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10:49 PM
We'll get going in 10 minutes.
@RebeccaChernoff \o/
Glad to see a lot of people here!
Hi everyone (:
11:02 PM
Let's get started!
In case anyone is confused, I use my real name on Server Fault, which is Mark Henderson (I'm not sure why my real name hasn't translated into my chat username)
11:03 PM
Welcome to the Server Fault Town Hall Chat We're just here to get to know the candidates and discuss any questions people may have that might help with voting.
It looks like we've got all 7 candidates here too!
@Farseeker, @sysadmin1138, @RobertMoir, @Warner, @Ward, @Ben, and @Sam, right?
11:05 PM
I'm amazed scheduling worked out! Anyone have a question to get us started?
Have we all at least placed our own votes yet?
I did
I put up a system message, so hopefully we'll get some people drifting in.
I voted!
11:06 PM
I've voted
I've voted, but I feel I know most of the nominees already
I am waiting until after the town hall, haha.
Hopefully this can help others who are less sure
All done, it would be good if we could get a good turn out of people who are interested in how the site proceeds
Also I feel compelled to point out that you can move your votes until the election period closes.
11:07 PM
I do, how much time per day do the candidates think they'll spend modding?
@Chopper3 Good question
From the amount of flags I hear get raised, probabley a good few hours !
Nice question from the current-mod. At a guess 1-3 hours, though that would be interspersed with my regular SF time.
@Chopper3 - at the moment I tend to spend about 5-10 minutes an hour during work days, on the site as it is at the moment. I start work at 7.30am so I don't moderate before then, and I tend to pop on two or three times after work and before bed
I will be able to spend as much time as I spend on the site currently, which varies due to work demands. ServerFault is one of the main areas where I spend my free time, which typically includes checking at least 5-days a week. I would average about 5-7 hours a week. This time would be shared between moderation and answering questions.
11:08 PM
I don't honestly know what its like for SF but when I've done mod duties on other forums its always taken longer than people expect. I can imagine an hour a day easily depending on how many other mods are around
I usually pop by several times while I'm at work (probably half hour total throughout my work day) but several hours in the evenings
I tend to spend a good 1-3 hours a day on the site, during the evening and lunch breaks and then small intervals spaced throughout the work day when I need a break.
I already spend at least a half-hour a day on SF, mod'ing would make that go up. But it'd max out at about an hour a day, I already don't get enough sleep.
I suspect even those who are more zealous will eventually level out or otherwise burn out.
I don't know what it's like on SF but mod flags that get raised on webmasters.se (where I've a pro-term mod) I am one of the most active mods, most flags have been sitting around for 2-3 hours and I'm still the first one to act on them
11:10 PM
That's split reasonably equally between answering questions and cleanup/mod type work. I would expect that to skew more if I got the position.
@Farseeker - Are those flags always things that only mods can do?
I've also come to the conclusion that my answer-frequency will drop as a result. But then, seeing where I am on the chart I'm not worried.
Also how would people deal with the frequent spam posts?
(By the way, feel free to jump in if you've got a question...this is an open discussion.)
I have a second question. Candidates, what is your opinion on the new, still-under-development feature allowing all users to edit, even if they have 1 rep or are anonymous?
11:11 PM
@Moshe - no, actually most of them are stuff we can do nothing about. 2/3 are things that we can't do anything except leav ea comment (which the flagger should be doing anyway), and then there's usually account merges and whatnot
@RebeccaChernoff Thanks, I was wondering :-)
Sorry, I can't convert to UTC on the fly, but late at night (for me, on the west coast of Canada), it seems like the activity drops off. That's when I'd deal with most flags, I expect.
By frequent spam posts, you mean literal spam? I would delete it unless the standard procedure is otherwise.
1138, my rep rate went up as I was on the site more often so picked up questions more quickly
@chopper - delete the blatent spam. The people who answer questions with questionable answers that always seem to promote the same tools... well thats trickier if their answers are actual good ones
11:12 PM
@Chopper3 I would expect flags, especillay spam would be the thing I would keep an eye on during the day and act on them as soon as possible.
I mean new users who only push links to their own products/services -they do nothing else
@Chopper3 - are all the spam posts by the same user? If so then that seems like an ideal candidate for suspension. If they are all from different users then it's a matter of deleting the posts and keeping an eye on the accounts
Removing the actual posts seems to be the thing to do. Then file the user away. SOme of our spammers seem to like 6 week breaks between spam-runs so short-bans won't help.
