Whether it's a link to the [tour], [help], [meta] or [chat].

Magic links are already mentioned, but they are quite hidden. I would love to have them more prominent in the help center.

I think that making this a more prominent feature will make the site a more friendly place for newcomers and increase the quality of comments we see on the site.

  • 3
    Point 8: ++++ I must say that I learned how to post good answers on this site by reading your comments. Now that I can vote to close, following your example, I try to comment whenever I have something new to add. – ShadoCat Jul 3 at 17:13
  • 1
    your edits were useful good work, keep it up. – MolbOrg Jul 10 at 4:00
  1. As a moderator, you'll have to deal with some of the worst content on the site, clean up after users, remain patient in the face of conflict, be subjected to abuse without lashing out . . . you get the idea. Often, moderating can be stressful and not a lot of fun. We're benevolent janitors, not benevolent dictators. Given the job description, why do you (still) want to be a moderator?

I really like the WB site and community, and want to be more involved in keeping it a fun and useful website to visit for both the long time users and those that are just finding us for the first time.

  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?

From what I've seen it's often good enough to guide through comments explaining why a question is or is not ok. The community is usually pretty good about policing these things, and so more often than not a nudge in the right direction is all that is needed. I'd save the mod hammer for bigger problems.

It's a pretty important topic, and one that is being discussed a lot right now: Where do you draw the line as to whether real world questions are on-topic?

I am in consensus with James that questions with real world elements are on-topic as long as they provide context as to what makes them world building, and show their work as to what real world resources they've researched.
If we say that real world questions are off topic then by that logic we'd have to close every hard science question, since those rely on current day real world research.

How will your attitude towards close/reopen voting change now that your close/reopen votes are binding?

As other mods have stated, I'd reserve my vote for when a question already has a few so that my vote isn't overriding the community as a whole, except for cases where there is no effort being made at worldbuilding.

How would you handle a user whose attitude is "I am surely right, it's the entire site to be wrong"?

Try to reason with them and come to a mutual understanding (maybe they are right and the community isn't), but eventually you have to do what's right for the community, even if that means giving the user a time out in the penalty box or worse.

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?

Follow protocol. Give them a few messages/opportunities to chat to try to help them be nice/follow site policy, then if that doesn't work give them a time out to cool down, and so on. Protocol takes the guesswork out of the picture.

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

Talk to them in chat or through other mod means to hear their logic.
If we can't come to an agreement then it would probably be smart to bring other mods into the discussion, see if we can get some consensus. If appropriate I might start a meta post to get feedback from the community too.

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?

Give sites that want it a way to submit a new question to a sandbox queue that is part of the review queues instead of the clunky sandbox meta post.
Users that wanted to get into the sandbox queue would have a way to apply a sandbox tag which would keep it off the main page, and only allow comments, not answers. They could manually remove the tag at any time, and applying it in the first place would be voluntary.

What time period are you typically most active during, and how often are you active during that period?

On and off between 13:00 and 21:00 UTC.

If you could add, rewrite, or delete, one thing from the Help Center, what would that be?

I'd delete this one as it no longer applies:
https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-ask-beta

I'm Marshall Tigerus

  1. As a moderator, you'll have to deal with some of the worst content on the site, clean up after users, remain patient in the face of conflict, be subjected to abuse without lashing out . . . you get the idea. Often, moderating can be stressful and not a lot of fun. We're benevolent janitors, not benevolent dictators. Given the job description, why do you (still) want to be a moderator?

I feel like I can help a great community become even greater. One of the issues I feel most SE have is that they crush new voices because of failure to comply with the culture and rules of the SE, instead of trying to teach those new members how to act. How to accomplish that goal is another matter, whether it's through discussions on chat or some other means I am not certain.

  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?

