2013 Moderator Election

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!

This election ended May 28 '13 at 20:00.

Anyone may download the election data. Voters have access to pre-built OpenSTV software to audit the results; all others may use this source distribution

9,484 voters were eligible, 3,123 visited the site during the election, 1,353 visited the election page, and 637 voted

I'm Ravi Mohan, but I go by Journeyman Geek on stack exchange -I'm a trusted 20K user on SU, and while I'm not quite at those epic levels elsewhere, I'm fairly well known to on SF chat, tho somewhat less so on the site proper. I'm a general purpose IT monkey at a small family firm, as well as a Computer Forensics and Information Security Management undergrad,though I'm looking at switching to bigger things once I'm done with my degree.

I'm familiar with the site culture, and with the need to balance quality control, to keep and attract the crusty, battle scared, knowedgable old school sysadmins, with trying to steer clueless and semi clueless newbies to the right venues for asking their questions. I have a reasonable number of flags, admittedly mostly things that would be closevotes had I sufficient reputation.

I believe I can bring a kinder gentler touch to moderation without compromising on the things that make SF awesome. I believe whether or not I win, that standing in this election will likely help me be a better SF user, since it highlights things I can be better at, in the blinding spotlight of public attention. Regardless of whether I'm chosen as mod, I gain something.

It is I, Evan Carroll. I'd like to nominate myself for the job. Why? Simple, because I'm the best person for this job. Here are some of my values,

  • Integrity: I've got more of this than any of the other candidates. I am literally the embodiment of Integrity; it's my superpower.
  • Honesty: I've never lied before, not even once.
  • Humility: It's kind of like humbleness, and that's pretty much me. I think I do it better than everyone else too.
  • Fairness: When in doubt, I'll err on the side of the worker. In any conflict between those that do work and answer questions, and @JeffAtwood or Stack Exchange, you can bet I'll pick the side of the worker. There is nothing fair about kissing up to the power structure.
  • Knowledge: This one is prime here. I know a lot about things that take a steady flow of electrons -- if you get my drift...

Feel free to ask questions, because after all no list of my values is complete without,


Who would disagree that we could use more transparency at Server Fault? What would you do if an admin gives you information, or tries to communicate with you? I'd post it to Wikileaks.

Thanks for your time, make the right vote! Vote me!

  • 31
    You have no helpful flags. You have no review history. You have three digit reputation after being a member for almost 4 years. You have no positive contributions on meta.serverfault.com. You have none of the "noteworthy badges." And you've been banned from the main site, meta, and chat multiple times. Why on Earth should anyone vote for you again? – MDMarra May 17 '13 at 15:58
  • 2
    Also, you mention Jeff in your post, which clearly shows that you don't keep up on Stack Exchange happenings, which is important for a moderator. Jeff left Stack Exchange over a year ago to build Discourse. – MDMarra May 17 '13 at 16:00
  • 25
    I'm sorry but you're clearly deranged. – user9517 May 17 '13 at 16:03
  • 13
    @EvanCarroll Part of the agreement when becoming a Mod is that you may not disclose information gained by being a moderator. For example, messages sent to users (and their replies), may not be disclosed. This is directly at odds with your promises under Transparency, do you feel this might be a problem? Do you feel that you could live up to the moderator agreement? – Chris S May 17 '13 at 17:10
  • ***** Fifth. **** – Evan Carroll May 17 '13 at 17:12
  • 8
    Once again, declaring that you'll break the mod agreement before election is a surefire way to ensure that you'll never be a mod. – Manishearth May 17 '13 at 18:26
  • I think I'm in the minority here that gets the sarcasm of this nomination. Seriously guys, it's not a real nomination. I know it might not be appropriate to abuse the nomination process asking for a nomination fictitiously, but I find it interesting that so many took it seriously. – atconway May 17 '13 at 20:12
  • 2
    Interesting: evancarroll.com/home – atconway May 17 '13 at 20:13
  • I don't mind the criticism, even the sharp dissent coming from the establishment. But, please do not call my nomination a "joke." Thanks. – Evan Carroll May 17 '13 at 20:38
  • 2
    @EvanCarroll What do you do for a living? Are you a professional system or network administrator? – freiheit May 17 '13 at 20:48
  • I do both, and more. – Evan Carroll May 17 '13 at 21:02
  • 3
    @EvanCarroll: What kind of system admin work do you do? In what kind of environment? For how long? What's your sysadmin cred? – freiheit May 17 '13 at 21:46
  • 6
    @EvanCarroll Under your fairness section you guarantee that you will always back the "worker" over any Stack Exchange owner or employee. What would you do in a situation where a "worker" has sided with SE against another "worker"? Would you automatically side against "workers" who support SE? If so aren't all "workers" who participate in a SE site also supporting SE positions and processes? Ancillary to that, could you support a "worker" in opposition to your Integrity, Honesty, or Fairness? For example, could you lie if a "worker" demands it? – Chris S May 20 '13 at 1:29
  • @atconway you don't know what he's capable of. – Lucas Kauffman May 20 '13 at 18:36