@Chopper3 I think those sort of posts need removing as soon as possible, and the user suspended if that is all they are doing. Some users do push their own product while trying to give an answer, and they may just need education
@Chopper3 - dealing with spam. I would remove the offending posts from the site and possibly send an email (if procedure said to do so) advising them not to do that if they continued. If they did continue, timed suspension may be the only course of action
11:13 PM
For the frequent password reset spams, delete the posts, suspend and/or delete the accunt.
@Josh - as for the editing thing... I'm really not sure, but it seems wrong to condemn things out of hand without seeing them in action first.
@Josh - I have not seen the editing process in action, but from what I've read about it on MSO it seems like a good idea, just as long as it doesn't detract from the job of answering questions
If users are spending more and more of their time approving things or flagging things, there'll be less time for answering questions
So only time will tell
I assume IP addresses and the like are logged, so also checking for any other users on that IP address would also be something I'd do
@Josh As i mentioned earlier broadly I think it could be a good thing, to encourage new users to get involved as soon as they can. That said, I have some concerns over spam edits etc, but I will need to see how it goes.
Good answer Ben, but sometimes you get so many you can't email them all
11:14 PM
(for the record, I've been starring all the questions that I've seen, just so that they don't get lost they're recorded in the sidebar)
As for the editing changes, I'm still of mixed mind on that. I like the better interactivity it allows, but it does cause some more meta-load for regular people.
@Josh it would add greater workload for high rep users, but if that leads to more highlighting of posts that need editing, and a better site, then i'm happy to do that work
Regarding emailing spammers, I don't really see the purpose in emailing accounts that were specifically made for spamming. Chances are you're just yelling into a black hole
@Farseeker I was just doing that, great minds... (:
It is an interesting feature, @Josh, which could be beneficial. There are many simple edits that could improve the overall content and the approval system is interesting. If implemented well, it could be a fantastic idea.
11:16 PM
If it looks like a legit account where they've pushed their own product by chance, then sure, that deserves an email and a comment and a second chance
@Farseeker agree, the key is identifying blatent spammers, compared to misguided users offering their own product as a solution
Yeah, I'm with @farseeker on this one. Sometimes the spam looks like someone doing some manual marketing (actually answering posts) and that would likely work well for emailing. Others, like our password reset spammers, don't bother.
The one thing I've found on webmasters.se is that "destroying" the account isn't really such a smart idea, because they can just sign back up and create a new one, so suspension seems to be the way to go
Good point mark, most are made-up emails anyway - on a more technical note how would you move from suspecting a first post spammer to being pretty sure or certain?
Because at least then they get caught in the suspension net
11:17 PM
I do have a hard stop here. I will not be able to stay much beyond the hour.
The event was scheduled for an hour. (:
@Chopper3 - there are often telltale signs in their public profile (more so in the one mods can see I assume). Hotmail addresses combined with a dodgey-looking self-promotion URL are usually a good sign. In the past I've annotated the user and then checked back on them every now and again. Admittedly I've also relied on the flags of other users. Whenever I see a spam post, I've gone back and checked all of the answers the user has provided.
The spam-flags I already throw I sometimes throw a mod-flag instead of the user has many spam-posts already. That makes filtering easier.
@chopper3 I'm guessing you can't tell from a genuine first post for sure, but with just one post you can look at superficial engagement with the question, a superficial profile - either minimally filled in, further promoting the product or full of 'throwaway' info
@Chopper3 My first task would be to look at their previous posts, their profile for suspicious activity. Often the post it's self can be so blatent that that is as strong a sign as any.
11:19 PM
@Sam - true, a lot of the posts don't even answer the question
A key sign is if the link in the post is the same as link in the profile it's probably more likely to be a smapper.
@Chopper3 things like (un)registered user, date of registration, website, email address and rep would probably be a good indicator. Again, IP addresses could also be a good clue. If I suspect someone of spamming, I also look at their other answers to see if they've answered the same sort of thing.
@Farseeker Just to interject - other sites (SU, Web Apps, Programmers' etc.) have co-opted a known spammer account, suspended it for a very long time and then merged other spam accounts into that. It appears to be an effective way of blocking them.