Most Bad Subjective questions are a short edit away from being Good Subjective questions. The difference is in the narrowness of focus and level of detail provided (at least in terms of the Worldbuilding SE). I would suggest working with the poster to see if they can narrow their scope or provide a better explanation of what they need, with the suggestion of breaking their larger questions into smaller ones after they've made some decisions. After all, Worldbuilding is not "write my setting for me," but should be open enough for answers to suggest things the original poster have not thought of.

  1. It's a pretty important topic, and one that is being discussed a lot right now: Where do you draw the line as to whether real world questions are on-topic?

I think this comes down to the "but" rule. Basically if the concept can be brought into being by saying it's the real world but x, y or z, then it is on topic for worldbuilding (because it is not the real world). However, something like "How big of a rocket would I need to propel x into space" is probably better for another SE.

  1. How will your attitude towards close/reopen voting change now that your close/reopen votes are binding?

Those votes will be handled with a lot more care and consideration. Nothing is more disheartening to a new user than having their questions closed, and a reopen is basically a pardon, overriding the collective will of the board.

  1. How would you handle a user whose attitude is "I am surely right, it's the entire site to be wrong"?

If they are merely opinionated but not destructive, then there's no reason to handle them at all (the voting process will handle them). if they are trolling, destructive or causing issues to other users, then that will have to be addressed, with consent and advise of other moderators.

  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?

Discussing the issue with the user is probably best. They seem to be providing a net positive for the site, and if they can be encouraged to reign in their comments, then it is a win for everyone.

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

I would discuss it with that moderator. They probably have some knowledge I lack (such as the user's history). In all, one moderator should not overrule another, unless there's consensus of many moderators than an action was wrong.

  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 add a feature where some benevolent AI parsed the question, and the tags, and generated a "If you liked this question's concepts, you should look at these books" list (or failing that, maybe a per user list of top 10 books/series they enjoy).

  1. What time period are you typically most active during, and how often are you active during that period?

Throughout the SE network, I'm on and reading info through most of the workday (8-5 CST), and more randomly at night.

  1. If you could add, rewrite, or delete, one thing from the Help Center, what would that be?

I would create a new user experience that walks a user through their account creation and first post, with examples of what to do and what not to do. This information is probably in the help center, but it seems spread across many articles, where it will never be read.

  • Not sure I agree with everything you've written here, but I appreciate your emphasis on new user participation. Given the level of creativity here, new voices and new perspectives always have the potential to spawn new answers, even to old questions. – HDE 226868 Jul 6 at 19:50
  • @HDE226868 anything in particular you're opposed to? Even if we disagree, there are always insights to be gained from discussion. – Marshall Tigerus Jul 6 at 19:51
  • So . . . by the way, I like your answer to #10, and it reminds me of the question wizard they're trying on SO. I do disagree with #5, about dealing with that sort of user, and I think other candidates agree with you. Part of the reason is that on some sites, there are high-rep users who often ignore the rules, which isn't great - even if you contribute a lot of content to the site, you still need to set an example for the new folks. This isn't a big problem on WB, but still. (By the way, I'm in chat if you want to talk more about this.) – HDE 226868 Jul 6 at 19:56
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    @HDE226868 as a general note, since it came up in the nomination thread, I do not take a user's rep into account when I think about dealing with them. I know people on SO that refuse to edit high rep users posts or flag them because they have a lot of rep. High rep does not necessarily mean anything. – Marshall Tigerus Jul 8 at 19:12

I'm Monty Wild.

  1. As a moderator, you'll have to deal with some of the worst content on the site, clean up after users, remain patient in the face of conflict, be subjected to abuse without lashing out . . . you get the idea. Often, moderating can be stressful and not a lot of fun. We're benevolent janitors, not benevolent dictators. Given the job description, why do you (still) want to be a moderator?

Dealing with the worst content on the site is not a problem for me - I'm not easily offended or disturbed, and I'm pretty adept at clicking the correct buttons. That Stack Exchange is a text-based medium only helps me to remain patient - no matter what another user may say, I am quite able to limit my cursing and swearing to the audible, and let my fingers write the appropriate things afterwards. So far as I know, in cyberspace, no-one can hear your profanities. Being pretty much anonymous behind wires and screens means that no matter how personal some disgruntled user may try to make things, there's only so much they can do.

