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2011 Moderator Election

nomination began
Jan 21, 2011 at 20:00
election began
Jan 28, 2011 at 20:00
election ended
Feb 5, 2011 at 20:00

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!

Good moderation means as little moderation as possible. Fortunately, is not haunted by trolls and spammers, so maybe we hardly need any moderators at all; vote for me if you want a mod that hardly ever intervenes. That said, I wouldn't hesidate to use my mod powers if necessary. References: I've been TheDailyWTF moderator and also forum administrator for a long time.

I'm a Delphi programmer from the midwest with a positive attitude! My moderation philosophy would be to give curious question askers the benefit of the doubt when asking questions. I belive Ryan Hayes motto, edit before close, to be an excellent one. By no means would I seek to make the website a free for all, but I would apply the most liberal possible interpretation to the FAQ, while remaining a "strict constructionist" when it comes to the purpose and vision of the website.

I've moderated our company's phpBB3 forum for the past two years (It was a bit hands off, since I deal mostly with friendly nurses). But it taught me two good lessons.

  1. Be prompt.
  2. Be thoughtful.

And that's how I'd moderate.

I disagree with most of the intention by the 'powers that be' to drive away subjective, argumentative yet interesting questions. I believe that real questions don't always have answers and that sometimes the best thing we can do is form a list and pick the most appealing answer.

I would only close obvious trolling and spam. Flame bait is good business in my book. For the first time in my life, on this website I was referred to as an spammer, an troller and an anarchist. As a moderator (and in general), I would never condescend to use those terms on someone I thought to be human.

I have been using StackOverflow since it was in beta (user #1765) and I've seen it evolve and devolve and revolve and I like it. I think it is a swell place, filled with awesome people.

The other thing that separates me from the other candidates, is that I am willing to stick my neck out on the line and ask questions. I've asked more questions than all the other candidates combined (sad to say, some have been closed and deleted).

So, in closing.


I have an excellent pattern of voting behavior on Programmers and other sites. I am not worried about down-voting bad questions, or up-voting potentially good answers. I frequently vote for closing and deleting questions that don't fall into Programmers realm. I'm am willing to show support for questions I feel should be allowed in but have been closed in haste or deleted without respect to other potential opinions.


I try to provide detailed and informative answers that fit the subjective nature of Programmers. By far this is my favorite Q/A site to come out of the StackExchange model. I want to see it continue to grow, but make sure that blatantly bad material is removed swiftly. I have run out of flags and votes on more then a few occasions.

I am fairly active on SuperUser and StackOverflow. While I am a member of quite a few .SE sites I only contribute when I know it is beneficial to the community, not simply to gain rep. I'm fully vested in the development of the community as a whole, not only one site.

I'm one of five seven (not counting Community) users to have the Strunk & White badge for editing 100 entries. I am a fanatic and have consecutively visited this site every day since joining. Now I'm not entirely sure that's a good thing, so take that at face value.


Everything in moderation, including moderation

We need active members to quietly step in when something is out of hand. Not when things are in a grey area and can be handled by the standard body of moderation (3k+ users, that's you). As one of 7 10k+ users I have access to the normal set of moderation tools, which I have used effectively to review recent edits, respond to flags, and close or reopen questions.

I have been very active on Programmers.SE very nearly since it first went public. I've watched the site grow, evolve, and become more focused.

I have an excellent track record of answers (most with score above zero and none below zero at the time of me writing this). I strive to provide meaningful answers even to questions that encourage one-liners. This proves my dedication to participating on this site and making it a better place for questions and answers on general software development topics.

I have been backseat modding for the last few weeks, greeting new participants and helping improve or close questions as needed. I'm not afraid to upvote or downvote when deserved and to engage in constructive discussions in comments. I've been ramping up my participation on the meta site, both here and on SO itself. I monitor the tools available to me daily and check the site even when I don't have a lot of time to spend on contributing new answers.

If elected, my goals as a moderator would be to uphold and further evolve the standards and direction of the site by continuing to monitor questions, direct new users to existing FAQs and resources, and step in where needed while still letting the community do the bulk of sorting itself out.

In my mind moderation is best done in moderation, and I look forward to serving this community to the best of my ability.

Mine is a pretty simple pitch:

I'm not the highest-rep nominee here by far. I'm not the type to pounce every question that comes along. I tend toward carefully-worded attention to the few questions where I have something unique to offer, and the occasional quick one-off. I'm pretty liberal with giving praise (upvotes) and always comment on downvotes to help nudge my fellow community members into good habits.

I'm a pretty hands-off type of mod. Acting as an interim mod for writers.SE, I think I've done a good job of letting the community moderate itself. I've only needed to drop the mod-hammer on obvious spam, and that's as it should be.

I'm active on a few Stack sites, and in several open-source projects. Community-building is one of my specialties. I love programmers.SE because it provides opportunities to mentor newer coders, and exchange ideas with my peers and those more experienced than I. I like the way that SE sites are largely self-moderating, and I see the moderator's role as more of a community engineering position than a traffic cop.

I'm putting myself forward for moderator simply because I believe I can help the community realize its potential.

