« first day (1 day earlier)      last day (751 days later) » 

12:00 AM
hello
Hello hello hello. (:
Quick! Dave! Pizza or hotwings?
Wait a minute, multiple candidates are here? This is out of control
wings
Welcome to the Seasoned Advice Town Hall Chat
12:02 AM
mmm.... wings...
are there other candidates? I only see me
Aaron just joined.
Sorry, I thought he was already here. He was the other one I was thinking of
We're just here to get to know the candidates and ask questions about how they'd moderate.
The candidates I see here are: @Aaronut and @hobodave. yossarian is on vacation and was going to try to join but no guarantees.
12:03 AM
So this is kinda cool, since the candidates here are already moderators...
Please use the reply feature when answering questions so the replies are linked up.
Yes, @Shog, fortunately for us, we don't have to answer in hypotheticals.
Other than that, format's open, have at it?
What do y'all see as the biggest challenge when it comes to moderating Seasoned Advice?
12:04 AM
There's a system message up on the site so we may get stragglers.
As with the other town halls, I will be creating a digest of this town hall. I will post this as a Meta question when finished. It will contain all the questions and answers in one easy to read format.
Oh, right...Questions will be starred, please try to keep the star list clean...and help me star the questions. (:
@Shog9 Honestly I think our biggest challenge is going to be trying to teach the SE paradigm to non-technical people who have never worked with Stack Overflow or Stack Exchange before, without scaring them away.
@Shog9 For me the biggest challenge is finding the right ratio between letting the community handle itself and stepping in and using the mod votes. Thankfully the community has really started to take care of itself in the past few months, making the challenge much less of one.
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?
12:08 AM
Oooh, good question...
I think my other two standard questions are useless when 100% of the candidates are already mods. Weak
@MichaelMrozek I would first try to bring it up politely, through a few tactically-placed comments.
(I very much hope people read the digest, since currently I see exactly 1 person in here who can vote and isn't a candidate or dev, so hopefully we're not doing this all for @Shog9's benefit)
@MichaelMrozek That depends a lot on the nature of the comments. If they are appropriate I would direct them to meta. If they are inappropriate or profane then I would message them directly.
@MichaelMrozek LOL, me too!
12:11 AM
@hobodave: If the comments are completely off-topic (but not offensive) then meta might not be the right place, but otherwise I agree and have done the same.
Candidates, what's your opinion of the new "Everyone Can Edit" feature? Are you in favor? Does it make your jobs easier?
Obviously if this person fails to acknowledge or respond to repeated complaints and warnings than a suspension would be in order (final reply to last question).
@Josh Absolutely. We've had one or two members putting it to great use already.
time for me to leave and eat wings, but one little question 'fore I go: how much slack should you cut users experienced in the subject matter but new to SE?
One of them - zanlok I think - completely rewrote a question that was almost unreadable. I love that feature.
@Josh I love it! I'm surprised it took us this long to come up with it. Editing is one of my less thorough areas of moderation. It's very nice to have the community members editing, and making my job as simple as clicking yes/no.
12:14 AM
@Shog9 Presently and historically my answer is "a lot". We've had a few members in the past feel slighted and complain because behaviours that are common on SE seemed hostile or made no sense to them.
Over-the-top reactions to downvotes are especially common amongst the best (inexperienced) contributors, so some patience is in order.
Do you think the Seasoned Advice community generally gets the SE engine? What is something you think the community still needs education on, and how can you help improve this?
@Shog9 In general, lots. It depends more on what kind of slack though. To me acceptable slack means, going out of your way to explain the (weird) way SE's work and making it very clear that we appreciate their contributions. On the other hand, unacceptable slack is letting new members get away with whatever just because they are new, e.g. recipe requests
@RebeccaChernoff good question!!!
@RebeccaChernoff I see evidence that some new members pick it up fairly well. Whether or not all of the community gets it is hard to say; I think there will always be a few people who just don't, no matter how hard we try.
To answer the second part of the question: Documentation like the new(ish) privileges page helps a lot, as do the "How to Ask / How to Answer" pages, but I'd like to see more on the whole philosophy of SE and why it's different from a forum.
(by the way, have y'all seen the new about page? stackexchange.com/about)
12:19 AM
Also I think most people are still a little bit apprehensive about editing or even retagging... I'm not sure what the solution is, but I'd like to find some way to communicate that it's okay.
Okay, no, I haven't seen that, did it go up recently?
@RebeccaChernoff It's kind of hard for me to say overall. As a whole I think our community is very knowledgeable about how SE works. It's a bit harder to know how many people are stopping by, contributing, and then leaving in frustration. As far as the role I can play in improvement... I think making sure we have some easily understandable and accessible FAQ meta questions for new users to read is great.
@Aaronut same time as the NYT article if you saw that
As a related question to Rebecca's, What can we do to bring more people to the community? Do you feel that's part of your responsibility as a moderator?
@Josh Eventually I think search engine traffic will become dominant. Until then I just talk about it to people I know. I'd like to do more, I'm just not really an expert on marketing, so I'm always open to ideas.