So, being able to deal with all that not only doesn't put me off, it makes me want to be able to deal with it - not that I've seen much bad behaviour around here in the years I've been here.

  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?

Subjectivity is a somewhat subjective state. One person's subjective question may be another person's non-subjective question. A case in point is one that I answered, What are the evolutionary factors that could create a species that looks like E.T.? Some people's comments showed that the commenters didn't have my understanding of biology, so without that understanding, the question seemed as if it was too broad or idea generation to them. However, to me, the question guided me to an answer as if it had put me on a set of rails, since my training led me to looking at the question in a logical manner, and from there every conclusion was inevitable and logical.

So, likewise, while I have a broad range of experience gained over my close to fifty years of life, my skills lie in particular areas, and I am mature enough to recognise that there are things that I don't know outside those areas, and a question addressing one of those areas may have a specific answer that I'm just not seeing. Given that sort of question, I'd be happy to wait for a community consensus, though if such a question gets closed through ignorance, I'd like to be able to reopen it. Of course, other questions are quite obviously just asking for a too-broad ruling.

  1. It's a pretty important topic, and one that is being discussed a lot right now: Where do you draw the line as to whether real world questions are on-topic?

My opinion is that of course real-world questions are on-topic. The whole purpose of world building is typically to provide a setting for some purpose, whether that is as a setting for a work of fiction, a role-playing game, a computer game or something else. If the setting that the OP is one where you start out with the real world and then change something, then that is no less world building than making up a world based on mythology.

Again, using my own question as an example, How long can New York City sustain the Snakebot of Doom's hunger for Iron and steel?, this question was flagged to be closed because it asked questions about the real world, however, I argued that it should be on-topic, since the answer would affect the way that the fictional future of our real world would diverge from reality, in the absence of my fictional addition.

So, in my opinion, real-world questions are on-topic if the OP can show how the answer would be relevant to their worldbuilding efforts.

  1. How will your attitude towards close/reopen voting change now that your close/reopen votes are binding?

Short answer - not a great deal. I've never been prone to making frivolous close or reopen votes, and the fact that if I'm elected, my votes will be instantly binding won't change that a bit.

  1. How would you handle a user whose attitude is "I am surely right, it's the entire site to be wrong"?

There may not be anything to handle. As long as the user is following the rules, they are entitled to hold whatever opinion they choose. If they're wrong, then the nature of the site as a promoter of consensus opinion will - hopefully - show them the error of their beliefs. However, if a user was to become abusive or destructive, then disciplinary action may need to be taken if pointing out the inappropriateness of their actions does not lead to cessation of their inappropriate behaviour.

  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?

Such a user should be valued for their contribution, but if their comments are inflammatory or offensive, then it may be necessary to communicate privately with that user and ask them to practise more self-moderation. Should that fail, then it may be necessary to resort to sterner disciplinary measures.

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

People disagree all the time. Reasonable people are open to discussing their actions calmly, and in such a case, if the community didn't initiate the reopen process themselves, I'd communicate privately with that moderator to find out just why that decision was made before I potentially reopened the question myself.

  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?

The one thing that I would wish for is that downvotes must be accompanied by valid comments detailing the reason for that vote. I see downvotes on questions that seem arbitrary, without any explanation as to what the voter disliked about the question or answer. Requiring such a comment would mean that users would be getting a better idea about how to ask or answer a question, and if the comment was invalid for whatever reason then a mod could remove both the comment and the associated downvote. Whenever I'm downvoting a question or answer, I always try to ensure that I leave a comment explaining why.

  1. What time period are you typically most active during, and how often are you active during that period?

I live in South-Eastern Australia, and I am typically active between 9 AM and midnight - or later, local time.

