We're just here to get to know the candidates and ask questions regarding the candidates views on moderation that may help in voting.
A few notes about the format:
The format is open, feel free to ask your question(s) unprompted, however please be mindful of whether or not candidates have answered the previous questions so that they don't get behind and start missing questions. Other than that, feel free to jump in.
Candidates, please use the reply feature so that questions and their answers are linked together. (Hover your mouse over the left of the message, click the down arrow, click reply)
When a question is asked, I'll star it - please star it yourself also to help! Please save stars for the questions so that candidates can refer to the star list to make sure they haven't missed a question.
We will be creating a digest version of the town hall chat after it is completed. This digest will take the form of a question on meta, containing all the questions asked as well as their answers for easier reading.
There's a system message up on the site, so we may get some stragglers joining us.
The candidates I see here are: @Brady, @BrianFegter, @Jared, @toscho.
With that, I think I've got all my initial messages, so I open the floor to y'all. Who has a question to start us off? (:
ok, I'll start! (:
Why do you want to be a moderator (as opposed to having high rep privs)
@RebeccaChernoff Well, I have always been told I'm a leader which I think being a moderator would be somewhat of a leader-role, and on top of that I love working together with others to make sure this stays as nice of a place as it is already, if not better.
@Rarst These type of questions tend to lead to discussion and opinion which really are outside the scope of WPSE. I have no problem with asking WP related questions about a specific plugin. I frequently recommend question authors to use the .org forums for plugin-specific functions.
@Rarst I believe some of the questions asked regarding theme/plugin recommendations are far too localized and vague in description, but some of them can actually be very beneficial if the question is properly asked.
@RebeccaChernoff Well most plugins and themes can be found easily by searching Google, I've never had a problem with it, but if someone is asking what the difference is between two of them and what the better choice would be and why, then I think it's a good question.
@Rarst If I can imagine other people benefiting from the answers, the question is not too localized. If not, I can improve the question – or it should be closed after the author had enough time to improve the question.
@Webord If it requires WordPress specific knowledge to answer the question it should stay on WPSE. We shouldn’t send people away too fast.
@Rarst I think a good format is a well documented use case by the author noting any downfalls experienced with other plugins. A plugin recommendation question really should be one where expert advice is 'needed' and not necessarily a random vague 'what apps should I download for my iPhone' type question.
@Rarst Like my message before this one, if it is a serious question and not 'Find a theme/plugin for me with these features: x, x, x', then I would think it's OK. (A serious question to me would be someone asking the difference between a few themes/plugins [with good reason for asking] like a caching plugin as an example) - Also the question should provide things that they have tried already and why they failed.
@Webord If a question has to do specifically with a WordPress function or feature, then it should be fine here. If you are solely using PHP or another language to accomplish a task that really has nothing to do with WP (even in context) then it should be migrated.
@RebeccaChernoff The biggest problem I see is new users coming here and not knowing exactly what this place is all about. That's not bad though -- we can educate them, but some ask a question then disappear. I think that's the main problem.
@RebeccaChernoff I think diplomatic admonishment from a moderator on proper behavior in the said offending chat/comment would be the first step. If that doesn't solve it, speak with other moderators about strategies for that specific user. I think this could be handled on a case-by-case basis.
@StephenHarris I find that a lot of unanswered questions are low quality and at times too localized. I would make a personal effort to start closing these types of questions to bring down that queue number.
New users often are not accustomed to the Stack Exchange system, and sometimes struggle to present themselves properly, either in the way they use the site or their attitude. How willing are you to work with "problematic" users, and at what point do you decide that someone isn't worth the effort?
@RebeccaChernoff Oh, this a hard question. :) Usually, I a comments to help these users learning the system. For example: New users misuse the answer field for updates to their questions – I explain then that questions can be updated directly.
@RebeccaChernoff I give up when someone violates basic etiquette or refuses to learn.
@RebeccaChernoff I don't think anyone is 'not worth the effort', people who want to get their questions answered will likely be accepting of advice on how to improve their question. If not and they are rude and do not want to learn, then they probably will not stick around anyways.
@RebeccaChernoff The first thing I look for in a question is their 'tone' as it were. Are they presenting a legitimate question because they've tried and need help? Or, are they trying to get someone else to do the hard work for them? I think the answer gives us a good gauge on their motivation and if investing my time into them is good for the community and for them as well. If they are not abusing the system, but don't have the SE semantics right, I'm happy to help them out.
@RebeccaChernoff A moderator in a sense is a judge. The most important facet of that for me is to be a good judge of content and people using the site so it's a friendly place, but also a high integrity WP environment.
@RebeccaChernoff If that's the case, then give time for the user to learn the system and help them along the way. I haven't really seen a case where someone doesn't want to do things the right way.
@RebeccaChernoff I believe it is both, but mostly an engaged community. The "experts" in WP tend to stick around while others who are not entirely consumed by WP ( like we are :) ) will most likely visit on occasion to ask questions. I would improve this by trying to make it a fun experience for the user, helping them learn things on their own instead of flat-out giving them code to paste in their functions.php file. Lets face it, coding is fun if you know what you're doing. :)
@RebeccaChernoff There seems to be a small community of 'front-page' users who frequent the site and thousands of others who don't care about the community aspect. There's a small CORE, growing number of COMMITTED, and a huge number in the CROWD.
@toscho I would say as much spare time as we have as long as we can maintain keeping our head on our shoulders. There will never be too much moderation until the site has 0 unanswered questions and no posts that need flagging.
@ThomasMcDonald I think this site will become the go-to place to get answers. I would hope people will view this like they do SO. I personally let out a sign of relief when I see a SO link in my Google results because I know there's a quality answer awaiting.
@ThomasMcDonald Make them feel as if it's okay to post in meta. To me it feels like a place for the higher-ups to go and discuss things (even though that is not how it actually is), but I think most would perceive it that way.