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2011 Moderator Election

nomination began
Jan 18, 2011 at 21:00
election began
Jan 25, 2011 at 21:00
election ended
Feb 2, 2011 at 21:00

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

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

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

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

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

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

I think I'd make a decent candidate for moderator for the following reasons:

  • I'm active in both the chat and meta for Server Fault.
  • While I am not a 10K user, I have a fair amount of reputation and have used the facilities that have been available to me to help improve the questions on Server Fault.
  • I am patient and consistent in my approach to improving problem questions and answers.
  • I'm based in the UK, which might improve the moderator coverage outside of US "core" times.

I have previous experience of building and encouraging "community spirit" in an open discussion forum/newsgroup as I was a Microsoft MVP for 8 years.

I've been around a while: back in the 90's, when NIC handles meant something, mine had only a single digit, and from the residual use of handles at ARIN, it looks like I got the company I worked for back then onto the Internet in 1993. Skipping forward a disturbing number of years and operating systems, I followed the development of SO on Joel's blog and forums, and though I missed the beta of ServerFault, I've been here pretty much since the beginning.

I'm not as active on SF as some of the other candidates, and when it gets to the election phase, I'm figuring on voting for Warner and sysadmin1138, and either Farseeker (or whatever his real name is) or myself as 3rd choice. I decided to nominate myself partly because I think more candidates will make for a better election but mostly because I think I'd do a good job.

I flag and vote to close, and I've been involved in meta for a long time. (Not that meta.SF has anything to do with me, but I did bitch about meta.SO not being appropriate for SF's meta discussion) I look at how active the other candidates are and WOW! they're in another league for answering, editing, voting, commenting, chatting, but I'm in there too, trying doing my bit.

If I were elected, I don't see any need for harsh moderation, and I think everyone so far who's standing for election has a similar mindset: stomp spam, close (not migrate) bad questions, be gentle and try to give some help to the new admins who ask desperate questions.

Now it's off to start answering all those questions...

I would be a good Server Fault moderator because:

  • I'm a firm believer in making the internet a better place
  • I have been a 10k user for quite a long time
  • I use the 10k tools virtually every single day to help close questions
  • I'm active on meta.serverfault
  • I'm active on meta.stackoverflow and have gone into bat for Server Fault from day one (question was originally on meta.stackoverflow and was migrated to meta.serverfault).
  • I have previous moderator experience on webmasters.stackexchange (and would be willing to rescind my moderator status there in order to serve here)
  • I'm active during a timezone that is during the US and UK's night-time, helping to provide round-the-clock moderating for the Server Fault community (GMT+11 or +10 when DST ends)
  • Have a long track record of closing or migrating questions
  • Was the 2nd (or 3rd) user to receive the Strunk & White badge
  • I have a history of participating in hard discussions, sometimes against the common belief.
  • Was once called "The Rollerdex of Server Fault" (question was migrated to SU, my old username was farseeker)

Once upon a time, I was a sysop of a successful local BBS in the 614 area code. I also shared co-sysop responsibilities with some other local boards. When I discovered the Internet, the potential was immediately clear, and I began to participate on USENET. Later, I ran successful Web sites with active forums, which has helped further my understanding of effective communication utilizing technology.

Since discovering the Server Fault, the value was immediately clear to me. I was ecstatic to find a community of professionals with an impressive depth of knowledge. I began to actively participate immediately by answering your questions. Fortunately, it seems you liked my answers, as you voted me to 10k in 143-days.

As the community tools grew with meta.sf and chat.sf, I have been actively participating as the tools became available. It was a pleasure to begin to get to know many of you better.

I want to help more professionals locate and participate on SF, which I took responsibility of by working to promote SF at the 2010 Ohio LinuxFest with Evan Anderson. I hope to continue working with staff and the community with further promotional activities.

As many of you have seen me espouse before, I want to see your Server Fault continue to be a community of top-notch professionals. With this, I have encouraged policies and moderator actions that enable professionals, while discouraging participation of those who do not work in the Information Technology field. As a moderator, I will continue to encourage professionals, while guiding the end-user to the appropriate site.

