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In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. Questions collected from an earlier thread have been compiled into this one, which shall now serve as the space for the candidates to provide their answers.

Due to the submission count, we have selected all provided questions as well as our back up questions for a total of 5 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. 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?

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

  3. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

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

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

  • For the information of the community which moderator is leaving ? – Jarvis Mar 26 at 6:16
14

David Reed

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?

One of the things I strive to do is be the reset button when conversations aren't making progress, or are going the wrong direction. I think it's often productive to restate, redirect, and provide an "out" for participants to move forward safely. That kind of intervention can also provide scope for a reminder - "please keep tone in mind; it can be hard to read online and we want to be a friendly community".

That's how I try to approach individual problem situations that seem to be escalating from good faith to something less comfortable. When longer-term patterns develop, or more overt misconduct, more explicit intervention may be called for, starting from "Stack Exchange expects $X. You are doing $Y. The consequences of continuing to do so are $Z." and proceeding from there - sticking absolutely as close as possible to facts and agreed-upon community standards so as to limit the emotionality involved.

A small tangent: as I've discussed on Meta a couple of times, I am not a fan of heavy reliance on comments for user guidance. As a small step that's under our control, I'd like to take a look at revising our close reasons to more effectively and specifically express our intent in closing questions (we have a couple of close reasons that are redundant or rarely used).

In a few situations, where a user has chosen to provide their contact information, I would consider reaching out to them to discuss any long-term issues privately if the user seems to be otherwise participating in good faith. I think as a rule it's healthier to resolve community issues in the community than to use back-channeling.

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

Context is king. I would reach out to the other moderator, express that, looking from the outside, I don't fully understand the action taken, and ask if they could share with me what went into it. If, upon getting a better view of all of the circumstances, I still felt the action should not have been taken, I would present the case as a second set of eyes for reconsidering.

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

I would group moderators' responsibilities into three broad headings.

  • Act as the backstop and institutional voice when the site's own community moderation mechanics are not sufficient to solve a problem or when they are not moving expeditiously.

    For example, moving quickly to remove spam and inappropriate content, cleaning up flagged posts and comments, and encouraging users to operate within the expected bounds.

  • Proactively participate in accordance with the expectations of Stack Exchange and the SFSE community, serving as an example of positive and contributory behavior for all users, and explicitly guiding new users towards the community's expectations.

  • Maintain awareness of the larger-scale needs, trends, and concerns for the community, surface them for discussion in Meta, and work with the community to address higher scale objectives.

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

I'm okay with that. I've always aimed to participate on Stack Exchange in the way that I'd expect of other representatives of the community.

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

I do not intend to change the level of my engagement on SFSE, whether or not I should be elected; serving as a moderator would provide some additional tools to work on things I'm already interested in and help support the community's maintenance of its own standards of quality.

I would act more cautiously in all matters where a moderator's vote is absolute. This is something I already do while holding the gold Apex badge, which can unilaterally close duplicate questions.

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  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?

Let me first say this is a community. We're not going to agree with one another all the time and disputes are bound to arise. What's important is how we choose to handle those disputes when they do come up. Its my expectation that anyone who's a member or visitor here will treat others with respect. As a moderator, it would be important that I model and demonstrate respect for others through my own behavior.

There are many ways to diffuse conflict, particularly when it's off-topic conflict. The main thing in my view is consistency. A moderator here isn't a member's parent yet they are responsible for the health of the community as a whole. If a particular member were consistently being rude or aggressive with their comments, I would be having a discussion with the other moderators on how the three of us collectively wanted to handle the issue.

Each situation will be unique in terms of who might know the user, how accessible they are, and what means of coaching them on their people skills might be effective. Moderators will collectively need to decide if they want to attempt pre-emptive measures. If they do not, the real issue comes down to whether the user's behavior is in violation of the Forum's TOS. If it is, then its a matter of deciding whether the user should lose commenting privileges, be suspended, or some other appropriate action taken. A user who is aggressive towards other members can't possibly contribute enough useful answers to overlook unacceptable behavior. Moderators have a responsibility to see this remains a safe and friendly forum.

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

Communication between moderators is what's important. We all view the world from different perspectives based on the "filters" we've acquired through our unique experiences. I don't expect mine to be the same as everyone else's. I can't know what another moderator is thinking if I don't ask them. If I have a question on why they've made a decision, its a simple matter of asking. We're all here to learn and I expect to learn from the other mods who have more experience doing this than I will.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators perform a number of different responsibilities that fall into several different categories.

  • They represent our interests to Stack Exchange Management, with Stack Overflow Meta and other places within the Stack organization when appropriate. This is an important administrative function that's necessary to keep the doors open, lights on and plumbing working when it starts to leak.

  • They're responsible for moderation tasks that only those with a black diamond can perform like handling flagged posts, question merges, tag merges, synonyms, locking posts, and disciplinary actions.

  • Moderators are also responsible for SFSE Meta where they're available to provide insight into how this Forum and Stack Exchange works when users post relevant questions. Additionally, they have access to analytics data that goes beyond what those of us with higher reputation levels have. They're able to see and view information that provides insight into what is happening here that others cannot.

  • Not only are they our liaison within Stack Exchange, they're also our primary liaison with Salesforce. As moderators, they also have opportunities to influence how this Forum is promoted to the larger Salesforce Community as a whole.

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

Once you post something to the internet it can't be taken back. Consequently, I don't view it any differently. I do my best to proof what I write before I press the "Send" button. I'm as human as anyone else and expect to continue to have learning experiences whether I'm elected to this position or taken down a different path. I'll do my utmost to set an example that members will be proud of is all I can say.

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

Our ecosystem is constantly changing. If you look at what was being asked here 3 years ago, you wouldn't see many of the categories that exist today. Many answers that were correct then, will now have changed because of how quickly Salesforce is evolving.

Personally, my life has also been changing and evolving as well. I now have limitations with my vision that don't allow me to quickly read and answer questions with lots of code as I once did. I've headed down the architect track and most of my work today is far less code-based. Instead, it's more conceptual and/or declarative (e.g. security, SSO, knowledge, etc) in nature. So for me, moderating posts will allow me to continue to support the efforts of this forum in ways I might not otherwise be able to.

Thank you for your consideration.

9

Mohith Shrivastava

  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?

If there are lot of arguments would mail a response to user in a polite manner requesting how to avoid too much arguments and be polite . If I see the repeated behavior would mentor the user on how he can still present his views using right tone and language (Using words like "let me think about it" , "You may be right" and "I understand" so that flags are minimized).

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

I will present my point of view in right tone and in a way that the other moderator does not feel offended.Using words like "You may be right but I am also thinking this can be further improved "

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Act as bridge between community and the stackexchange site and help both to get best out of each other.

Protect valuable questions so that only right folks answer them .Lock questions to avoid downvoting or voting.

Maintain hygiene of the site by cleaning irrelevant questions .Be an example by answering and asking questions .

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

It feels great .At the same time i will take time to see if the answers , questions and comments I have done in the past meet the site standards and are still relevant.Since everything will be seen in different light , its important to be fair , lead by an example and keep things open and honest .

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

Moderating the site will help me grow as a leader .I will personally gain leadership qualities and be a responsible contributor.I will not only look to just answer questions instead encourage everyone around to use the site for Q&A .

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