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12:14 AM
@Wesley, follow-up question. You say "the unilateral deletion of popular questions in blind obedience to "The Rules" absolutely has to be stopped. This has been a fundamental failing of the existing moderation team, in my opinion, and needs to be stopped." two of the mods will remain the same, they aren't leaving. Can you get along with them and work with them productively moving forward?
shameless plug
A: Summer 2014 Moderator Election Q&A - Questionnaire

Matt Giltaji As Workplace SE grows, it may experience the problems of scaling, also known as "the forum problem". If elected, what will you do to help prevent the signal to noise ratio from becoming too low? Close early, close often, and leave a helpful comment. I also plan to edit where I can (or drop ...

Also @Wesley, the back it up comment thread responses were deleted because of flags on the comments. I saw the comment thread and saw it was out of hand, so I cleaned it up. There were 3 flags on that back and forth, and most of the comments didn't give any info that isn't in the answer so I purged most of them.
@jmac - I absolutely can, but I would hope that the position of the Community on this issue (were I elected) would be respected, as well.
@jmac - Thank you for that. My logic and reasoning weren't gaining any ground. I probably should have bailed on that whole exchange, earlier. I was trying to show my compliance with "Back it up," which I do agree with as it is written.
12:31 AM
@Wesley, the position of the community is generally what's on meta. Being elected usually relates to how much you post on meta (that's why the election shows meta stats). Even after becoming mod, a lot of what mods do is posting on meta to get community feedback on stuff that isn't clear. And of course, discussing with other mods. That's why I am asking if you can get along with them. Thanks for the answer! (There is no "community mandate", just people trying to do good)
@jmac, I see that you voted before most of the candidates posted answers to the questionnaire
@WesleyLong Great to see you in here. Thank you for engaging with the community.
I do think it is important that everyone be able to see the deleted question you're referring to, so I undeleted it:
Q: My first freelance project took me twice as long as estimated - How should I proceed?

user20914As my first freelance graphic design & programming job, (I'm 19) I agreed to develop a web application for a local insurance agent. I've taken 4 months to complete the job, while I estimated 1-2 months, originally. Each month, I demonstrated my progress, but continued to estimate a soon finish e...