@Josh I do feel that's part of the responsibility of a moderator, but I also think it can and should be a responsibility shared by other passionate community members. There's no special abilities moderators have w/r/t promotion. I've certainly done my share of word of mouth advertisement. One idea I've had is to post some form of flyer/business card/something in supermarkets. I don't know how practical or effective that would be though.
12:23 AM
How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?
To the point, I don't think moderators have a special responsibility to think of promotional ideas, but if the community has ideas, it would probably fall on us to help convince the team / get them done.
@RebeccaChernoff It's happened. We talk about it in chat, usually.
I look for compromises. Usually it involves editing the question.
(hobodave will know what I'm talking about, cf. the "honey roasted almonds" question)
@RebeccaChernoff Yea this happens. The easiest solution is to just discuss it in chat. I'm actually opposed to reverting another moderator's actions without discussing it with them first.
What's your favorite type of ice cream?
HAHAHA
@RebeccaChernoff LOL! Ben & Jerry's Phish Food
12:26 AM
@RebeccaChernoff Amaretto gelato.
Karamel Sutra is a close second
(:
How would you handle an off-topic question that gets lots of upvotes/answers that the community likes/supports?
@RebeccaChernoff If it's really and truly blatantly off-topic? Close it. As we know from Stack Overflow, those questions are broken windows.
@RebeccaChernoff If it's blatantly off topic I'd close it. Ideally this happens before the question becomes popular.
If it's borderline: Bring it up on meta, let the supporters state their case as to why it should be exempt.
12:28 AM
@RebeccaChernoff If it is ambiguous however, I'd rather discuss it with other moderators and bring it up on meta.
One example of a compromise we made in the past was the "culinary uses" designation, which I believe was the result of a few popular but recipe-ish questions. We (several of us) identified a pattern that could set a dangerous precedent and set some guidelines around it so that it could be allowed.
It's not necessarily the moderator's job to set policies, but we should try to facilitate policy-making when there are major gray areas.
Do you have any experience moderating any other online communities which you feel would help you in your position as a moderator of Cooking.SE?
@Josh I've moderated a few forums (medium traffic, a bit more than Seasoned Advice). I think my experience as a pro-tem here has taught me a lot more than those, though.
@Josh Not really. Well, wayyyy back in the day I was a "Guide" for a MMORPG called EverQuest. Other than that, no.
Is the community active in meta and in building/caring for the site? If passive, is there something you, as a moderator, can do to improve this?
12:32 AM
Mine was a really silly question as you're both pro-tem mods, but... I'm trying to keep the town hall going :-)
@RebeccaChernoff Another good one!
@RebeccaChernoff It seems to wax and wane; I get the feeling that several community members read meta but don't have a zillion questions to ask (that might not be a bad thing).
I do also try to direct members to specific meta questions if I feel that they're relevant to a particular comment thread or question.
@RebeccaChernoff Our meta activity has been rather low in the past couple of months. I'm attributing that, however, to the fact that things are flowing smoothly overall. Our site has been markedly "drama free" lately in comparison to our early days, as well as in comparison to some of the other SE sites.
Yeah, very good point - a lot of our initial meta activity during the beta was just drama.
I'm happy to see that go away (without a corresponding decline in page views or question activity).
Let's say that by the way moderators are elected, you end up being the only European/American moderator, which means you'll be the only mod online during American/European night (this is what's going to happen to me on Gaming). How'd you feel about it?
@badp good one!
12:38 AM
@Josh Kinda wish I'd think about it beforehand!
but with 3 slots there's no way around it.
@badp This is why I voted 2/3 for CET users.
@badp I'd love to be accompanied by European moderators. There's so much cooking terminology and customs that are localized, it would help sort out the occasional dispute. But as for timing - no biggie, I'm used to acting alone on flags and such.
That is the essence of your question, right? How do we feel about essentially having to act alone during part of the day?
@badp I wouldn't mind. From the looks of it the new mod batch is going to be all North American. It would be nice to have European moderators to balance it out some, but I keep strange enough hours that I can cover quite a bit.
@Aaronut Yea, it is a bit of a confusing question
Yeah, my question was mostly aimed to the non-pro-tempore candidates, but I see none online :/
12:41 AM
How do you handle someone posting on your meta complaining about a moderator action you took?
I guess they'll reply later on Meta
I'll include any late answers in the digest, candidates not present can answer these questions here and @Josh me
@RebeccaChernoff This one's always fun. I believe we always need to be accountable for our moderator actions, but complaints need to be accompanied by facts, first and foremost. I respond to vague complaints with a request for more information. If the complaint turns out to be valid, then I will take steps to correct my previous actions.
@RebeccaChernoff I will explain my actions to them. If I make a mistake, then I will apologize and take steps to correct that. Here's an example:
1
Q: I just got crushed by a moderator

DaveI would like to know if the other mods feel he was abusing his power. This is the relevant question: http://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/7625/how-do-you-score-pork-skin If I was out of line, I will quietly go away. If not, I'd like to know what the rationale was for: 1) deleting my answ...