Creating something successful takes work, and anyone who tells you that StackOverflow (the software) could be recreated in a weekend is quite simply mistaken. The care that went into designing and building the system is directly correlated with the strength of the resource that SO, and now StackExchange, has become. Similarly, the vision that the creators of the site have is also key to this success.

By the nature of the site, as questions are answered and the resource is built, so is a community. The better the harmony between the vision and the community, the more the site will thrive.

Moderators will not be responsible for creating a vision that the intended audience will be receptive to. Joel, Jeff and company and their feedback loop with the community ( are responsible for this. Initiatives to improve understanding such as Real Questions Have Answers show this in action and are important steps in this process.

However, moderators do have the admittedly difficult job of keeping the community in line with the vision. The better a moderator is at his or her job, the higher chance that this will be a learning experience for the users, rather than a discipline experience.

To that end, I'm not an "inclusionist", or a "deletionist", or any other kind of -ist regarding questions and answers. I simply believe that the power to delete, close, etc. needs to be wielded carefully.

  • There should be no "us vs. them" feeling.
  • Rules should be applied consistently, but the message will need to adapt to the user and the circumstances.
  • Salvaging questions through encouraging edits is a win for the user and a win for the long-term community. Borrowing a phrase from a user on SO, closing or deleting questions is a lose-meh.
  • We're all learning. Where the rules/guidelines are gray, ask questions and help the user investigate, before acting.

While I believe I understand the purpose of the site well, I know my understanding is not perfect. That's partly due to a changing environment—subjective questions are new to StackExchange and there are bound to be some adjustments and rethinking along the way. I'm willing and able to adapt to that.

I believe in the SE system and its ability to make the Internet better. As a member of the site I strive to help it reach that goal. The potential is there, and as Mark Trapp said, it will take some navigators to help it achieve that. I believe that moderators can help the community become navigators as well, and with that harmony, we have the best chance of succeeding.

A moderator needs to be active in the community, fair, and welcoming. I have worked at a Red Hat subsidiary, my main development computer is a Mac, and I'm a Microsoft MVP. I not only say that my views are objective, I prove it, and have a strong history of it. That impartiality and objectiveness is evident in my activity with the current moderator tools and comments and votes, which are vital to an effective moderator.

I have been active since the Programmers.SE inception, and continue to be daily. If I am elected as moderator, I promise to make and keep no promises, except to continue being fair, and welcoming of newcomers as I have been in the past. I give honest, constructive feedback and work to correct bad questions and answers without being disrespectful to the user. In the end, that will grow the community more than downvotes and "You're wrong. Period." comments. I believe in correcting the user by helping them revise bad answers and questions (if possible), so that they can become better members of the community, as opposed to removing questions near instantly and never learning from it. I want to see this site grow and to continue to be a great place to find answers and a community who rewards constructive feedback, participation, and growth as an individual member. If I am elected, I will work to make that so.

In summary, I stand for:

  • Closing as a last resort for uncooperative users (it happens).
  • Using the moderator tools to quickly find and asses trouble content, and working WITH the community to make Programmers.SE a better place.
  • Fairness, respect, and an understanding that every new user to the site has the potential to one day be one of the top users or moderators this community has ever seen. Due to this, my focus is on helping users understand how their questions and answers relate to the rules set by the community of this site, and how they can be a better member.
  • A focus on firm moderation for repeat offenders and a last resort. We all wish we didn't NEED moderators at all, but moderation is required in certain circumstances.

After some thought I've decided to put myself forward for election to full time moderator.

You can see from my profile that I've been active on Programmers' since the site launched and from my Area 51 profile before that too.

I was appointed moderator pro-tem back in September 2010 and have tried to make sure that the site follows it's rules and keeps on track. It would great if I didn't have to do anything and I could let the community decide everything, but at the moment that's not possible. There aren't enough 3K+ and 10K+ users, but if we keep the site on topic there will be a time when the moderators can take more of a back seat. However, even if there were there would still be those questions that need closing straight away and those non-answers that need deleting.

I've been involved with the Stack Exchange for two years, firstly on Stack Overflow and then on Super User and Meta Stack Overflow so I know how the system works and how its evolved. I also know that for a site to work it has to be well focused and clear about what is and isn't allowed. I saw Super User progressively tighten it's rules until it evolved into a site that probably has the clearest goals in the network. You need someone who's prepared to take the tough decisions about the borderline questions in order to achieve this.

Being involved in MSO means that I'm aware of what's going on in the rest of the Stack Exchange network and I can ensure that our site's voice is heard when decisions are being taken that directly affect us and the quality of our site.

Being a moderator isn't about being popular - it's about knowing when to step back and let the community decide what to do and knowing when to step in and take the lead. I hope that I've demonstrated that I can do that over the last 5 months.

I believe a moderator should exercise their power very carefully. This is a community site and as such, it's governed by the community. We have plenty of tools to allow community members to self-moderate and only occasionally is the need of an actual moderator required. I think I would rarely - if ever - use my power as a moderator to interfere with the community unless such interaction was clearly needed.

In particular, things like off-topic questions, nonconstructive questions and so on can all be community-moderated. There would be no need for me to step in, unless serious disagreement broke out - and that's exactly what I would do.

This election is over.