According to SE employees in this note and some comments on chat starting here, one thing we can do as a community is to suggest names of possible Pro Tem moderators during the beta phase (before real elections are held when the site goes live). To that effect I am launching this thread. Keep in mind that suggestions here are not binding; this is just a chance to give some input to the SE team for consideration.

I know some other sites have encouraged self-nominations, but my gut tells me* that nominations for other people would be more value. Promoting your traits and how you intend to moderate seems better saved for the real elections when the site goes live.

If you have names to add, please include one name per post and some reasons for including them. If you are that person and you want to decline, please comment.

* No scripture reference provided.

Edit: I found some official guidelines for nominations. Since apparently self-nominations are encouraged, use your own guts. There are also some other qualifications to consider so maybe read it through as you consider any nominations. See also A Theory of Moderation.

  • 5
    I'd +1 again for the "No scripture reference provided." bit if I could. :P Aug 26, 2011 at 20:21
  • 1
    Fixed for you: "for the real elections when the site goes live" Aug 26, 2011 at 23:16
  • Incidentally (regarding the scripture reference comment), the nearest thing to democracy in The Bible is The Choosing of the Seven (Acts 6:1-7). Aug 31, 2011 at 12:49

6 Answers 6


Pro Tem moderators have been announced.

Thanks for the suggestions folks, and see you all when we hold live elections!


I would like to nominate waxeagle based on his participation in chat, sound if not prolific participation, and proven mod experience. (C. Ross).

Additional points edited in by Caleb:

  • Extensive participation on meta and even more on comments to questions an answers.
  • Curtious comments across the board, and an emphasis on helping people improve the quality of their posts rather than being contentions.
  • Previous involvement as a Moderator (On Gardening.SE)
  • Multiple cases in chat (example) show he understands what the Moderation is about

I'll nominate Caleb. I don't know him previously, but I recall seeing his posts on Unix.SE (where I'm not active at all, just googling at times). After the first four days of the private beta I have the following good things to say about him:

  1. He has been one of the most active users in meta (if not the most active)
  2. He is (IMO) the most insightful writer in meta
    • Has realistic ideas of what this site really is about
    • Skillful at explaining things and convincing others of his insights
      • As of writing, has only one downvote on meta, in 20 posts (excluding this Pro-Tem Mod thread)
      • Was one (among many) that convinced me that we can't limit who we consider Christian
    • Seems to be a natural leader who sincerely cares of this community
  3. Has also been active on main
  4. Has a good track record on Unix.SE; from the little stalking I did seems friendly and active, definitely a valuable member of that community.
  5. Is a church elder IRL
  6. All in all, seems a friendly, nice chap; I think Caleb shows Christian love in his actions.

If I have made any errors here, please edit (it's a community wiki after all).

  • Thanks for the honor and sight-unseen vote of confidence. I have some reservations that I would need work through before accepting such a responsibility, but I will at least consider it if approached by SE.
    – Caleb
    Aug 27, 2011 at 17:10
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    On a lighter note, I had the perverse thought that since I opened this thread I'm the one with the power-of-the-green-checkbox, I could just tick my own nomination off as the canonical correct answer. Are you sure you want me roaming around with a big stick when my first instinct is such a clear proof of total depravity?
    – Caleb
    Aug 27, 2011 at 17:13
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    Resisting temptation is a valuable trait in a moderator... Temptation is pretty much the only perk.
    – Shog9
    Aug 27, 2011 at 20:18
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    @Caleb But you haven't checked it. Yet. :)
    – a_hardin
    Aug 29, 2011 at 18:03
  • @a_hardin: That excuse would hardly fly in light of Matthew 5:28
    – Caleb
    Aug 29, 2011 at 18:16

I would like to add Richard (meta) to the list of suggestions.

  • His litany of questions to get the beta rolling (and answers) show an interest in many different POV's as well as a broad range of subject matter apearing on the site.
  • His comments seem to be respectfully worded even when he disagrees, and accepts/fixes mistakes. He has fixed voth factual and viewpoint reprensentation issues in his own answers.
  • I've seen a number of tag and post edits focused on cleaning house and improving quality.
  • 6 upvotes/0 downvotes (as of writing) on a question about Jesus and Hell shows that he is able to approach a dispute from a couple angles. Another example. Again for when giving practical advice.
  • He is one of the highest rep users but since he often comes in with late answers it doesn't look to me like he's in this for the rep race and that his numbers are a genuine indication of having some respect around here.
  • Several blunders in questions, working and answer styles have been addressed and he's helped set a precident for good style since. Learners make the best leaders and I hope his experiences learning SE culture also cut him out for learning good moderation techniques.
  • His only downvote on meta came from me.