Now.... I remember this question quite well....
We originally discussed moving it to Freelancing SE, where it's more on-topic. I'm also a moderator over there and am familiar with that community.
However, I hesitated to migrate it simply because I was worried the amount of upvotes would completely overwhelm that small community and make it look like yours was written by a God. :) Freelancing SE might get 1-2 answers per post with maybe 3-4 votes per post.
With that said, it sounds like you possibly emailed the community team or Stack Exchange. Unfortunately, we don't receive any of those emails since we're volunteers who do not officially work for Stack Exchange.
Hence, your email most likely got lost in all of the noise.
@jmort253 - Well, can you understand my frustration, then?
Oh, absolutely!
In fact, if it comes down to it, I'll migrate that post to Freelancing SE well before I see it deleted again....
overwhelming up votes or not....
12:41 AM
What site it belongs on is a worthy debate, but to delete it entirely is what I'm opposed to.
it's not really delete-worthy.
And given the participation in it, it might bring some attention to the freelancing site.
I was unfamiliar with it, and I'd even gone through the directory.
Although the number of SE sites is a little much to keep track of, any more.
Heh, yeh, there are a lot of them....
I had honestly taken the deletion of it as an attack from you to me. For that, I apologize.
@Matt, I am on vacation. I vote now to make sure I can, and will change if any of the candidates move me to do so with their answers. Nothing gets fixed, don't worry. You can always change later.
12:43 AM
@jmac ah, good info
enjoy Bali
(still jealous, BTW)
@WesleyLong No worries.
The bigger question in my mind is why didn't you just ask on meta or ping us in chat.... I'd like to think we're pretty reasonable people.
I tried.
So the fact that you avoided those channels makes me think there's possibly a problem there.
For whatever reason, I wasn't allowed to post to meta.
Hmmm... really?
12:44 AM
Monica had sent me a direct message. I replied to that 3 times. She says she never received those.
Man, it sounds like you just ran into every possible hurdle you could... Sorry about that....
Although only one of the replies seemed to "process" on the site.
Yeh, I guess the only way to reply is through the system...
I'm going to talk to the devs about that.... there are ways to monitor emails and feed them into the system... they say it's difficult... which I can see.... but I'd rather avoid issues like this....
So you're able to post on meta now?
Well, I'm more concerned that this kid who posted the question feels "snubbed" by its deletion.
Post closed June 5th... deleted July 22nd... undeleted just moments ago.
Looks like that user deleted his account... I'd like to find out when... before or after deletion...
12:48 AM
Yeah, I think he didn't feel welcome.
Would you agree that his post was a bit... broad?
Not delete worthy... just a little too broad?
Unfocused, maybe, but he was asking for a recommendation on a course of action.
But what 19-year old is focused?
@WesleyLong Actually, this is probably a bad example for me to ask you that.... despite being broad, I was totally considering giving it a home on Freelancing SE (and still might)
Heh, lack of focus can vary across the age spectrum, I've found :)
Yes. Some improve with age. Some do not.
and some kinda get a little worse lol... hoping my brain stays healthy for a long time.
12:51 AM
Well, fortunately I was travelling when this happened, so it was not my own desk I bit through when this happened.
So one of the challenges we feel we're facing is a bit of a cultural problem....
Stack Exchange isn't a forum. It's a Q&A site, but due to the nature of the topic, sometimes it gets treated as a forum....
I personally feel that, initially, this wasn't a problem, but now that we've grown quite a bit more, the sheer amount of information is growing....
I have thoughts on that, but they'd have to be implemented architectually.
I think each user should be limited to 3 comments per question/answer, to keep back-and-forth in check.
One of the roles of a moderator is to meet with the community team and discuss ideas like this.
But that's up to SE, not moderation.
Interesting idea.
12:54 AM
Also, comments should be limited to requests for additional information or clarification, not debating the merits of the precepts of the answers.
Competing answers should be posted. Votes will settle it out.
Would you limit it to 3 for all users?
despite rep?
I think in order to be fair, yes. Rep shouldn't be a "bully pulpit"
@wesley, mod messages are sent from a "do not reply" address and say "do not reply" at the bottom I believe. This is because mods are not employees and do not have an SE address (nor would we want them to be forced to share their personal email)
One's ideas aren't necessarily worth less due to lack of past participation.
Yeah, I noticed that. :)
How about aliases, like CraigsList uses?
@jmac Or just forwarded the mail with a link to the SE interface?
12:57 AM
Either would be appropriate.
However, some users have high-level ascii characters in their usernames that wouldn't pass through some email services.
We developed software that sends mail to Google App Engine, and Google forwards it to our application as a POST request....
If we can do it I know SE can do it.
So maybe the "User number" is a more appropriate alias.
