2021 Moderator Election

nomination began
Oct 11 at 20:00
election began
Oct 25 at 19:50
election cancelled
Oct 25 at 19:50
candidates
3
positions
3

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

Full elections have three phases and an optional fourth phase (Primary):

  1. Question Collection
  2. Nomination
  3. Primary
  4. Election

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

Additional Links

Questionnaire
The community team has compiled questions from meta for the candidates to answer.
  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?

[Answer 1 here]

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

[Answer 2 here]

  1. What do you think about the proposal (supported by a Moderator at the Beer, Wine and Spirits site), to merge these two sites?

[Answer 3 here]

  1. 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?

[Answer 4 here]

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

[Answer 5 here]

  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?

[Answer 6 here]

  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?

[Answer 7 here]

Lucas Kauffman

I've been involved in Stackexchange for over 10 years now. While I used to be more active on Serverfault and Security.SE my personal passion has shifted more and more to Homebrewing in recent years.

I want to help grow the community as a whole and figure out what our direction should we and how we can further generate a larger user-base as to get more, qualitative questions with regard to homebrewing.

Questionnaire
  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?

I would first want to review the different comments and see whether there is a trend in how the person is providing their comments. If there is a legitimate problem, I would probably reach out to the person directly and review and explain why their comments may not meet community guidelines and get/provide feedback from the person on how they may improve their commenting behavior.

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

Reach out to the moderator to review why they went down that course of thought and discuss whether it should be re-opened. If we still disagree - probably would bring it to Meta and get feedback from the community.

  1. What do you think about the proposal (supported by a Moderator at the Beer, Wine and Spirits site), to merge these two sites?

I think it would be beneficial to grow the sites as a whole. I would not include coffee and marijuana as I feel these are not related enough - and marijuana may still be controversial in large parts of the world. However drinking, tasting, brewing, fermenting and distilling alcohol are all someone related. So I would think that a larger base may help support generating more questions and answers.

  1. 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?

There is not always an exact science behind brewing and it often requires experimentation. I think that's why a classical style of Q&A may not always be suited and some people tend to prefer more established homebrew forums.

I think merging with the other sites can cross-polinate interest and may result in more people picking up homebrewing, distilling or crafting alcoholic beverages, hence generating a larger user base.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

I think it's a combination of quality assurance on the questions and answers, addressing community concerns and figuring out ways to increase the overall user-base overtime. To increase the user-base I believe we need to listen to the users and review how we go about moderating the Q&A, what is the scope of our site and understand what engages or disengages them from Homebrewing.SE.

We are not here to 'police' the website - rather ensure that the site meets our community standards - which are ultimately set, decided and changed by our community.

  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?

I'm ok with that :)

  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?

I think it will be possible to support the community earlier - with the current influx of questions it's simply not possible to reach the right amount of rep.

Mr. Boy

First things first, I have never been a SE moderator, in fact I have never stood as one. I can't point to a proven track record in that regard. As a software developer though, I have however been an active SE member since the launch of Stack Overflow. I've been around the block, as they say, primarily on SO but over many other sites large and small.

I have acted as moderator in other online formats over the years such as forums and FaceBook groups, and forums especially have been a huge part of my life since I was a teen in the 90s. So I'm no newcomer to the online discussion world.

For me, the smaller SE sites are the ones I enjoy the most. They retain the warmth and community spirit which I associate with the forums of old. That's something I'm a big fan of supporting, that in a world where the larger sites are increasingly hard-edged bustling metropolises we can have a friendly community where we seek to help each other.

Questionnaire
  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?

I think I would start by politely intervening in comments reminding those concerned of the site rules and to restrain themselves. I would seek to understand why the user finds themselves always in the middle of things and to act kindly. I do not believe this is a site which requires draconian moderation but if things don't improve I would have to escalate, but I have no interest in wading in flouting power.

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

If it were possible I would ask them about it. We don't want moderators fighting in some public Wikipediaesque-edit-war in front of the kids :)

  1. What do you think about the proposal (supported by a Moderator at the Beer, Wine and Spirits site), to merge these two sites?

I personally think that brewing is a separate area to general discussion of alcohol, in the same way that discussing music theory and musicianship (Music SE is another of my favourites) is separate to discussing my favourite bands and songs. Anything around the general topic "creating my own beverages" seems like it should be Homebrew, anything outside that I would suggest belongs somewhere else. Sometimes sites split and become far too focused to the point of fragmentation, but you can go the other way too. But that is only my 2 cents, I would argue my point but not be upset if things went another way.

  1. 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?

Initially I had no comment but from a little further thought, I would suggest Homebrew is an area which fundamentally invites discourse. That might mean people are still using forums and so on more than sites like SE which have strict Q&A format. I'm not sure there is a "fix" - or that this implies something is wrong, even. A site can be quiet and still be useful.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

They facilitate the site. Wherever possible they are the oil that keeps things running smoothly. They shouldn't necessarily be very visible most of the time, except when needed. They shouldn't come trampling in crushing everything underfoot, but they need to be confident enough to act firmly and decisively when the situation demands it. They should seek to resolve issues by being peacemakers.

  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?

Leading on from previous, a moderator should set the example for how others should act. Polite comments, thoughtful answers. A badge is a reminder to the moderator as well.

  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?

I think the two are very different. A lot of rep simply says you've been around and active a long time, moderatorship is a responsibility that has explicitly been granted. Across SE I have loads of rep but I think authority given by the community is more meaningful.

thesquaregroot

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.

Questionnaire
  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?

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  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?

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.

  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?

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.

This election is over.