« first day    last day (16 days later) » 

9:48 AM
So is that this will start soon
Let me see if I can find a spot to sit... Oh yeah, right behind the pillar over there. Excuse me...sorry... did I step on your toes?
You'd be hard pressed to accomplish that with the low population in here at this time, haha
Everyone is confused wrt timezones
@GraceNote So... I'll be fielding questions from crickets, then?
I'm closer to a cicada
And I'm pretty much relying on whoever else shows up to ask any of the more community-specific questions.
There were more who indicated this as "I can make it", but I can't blame them if they don't due to the short notice.
9:57 AM
This remembers me of some university student board election meetings. Nobody shows up but the candidates and some friends.
@GraceNote So, to clarify: are you in an observational capacity, or will you be throwing your own queries as well?
yawns
@J.M. I'll be asking a bunch of common questions that are usually asked every town hall
Things about general moderator philosophy and activity moreso than Mathematica specific. Sometimes I'll try to dig out some extra stuff for the site in question but my knowledge of the field is dry, to say little of it.
To that end...
Welcome to the Mathematica Town Hall Chat
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, be sure to 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)
It's a good idea to bold your questions (use ** or __ around it) to make them easier to see. 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. I will clear stars given to responses.
@TimStone 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 if they're around. Seems we're already getting a nice crowdish, though
At the moment, we have @J.M. and @Verbeia among us. Keep in mind that the other candidates who cannot make it at this hour, will be able to answer all the questions you ask after the event, so please do not hold back.
OK. You start?
I'll start us off, sure
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?
2
10:05 AM
@GraceNote As with any user behavior that results if flags from other users, I believe in using escalation. I'd first post a comment, a polite request that the user modify his/her behavior.
If the user proves resistant to polite requests, I would suppose a brief suspension (1 day?) is in order, with the suspension time increasing for successive violations.
What do you think your time budget should be for moderating this site as it continues to grow, and what is your core time period each day?
2
@GraceNote These days, my free time tends to be rather erratic due to the nature of the other things occupying me, but I strive to at least spend an hour on this site.
A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
3
I' d just like to say I' m very impressed with the quality of answers
on Mathematica.SE.This partially seems to stem from the high
likelihood that at least one very experienced community member will
respond.
I wonder what the candidates' strategy will be to maintain that quality as the site grows and we attract more questions at the novice level, which may seem trivial, perhaps annoyingly so, to experienced users, whilst still making the site a welcoming and friendly place to come for new members?
5
@TimStone Not very differently. I will always stand by the right things I've said, and I am always regretful for any rash words/decisions I've made, and will seek to make amends for those.
10:12 AM
@image_doctor A related question I had ready on my clipboard: We have a set of hardcore users who jump in to answer every question, however easy. Shouldn't we have a policy that the easy ones should be left for less experienced users to gain some rep?
5
@SjoerdC.deVries I had the same thought, it's is both a blessing and curse, depending on your perspective :)
@image_doctor My take on this is that we should always try to be polite and gentle towards new users. I've always maintained that a well-thought out corrective (and polite!) comment is often more effective than downvotes. I once said on another meta site: "any fool can click the downvote button, but writing a constructive comment is a higher road one can take."
@SjoerdC.deVries Not necessarily, methinks. It may well be that the "experienced user" may be able to give a more pedagogically satisfactory answer. Still, the newbies should never be made to feel that they can't jump in; if they have something meaty and relevant to say, they should say it freely.
@halirutan (In a muted voice:) There's one spot left, behind the pillar next to me.
Do you feel like a representative percentage of the community participates in your site's meta? Based on that, how strongly do you think feedback presented on meta should factor into your decision making as a moderator?
2
What is one contribution you feel demonstrates that you can be a good moderator?
2
10:18 AM
@TimStone I must confess I don't know how to determine how much of the site's active users are meta readers as well, but my take on it is that the ones who bother with meta are the people who are the most concerned with the site's well-being, so I tend to lend more credence/weight to people with meta participation.
