It's the last week of September and the weather has finally started to simmer down from the blaze of summer in the concrete jungle I live in where east meets west. But that's not the only change in the air!
We've grown. A lot. The stats are lookin' up. Traffic is trending nicely. The amount of traffic we're collecting from people who have never been on the SE network before is way up.
This is a blessing for us, there are rumors of graduation and it means lots of fresh contributors. It's also a bane in that a higher number of our users have no idea how Stack Exchange works. We're seeing a lot more very low quality answers coming in. Some of these are just drive-bys that we just need to clean up, but others are potential quality contributors that just don't know the ropes.
Somewhat like the doctrine of election, we don't know at first who those are. The only thing to do with them is try to share what's going on. This means explaining the issues and pointing people in the right direction as they walk in the door.
Moderators can't do all this work. Already there is far more content flying through than any one person can reasonably read, understand and act on in a day. We simply do not and cannot read every post and comment that comes through. Even with four of us with different areas of interest, I know stuff is going by that never gets so much as opened by a moderator. Don't assume we're omnipresent!
A lot of you guys know the ropes. Commenting on answers explaining our community guidelines goes a long way to bringing people up to speed. There are a lot of you out there with the reputation to do a lot of moderator tasks as well. You can all flag and many of you can even handle some flags. Many more of you can VTC. Don't assume a moderator will come by and see something and take care of it. If you see something that needs attention, give it that attention. If it could use some further steps, also flag it.
Don't be shy of flagging. We're not going to act instantly on every one. We'll do our best to show good judgment. But if our attention isn't drawn to areas that need it, they will likely go ignored.