  1. If you could add, rewrite, or delete, one thing from the Help Center, what would that be?

I suppose that would be the View More links. I like to see everything in the one place, without having to go looking for it, potentially in the wrong place, and wasting time in the process So, I'd get rid of those links and substitute the actual more.

  • 1
    Hi! I would like to ask a few questions, Given that you are quite a very very veteran member of this site, why is it that you posted few questions and few answers this year? (4 Questions and 4 Answers). In my opinion a moderator should be active, yes. But somehow should also let his presence be known by contributing either for question or answers or comments because honestly, I never heard of you up until now. – Mr.J Jul 9 at 3:11
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    Your response to the good subjective, bad subjective question is spot on. I think many people look at a question, can't think of a good answer, and decide that therefore there can be no good answers and so vote to close. I wish more users took a moment to consider that just because they can't come up with an objectively good answer to a question doesn't mean an expert on the subject couldn't. My most frustrating experiences with this site are when I write a thoughtful, researched answer to an intriguing question and come back to find it closed. – Mike Nichols Jul 9 at 20:15
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    @Mr.J, I am unemployed as of last November. Paradoxically, that apparently means that I have less spare time rather than more, as I have a family to look after and jobs to apply for , and I am also writing the next installments of The Juggernaut for Universe Factory. Writing can be time consuming, but when I get stuck next, I'll no doubt have more questions - and answers too. I have the time to lurk around here, becoming a mod would give me more reason to . – Monty Wild Jul 10 at 5:11
  • How would you differentiate valid and invalid downvotes? E.g. wouldn't someone with a good command of language automagically always have valid reasons, while someone struggling with English would see their feedback ignored and removed? – dot_Sp0T Jul 10 at 16:14
  • @dot_Sp0T a valid downvote comment could in theory be a single word, and an invalid one could be a miniature masterpiece of writing , yet not relevant to the question or answer being downvoted. – Monty Wild Jul 11 at 5:48

glad you're taking the time to read this as it also took me some time to write it.

I'm dot_Sp0T, and.. according to the date on my profile I joined to site in November 2014 - which should be somewhen around the start of the public beta I think. And, as you can see, I stayed (for better or worse).

I still enjoy being a regular on this site and part of its community, and continuously find myself reveling in the worlds some questions hint at (can I use 'reveling' in this context?).

If you're wondering whether I've been up for the mod-vote before or not, I have not. So far I have never found myself in a position with the luxury of enough time for regular duties on the site (be it moderation, or otherwise). While still being tight on time some weeks, I've learned to manage myself and my private & work lives much better while growing older - giving me more confidence in claiming that I've got the time and mind for the job at hand.

In case you haven't yet, please check out this excellent blurb where I am rambling about my low rep-score and find excuses for my abysmal number of moderation badges.

While I will now proceed to answer the questionnaire, please feel free to point additional questions at me either in the comments, or over at the chat.


  1. As a moderator, you'll have to deal with some of the worst content on the site, clean up after users, remain patient in the face of conflict, be subjected to abuse without lashing out . . . you get the idea. Often, moderating can be stressful and not a lot of fun. We're benevolent janitors, not benevolent dictators. Given the job description, why do you (still) want to be a moderator?

Wish not, want not (I think this is a saying?). I do not, for reasons of myself need to become a mod on this site. But when the subject of a new election came up, someone on the chat pinged me to ask if I would nominate - telling me that they thought I'd make a useful mod. And that is enough for me, I guess.

Stress is a matter of how you handle it and what coping mechanisms you put in place. As a normal user I am not as strongly judged as a mod, and I admit that so far I used this to allow myself showing some emotion in a debate. As a mod I will just have to refrain from doing so openly - like learning to set aside money for taxes and medical bills.

Conflict tends to be a sign of misunderstanding between two or more parties. And where there's misunderstanding, there's a chance for trying to clear it up. I enjoy putting myself into a person's point of view and trying to understand their points and arguments. I genuinely believe that the people that actively wish to anger and hurt others are a minority, and most simply do not understand that they hurt or anger.

  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?