@WesleyLong and again, just include the link to their profile somewhere in the email.
There are 300 ways to handle email. 320 work pretty well, 375 not so well, but of the 500 ways to handle email, I'm sure one will work. :)
Like Zendesk would, for instance.
12:58 AM
Meta post @jmort ;)
@jmac I'll put that on my list! :)
The author of the freelancing question requested deletion which was carried out on July 8th
@jmac Oh!
So it wasn't just part of the cleanup?
Of his account.
oh... but not the post? or did he want the post gone too?
@WesleyLong, either way, it sounds like it wasn't the deletion that prompted that user to leave...
1:00 AM
Well, I'm happy for that, at least.
Hey @jt0dd, I considered it, but the 10 answers would drown out any chance of members of that fledgling community being able to contribute meaningfully, especially when faced with Wesley Long's +113 score. If we had put this on hold earlier, I'd probably consider migrating it. However, it should be safe as we generally don't delete positively scored posts, even if off-topic. If you do feel something is unanswered that would be better addressed there, you could re-ask on Freelancing SE, but just be sure to tailor the post to that community, no copy pasting please. :) Hope this helps! — jmort253 ♦ Jun 26 at 4:14
This was my message to that user on June 26th.
Not at his request to my knowledge @jmort. Breakfast!!!
@jmac Enjoy!
@WesleyLong I have to say, it sounds like this wasn't quite the train wreck we all thought...
It appears not. It kind of "wakes you up" when you see over 1000 rep points wiped out first thing in the morning, and then no way to find out what happened.
@WesleyLong Right...
How would you encourage more folks to clean up closed questions to possibly get them reopened?
I feel like that is personally one of our challenges....
1:09 AM
It is not at all apparent from the UI that "closed" questions are even able to be re-opened. I had to dig for that.
The users are left with the impression that they were "shouted down." I was on this site for about 4 months before I realized it was even possible.
Whenever I'm involved in putting a post on hold, especially if it's early, and could possibly be clarified, I leave a comment to the asker, generally saying "Hey, welcome, put this on hold for a sec just to let you answer a few quick questions... " then I drop a link to the post in the chat room.
Once I saw it, I had a palm-to-forehead moment, but it's not obvious.
@jmort253 new users don't always have enough rep to enter chat
That works well. I've seen you do that.
... You beat me to it, Matt. :)
It seems the recurring theme is just A) getting people in chat and meta, and B) teaching people more about how the system works....
@MattGiltaji I generally drop the link in chat so the community can help out....
1:11 AM
Then I would propose this:
If I close an unclear post, I want people to ask clarifying questions with the goal of getting it reopened...
New users (reps below 500 / less than 5 questions asked?) have their questions "in escrow" for moderators / power users to review.
Like edits by low-rep users.
@jmort253 ah, I misunderstood. I thought you put a link to the chat room in the comment when you closed it
Again - writing software, not policy, but it's an idea.
@WesleyLong thats the first post queue, isn't it?
1:12 AM
Yes, the first post.
But that doesn't seem to sort this issue.
"Handholding" through the first few questions/answers seems to be useful.
Also, you don't ( I believe ) hit the first-post queue if you migrate from another SE site.
TWP is a very different animal than SO or Programmers
@WesleyLong Indeed!
@WesleyLong, here it is.... this is what I consider the perfect, optimal solution... thanks to Rachel, one of the folks who help edit closed/on hold posts.
Yes, that's a valid approach within the current constraints.
However, I still contend that we have a fundamental conflict between the prohibition of "What should I do" questions and the existence of the ethics meta tag.
@WesleyLong That would have been a great thing to bring to meta....
There's quite a bit of tag discussions on meta.
A lot of the decisions are made by the community....
Well, I had been under the impression I was blocked from Meta.
But apparently I was not. Just an authentication issue, probably.
I've seen bugs related to that posted on MSE....
1:20 AM
I was able to post my answers to the candidate questionnaire, so ...
Now that you can get into meta, I'm hoping you jump into more of the governance and site discussions. It definitely sounds like you have a lot of good ideas...
@WesleyLong I am reading through, and I found a link to a post I put on hold.
I put this on hold because there are some details that are still omitted or confusing, leading to speculation in the answers. For instance, it doesn't seem clear whether or not the client paid for the feature. Hope this helps. — jmort253 ♦ Aug 6 at 3:09
Hmmm.... Looking back, I should have made it a bit more clear that what I was hoping the person would do is answer that question in the post body.... to eliminate the speculation.
I personally feel that any answers that are guessing or speculating are indications that one should post a clarifying comment ....
ask some questions, fill in the gaps, then post something that is more likely to answer the question.
On another note, SE has a blog post on popularity:
Jeff Atwood on January 31, 2012