One concern would be that he appears to be fairly new to the SE network with this private beta being his primary contribution. However it seems he has jumped in with both feet and figured out the ropes pretty quickly. I don't see any conflicts between his participation and the way SE sites are designed to work. His StackOverflow account also tells an interesting tale. He has a long list of zero vote answers, but in reviewing them it looks like he has waded into a long tail of unanswered or niche questions and found answers that nobody else cared to give. They appear to be quality, to the point answers and valuable contributions to fill in the holes.

Full disclosure: Nothing to report, I have no knowledge of this individual beyond participation here. While we seem to have generally similar views I also see several significant issues that I hold different views on. However his composure on the site makes me think he will be easy to work with and that many people can answer and discuss along side him. If he has that ability himself I would hope to see him as a moderator helping others do the same.

  • 1
    Thank you so much for the nomination. Your comments are very generous. This isn't my first SE experience, though. I am also part of dba.se (account), although I'm not a moderator there or anything.
    – Richard
    Sep 6, 2011 at 17:54
  • @Richard: I somehow honestly missed that in my research. I was going through a lot of material, my apologies. It looks like you have more time in SE than I was figuring when I decided to suggest you!
    – Caleb
    Sep 6, 2011 at 20:29

I would like to suggest Peter Turner for consideration by the SE staff.

  • He is active on Meta and seems concerned about the direction of the site but not in dictatorial way.
  • He comes from a very different tradition than I do but I have been impressed by the discretion he has shown in both his questions and answers.
  • His personal POV seems to be well defined but he has also stated a specific purpose of learning about other traditions which seems consistent with the scope of this site.
  • He does not seem to be contentious and is able to express his views without offending others.
  • He has been vocal in meta about the need for respectful interaction in order for the site to succeed and demonstrated the same in his own posts.
  • He seems to be reasonably knowledgeable / experienced in the subject matter.
  • He seems to have survived on Programmers.SE. That must count for something.

Full disclosure: There is nothing to disclose. I've never heard of the guy except from the context of his activities here on Christianity.SE. These are purely based on his activity having caught my eye in the few days watching the private beta.

  • 4
    P.S. I just looked at his profile and noticed he is/was a Delphi programmer. <shudders> Can I withdraw my nomination?
    – Caleb
    Aug 26, 2011 at 20:23
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    Yes, I am a Delphi programmer. So are Jim McKeeth and Mason Wheeler (they're the elders though [answered all my questions on programmer.SE and stackoverflow]). Thanks for the nomination BTW, it means a lot to me since I do come from a different background! I really can't 'up' my participation on this site though, it's kind of a big source of distraction for me during work hours!
    – Peter Turner Mod
    Aug 26, 2011 at 20:28
  • @PeterTurner: I've never been a Pro-Tem-Mod myself, so maybe you should chat with somebody who has (or if the SE staff approaches you on this). I know some mods on other sites don't actually participate that much as far as their own content contributions, but the important thing is that they are around regularly to handle the moderator tasks that come in. Some of them say this doesn't take too much time, others say it's a lot so it might depend on the site.
    – Caleb
    Aug 26, 2011 at 20:34
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    Why so many downvotes here? I really hope no one's been dinging him "because he's Catholic and I'm not"...
    – Mason Wheeler Mod
    Aug 28, 2011 at 1:29
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    @Peter: As a Delphi programmer and a Christian are we destined to be hated forever. Aug 28, 2011 at 1:48
  • Was your comment about time commitment a refusal? Do we have to beg? Say please? Promise to say so many Hail Marrys before bed?
    – Caleb
    Aug 29, 2011 at 13:35
  • 4
    No, I'll do it if they ask me to. I just hope there are at least 2 other mods to help out. I don't think I'm going to get asked though, I kind of have anti-establishment tendencies concerning StackExchange incorporated. I've been booted from Software Engineering twice.
    – Peter Turner Mod
    Aug 29, 2011 at 14:47

I would like to nominate Mason Wheeler.