I have been actively involved with this group since its inception. I have actively involved in submitting questions and answers so that this group becomes a good reference source. Now it seems I have been working more in the background by handling reviews of entries in the review queues. Statistics show that I have been quite active in my reviewing.

I have flagged questions and answers where appropriate. Although there have been disagreements with my flags, my accepted percentage is quite high.

When I see good answers I provide the author credit. I have downvoted questions and answers when appropriate.

Finally, I have actively participated in the meta site, in trying to promote new ideas, and report problems that could affect the user experience.

I believe that moderators, as system administrators, work generally in the background. This means that the great efforts provided by these people are not usually noticed in a well working environment such as this one.

I have a long background as a programmer, project lead, project manager and of course my love as a systems administrator/manager. I have extensive UNIX/Linux experience and significant Windows exposure.

  • 9
    I cannot in good conscience endorse this person for Moderator. I distinctly recall the early days of the new review queue. Time and time again, this candidate was clicking 'Leave Open' on very low quality questions where they were the only dissenting vote against closing even egregious examples that were later deleted. At the very least, this indicates a candidate who is distinctly out of step with the rest of the reviewing community, whatever the candidate's reviewing activity level might be. – Magellan May 15 '13 at 19:33
  • 2
    I'll have to disagree with this. Like others I have apparently made my mistakes or even have dissenting opinions but have made this with the intent of generation of a better product. I believe that I have taken these setbacks well and improved. Thank you for your comments. – mdpc May 15 '13 at 19:43
  • BTW, any community has a variety of views some that you might find egregious where others find acceptable. The totally of views makes for a balanced mix where thoughts and opinions of all types can be expressed whether against the grain or not. Again, my views have always been to improve the product (i.e. ServerFault) and are reasoned and I am not perfect either I make mistakes, whether people agree or not, that is a different issue. Again, thank you for your comments and feedback. – mdpc May 15 '13 at 20:41
  • 3
    @mdpc Perhaps you can expand on your platform to explain what areas of Server Fault you intend to improve (and how - link to specific Meta discussions where that might be helpful). – voretaq7 May 15 '13 at 21:54
  • 5
    You've said about half a dozen times that people make mistakes so you obviously have a handle on what your issues are/were. Some of your potential voters however are in the dark. How about you explain what your mistakes were, how you learned from them, and what your platform is. I don't care to hear talk about diversity of ideas providing balance, I'd like to hear what your views are. We're not voting for diversity, we're voting for you. Or not. Give us something to go on here besides rhetoric. When should questions be closed? Left open? What would you be campaigning to change around SF? – Caleb May 16 '13 at 12:06
  • 1
    As a moderator, my platform would be to work to keeping and improving the currently high standards of this group. Moderation is both knowing when to get involved with a situation and when not to. When I have to step in, it will be fair and impartial and always towards the improvement of the site. When I see things that could be improved within the SE family, I'll propose a change. As moderator, I'll work with users when necessary to improve their questions or responses. – mdpc May 16 '13 at 18:04
  • 2
    @Adrian, I'd like to somewhat defend mdpc here, as conversely, I've seen several of the nominees listed here (including mdpc) close questions via the review queue that I thought were perfectly acceptable questions. I believe that peoples interpretation of what is acceptable and not acceptable is somewhat subjective. Of course, we'd stand a better chance of agreeing on this if the about page and FAQ page didn't conflict. – Bryan May 16 '13 at 18:57
  • @Bryan While that may be the case, anyone who was managing to review many hundreds of questions in the course of a given week last Spring is not in touch with the rest of the contributing community. Anyone who wasn't badge-hunting in the Review queue last Spring was managing to review at most 200 questions per week. And judging by the results I'm seeing from the review queue, there's still a significant gap in the questions this candidate considers useful. – Magellan May 16 '13 at 21:03
  • It also has to do with differing opinions on what SE is becoming as to what is once was. See meta.serverfault.com/questions/5463/…. Thus the acceptance criteria of questions/answers is not quite as clearcut as you make it out to be. – mdpc May 16 '13 at 21:06
  • I'd like to add another comment on Moderators. For the most part, they are the shadowy figures making things right for the entire site with little reward or recognition. Part of their job is to try to stimulate the discussion with honest views and opinions and views of situations to forge both increased education, provide concencus as to where things are and should be going. – mdpc May 16 '13 at 21:13
  • 11
    Most of the current moderators are not "shadowy figures... with little recognition." 4 of them are active in chat (Chris, Iain, Mark, voretaq), 5 of them are active on meta (add Sysadmin1138). – Ward - Reinstate Monica May 17 '13 at 4:22