@sysadmin1138 agreed, i'm always wary of a user who's profile link goes straight to a site full of adds.
one thing I want to warn candidates about is burnout -- we have seen, often due to OUR mistakes as "park rangers" in not spreading the moderation load equitably -- moderators who get overwhelmed and no longer view participating as enjoyable. How would you avoid this, and help identify it so we can avoid it for your fellow mods?
11:21 PM
As a hint to what I do mods get to see users IP history and other accounts from the same IP
@Chopper3 - that's definately a good way of dealing with it. We don't get too much spam on webmasters.se so we haven't had to make use of anything like that yet
Great question @Jeff
Are things as common as dealing with spammers really room to being so subjective? Is there no knowledge sharing between moderators? It seems that co-opting a procedure based on a sudden collaboration ignores the existing experience with current moderators.
Damn good point jeff ;)
@JeffAtwood I think one of the key things is to have a good bond in the moderation team that will allow them to share the load, and to make sure that the others aren't on the path to burn out.
11:22 PM
Avoiding burnout is assisted by my spouse. Also, there are some things that can be done as 10K users and as we get more of those it's easier to rally the troops as it were.
@JeffAtwood - my plan of attack for this is to not spend large chunks of time all at once, rather to spread the load out over my standard work day. 5 minutes an hour is what I am aiming for, with vastly reduced time over the weekend. I'm pretty good at controlling myself at saying "no" when it's too much and taking a break
So much so in the beginning when it came too muchj I actually askeed on SU how to avoid it
Q: Block a URL at browser level

FarseekerDoes anyone have a solution (that doesn't involve editing the hosts file) to block a particular URL from FireFox? Basic back story is that I'm trying to discipline myself. I'm spending FAR too much time over at Server Fault that I want to genuinely block the site from my work PC so that every ti...

Secondly, as I mentioned in my 'speech', moderation should be a light touch where possible, by keeping to this philosophy and letting the site moderate it's self where it can and only stepping in where needed, it should help stop the burnout.
@Jeff: There'd be an "oooh, shiny" period where I'd want to spend lots of time to figure out how stuff works, what other mods expect, etc. But I've got a job, a wife, a kid, a house to work on, other pro development to do... this would be just one other "job" to throw into the mix.
As with all responsibilities in my life, I would manage accordingly. Properly managing moderation responsibilities with the other responsibility in my life would allow distribution of the workload, which in theory would prevent burn-out. If the responsibility were unable to be managed well due to unreasonable work-loads, I would start a dialog regarding the need for additional moderators.
One thing that I suspect would be useful would be a mod-board somewhere that notes can be dropped. We'll likely have better timezone coverage after this election, so passing notes to peers we never see online will be useful.
11:23 PM
@Jeff identifying it in yourself, or others? For the individual you just have to remember its a marathon rather than a sprint - it doesn't matter if you can't do it one day or can't get to all the flags you see if you're on a schedule. Also, to spot it in yourself or in others you can sometimes tell when you're feeling jaded - when you start having (or seeing) a template kind of response to things, sarcasm starting to creep into normally sarcasm-free comments, etc.
@JeffAtwood self discipline is good there. There comes a point where you have to say "enough is enough for today". There are other moderators who can pick some of the slack up, and I imagine you have tools to see if the mod actions are distributed fairly evenly or not so you might offer some inspiring words to other moderators
In me Robert
Encouraging participation of high-reputation users for the responsibilities that can be shared is also essential, as many of the common tasks can be shared without full moderator privileges.
@Chopper3 - based on what we were talking about yesterday I don't think its possible for you to burn out, you seem superhuman
Everyone burns out
I've learnt this from my own experiences as a MVP.
its just when you hit your wall... and if you can see it coming and stop in time
11:26 PM
Yeah, I get aggressive and rude - not TomTom levels though :)
Being sysadmins, it's also something we often have to deal with at work, there's always the temptation to just get this project finished, or do the extra hours to get something work, when really you should be in bed. It's something we have to learn to deal with, before we end up sick
The design of the site is such that an appropriate community can greatly assist in moderation, we just need to get better at it. As we earn more higher-rep/involved users things like close/delete voting becomes easier, as does flagging. During prime-time we've even handled spam w/o a moderator.
One thing I've seen people mention in their nomination is that they use the 10K tools and such frequently, voting to close/reopen, flagging, etc. How will you handle having a vote that is binding?
I consider it defining between being a professional and a general worker, @Sam.