  • Very active on the main site and very knowledgeable.
  • Represents a fairly neutral viewpoint rather well.
  • Behavior and interaction with other people is quite reasonable and helpful.

All in all, I think Mason would be a good mod because he knows his stuff and acts in a pretty calm way.

  • 1
    Mason has so far received five down votes. If it was me, I would like to know why. For example, Is it that his conduct does not fit a moderator or is his theology the issue? (I don't have an opinion one way or the other, btw.) Aug 27, 2011 at 17:22
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    @WikisAtArea51: We may never know since voting is a private thing. Theology could be it -- particularly because a review of his posts shows he typically does not identify his POV, but there are much less sinister possibilities. For example if you review the qualifications SE sets out one of them is meta participation and Mason has 0 meta participation. Personally I tend to agree with his theology as far as I see in his answers and think his comments have been reasonable and helpful, but I don't see significant evidence that he is inclined towards the tasks a moderator would have to perform.
    – Caleb
    Aug 27, 2011 at 18:36
  • @Caleb - thx for the reply. My post was mentioned that I think people should, as a rule, explain their down votes. Aug 27, 2011 at 19:18
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    @Wikis: in this specific instance (or rather, for the purposes of this thread), I don't see any good reason for that. If you have a problem with one of the nominees' conduct or theology, take him aside quietly and chide him for it - this is neither the time nor place for such criticism. If it's something detrimental to the site itself, either a separate, public Meta post or private moderator flag would be more appropriate. And if it's simply (as Caleb suspects) a general feeling that a candidate does not demonstrate sufficient interest or aptitude for the task, no explanation is necessary.
    – Shog9
    Aug 27, 2011 at 20:17
  • @Shog9 no, I have no problem with anyone's conduct. My point is simply that, if it were me, I would like to know why, and that's my request (my implementation of the Golden Rule). If no one wants to do that, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. Aug 27, 2011 at 20:51
  • @WikisAtArea51 I think Shog9 hit the possibilities pretty well. Just one note that the golden rule is pretty subjective and is not "do unto others as they would want to be done unto". For example I'm pretty sure that if my nomination suffers a chain of down votes I would just assume NOT know why. If somebody has something I can constructively learn from then fine, if not then ignorance is bliss :)
    – Caleb
    Aug 27, 2011 at 21:21
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    Just ran into this. Yeah, it's true, I haven't been too active on Meta. I prefer to concentrate on actual matters of doctrine. But if the members of this community would like me to serve as a moderator, I'll accept, and do my best to do so in the spirit of neutrality, reasonableness and helpfulness that El'endia cited as reasons to nominate me.
    – Mason Wheeler Mod
    Aug 28, 2011 at 0:59
  • @Caleb: One thing in response to your comment specifically. You're the only person I've seen calling for everyone to explicitly identify their viewpoints. I personally see this as counterproductive. I'd prefer to have what each of us write stand on its own, instead of possibly being seen through a filter of "well this looks OK, I guess, but I really don't like his church so maybe there's something wrong with it." Please forgive me if I've read you wrong, but that is what I think of, especially when you openly accuse two major groups that self-identify as Christian of not being true Christians.
    – Mason Wheeler Mod
    Aug 28, 2011 at 2:30
  • @MasonWheeler: I would agree that I have been the most vocal advocate here, but I think it's a bit unfair to say I'm the only one calling for this when other people have started threads calling for people to state who they claim to represent and votes on various meta posts show that at least a few others support the notions I have forwarded. I will try to work up something more complete on the idea of identifying viewpoints and we'll see where it goes.
    – Caleb
    Aug 29, 2011 at 8:37
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    Obviously the down votes are because Mason Wheeler hasn't changed the default profile picture.
    – user23
    Aug 30, 2011 at 14:01
  • @JustinY: Hmm... interesting theory. A long time ago in a forum far, far away, (well, several actually,) I used an image of the Battlecruiser face from Starcraft, turned upside down, as my avatar. Do you think I'd get less downvotes if I used that here? ;)
    – Mason Wheeler Mod
    Aug 31, 2011 at 2:49
  • @JustinY Hehe. I'm actually using the default profile picture from Database Administrators. I "stole" it and made it my gravatar. I had other (actual) pictures there, but I thought they looked a bit funny.
    – Richard
    Aug 31, 2011 at 15:41

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