I joined SF 3 years and 9 months ago.

Since then, I've gathered badges, reputation, and friends.

I'm both skilled and knowledgeable, both with the plain-old Linux/windows server stuff, but also in the network and systems design and architecture fields. I'm never afraid to answer some of the off-the-wall questions, such as "What happens when you cross-over a switch" and "HELP, my rack's on fire".

I'm also a big advocate of tag-cleanup operations, and closing duplicate questions in favour of building canonical answers. I'm also very active in spam eradication, flagging both here on SF, and also when the spammers hit across the network.

Day-to-day, when not answering questions, (or asking them!), I'm usually in The Comms Room

As I'm based in the UK, I can cover the moderation queues for the UK/EU/UTC timezone effectively.

  • You've got quite a bit of rep fairly quickly here, but what type of moderation tasks have you been performing during this time? – James Mertz May 14 '13 at 14:54
  • 1
    Flagging and Votes to close, mostly. – Tom O'Connor May 14 '13 at 15:06
  • 1
    So I actually mis read your nomination and didn't see that 3 years behind the 9 months. 130+ flags isn't a whole lot for 3 years time. Do you feel that you're ready to really handle SF's flags? – James Mertz May 14 '13 at 15:12
  • 13
    Not to speak for Tom, but once you hit 10k rep, there is little use for flags. Unless you're farming for a Marshall badge, voting to close or editing something is usually sufficient. :) – MDMarra May 14 '13 at 18:43
  • 3
    @KronoS - for what it's worth they only started counting flags 2 years ago and only made them "matter" about 12 months ago. – Mark Henderson May 14 '13 at 21:37

Elected mods generally have higher rep than I do, but thought I'd put my name is as someone who is active in other ways:

  • Voting: most active voter on SF (27,000 votes) and on all of SE (70,000 votes)... I've also done the most close vote reviews on SF and the most re-opens.
  • Meta: very active on meta.SF - currently I seem to have the highest "participation," and I'm active enough on meta.SO that I don't get treated as an outsider there.
  • Active in Chat, although I'm busy during the peak hours and miss lots of the juicy stuff...
  • There are a few other SE sites I used to be quite active on (Cooking, Bikes, SciFi) and I still keep an eye on them but haven't been posting or voting as much this year.

Another minor point in my favour is that I'm in a time zone that is currently understaffed by mods (PST).

As to why I want to be a mod... I think there are quite a few regulars who'd do a good job, I put my name in because I'm willing to step up and help keep the site running as smoothly as possible.