Mint chocolate: Am I right or am I right?
12:45 AM
@RebeccaChernoff It depends on the type of mint.
I should've known. (;
@RebeccaChernoff It's alright. I prefer chocolate with cayenne :)
@hobodave This is probably the SA question that I link the most
@GraceNote really? in what context?
@GraceNote Really? For me it's the infamous "how to cook a fish in a dishwasher" one ;-)
12:47 AM
@Josh The only question on your main site that I remember is the "How do I keep food worm" one, so I don't really get any opportunities to link stuff like that
@hobodave I end up in a lot of cases where we talk about moderators crushing users, actually. Surprisingly more often than I get to talk about closing questions until they get revised.
I'm at a loss for more questions so instead I'm trying to pull more people in from wherever I can think of...
@GraceNote Ah, I was worried it was a situation of "This is how you don't moderate." :D
How do you feel about a diamond being attached to everything you say and do on the site?
@hobodave More often, it's about "We all make mistakes, don't take it too hard"
@RebeccaChernoff I almost asked that one also but realized it already has been for both candidates present right? :-)
12:50 AM
@RebeccaChernoff It definitely changes the way I act. I'm very careful about how I word things on Seasoned Advice.
Four out of five people are crushed by giant diamonds every day.
What do you plan to do to assist the site outside of responding to flags and standard close/delete maintenance?
@Josh doesn't mean they don't/can't have opinions on it being there.
@RebeccaChernoff good point
12:51 AM
@RebeccaChernoff I barely notice it anymore, but I do try to stay cognizant of the fact that others do. There have been a couple situations where I've said something in passing or made a suggestion that was interpreted as "policy".
bah, meant to edit that.
@GraceNote Represent our interests to the SE team. Facilitate discussion around gray areas and policy-making. Try to smooth relations with inexperienced users if the community acts heavy-handedly.
@RebeccaChernoff Attribution required!!
(just kidding.)
@GraceNote Well, I'd like to help with promotion of the site but I don't think I'm a great source of ideas in that area.
I see you deleted "It makes me feel STRONG!" before I could get that into the digest @hobodave, LOL!
12:53 AM
@Josh :D I wasn't sure anyone even noticed
@hobodave I did and was just looking for that for the digest ;-)
@GraceNote Oh, and I've also been proactively trying to manage the tags with synonyms, merges, etc. And I occasionally use the /review, although there's not much to see on Seasoned Advice yet.
@RebeccaChernoff did you delete a question?
she needed to edit it
12:55 AM
@Josh I accidentally re-posted @GraceNote's question rather than editing the original. ):
@hobodave ah, thanks!
Alright, we're about at the hour, anybody have a final question?
You've got mad and are abusing your mod powers. A dev is on the way to suspend you for life. You only have time to ban one person before they get to you. Do you suspend: Rebecca Chernoff, Jeff Atwood, Josh, or whichever innocent user's profile you can find first
ROFLMAO!!!!
12:56 AM
@MichaelMrozek Damn you I'm drinking
@MichaelMrozek I destroy the account of this user:
Michael Mrozek, Indiana, US
101
best. towh. hall. question. ever!
@hobodave ELECT THE MAN! (said in a totally SOIS-neutral, non-endorsement voice)
If you had to create a restaurant devoted to creating meals that shared one key ingredient, what would it be?
12:57 AM
@MichaelMrozek A suspension would be pointless, since they're all developers and could just re-instate themselves. Instead I would merge my account with Jeff's.
lol
@GraceNote I'm not sure that would be a successful restaurant unless that ingredient were something basic like bread, or pork. I'd go with pork, because you get bacon.
@GraceNote Salt. That keeps the options pretty wide open.
Interesting...
Chocolate is my second choice.
ah that could work well
1:00 AM
Final thoughts?
@RebeccaChernoff I'm hungry, can I eat now?
@Aaronut Ooo. Nice answer
Bah, beat me to it.
in Gaming Town Hall Chat, Feb 7 at 19:54, by Rebecca Chernoff
NO FOOD ALLOWED
1:01 AM
@badp that was because you wanted to leave!
@RebeccaChernoff And leave I did!
and then I came back.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record I'd like to thank the candidates and extend a big THANK YOU to @RebeccaChernoff for her hard work on these Town halls and dedication to the community!!
@RebeccaChernoff Re: Final thoughts - mainly I just hope that we get a good number of people actually voting. I'd like to confirm that the reason for relatively few nominations is that we're doing a good job and not because nobody cares. ;)
I say it often only because it's true!
1:02 AM
That concludes our town hall, thanks to all the participants!
@Josh you don't have to keep saying that ya know (;
I will be posting a digest of this town hall to Meta tomorrow
Tomorrow, because I'll be rate-limited and it will be 3 minutes per question
1 min ago, by Josh
I say it often only because it's true!
ok I'm off to eat
thanks everyone

« first day (1 day earlier)      last day (751 days later) »