The time management and general self management skills I have developed have been defining in my career.
@RebeccaChernoff - I had trouble with this in the beginning of my pro-term modding, and I was a champion of the idea of a non-binding vote. Then, I had an argument with JoelSpolsky over it (well, heated discussion anyway, heated on my side) and they convinced me that it's not such a big deal
11:28 PM
I joked a few days ago in chat that, "I'd just have to work a sock-puppet up to 3K and vote with that," which goes against the spirit of the site, but is a work-around for it. We do have a vote-to-close room, though, where users can highlight questions that need a closer look.
@RebeccaChernoff: with caution, at first. Blatant spam, obvious migrations, no problem. I think I'd hang back a bit if I saw a "bad question" that no-one else had flagged yet, though.
I relish the chance to use close votes (closes, not migrations) and once I overcame the initial scardycatedness of using it, it's not so bad
@Rebecca - I won't lie, it will take some getting used to. I guess you just need to think twice before pulling the trigger, maybe just learn to leave questions alone and let others vote on them (you want to give more people a chance to get involved in maintaining the site anyway!) and only step in when a binding vote is needed
@RebeccaChernoff if it's obvious a question will get 5 close votes from "normal" users, there's no need for a binding vote from a moderator (it just seems harsh from the end user perspective). I'd probably keep it open in another tab or something, so when it drops off the first page I would likely cast the binding vote
That's a good quesion @RebeccaChernoff I believe that the single binding vote should really only be used for things like spam posts, offensive behaviour etc. Where the high rep users can, and will close a post them selves over time, they should. Closing of a question should be a consensus wherever possible
11:29 PM
That is something I have debated strongly, @RebeccaChernoff. Being an instant binding vote, I would generally default to the community votes, allowing the non-binding necessary votes to be hit or not. However, in situations where the issue were clear or an edge case, I would take the appropriate action. I suspect with the edge cases collaboration would be necessary with other moderators and community members to insure a fair action is taken.
also, as a user i'd feel much less aggrieved with my post being closed by 5 people, than one man and his mod hammer.
@Sam - I see a lot of questions in the mod tools slip through the gaps before reaching their critical mass of close votes. QUestions often get stuck in 2-3 votes and they definately don't belong. That's also the ultimate time to put them out of their misery
Edge-case collaboration is pretty much a must. The chat system helps with this greatly.
@Farseeker that's true, there are these cases, and where it is clear that they should be removed, then so be it
Agreed, @Farseeker.
Totally on board, @sysadmin1138.
11:30 PM
I think the 'vote to close' room helped questionable questions...er... that sounds wrong... get some attention. Not always agreed with the votes myself but thats the point of a collaborative site
The binding vote might just be enough to drive new users away (ugh this is a site full of grumpy meanies) so it certainly needs to be excercised sparingly
I also have noticed that we get off-topic questions that earn 2, 3 close votes, get answers with upvotes and an accept, and voting stops. Do we move those, or keep 'em?
And as soon as I see ANY "how do I host my server from home" question, it will be shot in the head immediately
A: What is the most rampant duplicate on Stack Overflow?

FarseekerOn Server Fault, it's definitely "How do I host my server from home": http://serverfault.com/questions/66947/how-to-host-website-from-my-home-adsl http://serverfault.com/questions/4658/what-are-some-pitfalls-of-hosting-a-website-from-home http://serverfault.com/questions/127478/hosting-multiple...

but ultimately, if the question looks like it could have value, who are we to be the ultimate arbiter of it's fate, that is what the community is for.
@sysadmin1138: move 'em
11:31 PM
at the end of the day if its off topic then it needs to be dealt with
its the edge cases that are a problem
@sysadmin1138 the FAQ needs to be applied. If it's blatantly off topic (even though it has answers and votes) it should be moved. Any debatable ones should be discussed (again, chat is very helpful here)
@RobertMoir agreed, and it's these edge cases that I would prefer the community make a decision on.
@Ben chat has been very useful in this regard, not only for discussing questions to close, but to identify questions that are obviously going to need closing and get enough close votes quickly
Should those server-from-home questions really be migrated since there are already so many dups on superuser?
I have another question: While not directly related to moderation duties, I feel that helping the ServerFault community to grow is a good challenge for all of us passionate sysadmins. What ideas do you have to help attract more professional users of the site, and increase the volume of good questions and answers?