  • 6
    Not everybody can be Evan Anderson or Michael Hampton but given your voting record (all of it) I believe you get to see a lot more of what goes on here so you get my vote. – user9517 May 16 '13 at 20:58
  • Can you clarify what timezone PST is in GMT format (i.e. I'm GMT+10) - we're not all familiar with different timezone abbreviations from around the world – Mark Henderson May 17 '13 at 2:08
  • Based on his profile (Location: Vancouver), looks like GMT-7 (or actually currently GMT-6 if you count daylight savings time). – Moshe Katz May 17 '13 at 3:05
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada. If we're going to insist on the proper abbreviations, it's UTC-8, but now UTC-7 since we're in daylight saving time (a Canadian invention). – Ward - Reinstate Monica May 17 '13 at 3:23
  • @MarkHenderson: The same one Sysadmin1138 was in when he got elected. – user9517 May 17 '13 at 6:36

I've been on SF since near the beginning. I'd like to help.

I've been a moderator on Bicycles since its launch in 2010. I helped guide that community's site to graduation, and continue moderating. Feel free to stalk me on bicycles. The SE community staff know me from the moderator chatroom.

I'm frequently active in ServerFault's chatroom, and other SE chatrooms.

I've been a sysadmin for over a decade. Primarily Linux, but a bit of VMware, MacOS, Windows, SAN, NAS, etc...

I'm knowledgeable and experienced with our site's topic, with the site, and with Stack Exchange moderation.

As a moderator, I would be gentle, firm and polite. I would try to act only in ways that are backed by clear community consensus, and quick to admit (and fix) my mistakes. I'd be quick to close questions that clearly need to be fixed before they can be answered, and very reluctant to act when things are borderline.

  • 19
    For me, actions speak louder than words and your paucity of action speaks volumes. You seem to like the idea of being a moderator but you don't seem to feel the need to put any effort in (by flaggng/reviewing/voting/meta participacion etc) to demonstrate to the community that we should trust you. – user9517 May 14 '13 at 5:53
  • 5
    freiheit's activity on Bicycles.SE looks much more like that of a moderator or at least an active user. The question is whether he would be able to apply the same level of activity to both sites simultaneously. – Ladadadada May 14 '13 at 10:46
  • 2
    Activity on Bicycles.SE is great and all, but this is Server Fault. There's a different mentality and dynamics here. – James Mertz May 14 '13 at 15:14
  • 1
    @Iain: I thought an election for 2 spots needed more than 3 candidates, and I do believe I would do a good job. I really don't expect to win, given that there's a couple candidates with much higher rep (and other metrics) now. – freiheit May 14 '13 at 18:05
  • 2
    @Ladadadada: I believe I can handle the load. On bicycles.se, I average 1 or 2 flags a day. I believe a tenfold increase would be quite manageable. – freiheit May 14 '13 at 18:19
  • @KronoS: Yes, I'm aware that the communities and sites are very different. Compared to Bicycles.SE: SF is a significantly larger site. SF has a larger pool of active close-voters. SF is significantly more tolerant of rude behavior. SF is better about closing not-constructive questions quickly. SF is much less likely to hold the hands of new users. – freiheit May 14 '13 at 18:32
  • 6
    I do believe that a user who understands how StackExchange as a whole deals with moderation is worthy of extra attention. The SF mod-staff has come into conflict with the SE community as a whole a few times, which has caused the SF mod-staff to get overruled on occasion. Having a mod who is active on non-technical SE will help us, the SF mod-team, interface more cleanly than we have been with SE as a whole. We are unique, but there is only so much special-snowflake the rest of 'em will put up with. – sysadmin1138 May 15 '13 at 11:29
  • 2
    I think @freiheit could be an excellent Moderator. However, we've lost several moderators when they became active in other sites already. Further, I believe all the moderators on SF would agree that being a Moderator and an Active User of SF is a challenge in itself, which leaves no room for being a Moderator and an Active user of a second SE site. It might be a bit unfair to hold our past moderators' failings against you, but I can not in good conscience vote for someone who is a moderator of another site. – Chris S May 20 '13 at 1:33

My Motivation

I feel that in any field community involvement makes everyone better. Communities allow us to learn from one another, to make use of resources we might not otherwise have had, and to build pride in your work. As a rule technologists tend towards anti-social making community involvement all the more important.