As a moderator, you will be giving me a direct view of how you would like to see the site mature. I want to help you by taking direct action as a result of your flagging. I want to help you grow SF to the next level. Vote for me and I will help fulfill this vision!

Back in the dark old days, when a certain hyphen site was the best of a bad bunch of ways to get answers on the internet, I got as frustrated as many people. Having to spend hours digging through badly answered questions, adverts and sleasly sales techniques to find an answer to your question was no way to spend an afternoon!

So when I saw Jeff's idea for StackOverflow, I was immediatly intrigued. As StackOverflow grew in it's brilliance, I was convinced, this is the way Q&A should be! But what about us sysadmins? Well after much prodding and pushing, our prayers were answered, and we got a resource that has been a huge help to all of us.

I like to give back to this community by providing good answers, helping to organise, edit and prune the site where needed, and now I'd like to give back some more by standing for a moderator position.

I believe I would make a good moderator, here are my reasons why:

  • I have been an active Serverfault user since day one, and even before that in campaigning for a Sysadmin version of StackOverflow. Now that we have one, I want to it to be the best resource available for Sysadmin questions and I would like to be at the forefront of making that happen.
  • I'm very active in closing, flagging, editing and re-tagging posts when it's required. I've got to a point now where I am more concerned with providing the best resource for Sysadmin questions, then I am about gaining reputation.
  • I have been highly active in promoting Serverfault in my area of the UK, through my colleagues, contacts and community involvement. I feel a moderators role should be as an Ambassador for the site, in all areas.
  • I try and avoid a heay handed approach to moderation, I am keen on trying to encourage users to write better questions, offering advice and guidence to try and assist them in getting better answers to their questions. We all benefit from having better questions, rather then closed ones.
  • I'm active in Meta and Chat, particularly in looking for ways to promote Serverfault and get the best answers, and the best users involved in the site.
  • I've run out of Serverfault stickers.

I believe good moderation shouldn't be something users notice very often, it should just happen when it's needed, quietly in the background. All the users should see is a site full of well constructed questions and answers that is improving every day.

I am an enthusiastic, active and well liked (well I hope at least!) member of the Server Fault community and I believe I would make a good addition to the moderator team. You'll often see me retagging questions in an effort to get the right people looking at the question, and equally you'll find my close votes on questions I think would be better answered on another Stack Exchange site. I'm all about keeping the knowledge contained inside Server Fault well organised, and generally making it the go-to place for professionals to share knowledge.

If I were elected as a community moderator, I would continue my efforts to retag and reformat questions passing through the system, as well as dealing with some of the spam we receive. Something I'm also very keen on is drastically reducing the amount of "non answers" which are added, whether it be removing "me too" answers, making "answers" into the comments they should have been, or splitting new questions which were posted as answers.

I'm often in the Server Fault chat room, and I'm easily approachable to discuss any issues a member might have. I'm also active on Meta Server Fault, where I try to share my opinion and help to shape the community and give opinions on the general direction the site is going.

I believe I'd make a good moderator for several reasons:

  • I have been a 10K user who has been actively flagging and voting. What's more, I've seen existing moderators flag and act on items I would have acted on.
  • I have earned the Strunk & White badge for editing, mostly by cleaning up and improving questions.
  • I am an active Meta user.
  • I'm on the US west coast (GMT-7 most of the year) which means I can cover UK/Eur evenings and US east-coast after-work periods during my day, and my evenings cover the currently mod-light period (UTC 02:00 - 08:00).
  • I have frequently blogged about ServerFault activity on my own blog (see profile) and firmly believe in its mission.
  • I already deal with the very occasional SF user contacting me directly via SF-chat or other methods.

Also, I have quite a bit of experience dealing with challenging people. My activities surrounding the eventual banning of a certain very difficult user should stand as strong evidence of how I work. I have 20 years of experience as a sports referee, so I have decades long experience calmly handling people actively questioning my competence and even-handedness. In workplace meetings and working-groups I am often seen as our most approachable system-administrator, even by those me and my department routinely disagree with.

This election is over.