Way back in 2008, we had Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman, the founders and co-creators of Reddit, on the Stack Overflow podcast. We chatted about a bunch of stuff, but one of the things they said that always stuck with me was that Reddit always took an explicitly hands-off, no moderation approach to their content from the very beginning.

I found that a bit shocking, since I’ve… never seen that work. Certainly on Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange we are very much pro-moderation — and more so with every passing year. We have literally hundreds of community moderators. We spend  …

oh, I was expecting enderland's favorite blog post
Shog9 on August 08, 2012

It’s been a few weeks now since Joel kicked off our “summer of love”. There’ve been some excellent discussions in the blog comments and on Meta, and we’ve tried to present some hard data on how objectively “nice” we are. But it’s high time to talk about what place “niceness” really has on Stack Exchange. And to do that, we need to start by talking about you:

You, sir, are a jackass.

And that’s ok.

Stack Overflow wasn’t created to be some utopian ideal of peace and love. When Jeff & Joel set out to create this system, they knew full well the sort of problems that face online commun …

@WesleyLong Oh, I just realized you were using that example as an Ethics/"What should I do" issue.... for some reason I confused that with the popularity issue... sorry for any confusion.
@jmort253 - No worries.
@jmort253 - That is an interesting example. Probably showing some of our cultural differences, here, but I took the OP's original post to mean that the "feature" being disabled was a standard part of the solution, not a paid upgrade, because no mention was made of it being an optional component.
1:34 AM
@matt, it isn't clear if you plan to be a janitor or an exception handler from your answer. Sounds like janitor but you may want to make it clear.
In broadcast engineering (where I came from), demoing equipment has a very strict, "Show us what you're selling, not what you wish we were buying" approach to receiving sales calls. Software is sometimes different.
@jmac thanks jmac
@WesleyLong To me, that was an important part of the question. I read it a few times just to be sure, and it still felt a bit ambiguous.
As an aside, if you can clarify it and you happen to understand what the person was asking.... feel free to edit... it will bump it into the reopen review queue.
@jmort253, If you're coming from that point-of-view, yes. If you're coming from the point-of-view of "Everything you see is included unless it's explicitly mentioned to be an option/premium feature," then it's not. I think it's a cultural difference between us.
When I find something vague, and I'm answering, I often include the caveat of "I'm inferring X" or "I assume you mean Y." To me, it wasn't vague. But that's to me.
@WesleyLong I'll get you a screen shot of the deleted comments; hang on. Only mods can see those, but for transparency and so this can be discussed, I'll share.
1:38 AM
@jrmot253 - For reference: workplace.stackexchange.com/a/28244/9264
@MonicaCellio do mods have a way to undelete comments, or did they never build that because of the "comments are post it notes"?
@MattGiltaji we now do; it was added with the last 6-12 months, IIRC. (I.e. it wasn't always possible, but now it is.)
3 screen shots coming up now:
There you go. Pink background is deleted, white background is not.
@MonicaCellio - Thank you. That is the "cudgel" approach to BIU that I was speaking of.
as an outside observer, that is a HUGE thread of comments
@WesleyLong That was a lot to go through... I'm not sure I'd ask for clarification there... in fact, if I showed up early to that question I'd probably ask the asker to consider making that a bit more concise....
It's a balance... one can have too much detail just as much as one can be lacking... it's kind of an art.
1:47 AM
@WesleyLong when settling issues of site scope (e.g. the ethics case you raised), close reasons, etc, what do you see the role of moderators to be versus the role of the community as a whole? You suggest here that moderators should resolve it; can you say more about that?
@MattGiltaji - Yes, it is. I was under the impression that my explanation (second paragraph) was being overlooked. However, it would appear that it was more an attempt to bait me, and I fell for it. My bad.
@WesleyLong that went on for too long and got too heated. I'm sorry that nobody noticed it developing earlier. When I see an argument like that starting, I try to redirect it (chat, meta). That's really not what comments are for, and the tone of some of those was problematic.
@MonicaCellio - I suggest that moderators should work to resolve the "architectural" issues (to borrow a term) that lead to so many questions being closed. I have suggested some improvements to the way new or "migrating" users are brought in to TWP. There have been some fantastic users finding duplicates (@Enderland comes to mind), but I believe the moderators should be "cleaning up" the downvoted questions and answers, only stepping in to directly remove content if they devolve into attacks.
@WesleyLong what does "cleaning up" mean (since it doesn't mean deleting stuff)? Do you mean editing?
@wesley, moderators respond to flags from the community. If someone flags a comment as "too chatty" when there are no attacks, what do you think the mod should do?
1:55 AM
@MattGiltaji thank you. I was getting worried that no one had posted that yet today.
Also, what powers do you think mods have to guide the direction or content of the site that aren't available to the community? (Other than removing content, which you seem to want to avoid)
in Tavern on the Meta on Meta Stack Exchange Chat, Aug 26 '10 at 18:14, by Shog9
Mods can also come into your house at night and leave your milk out. Some mod abilities aren't talked about much.
@WesleyLong I haven't dug through all the comments on all the answers, but what I'm seeing is users suggesting that he ask on Freelancing rather than here. What did you see as "shunning"? With 127 SE sites it's natural that sometimes people will guess wrong; there's no harm in that. (As you may have figured out, I'm working through the discussion here and responding with questions. None of this is meant to be argumentative; I'm just seeking clarification. Sorry if others have already asked.)
@MonicaCellio - I addressed this in the questionnaire - when questions or answers have been downvoted into the negative zones, mods should "clean them up" by deleting them, as the community has spoken.
@MonicaCellio - no problem. "Shunning" - Deleting his question.
Also @Wesley re: welcoming new users, you may like this project:
Q: Let's have an explicit triage system for questions from new users

Shog9This is a follow-up feature-request based on: How can we make First Posts review actually useful? - big thanks to everyone who participated there, I've tried to incorporate the feedback into the design below. I've spent the past few weeks thinking about how we can do a better job of handling que...