@Zoredache - no. No migration. Kill them.
11:33 PM
me too - i think consistency is important though, as much as possible, so its something where the mods would hopefully have a reasonable level of consensus. I don't mean to be robots but its pointless if one mod always closed a type of question and another always left them open
Give them a link to that meta post and then put it down
@Zoredache that's another one of my bugbears, dumping crap on superuser, it needs to stop
@Zoredache if it's a duplicate of a Server Fault question, it shoud be closed as such
@Josh - the best thing to do there is lead by example. Provide great answers and ask great questions. Given enough time, the rest will take care of itself
Site promotion is something I've already done. I have peers I've mentioned it to. I also have a blog (see profile for link) where serverfault mentions come up frequently. I've even earned a badge from sharing links there.
11:35 PM
@zoredache - i don't want to dump rubbish on superuser because i do get frustrated at the questions we see from SO where someone mentions their development machine is plugged into a LAN and someone else goes 'oooh network... MIGRATE WITH FIRE'
I have a question: How do you think your question-answering abilities and time will be affected by being a mod? Do you think you'll keep up your current question-answering trends?
@sysadmin1138 this is true I've seen your site promotions and am grateful for it!
site promotion - I push it to peers. I don't want to over-do it because I know that makes me annoyed so i wont do it
I'm pretty sure my answer-frequency will go down at least somewhat in the long-run. Time will tell, though.
@Josh i've been quite active in the community in my area of the UK, trying to spread the word about serverfault, and this is something that we should encourage, for all high rep users not just reps. There are some very skilled admins out there who just need a nudge in the right direction. Whenever I encounter a collegue or client struggling with an issue, I ask them, have you tried looking on Serverfault for answers?
11:36 PM
I'll be investing in this community in different ways than adding to the knowledge-base.
@Farseeker I imagine my answer frequency will stay roughly the same. I don't answer that many questions, and I do spend what seems like more time doing retags and reformatting of posts anyway
Promotion is something I have already worked on @Josh with both SF members and SO staff. I hope to continue to work with SO and SF to active promote SF at conferences and other events. Moreover, I am heavily involved in networking and take any opportunity I can to promote SF to those who may benefit within my professional network. This is something I am very serious about and try to help where I can.
@Farseeker I think moving to a mod position would shift my focus, and the question answering may suffer a bit, it's inevitable because your giving your time in a different area, but I'd like to try and keep that as minimal as possible.
I push answers out when I can and seem to go in bursts anyway. Can a mod or high rep user with 10 mins to spend on the site add more value by modding or by answering a question that other people could answer?
One of the main reasons I feel comfortable running for mod is that my question-answering has gone down of late recently, simply because I'm not finding anything I'm interested in answering, as per Joel's answer here: meta.serverfault.com/questions/973/…
11:38 PM
I would also like to discuss a potential promotional partnership opportunities between my company and SO, as I think there may be some opportunities there. I have yet to bring that up formally, however. I did get the ball rolling with a C-level at my employer. This might not work but if it makes sense, I'd like to do what I can to make it work.
I tend to restrict my question answering to specific areas of interest now anyway, and if a question interests me, i'm still going to put some time and research into answering it.
@Warner - what's a "C-Level"?
Sometimes, using your close votes on borderline questions will cause some push back on the meta site. How will you handle questions raised on meta about your close reason? Would you be willing to reverse you decision?
@Farseeker Top-level executives.
CxO.. CTO, CIO, et cetera.
11:39 PM
Fair point @Farseeker - i always have been comfortable limiting my question answering to things that are interesting or that i can answer and seem to be neglected.
@Ward - got it
@Warner yes, I've also seen you promoting the site, and thank you for that also!
And more simply, I try to promote good questions where I can. @sysadmin1138 can speak to that, as his reputation benefited substantially from it. ;)
@Zypher solution, do not visit scifi.stackexchange.com :)
11:40 PM
haha but i get so many good book reccomendations there !
@Zypher - handling questions on meta - well hopefully i can justify a decision if I made it, so just lay that explanation out. This is why I think consistency is so important...
steers things back to the ServerFault "SF" (:
@Zypher As I've grown in this profession I've learned how to have my decisions occasionally questioned or outright reversed without getting much ego invested in it. It's hard, but handling it graciously is the point. If the community does throw reasoned argument at me for why something should be reopened, then I'm open to doing so.