All too often new professionals are thrust into the role with no real training and, at best, a large amount of zeal. Providing this as an open forum, and encouraging a community that people want to join, supports professional growth in ways never before attainable.

About My Contribution

I have long been an active member of the StackExchange network joining ServerFault during public beta. I want this to be a site where I could proudly display my name to my peers. I see this site as a professional endeavour, and as such, I want the professionalism to be evident. I try to keep the standards high by way of editing and flagging. The best examples of that work is the fact that I was the seventh user to earn the Deputy badge, for submitting helpful tags, and am easily on the first page of editors.

  • 17
    Plus, he works in higher education, so he'll be available between 9a-5p local time :) – MDMarra May 14 '13 at 0:54
  • @MDMarra Closer to 8 on days I don't take the kid to school. – Scott Pack May 14 '13 at 11:19
  • 12
    Scott was the runner-up in the last Security.SE moderator election that only had one open slot. He has been a fantastic member of that community. Instead of nominating myself as I had intended to do the next run around, I'd like to throw my endorsement by behind @ScottPack. In both that community and here he has been a fantastic contributor and I think we'd really benefit from his election as a moderator. – Jeff Ferland May 14 '13 at 22:01
  • 2
    @JeffFerland if you want to run, you should run! There are two openings and you can vote for Scott with your #1 vote. – MDMarra May 15 '13 at 3:02
  • 1
    @JeffFerland Yes, by all means do throw your hat in the ring. We can only benefit from having more high quality candidates to choose from. – Michael Hampton May 15 '13 at 21:14
  • 5
    Scott for president! – Lucas Kauffman May 16 '13 at 13:58

While I've been here for less than a year, I've managed to rack up 35K+ reputation in that time. What's not apparent is how much I've learned from this high quality community. I've probably learned more than I've taught here.

My motivation for nominating myself as moderator is to preserve Server Fault's high quality environment, and improve it even further when possible. My current research project is to find a way to remotely deliver electric shocks to spammers.

I am most often active during US evenings and overnights.

Now I'll let the community speak for me:

Seriously the most erudite and polite response I've received anywhere on StackExchange. Thank you. – Jeremy Wadhams May 2 at 15:05

This is something that most new users should get linked to at some point. – Andrew B Apr 3 at 19:58

There was more, but this box is length-limited.

  • 4
    +1 for the research project! – Mathias R. Jessen May 13 '13 at 21:49
  • I don't know why you think UTC overnight is not well covered. I take over from it and rarely find much if anything that hasn't already been dealt with by Mark. – user9517 May 13 '13 at 22:30
  • 1
    Maybe it is now, but there was a long while where I would see quite a bit of worthless junk posted overnights that hadn't been acted on. I understand that Mark took a bit of a break and then returned. – Michael Hampton May 13 '13 at 22:33
  • Yeah I was off for about a month due to work a while back. – Mark Henderson May 14 '13 at 0:28
  • 7
    While I've been here for less than a year - huh, thought you'd been around for much longer than that. Best wishes! – Sathyajith Bhat May 14 '13 at 5:22
  • Almost 1,000 helpful flags in less than a year is quite an accomplishment. I've been with SU for 3 years now, and haven't quite made it that far. – James Mertz May 14 '13 at 14:50
  • 1
    @KronoS: the trick is to find obsolete comments. Once the flag has been acted upon you get the flags back so you can burn through hundreds in a short space of time if the mods are working with you. – user9517 May 14 '13 at 15:17
  • I would put politeness pretty much above anything else. – aseq May 15 '13 at 0:23
  • 3
    I went on a deep dive in data.SE a very long while back (relatively speaking) and found a couple hundred not-constructive or obsolete comments, and a couple hundred not-an-answer answers. I had only been here a couple of months at the time, but got the Marshal badge out of it. Since hitting 3K I have much less reason to flag... – Michael Hampton May 15 '13 at 5:25

This election is complete.