1:57 AM
I'm still not certain how it migrated from "Protected" to "Closed/Pending deletion," but @jmort253 shared his reasoning for not migrating.
@WesleyLong ah, ok. I understand "shunning" to be more like "you're a terrible person; get out of our face". But deleting posts that don't fit is a normal part of SE operation. If it'd been spotted earlier it could have been migrated to Freelancing (which would have deleted it here BTW), but it got too big too fast for them. So people suggested the next best thing: ask there. It's unfortunate that it wasn't caught earlier.
@WesleyLong it was closed on June 6 and deleted on July 22.
@MonicaCellio - I think of shunning as "Turn your back and ignore," which is essentially what deleting a post is.
@Jmort253 broke it down, earlier. I was really glad that the user didn't leave due to the deletion.
@WesleyLong Just to clarify, we try not to delete a closed question unless it's either really really low quality, like a user posting garbage, or the post is simply abandoned.... as in we left comments asking for clarification, and weeks later no one ever edited....
or if it's just really off-topic and it's obvious it's not salvageable.
@jmort253. I was unaware of the "Rescue Crew" that was editing others' questions. I guess I still have some to learn about this site even after being here this long.
just wait 'till we get the new "huggy queue" proposed. you're gonna love that.
2:04 AM
"Care Bears?"
Free virtual hugs.
SE gets a bad rap. Folks think we're cold, unfeeling robots, what with our editing out of "thanks" and such. Time to change that. Time for more hugs.
Because nothing makes you feel loved and appreciated like a hug. From a cold, unfeeling robot.
A hug machine, also known as a hug box, a squeeze machine, or a squeeze box, is a deep-pressure device designed to calm hypersensitive persons, usually individuals with autism spectrum disorders. The therapeutic, stress-relieving device was invented by Temple Grandin while she was attending college. Autism and autism-spectrum disorders have profound effects upon both social interactions and sensitivity to sensory stimulation in persons with such conditions, often making it uncomfortable or impractical for them to turn to other human beings for comfort. Grandin solved this by designing the hug machine...
Why is the photo of a cow @shog?
@jmac that's actually a really great story - read it when you have time.
also, Temple Grandin is awesome
(And of all the words in all the land I never expected the Shog to use, "hug machine" is definitely up there.
Yes she is @shog. Watched a documentary on her once.
2:41 AM
@Shog9 you need to be nice though damnit, if you are cold and professional all the babies will hate you
@WesleyLong If you spend time in chat you will find there are quite a few people who actively discuss how to edit questions to be more on topic
@WesleyLong btw, I talk with programmers regulars all the time in their chat and I think they deal with very similar problems that Workplace does in terms of question/answer quality (their chat regulars routinely run out of close votes)
well that's a long post for my answer to the questions
@MattGiltaji moderators can invite users to chat even without the required rep
2:56 AM
@WesleyLong Just FYI, if you're interpretations of the status quo have changed after the interactions with the community in this room, or if there's just anything you feel different about after talking through it, feel free to edit the Workplace Moderator Candidate answers post. I think it's important that folks judge your candidacy based on your current interpretation of events, if they've changed. Hope this helps, and good luck in the election!
@Shog9 - How apropos. I was raised on a farm/ranch. I know that equipment well. You start off getting a hug, but before it's done, you're branded, de-horned, and gelded.
@WesleyLong I was actually wondering... has to be a purpose to calming the cows down.... yikes!
@WesleyLong I want to someday own a small acerage and hobby farm, though probably not a "money making" enterprise..
@WesleyLong see, you get it!
12 hours later…
2:50 PM
I posted this as a comment on enderlands election response, but I am actually interested in everyones opinion on the matter
I fully support closing early, but I was over at the game design stackexchange and they actually seem to be suffering that issue - people are complaining that the mods are closing questions too quickly. I could see that questions from 1 rep users were frequently closed within 5 min of asking with no other clarification. If you were to gain insta-close (rather than vote to close) powers how are you going to strike the balance of closing quickly and closing too quickly/aggressively? — Ian Holstead 3 hours ago
@IanHolstead great question! I feel that the comments are what makes up the difference
the meta posts you linked actually ask for comments rather than the impersonal close message
stuff like saying "hi", "you need to do x", etc
some of the responses to those questions indicate that leaving comments is a waste of time
especially when they "duplicate" the system close message
I feel that it is more of an investment in the new user
plus, with the pro forma comments script, it really doesn't take that much time
the part that takes the longest (when I write a comment) is putting in the links to the help center, so having those links built in via the script allows me to focus on personalizing and customizing the rest of it
The other thing i love is the magic word 'unfortunately"
i use it in every email where I have bad news to deliver
Between the personalized comments, complimenting the user on what they got right, and the unfortunately it doesn't meet our standards, I believe we convey the proper tone to new users, which is "we want to help, but here are some rules that make everything work that you need to follow"
3:42 PM
@MattGiltaji I would completely agree on personalized comments
If you see a question which you think should be closed (lets assume the question is not " i got fired, what should i do ") would you slap it with an insta close in the first few minutes of its short life or do you wait for some community input? While there are questions which should be smacked out of existence as quick as possible, there are also borderline questions which attract excellent answers.
By insta closing these questions I fear it can dissuade people from editing (personally I am less likely to look at a closed question) and limits the potential for really strong answers
TLDR; will we be seeing more [closed by <diamond mod>] with no other names and is this something we want? It seems to be a strong campaign point and I'm not sure we have the correct stance on the issue.
2 hours later…
5:23 PM
@IanHolstead As you mentioned, it is a strong campaign point for myself and some other nominees. If elected, you will see more [closed by <diamond mod>] with my name on it, because I will take my election to be an endorsement of close early, close often, and leave a friendly note from the community. If the community evolves and does not want that policy any more, I am open to changing it after debating on meta
5:40 PM
@IanHolstead I'm not too worried if there is a clear reason for questions being off topic, I think Oded does a wonderful job of his "drive by" closings of very off topic questions
if questions which are off topic consistently cause problems in the community being closed, either:
1) the off/on topic criteria need to be revisited
2) the community is acting against SE's interest for this site
5:58 PM
I can't vote, I need a little more rep! anyone want to check out my one answer and decide if it is a good answer or not?
What would you guys do about something like this question that receives lots of attention (upvotes) but is closed as off topic because it may be too broad?
Q: Why are interviewers unaware of what's on my resume?

