15

I have seen the community 2012 moderator opened and I was thinking that maybe I would run for office.. I mean moderator but like anybody that is scared to jump into something bigger than himself I ask, by experience of already existing moderators and any other moderators from other sites, what should a moderator have as experience and what should a new moderator expect from the site when gaining moderator election. What activities should a moderator do on a daily/weekly basis.

By asking this I am trying to relax anybody that might want to go for the gold... I mean position.

I am guessing there is a minimum amount of points to have and a way of answering and helping people in the community. But additionally what other experience stuff should humble not deity humans like us know and be ready for.

I have already passed the 7 tests of fire, brought back the princess 21 $%!"#! times from the same castle, killed too many dragons, found the triforce 2 million times and helped the old neighbor lady put out the trash (while ;) at her daughter obviously).

What more should we do or know before going for this position in the community (and Cry havoc and let slip the Chihuahuas of poker war)

17

While I can't speak for the other moderators, in my experience as an Ask Ubuntu moderator since August 2010 I can offer a brief glimpse into moderator qualities from my perspective.

Tolerance

If you become frustrated easily, moderation might not be for you. Assuming you visit the site on a daily basis, you'll have to interact with people with whom you may not share the same definition, vision, or belief about something -- Whether that something is related to how Ask Ubuntu should operate, topics acceptable on the site, or even just personal philosophies you have to always be tolerant and understanding despite what you personally believe.

Political

As a moderator you're just one misstep away from being alluded to the subject of Godwin's law. As such, you have to try to always remain tactful when performing actions on the site. You gain powers that not many people will even get close to having and as a result it's very easy to appear you have a "heavy hand" despite the best of intentions. Remaining objective and political in your actions to maintain the appearance of neutrality during moderation can often be a tricky dance.

Neutral

You're a moderator, which means you were elected because the community entrusts you to do their bidding. As such, remaining neutral and performing actions that fit within the guidelines of a theory of moderation is something you'll have to do on a daily basis. No longer can you simply vote to close something because you don't particularly agree with the subject, now your votes are Stack Exchange Super Votes™. So when you use these new powers, ones you could say come with great responsibility, try to remain neutral and only perform actions that the community would do. This also includes closing "questionable" topics - or too many questions at a time. It's a lot easier to justify a closed question to a user when more than one person has voted on it. So remaining neutral (and not closing a ton of questions with just your super vote) helps to convey the community effort in the site. Basically, just don't be a honey badger.

You're wrong

Always have someone else agree with, multiple people even, in fact make sure meta agrees with you. If you plan on doing something to the site that could be controversial like a new policy, spear-heading some of the worst tags on the site, or even just clarification about what's acceptable always make sure to get a general consensus about your plans and be open to having it shot down, repeatedly, in the face. When dealing with these things it helps to start out thinking you're wrong until proven right. When you do done goofed it's best to just state why you did something and keep an open mind.

They're wrong

It goes without saying, just as you're fallible, so are they. Not everything everyone wants you to do is the right choice. If you have doubts make sure to confer with the other moderators (both on this site and others), as well as the Stack Exchange community team. This is a good way to ensure what's demanded of you is correct and you don't become someone else's puppet.

Community

Something that took a while to sink in: the users aren't powerless without moderators, moderators are powerless without the users. We're here to serve them. You don't own Ask Ubuntu anymore than the next person does. It's a community effort, you're just a tool the community uses when it's needed.


If you're looking for glory or popularity, you won't find it here. If you're looking to scratch an ego, look elsewhere. If you find yourself limited on a daily basis (votes, flags, turn around times) by what you can do to help the Ask Ubuntu community - then apply within. It's a grueling, tedious, near monotonous position where every action you take is scrutinized.

  • 1
    very nice answer marco. indeed from experience. thank you. – Luis Alvarado Jan 31 '12 at 14:18
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    Marco, this is a great answer. Seriously. :D – Aarthi Jan 31 '12 at 21:50
  • 1
    Awesome answer :D – Amith KK Feb 2 '12 at 6:49

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