7
votes

Christianity Stack Exchange is scheduled for an election starting next week, January 16th. In connection with that election, we will be hosting a Q&A here for candidates. This will be an opportunity for members of the community to pose questions to the candidates on the topic of moderation. Participation is completely voluntary.

The purpose of this thread was to collect questions for the questionnaire. The questionnaire is now live, and you may find it here.

Here's how it'll work:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, January 16th at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 3:00 pm EST on the same day, give or take time to arrive for closure), this question will be open to collect potential questions from the users of the site. Post answers to this question containing any questions you would like to ask the candidates. Please only post one question per answer.

  • We, the Community Team, will be providing a small selection of generic questions. The first two will be guaranteed to be included, the latter ones are if the community doesn't supply enough questions. This will be done in a single post, unlike the prior instruction.

  • This is a perfect opportunity to voice questions that are specific to your community and issues that you are running into at current.

  • If your question contains a link, please use the syntax of [text](link), as that will make it easier for transcribing for the finished questionnaire.

  • At the end of the collection phase, the Community Team will select up to 8 of the top voted questions submitted by the community provided in this thread, to use in addition to the aforementioned 2 guaranteed questions. We reserve some editorial control in the selection of the questions and may opt not to select a question that is tangential or irrelevant to moderation or the election. That said, if I have concerns about any questions in this fashion, I will be sure to point this out in comments before the decision making time.

  • Once questions have been selected, a new question will be opened to host the actual questionnaire for the candidates, containing (up to) 10 questions in total.

  • This is not the only option that users have for gathering information on candidates. As a community, you are still free to, for example, hold a live chat session with your candidates to ask further questions, or perhaps clarifications from what is provided in the Q&A.


If you have any questions or feedback about this process, feel free to post as a comment here.

locked by Caleb Jan 17 '17 at 5:51

This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here. This question and its answers are frozen and cannot be changed. See the help center for guidance on writing a good question.

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13 Answers 13

9
votes

How, specifically, would you go about creating and maintaining an atmosphere at Christianity.SE in which new users of the site, who don't know the site's rules and culture, feel welcomed to participate in the site while they are learning and navigating its rather complex rules and culture? How would you make it more likely that new users will become regular users?

  • Just a little nudge: Please consider running for the Moderator position. Generally your answers and comments are fair and to the point. – Ken Graham Jan 16 '17 at 23:31
  • @KenGraham I very much appreciate your kind words and your vote of confidence. However, I don't feel ready to serve as a mod here at this time. – Lee Woofenden Jan 17 '17 at 1:06
8
votes

Given the intensely personal nature of religious beliefs many visitors to this site have a hard time separating theological positions from the way the site functions and is moderated. As a moderator a diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers, comments, and chat messages. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How concerned are you that you may have or will say things that don't reflect the tone and tenor expected of a moderator? Do you think you've set a pattern to date of showing understanding towards others' views even when you disagree?

  • @JamesOlson The other iteration of this isn't fixed, it will only be used if there aren't enough other questions. If you think this isn't worded well fell free to propose alternatives. – Caleb Jan 10 '17 at 16:05
  • the "that you have...tone and tenor" is good. ;-) – James Olson Jan 10 '17 at 16:13
7
votes

How do you understand this site's relationship with our sister site Biblical Hermeneutics?

  • 2
    I think the edits to the other question mentioning exegesis show it is notably different from this one and have withdrawn my comment. – Caleb Jan 12 '17 at 6:03
  • My understanding is that the biggest reason for a moderator to have a good understanding of the relationship is in the case of question migrations. Are there other major reasons? – Mr. Bultitude Jan 15 '17 at 19:50
  • @Mr.Bultitude yeah that's right. – curiousdannii Jan 16 '17 at 0:25
7
votes

How do you distinguish between a bad/incorrect answer that merits downvotes, and a post that is "not an answer" and ought to be deleted? For example, consider answers to questions that a) have denomination/tradition scoping, b) request an overview/biblical basis, or c) ask for sources.

7
votes

For many types of questions, the community has established relatively clear guidance on when to close and when to leave open. But not all question types have such guidance, so I'd like to know how you'd handle one in particular, to get an idea of your general approach.

What would you personally do about exegesis questions that don't specify which tradition's view is desired? Comment, close, delete, what?

  • Is this currently a sticking point in the community? – 3961 Jan 11 '17 at 15:53
  • I've noticed some disagreement on this in people's close votes, and not much came of my meta question on the subject: meta.christianity.stackexchange.com/q/6075/21576 – Nathaniel Jan 11 '17 at 15:58
  • I think exegesis questions are case by case. I think a hard line rule on this would not be beneficial ultimately. I guess I should post on that meta question. – 3961 Jan 11 '17 at 16:34
  • 1
    I agree with @fredsbend that exegesis questions are probably better off staying the way they are: to be decided on a case by case basis. Some seem to work, some clearly never would. The difference isn't identifiable by any formula we've come up with yet and involves domain knowledge and experience with how people handle various topics — hence this question is important because moderators in particular will need to have some feel for this in order to handle the inevitable edge cases without too undo strife. – Caleb Jan 11 '17 at 17:30
  • 3
    @Caleb Exactly. Here I'm less interested in what we should do about exegesis questions and more interested in how potential moderators will handle situations where there isn't clear guidance from the community. – Nathaniel Jan 11 '17 at 17:33
  • @Nathaniel I think you should ask that then. Exegesis questions can be offered as an example. – 3961 Jan 11 '17 at 20:29
  • @fredsbend Updated with this context. – Nathaniel Jan 11 '17 at 21:36
  • The edits really distinguish this from the question about our sister site's scope, I retracted my comment about combining them. – Caleb Jan 12 '17 at 6:01
6
votes

How has your meta site participation to date been beneficial? Have you worked toward community actions that did good? Have you demonstrated leadership (e.g. made a post now tagged faq, suggested a now conventional policy, etc.)?