Radu MurzeaFor reasons that are not relevant for this question, I went to several interviews at multiple companies in the past few months. What I noticed is that, in the vast majority of cases, interviewers have absolutely no idea about what's on my resume. They just print it out right before the interview...

Those questions which are ultimately off topic end up like that because they hit the hot list and pick up lots of upvotes
so is it up for Meta Discussion or is it just closed?
closed means "edit it until it gets reopened"
what @MattGiltaji said
you can always post on meta for how to fix it
or ask in chat
the challenge with questions getting on the hot list and picking up votes and answers is that it is more difficult to edit them into an appropriate form later on
if we were to radically change that question to something not opinion based, there are 11 answers that need to change as well
6:09 PM
without invalidating answers and stuff.....
yeah, it really paints the question into a corner
but the answers would be off-topic as well so why not edit the question forcing the answers to be rephrased or downvoted?
plus we have huge swaths of comments on it as well that would no longer make sense
@MattGiltaji clean them up? (Removal)
@Malachi votes are locked in until the answer is editted
so we would need to find new users that did not upvote the original answer, to make those downvotes
@Malachi the mods do what they can, but its a big undertaking
and has prompted a lot of meta posts on teh subject
6:12 PM
@MattGiltaji I know they do what they can.
Just seems like there might not be enough Community Moderation, that is the whole point of the SE network.
@Malachi hence the new election to fill in jmac's spot
6:26 PM
6:40 PM
Hey folks!
I'm running for moderator. Does anyone have a question or two they'd like me to answer?
@MikeVan did you see this list?
Yep, I'm working on that right now
Hi Mike! There have also been a bunch of questions asked throughout this chat, including the most recent ones:
47 mins ago, by Malachi
What would you guys do about something like this question that receives lots of attention (upvotes) but is closed as off topic because it may be too broad?
4 hours ago, by Ian Holstead
I fully support closing early, but I was over at the game design stackexchange and they actually seem to be suffering that issue - people are complaining that the mods are closing questions too quickly. I could see that questions from 1 rep users were frequently closed within 5 min of asking with no other clarification. If you were to gain insta-close (rather than vote to close) powers how are you going to strike the balance of closing quickly and closing too quickly/aggressively? — Ian Holstead 3 hours ago
The fact that it has so many upvotes indicates a desire from the forum community to have the question answered. First, I would not close a very popular topic (with recent activity) because doing so would be contrary to the desires of the community. Second, closing questions before real discussion can happen is not the goal of this site. We are here to ask and answer questions, not to close-out answers as quickly as possible.
7:02 PM
18 hours ago, by jmort253
How would you encourage more folks to clean up closed questions to possibly get them reopened?
That depends on the reason for the question needing to be cleaned up.
I'm not a heavy handed person, and if a question is still relevant and active, I see no good reason to close it out. Remember, this is a forum of people. The rules are guideposts we use to navigate, not concrete walls that prohibit venturing.
Stack Exchange is not a forum nor intended to be a discussion board
Ha! There's the rub.
It may not have been intended, but it is useful for that regard.
Look at any active question, and you'll see back-and-forth.
There is room for both, but shutting down questions simply because they are popular is unwise.
A: Is Stack Overflow a forum?