@Zypher - yes, if I was convinced, but that said a mod also has to stand firm on their decisions, based around the definition of the FAQ. If I was wrong, I would absoltually reverse the decision, but I do not succumb to mob pressure
@Zypher I'm not infallible, and if there is a valid reason why I made the wrong decision I would be willing to re-consider. But you have to balance this, doing that to often can make you appear indecisive. If someone questions my decisions I would always be willing to give my reasons for it and listen to their opinion. Ultimately moderators are there to server the community and should be accountable.
11:41 PM
@Zypher I strongly believe in accountability, and would explain my reasons if they were asked on Meta. I usually stick with my decision, but if there's enough weight behind it, I'm willing to consider reversing my decision
If the community consensus is in contrast to my decision, respecting the community would my first choice, @Zypher. However, if the community decided in contrast to stated policy or mission of SO, that takes precedence to community wishes in many cases.
nothing wrong with having your decisions questioned. Nothing wrong with being wrong either... as long as someone learns from it
How would you handle a question that a moderator closed that you feel should not have been closed?
@Kyle - discuss it privately with that moderator.
I would address that directly with the moderator, @KyleBrandt, and try to reach an understanding.
11:44 PM
@KyleBrandt - I would be sending a group email to all the mods to ask them for their input, and state my reasons why I think it should be re-opened
@KyleBrandt: contact the other moderator directly. See what they were thinkng.
@KyleBrandt I'd certainly get the opinions of why the moderator closed it, and offer my opinion if it differed
@KyleBrandt This is what that side-band chat is all about. I don't know if the mod-tools include a messaging-wiki-chat facility, but contacting the other mod directly about it for reasoning is much better than posting on Meta about it. That makes it a Thing.
While a group discussion might be justified, I would avoid that unless there was were repeated incidents where I thought the values of SF were being challenged by a single moderator.
They may have a context I'm unaware of, and in any case you don't want ban-hammer tennis
11:45 PM
@KyleBrandt the last thing I would do is re-open it, question tennis between moderators just shows a bad image to the users. I would try and discuss it with the moderator and get opinions from other areas. I know very well that my opinion is not always the right one and getting input from others is the best way to see all sides.
Which I hope there are resources for. ;) It's hard to have individual conversations with people as it is.
@Warner - it's not so much about challenging that, and it's definately not about pointing figures or going "nana nana na", but from my experience in these things, breakdowns in communications can cause more issues than they're worth, and the left hand needs to know what the right hand is thinking (that applies to all hands)
Sorry to interject, but there should be moderator-only site-only chatrooms for this kind of sideband peer mod communication -- use those
I am reminded of the tennis that occurred around the famous 'favorite server names' question.
11:46 PM
@JeffAtwood That's exactly what I was looking for.
@KyleBrandt I'm guessing moderators can see email addresses, so I'd be perfectly happy to have an email chat with another moderator who felt my decision was different from their own
@sysadmin1138 indeed, and as was the case there, the toing and froing gets more attention than the actual questions.
Another question: If you wanted to "take a break" or even quit from moderating, what do you think would be the correct procedure to take?
There is one but nobody comes on it :(
I ask because we had a moderator quit on webmasters.se - which is totally fine, but nobody knew about it and one day their mod diamond just disappeared and no other mods knew why
11:48 PM
aww @Chopper3 i was there like 2 weeks ago :)
@Farseeker - I'd talk it over with the site admins, but I'd explain to the other mods too if I could
I do most of my SF time at work, honestly. If I changed employers to someone less permissive, and my evenings couldn't keep up, I would be compelled to resign my mod-bit.
I had all of august on vacation, just emailed everyone, easy
I suspect there is a direct representative or SO point of contact for moderators, which is where things like that would be addressed, @Farseeker. Stuff like that shouldn't be subjective.
You can "self resign" ?
@Warner - there is, Robert Caratino.
11:49 PM
@Farseeker: if work or personal commitments totally cut me off, I'd let someone know and see about formally resigning. If it was just a matter of being too busy for a short period, I'd let as many others know as possible and try to keep in touch.
@Farseeker I think communication is key here, if your going to be unavalible for a short period of time, let your fellow moderators know and ensure they are happy to take up the slack. If your going to quit or go for a long time, let people know in advance so they can plan. Even if your leaving on not so good terms, the right thing to do is help the people who will be taking over.