When a question goes into the area of Bad Subjective I will put it on-hold without remorse. But I will also try explaining to the querist Why it was put on-hold, what it being put on-hold means, and how we can get it back into the loop - together, as a community.

Questions being too open, broad, lax don't only hurt the site in the long-term. They also, more importantly, don't really help the querist in resolving the issue that made them come to us for help.

Making them understand, and show them, the value of asking multiple concise questions, rather than a big and open one seems the right path here - in my opinion.

  1. It's a pretty important topic, and one that is being discussed a lot right now: Where do you draw the line as to whether real world questions are on-topic?

For me personally every question is on topic here, as long as it is about resolving a problem encountered when building worlds. No matter how straight-forward or exotic said problem is.

A problem is defined by an initial situation, a goal that wants to be achieved, and optionally thoughts and notes on what has been already tried, thought on - that did not deliver desired results.

Any question that is purely a matter of research, e.g. asking about population data in the medieval ages, is better suited to be asked on another, more specific, stack. There are research questions that are a good fit for this site, but they are in my opinion a minority.

YET, when becoming a mod, this doesn't really matter - does it? It will not be about what my stance, as a person is. In the capacity as a mod, my stance on this subject will be whatever the consensus on the moderator team & the worldbuilding stack is.

  1. How will your attitude towards close/reopen voting change now that your close/reopen votes are binding?

I do not see my attitude changing all that much. Currently I tend to close/reopen questions after examining them (and this examining happening most often when lurking the review queues).

I will certainly more seldom cast a first close-vote though.

  1. How would you handle a user whose attitude is "I am surely right, it's the entire site to be wrong"?

As long as they do not do anything that goes against the rules of the stack I do not see any reason to handle them. It's their prerogative to have their own opinion, no matter how wrong it might be.

If they start breaking the rules, harassing other users, and whatnot, then I will step up and try making them understand. If they continue, there are procedures such as temporary bans and what-not that can be used to cool a situation down and give both parties time to reflect on the situation.

  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?

As above, it is their prerogative. If they go against site policies such as Be Nice, then there are detailed steps to be taken, e.g. a temporary ban or similar.

It doesn't matter how great their questions/answers are, the rules & policies are here to make the stack an enjoyable experience for all of us.

Many people with great knowledge are eccentrics or similar, if they can't learn to get along with others then they should rather write a book than participating in a community.

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

I would seek discourse with them, in order to understand their reasons. Maybe the exchange will produce a new view for both of us, it might result in the action being reverted, or might not.

But I will not go against their decision if they are fully confident that it was the right course of action. They were elected by the community just as much as I would be in that situation - I am neither better, nor worse suited to make the call they made.

  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?

As some might already be aware, I would wish for there being a grace-period on questions before people can start answering them. So querists, especially new users, get a change to receive feedback on their question and have time to fix issues that might otherwise lead to the question's answers going into another direction than they expected/intended.

The sandbox is a beautiful place and works amazingly well, but it is hidden behind a whole other stack (the worldbuilding meta) - which is not immediately known to new users, and often even unbeknownst to regulars.

  1. What time period are you typically most active during, and how often are you active during that period?

I live in Switzerland, the heart of Europe - so I'm mostly online during European business hours and into the late evening, so spottily between ~0800UTC to ~1600UTC and more actively ~1800UTC to ~2200CET.

As you see this is quite a range of time. That is because I've almost always got two browser tabs for WB open on any computer, one for the chat and another for the mainsite.

So, while currently being more reactive than active during the day, if necessary for moderator work I could and would reserve a fix slot for activity in the latter time-range.

  1. If you could add, rewrite, or delete, one thing from the Help Center, what would that be?

I guess I would like to see the sandbox linked on the tour, and have an informative paragraph added about it and the use of working on a question together before throwing it into a sea of help-vampires.