Anna LearStack Overflow is not a forum. Forums are largely discussion-based and tend to follow less strict rules about what posts can be like. On Stack Overflow (and Stack Exchange in general), we require every new thread to be started with a question and every response to that question to be an attempt ...

That is correct, not a forum. However, most questions deserve good answers. And the "discussions" in the comments sections allow that to happen.
7:16 PM
but some Comments stray from the path designated by the site, how would you handle these strings of Comments?
7:38 PM
It depends on how far they stray. If its a major and problematic tangent that is of no benefit to answering, couching or framing the question, I'd initiate a discussion with the commenters.
If it is one person, I'd e-mail them. If it is a group, I'd initiate a discussion in the comments section.
7:58 PM
@MikeVan thanks for answering the questionnaire and for coming to this room. I've just read your answer and the recent discussion here and I have a question for you: what do you think happens when a question is put on hold? It sounds like you think that's the end of it, that it's been "shut down". Am I misunderstanding you?
Monica: It is a perception thing. We know that the question isn't immediately deleted, and folks can still comment on it. Rather it is more a concern of perception.
Is "on hold" forever?
@MikeVan, why do we put questions on hold? what is the goal?
8:31 PM
@MOnica: the term "on hold" is slightly misleading. From workplace.stackexchange.com/help/site-moderators posts can be locked or protected. The term on-hold colloquially appears to mean "locked", which is when it cannot be voted or changed in any way.
@jmort: The goal should be to help reinforce the mores of the community.
@monica: a questino on-hold, it cannot be answered but can can be edited to make it eligible for reopening.
@monica: If the question is not edited in 5 days, it is closed.
@MikeVan "on hold" is the early stage of closing. For the first five days after a question is closed (unless dupe or migration) it says "on hold"; after that it says "closed".
HOld categories are: duplicate, off-topic, unclear, too broad, or primarily opinion-based.
@MikeVan yes. So is it easier to get a question into shape (suitable for the site) with or without answers coming in concurrently?
I'm trying to understand why you think putting a question on hold is a bad thing -- or, if you don't think that, I'd like to clear up my misunderstanding.
The rub here is when questions come in which are of value, but for reasons I cannot understand are seemingly arbitrarily put on hold.
I can imagine having a message put on-hold would be off-putting.
Ok, so you see the problem as more the lack of explanation (e.g. in helpful comments) than in it being put on hold itself?
8:38 PM
There was one the other day about a woman who was being sexually harassed. Her question was put on-hold and she subsequently withdrew the question. HOwever, I feel that the question deserved an answer, and that putting it on hold was a really bad idea.
Monica: absolutely.
@MikeVan ok thanks. That wasn't clear to me, so I appreciate the clarification.
Glad I could help, Vote For Van!
2 hours later…
10:41 PM
@MikeVan, you only have one meta post. Do you think that a moderator should be active on the site meta?

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