@Farseeker Robert and I. You can't go wrong with the RCs. (:
Indeed. q:
@Farseeker you absolutely need to tell the admins you intend to do this, and affirm that you are only taking a break and you will be back. If you have to quit as a moderator, again tell whoever should be told so arrangements can be made.
11:51 PM
This is a volunteer position, right? ;)
With all seriousness, there has to be some give and take here.
also it is totally fine to take breaks and even to walk away if it is not working out.. so long as you let everyone know
@Warner There is the whole sign on the dotted line in blood part, but we can discuss that at another time.
this stuff is supposed to be fun, fundamentally
As I understand it, adding moderators at this time is partially to improve our flexibility in this regard.
haha, @RebeccaChernoff.
11:52 PM
@Warner - I don't think anyone is debating the merits of leaving or taking a break
if we are breaking the "fun" part that is really bad, and we try like hell not to do that.. definitely go out of your way to tell us if you're feeling like it just isn't enjoyable or rewarding any more.
@JeffAtwood exactly, I have enough work at work, if it's not fun, then it's not right
It stops being fun when it feels like a lone chore, which is one of the reasons we're here now - to spread the load
In my experience SF has a better sense of community than it did a year ago. I hope to help the continuing improvement.
(and, we try to make the tools great and continue to improve them, so you have more time for the enjoyable stuff.. we also want your input on that any time)
11:54 PM
@sysadmin1138 it definitely does, it feels like it has grown up more, having our own meta and chat has definitely helped in this regard.
@JeffAtwood (unless it's on a feature still in development... oh wait, sorry, that's off topic here ;-)
@Sam - our own meta and our own blog has done absolute wonders for the independance of SF and something I've championed since the first days of MSO
I no longer feel like SF is the little brother of SO, which is a great achievement
It no longer feels like we're living in the shadow of SO
It was a pleasure to meet the people and personalities associated with all the questions and answers I had seen once chat was introduced. @KyleBrandt and I had begun to get to know each other some but that would have been substantially more shallow were it not for the newer mediums. Still, very cool.
11:56 PM
I think being mixed in with MSO felt a bit dirty. There were relatively few SF meta questions, so asking a SF meta question on MSO always felt like a fruitless exercise because nobody from SF was there. Our own meta and chat have helped no end with that (and hopefully people sticking around too)
Pretend that paragraph is properly composed. hehe.
that is fantastic to hear re: autonomy, that was certainly always the goal, but we had limited resources. Now we can do so much more.
Now all we need is some SF conferences/dev day type events so we can all meet in person!
So if you could all come to London, that would be great, thanks.
this is also the first proper election :)
Wooo +1 awesomeness for SF
11:57 PM
@Sam @RebeccaChernoff has some secret things she is working on.. bug her about that :)
What is something you think the SF community can do better as it grows?
SF now feels like its own site rather than a garden where that icky server stuff goes
ANyway I just heard my son wake up from his morning nap so I must be off everyone
@Sam: yeah, SF-days would be great
It was great to speak to you all and I wish everyone the best of luck over the next week
11:58 PM
cya Farseeker
See you all
Good luck, @Farseeker.
@Farseeker: and I've got to pick up my daughter after school...
Catch you later Mark
cheers @Farseeker
11:58 PM
We're pretty much at the hour, so I'll thank everyone for coming. I'll update the meta post with a link to this convo.
One of the challenges SF faces is one we've already pointed out, the long-tail of amateurs are already beginning to drown out the professionals we want to keep. We need to get better at keeping 'em.
@Rebecca what can we do better? We need to become THE place for sysadmin type questions rather than A place. We need to make sure we remain platform agnostic and welcoming all comers
Conversation can of continue for those that want. (:
@RebeccaChernoff a summary of the questions asked in the meta post (just as an idea of "what happened?") would be great as well
@RebeccaChernoff something we need to do better is make people stick around more, rather than just ask a question and never come back
11:59 PM
(just the Q's they can refer to the transcript for the A's)
A big thanks to @Farseeker, @sysadmin1138, @RobertMoir, @Warner, @Ward, @Ben, and @Sam for this discussion. We appreciate your support of our community!
@sysadmin1138 were seeing more and more of these, and we need to be sharp on either cleaning them up, or removing them, before people come to the site, see these, and leave again.
@JeffAtwood agree completely.
@Izzy there's always the scrollback and transcript! every space invader gets a shot!

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