@SjoerdC.deVries Morning ;-) Thanks, I'll take this.
@J.M. We have 17 pages of Meta users, 10 pages have users with rep>100
@J.M. I'm no expert, but not a novice, but I find very few questions I can answer as quickly or as comprehensively than the established cadre of experts. Most often I look at a question and come to the conclusion that by the time I've investigated and constructed something worthwhile, 3 others will have answered more exhaustively that I could manage.
@SjoerdC.deVries Meta's reputation is just a reflection of your site reputation, alas
When you see a question with major issues (poorly-written, argumentative, etc.), what tool do you reach for first?
2
@GraceNote I'm hard-pressed to think of a concrete example for this, but I have been active at fixing up both posts and comments; I am aware I can fix posts even without the diamond, but I would need the diamond for editing comments into good shape.
@SjoerdC.deVries Ah, right. Thanks.
@image_doctor I don't believe everybody remembers everything, given that Mathematica has a lot of things in it... one always looks out for the slim opportunities. :) (FWIW, I'm not exactly an expert either; just a happy user who's been using it on and off for quite a while.)
@GraceNote Depends. If no one has commented yet, I'll leave a comment; if there is a comment already admonishing the OP, I upvote it and wait for a response from the OP.
10:24 AM
@image_doctor You're doing great with 85 answers, and some very fine ones at that.
How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?
3
If OP is recalcitrant, I'd close (but I would prefer to be the fifth voter), but with a reminder that OP can always edit his/her question into better shape.
@GraceNote Good question;-)
Is there anything about the way the site is currently run that you would like to change? If so, what would you try to change if you were to become a moderator, and why?
3
@J.M. A very good happy user :) But I think the point here is that with such an active body of experts, others feel there is a reduced chance for them to contribute effectively, do you have a defined approach to encouraging wider participation and perhaps suppressing the wonderful enthusiasm of leading figures?
3
10:25 AM
Garraar, I had just queued that up to ask, too. Minus the second portion of the question.
@GraceNote I'd talk to the other mod in the chat room reserved for mods first, asking about his reasoning. If we can't agree, I'd let the third mod break the deadlock.
hello, sorry I'm late!
No worries at all, Verbeia, and thanks for being able to make it.
Just start from the top pin to see a general overview of what's going on, and then work down the stars list
@TimStone Nothing so far, I think. I'm glad that the Mathematica folk are a mostly fine bunch, and I don't believe I've had to intervene in a spat here, so I guess I'll change nothing.
@Verbeia cheers
10:28 AM
@GraceNote The first step would be to educate the user about the points that are causing the issue. Help him or her understand by editing answers/posts in a way that is less likely to cause ructions with others. If they are being obstreperous, then escalate to comment deletion. Suspension is a last resort but it's an option.
Previously, some users voiced their concern about having anonymous moderators. What do you think?
3
@TimStone That's a nice question.
@SjoerdC.deVries thank you for your kind words
@GraceNote As I mentioned in my nomination post, my time is quite limited and I have two months away (Nov/Dec) already scheduled. I anticipate my times to be short bursts around 8am, 1pm and 8pm weekdays (Sydney time, UTC+10) and a bit more on weekend mornings. I wouldn't be able to visit all of those times, but those would be my windows.
@image_doctor I suppose the "leading figures" might be amenable to a nudge, maybe in chat... I've found them to be reasonable folk. For the bit on "encouraging wider participation", I've always been hard-pressed to answer that question, even when I was on math.SE...
10:31 AM
Sorry, very dumb question. Is there a list who wants to be mod? I see @Verbeia and @J.M. seems to want.
@TimStone That's ok with me. I am always myself in whatever I do, and I don't think my essential self would project any differently. I don't suppose we can have hyperbolic diamonds for Mma.SE?
@SjoerdC.deVries I am of the belief that I can do a good job, even if I am only using my initials in my username.
