I have been a moderator of this site since 2019. Here is a link to what I had to say the first time around.
Building on and re-iterating that, I have a fairly open interpretation of what this site can be, and am in favor of opening up to site to essentially anything that might be useful to homebrewers or anyone producing alcoholic drinks at home. I am also in favor of merging this site with the Beer, Wine, and Spirits SE as I think it would ultimately form a more clear, complete, well-rounded, and active community.
- 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 think I would have to handle something like this on a case-by-case basis. To a degree, unless there was a clear problem, I would encourage voting and constructive commenting as the primary way to communicate disagreement, assuming it was primarily just a strong difference of opinion. If things got heated, or an excessive amount of flags/comments were being generated, I would likely post something on meta to start a discussion what was happening, while deleting posts that violated the sites terms. From there I would hope to better understand what is happening and attempt to address it fairly directly with whoever I thought was most able to reduce further conflict. But again, I think details matter a lot with things like this.
- How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?
If I felt really strongly about it, I would probably check whether any historical meta questions might have suggested the community has expressed a desire in favor of their action. Assuming I didn't find anything (or maybe that it mostly involved users that are no longer active), I would probably reach out to the moderator and then potentially ask my own question on meta to get a feel for whether the community agrees and go from there.
- What do you think about the proposal (supported by a Moderator at the Beer, Wine and Spirits site), to merge these two sites?
I'm all for merging these sites. Not sure if this is part of the question, but I think the addition of marijuana is a dicey, I would probably prefer leaving it just to alcoholic beverages. But I would consider questions regarding the use of marijuana in alcoholic beverages to likely be in scope.
I think the larger combined community would be beneficial, especially in the sense that current members of Beer, Wine, and Spirits may pick up homebrewing if more exposed to questions and answers about it. I also think it's possible that both communities could benefit from the gray area in between being more obviously in-scope for a combined site.
- Activity in recent years has declined. What do you think about this, and is there anything that you would consider changing or doing more, in light of this?
I think this may be due to a lack of awareness of Homebrewing SE. It may have been made worse by the long beta phase. And it may be because the homebrewing community is more interested a forum format than a Q&A one.
I think merging with Beer, Wine, and Spirits couldn't hurt and would likely help at least some. We certainly aren't going to improve activity without building some kind of momentum. People don't always have questions, or a string of them; we need to keep their interest in between questions, and I doubt we do that for most new users currently.
Beyond that, I don't have any specific suggestions, but I'd be very open to any from the community.
- In your opinion, what do moderators do?
Moderators are, I think, there mostly to step in when something needs dealt with fairly promptly, or when a member of the community has identified a valid issue but was not able to correct it themselves. On this site, for what I can recall, the vast majority of flags are non-answers. From that perspective, most of what I've done here the last couple years is be the person that does the dirty work for clean up tasks.
That said, I think Meta is an important aspect of the site and in recent years it seems to me that the community has really shifted with respect to what should be in scope. With that I think as a moderator its my job to make sure that that is appropriately interpreted and enacted when those cases come up. I was elected originally without any votes, so I've been a bit reluctant to go pushing for big changes, but if I'm elected again this time I will take that as a sign that I should push for the future that seems best of the site (though obviously along with getting regular feedback from the community).
Ultimately, a moderator helps ensure that the site is operating as it is defined to be and to help write (or re-write) that definition as necessary.
- 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?
Since I've been a moderator the last couple years, this wouldn't be new, but I hope that my past posts all show that I'm just a curious member of this community that wants to share and learn more about homebrewing like everyone else here. I'm no expert brewer, just someone who tries to keep things running and relatively tidy.
But I also hope that some of my questions and answers make people think about what the site is or could be. I would love to see more extensive discussions happening about that, and I would be thrilled if something I posted resulted in that.
- 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 enjoy thinking about what the future of this site could be and about the experience people have when they engage with it. I enjoy reading people's questions on meta and seeing people's responses. But I also want to be a part of that conversation, and am willing to put time and energy into helping it grow and evolve, in a way that I suspect many other members are not. Being a moderator gives me the ability to advocate for the site in ways that might be more difficult otherwise.