L.Dutch's answers:

As a moderator, you'll have to deal with some of the worst content on the site, clean up after users, remain patient in the face of conflict, be subjected to abuse without lashing out . . . you get the idea. Often, moderating can be stressful and not a lot of fun. We're benevolent janitors, not benevolent dictators. Given the job description, why do you (still) want to be a moderator?

Yes, I do. I learned to enjoy this site by the gentle manners and guidance of various users (I cannot even remember if they were mods or not), who have always been open to discussion and clear on their objection. This really helped in taking rid of the "they have a grudge on me" complex that easily develops when a newbie starts frequenting a community. And this is what I want to bring as my personal contribution to this community.

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 a good subjective is whatever can lead to the definition of a suitable metric for evaluation, be it some sound theoretical background, some well conducted reasoning or the like. Whenever I review I always ask myself "Can I find more than a good answer to this question without being able to pick one as best?". If my answer is yes, then I incline on the bad subjective side, and usually ask for clarification to the OP.

It's a pretty important topic, and one that is being discussed a lot right now: Where do you draw the line as to whether real world questions are on-topic?

I think Worldbuilding cannot be really separated from real world, since that's the common ground where all we are. I strive to understand if the OP's question is really into worldbuilding or simply lacking in research effort and/or simply using the wrong site to ask the question.

How will your attitude towards close/reopen voting change now that your close/reopen votes are binding?

With big powers come big responsibilities [citation needed]. Strongly believing in the community as a whole, and not being afraid of accepting I can be wrong, I would be open to constructive discussions on a decision I took. If I should have doubts, I would rather leave the decision to the community, maybe seeding constructive exchange of ideas, rather than spreading doubts with my acts.

How would you handle a user whose attitude is "I am surely right, it's the entire site to be wrong"?

I would explain what are the policies of the site, pointing to the relevant sections of the help center to back up my statements. Meanwhile if the user should turn aggressive/offensive, I would remove the non suitable content (comments/text), while insisting on explaining and having them understanding the site policies and the spirit in which comments and VTC are issued. Only as extrema ratio I would use more sever sanctions. The ultimate goal is to guide users into behaving according to the site standards, not kicking them away.

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 try to separate the good contribution from the questionable one, and try to guide the user into improving the content of their contribution so that arguments can be limited.

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

As I said, I am open to discussion and always give the benefit of the doubt. I would discuss the topic with the other side and try to reach an agreement.

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 add an agent/wizard that guides the user through writing the first question and first answer, so that it gets rewarded with many upvotes, for an enjoyable first experience.

What time period are you typically most active during, and how often are you active during that period?

I am usually active between 7 a.m and 9 p.m. UTC+1, and try to give a look at the site at least once a hour.

If you could add, rewrite, or delete, one thing from the Help Center, what would that be?

I think I would add an agent pointing to the relevant section when an event mentioned there is triggered for the first time (i.e. on reaching 200 rep limit the first time the wizard would point to reputation cap section)

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    The agent/wizard is actually an awesome idea! I bet lots of people are bummed out by their first question being downvoted and then closed - mostly for being too broad, opinion-based or story-based. That would at least reduce the issue. (btw: I vote wizard with an actual wise, bearded wizard avatar! :D) – ArtificialSoul Jul 4 at 16:49
  • Your answer to question 5, to me, sounds like you are describing the actions you would take as a user - not those as a mod. How would you act in that situation were you a moderator on the site? – dot_Sp0T Jul 10 at 16:30
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    @dot_Sp0T, done. – L.Dutch Jul 10 at 18:47
  • A few days ago, you voted to reject one of my proposed edits, apparently due to the (understandable) concern that the modified link was invalid. The proposed edit was accepted anyway, so no harm done, but I'd note that if you had been a diamond-mod, the vote would've been binding. I suppose my concern's that the vote to reject was done without checking to ensure correctness. – Nat Jul 12 at 21:12
  • @Nat, point taken. As you understood, I judged the link by its syntax, not by its working (I was not in the position of testing a "fishy" link when I did the review). As mod in charge I would have skipped it. – L.Dutch Jul 13 at 7:25

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