In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. Questions collected from an earlier thread have been compiled into this one, which shall now serve as the space for the candidates to provide their answers.

Due to the submission count, we have selected all provided questions as well as our back up questions for a total of 9 questions.

As a candidate, your job is simple - post an answer to this question, citing each of the questions and then post your answer to each question given in that same answer. For your convenience, I will include all of the questions in quote format with a break in between each, suitable for you to insert your answers. Just copy the whole thing after the first set of three dashes.Please consider putting your name at the top of your post so that readers will know who you are before they finish reading everything you have written, and also including a link to your answer on your nomination post.

Once all the answers have been compiled, this will serve as a transcript for voters to view the thoughts of their candidates, and will be appropriately linked in the Election page.

Good luck to all of the candidates!

Oh, and when you've completed your answer, please provide a link to it after this blurb here, before that set of three dashes. Please leave the list of links in the order of submission.

To save scrolling here are links to the submissions from each candidate (in order of submission):

Ward's answers to the questionnaire

Yagmoth555’s answers to the questionnaire


  1. Do you feel there are any issues with the relative amount and types of participation on ServerFault of long-term, high-rep users compared to newer, lower-rep users? If so, what would you try to do as a moderator to address these issues?

  2. What time zone are you in? If different, what time zones do you think you will be able to be active in for the purposes of moderation? (HBrujin will be stepping down as a moderator after this election, which leaves Sven as the only coverage during active CET hours)

  3. Moderators see the review-queues a little differently. How do you see yourself handling answers from a new user that could be great with a little clarification, yet has earned at least one not an answer flag?

  4. What do you believe a moderators role is, in cultivating good content for the site? With the decline in both new content and votes, do you believe as a moderator this should affect your behavior?

  5. 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?

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

  7. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

  8. 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?

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

Ward's responses to the moderator candidate questions:

  1. Do you feel there are any issues with the relative amount and types of participation on ServerFault of long-term, high-rep users compared to newer, lower-rep users? If so, what would you try to do as a moderator to address these issues?

I think it's unfortunate that many long-term, high-rep users have largely stopped participating on ServerFault, there are fewer highly experienced sysadmins posting excellent answers than there used to be. I don't think there's much that a single moderator can do to either bring back the users who left or to develop new high-rep users.

For example, I've tried a few times over the years to focus on voting for new users who were fairly active to see if that encouraged them to stick around, but I didn't see any sign of it working. I don't think a single person or a single moderator can do much to encourage people to stick around and become long-term users.

  1. What time zone are you in? If different, what time zones do you think you will be able to be active in for the purposes of moderation? (HBrujin will be stepping down as a moderator after this election, which leaves Sven as the only coverage during active CET hours)

As mentioned in my nomination, I'm in the Pacific (UTC-8) time zone, and tend to stay up late.

  1. Moderators see the review-queues a little differently. How do you see yourself handling answers from a new user that could be great with a little clarification, yet has earned at least one not an answer flag?

The ideal thing to have happen with an answer that could be improved by a bit of cleanup is for it to be edited, and moderators can do that as can many regular users. But the whole point of review queues is that it shouldn't be just moderators handling that sort of clean up, so I think most of those cases would be better dealt with by comments - suggesting what could make it a better answer.

  1. What do you believe a moderators role is, in cultivating good content for the site? With the decline in both new content and votes, do you believe as a moderator this should affect your behavior?

Although moderators have some tools for eliminating bad content, I don't think they should be soley responsible for it; regular users need to be involved as well. When it comes to encouraging good content, I think moderators should lead by example to some extent (e.g. by editing and leaving constructive comments), but they can't be expected to do all the editing and commenting.

  1. 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?

I think the usual tool for dealing with this - a temporary ban - is the right way to go. Explain to the user what the problem is and use the banning system to give them a chance to cool off.

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

In order, I would: talk to that mod and try to come to an understanding, discuss it with other SF mods, and finally bring it up in the mod-only discussion room if necessary. Somewhere along that path, I'm sure there'd be an understanding of how it should/shouldn't have been dealt with.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

I think moderators should mostly deal with the bigger problems: with accounts that are spamming, with voting irregularities, with comments getting out of hand, etc. I think the second special thing about moderators is that because their words carry somewhat more weight, they shouuld try to maintain a desirable "tone" for the site - leaving good comments, etc.

  1. 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?

I'm comfortable with everything I've posted on SF, on meta.SF, on other SE sites, on Chat... I don't think there's anything that would look bad with a diamond after it, and at this point in ServerFault's life cycle it's unlikely that anyone is going to find much that's interesting in any 7 or 8 year old post or comment.

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

Moderators have a few tools that even a high-rep user doesn't: unilateral close or open voting, comment cleanup, banning... Those could all be used to greater effectiveness.

  • 3
    I think you are right about #1. A moderator's valuable improvement is dealing with people that have low quality questions/answers/comments (and churls). IMO a more effective approach would be an outreach program to cultivate participation from vendors, members of open source projects, and technology authors, but SE should be doing that. At the end of the day, I wouldn't worry too much. This forum is a reflection of the IT admin/engineer community, and a fairly accurate one. It's also way better than any other forum of this type. Good luck on the election! – Greg Askew Sep 23 at 16:01
  1. Do you feel there are any issues with the relative amount and types of participation on ServerFault of long-term, high-rep users compared to newer, lower-rep users? If so, what would you try to do as a moderator to address these issues?

It's a complex issue. SF is almost over 10 years old and I consider myself in the new generation.

The answer there describe the feeling, and the meta post there to give only some exemples

I don't know if a single moderator can help, but leading by example would be my way to try to attract good new contributors, to show patience with the newcomer, while trying to show them the site usage.

To gain new contributor I really think it's a community effort, not just by the moderator. A example I did last year; To get the community more know as I went to a MVP's conference that talked about online contribution, as such I asked MSE to have promo gear and they sent me a lot of stickers to give. It was really nice.

  1. What time zone are you in? If different, what time zones do you think you will be able to be active in for the purposes of moderation? (HBrujin will be stepping down as a moderator after this election, which leaves Sven as the only coverage during active CET hours)

I'am in the EST timezone, but when I'am active the morning I often see Sven's action, as such I think I could help in the coverage, but of course I understand I'am not in the timezone target.

  1. Moderators see the review-queues a little differently. How do you see yourself handling answers from a new user that could be great with a little clarification, yet has earned at least one not an answer flag?

I would comment to ask for clarification, but as I'am not a expert in all subjects I would not clear the NAA flag too fast, especially if it was cast by a knowledgeable member in the topic.

  1. What do you believe a moderators role is, in cultivating good content for the site? With the decline in both new content and votes, do you believe as a moderator this should affect your behavior?

Yes, as for that purpose I think the moderator can help to salvage the bad content to leave place for the good's content.

  1. 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?

I would talk with other moderators to see if any action was done in the past. If the user is active on another stackexchange's site I would ask the other moderators team too. Usually talking with the user would be my first step there, some warning after, and a temporary suspension would be my last step. The new be nice policy might affect the course of action there.

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

I would simply talk the issue with the moderator in question.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

They are the site janitor and savior at the same time.

  1. 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?

I see no problem there. I will try my best to use a correct english, as english is not my main language.

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

Effective ? yes for the review's queue. The other task a moderator can do cant be quantified against 10|20k tool in my opinion.

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