  • 2
    Being able to articulate something on meta in a way that the community gets behind and ends up becoming guidelines is definitely a great indicator of who should be moderating the site. In our case quite a number of non-mods have done this (and certainly non-mods can continue to contribute in this way) but having a mod who hasn't/can't do this wouldn't be nearly as good as one that has/can. I think this is an issue voters should be looking into for each candidate, and having them say something about it in the questionnaire would be helpful to get the ball rolling. – Caleb Jan 11 '17 at 14:17
  • Users that haven't been around since near the beginning of the site will naturally have less opportunity for defining site guidelines, so that aspect doesn't concern me as much. But examples (especially recent ones) demonstrating the ability to apply guidelines to specific cases and gain community support for those explanations is crucial. – Nathaniel Jan 11 '17 at 16:02
  • 1
    @Nathaniel I would certainly call any well received meta post a good example. – 3961 Jan 11 '17 at 16:05
5
votes

How will being a moderator affect your close votes? A moderator's close vote holds immediate power; your close vote immediately closes the question. Some suggest no difference in close voting behavior while others suggest that a light touch is necessary to keep the community engaged. Do you favor one of these theories or something else?

5
votes

What, if anything, threatens the continued success of this site? How will you work to remedy/prevent that?

3
votes

Split out from Grace Note's answer.

In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

3
votes

Is it appropriate for a moderator to make and voice assumptions about a poster's motives?

Example: Someone posts a comment or downvotes a question, and you assume that they did so because they didn't like the fact that the original post challenges their beliefs.

Is it acceptable for a moderator to assume that they understand the motive for a downvotes or a critique, and then comment about their assumption publicly?

  • Motives can sometimes be accurately assumed/determined by what and how something is written (ie. all caps, superfluous wording, chosen adjectives, etc.). Maybe add, "....that aren't necessarily evident by what they write"...or something to that affect. – James Olson Jan 10 '17 at 16:07
  • 4
    Feels like a strange question to me. Is there a personal history behind why you think this is important? – 3961 Jan 11 '17 at 3:57
  • 2
    @fredsbend This comes up pretty regularly as an issue between users that moderators get paged in to deal with. It would be rough if a moderator had proclivities toward this kind of problem themselves or other users saw it in them. – Caleb Jan 11 '17 at 5:37
  • 2
    @fredsbend Caleb pretty much nailed it. Plus, in a position of authority, it's critical to focus on the behavior, not the person. Anyone trained for management positions is taught that when trained on how to handle performance issues or how to write performance appraisals. Handling moderator tasks is very similar to management in the real world, and knowing how to address issues correctly is a core competency that a moderator should have. – David Stratton Jan 11 '17 at 12:12
  • 2
    So shorter answer, yes, there is history there. Based on flags handled regularly since I became a mod. – David Stratton Jan 11 '17 at 15:56
3
votes

Activity on the site can consist of asking or answering questions, participating in review queues, flagging problematic content, editing posts, commenting on posts to assist new users or refine content, and participating on meta. Whether you have previously spent your time on only one of these areas or your activity has been an eclectic mix, do you see your order of priority for these actions changing if you become a moderator? How so?

0
votes

Here is a set of general questions, gathered as very common questions asked every election. As mentioned in the instructions, the first two questions are guaranteed to show up in the Q&A, while the others are if there aren't enough questions (or, if you like one enough, you may split it off as a separate answer for review within the community's 8).

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

  • In your opinion, what do moderators do?
  • 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?
  • In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
  • @JamesOlson Please copy/paste it as a separate answer here so we can vote on it. My version is customized for the sort of issue I've encountered most as a mod on this site but if others vote up the concise generic version that's fine too. But you have to post it as an answer to get voting going on it. – Caleb Jan 10 '17 at 16:07
0
votes

How will your activity on the site change if you become a moderator? If you have been active on the site recently, how will your activities and focus shift?

If you have not been active recently, why not? Will you become more active, and why?

  • 4
    I'm not a huge fan of this question. I've seen it in a lot of SE elections and responses either come off sounding like empty campain promises or they just don't know what to expect to change. Either way I'm not sure it's helpful to have answered. Explaining how they feel about their own meta history is the most useful bit of this, but basically if they haven't been active on meta yet to date I'm not sure they should be interested in this position. In my view their past history on meta will be a better guide of what sort of moderator they will be than anything they can say during elections ;) – Caleb Jan 10 '17 at 12:59
  • Guys if you agree and don't want to see this on the final questionare don't upvote my comment, downvote the question! The whole point of this routine is to sort the list based on what we do/don't want to see via voting. Voting on meta isn't personal as I'm sure Nathaniel understands. – Caleb Jan 10 '17 at 16:02
  • 2
    Thanks Caleb, point taken. The question may not be helpful in as many cases as I thought. I envisioned responses from active users like less/same focus on contributing content, or less/same/more frequent use of review queues. But I can see how these could be mere election promises; history is indeed a strong indicator. I have no issues with down votes; I want the most useful questions for the community on top. – Nathaniel Jan 10 '17 at 16:32
  • 1
    I've put forward my own version of this, which hopefully is more explicit about the aspects of this that would be constructive and less emphatic about the aspects that lend themselves to facile campaign-speak. – Mr. Bultitude Jan 11 '17 at 3:17
  • @Mr.Bultitude Thanks; I like it. – Nathaniel Jan 11 '17 at 3:59
  • 1
    @caleb I up voted your comment because I like the last part. That's why I made the question about meta participation. – 3961 Jan 11 '17 at 15:50

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