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This thread is opened for questions addressed to (all) the candidates in the January 2012 moderator election.

If questions are kept simple enough they can be answered fully in the comments, and doing so would reduce the tendency for pre-election voting on the candidates rather than their comments. This thread is NOT meant as a candidates' debate or a pre-election poll but a way of eliciting candidates' views on matters relevant to the site that arise from their nomination statements or discussions prior to the election process.

Naturally, candidates (and non-candidates) are as free to contribute or not as in all other threads on this site, no candidate is obligated to spend time answering any question, and (in my opinion) not answering should not count against any candidate. The opportunity to clarify views of moderators and users about site management would be of value even if the number of candidates is no larger than the number of moderator positions.

  • See last year's list of questions: meta.serverfault.com/questions/1108/… – Starfish Jan 11 '12 at 14:36
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    Why is this being downvoted and closed? It was valid last year. – MDMarra Jan 11 '12 at 16:35
  • Looking over last year's question, I don't think it worked too well. Questions were asked as answers to the overall question, then answers from each candidate were edited into each of those. It's just a bit much to wade through. I'd vote to re-close, except I can't. – Ward Jan 11 '12 at 21:54
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    The more I think on it the more I'm agreeing with Iain & Ward: the all-in-one-place aspect is nice, but answering in comments is somewhat limiting and edit collisions might cause problems trying to answer in blockquotes on the original post. I've added the per-year election tags to everything - & I think what we came up with in chat this afternoon (tagging candidate questions with election, election-2012, discussion & election-candidate-question) is probably a cleaner solution. – voretaq7 Jan 12 '12 at 5:23
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I find coaching and mentoring to be an important part of being an IT professional. As Robert Heinlein said, "When one teaches, two learn."

If elected as a moderator, how will you help to coach and mentor others to be better members of Server Fault and to develop the skills necessary to one day become moderators themselves? If you don't plan on mentoring and just want to spend your time executing administrative tasks, that's fine too. Just say so.

  • I can't find the reference now but I don't think mod positions are time limited to one year. – Iain Jan 11 '12 at 9:24
  • Thanks to whoever downvoted this "question" it neatly demonstrates one of the problems of treating Q&A as a forum. Now that this "question" and my answer are equally voted they are just as likely to be first in the list and appear out of order. – Iain Jan 11 '12 at 10:34
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    Server Fault isn't really designed to facilitate mentoring in the traditional sense. The Q&A paradigm, coupled with the character limit on comments, makes it very difficult to get "in-depth" with users. That said, I'd do the same thing that I do now when I see someone needing a push in the right direction: I point them to the appropriate section of the faq, give them a sentence or two about why something is or isn't appropriate, and then encourage them to open a question on meta if they need further clarification. If they still have problems, I ask them to hop into chat for even more info. – MDMarra Jan 11 '12 at 15:22
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    There are actually two questions going on here: One is mentoring the SF community, the other is mentoring the sysadmin community at large. Regarding the latter, I would say SF is really an exercise in the sysadmin community "mentoring" itself: Anyone who participates actively on the site will learn things that may be useful in their job at some point. I intend to stay active in answering questions to continue to contribute to that. // Re: mentoring the SF community, corrective comments, chat & the occasional pointer to the FAQ are the tools I've used in the past - I expect that to continue. – voretaq7 Jan 12 '12 at 5:19
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Stackexchange is for Q&A and as such 'threads/discussions' don't really fit - lots of editing is required to make them sane. What you are proposing here should really be a set of questions each dedicated to it's own topic. There is my first lesson to everyone joining SF (or any SX site) we're not a forum don't treat it as such.

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    Disagree. This format has worked on other elections, including our own last year (I closed the previous one earlier today because it's no longer relevant, but it was totally relevant and useful at the time). – Mark Henderson Jan 11 '12 at 10:47
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    We have a great Q&A system at our disposal. I don't see why we shouldn't use it in the way that it was intended. – Iain Jan 11 '12 at 10:58
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    Iain, we shouldn't use it for two reasons. 1. Using a single question like we did last year keeps everything in one place and makes it easy to find and participate. 2. Separate Q&A will allow users to vote on answers which is not what these questions are for. It could create a hostile environment where one answer is deemed better than the others. This isn't a vote but an expression of opinions. It's a chance for candidates to elaborate on their positions and address concerns from other members. There are no right or wrong answers. No answer should be voted as better or worse than another. – Starfish Jan 11 '12 at 14:54
  • Generally I agree with the "We're not a forum" viewpoint, but for the elections I think the format we used last year has a lot of value for the reasons Starfish pointed out: I'd rather be able to see all the questions and answers on one page rather than having to search for the election (or election-yyyy) tag and dig through. Also as a candidate it's easier to watch one Meta post for questions than scan through the Meta feed :-) – voretaq7 Jan 11 '12 at 21:47

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