@halirutan The full list of nominees is here - Verbeia and J.M. are the only currently present ones
Halfway mark, just a note
@GraceNote Thx
How comfortable are you with using the tools for moderation made available to normal (non-diamond-moderator) users? (such as editing, closing, re-opening, flagging, etc)
2
10:33 AM
@image_doctor very good question. I see the simpler questions as a way for newer members to start answering and participating. That basically describes me, on SO, 18 months ago. If more experienced users aren't happy with the quality of the questions (and it has gone down a little on average lately, I think), then they might want to try to come up with one.
An unknown user engages in voting behaviour that, while not strictly against the rules, is something several of the members of the community find troubling. Since voting is at the discretion of the user and the system has automated controls in place to handle most suspicious behaviour, what role (if any) do you feel a moderator should play in this scenario?
2
Well, it really took me some time to understand what's this room for since my English is poor. OK, I have a relaxed question: What will you do if one day someone posts a question that isn't written in English?
2
@GraceNote It lightens the load, I think. Though high rep does not necessarily correlate to being skillful enough, or wise with, the tools, I've found that most users here can be trusted with these tasks. If we get an unruly high-rep member... let's cross that bridge when we get there.
@SjoerdC.deVries I don't know if I would make it a policy, but I would encourage giving lower-rep users space to answer. I can't find the meta post about this just now but I'm sure I had an answer about that.
@TimStone I don't think it's a mod's business to be concerned with the use of the voting system by other users, other than flagrant abuses. That being said, I will at least try to look into said anomalies.
10:37 AM
@Verbeia Yes, as you suggest, some dilution in quality is probably inevitable as the membership widens - but perhaps those very questions give an opportunity to the less experienced members to hone their skills and contribute, whilst the awesome depth of knowledge of the experts can be applied to more esoteric questions.
@xzczd One approach that was taken in math.SE (where I am a somewhat active member) was that we allow the user to post in his native language, and then other users can edit to include a proper English translation. I don't see why we can't do it on this site as well.
@TimStone meta participation is a sign that the person is likely to be engaged in the site and wants to succeed. So yes, views on meta are as close as we can get to polls without actually having an election. It's not the only consideration - if it was only a narrow majority in favour of something, I would not take it as the only input. This is where the chat feature is useful. We can get feedback in multiple ways.
Two highly respected members of the community get in a comment war on a question. They both flag each other's comments and are cussing and it is clear that this is beyond a heated argument. What do you do, what don't you do?
3
@TimStone I step in, of course, with a polite but firm word. Cases that are refractory to a polite comment from a mod can of course be dealt with suspension.
@GraceNote the way I interact with new users - see this meta question and this one - welcoming but fair
10:42 AM
(With respect to my policy on cussing: I don't particularly mind it myself, but I've always maintained that one should strive to sound more like a teacher in a classroom than a trucker in a bar on this site.)
@J.M. Wow, that's quite a preferential policy :D.
@Verbeia Can you answer this one?
35 mins ago, by Grace Note
What do you think your time budget should be for moderating this site as it continues to grow, and what is your core time period each day?
@TimStone Ah yes, Verbeia brings up a good point. I'd also lend an ear to what users are saying in the chat room.
@GraceNote Comments, and then edits. The comments should always be phrased in a helpful way. As in "Welcome to Mma.SE, by the way I formatted your code, here's how to do it". Of course in the major-issue cases you are referring to, it would be major edit and then comment, if the question is salvagable. If not, then give the community time to close it. I would exercise the Diamond Drop and close the question as a last resort.
@halirutan that's weird, I thought I had.
@halirutan I believe s/he did, over here
10:44 AM
@halirutan I think @Verbeia did mention her time commitments shortly after arrival to the room
@GraceNote She!
@GraceNote I'm a girl :)
Yeah, I figure that now but I dropped a slash accidentally
@Verbeia Yes, you have. Missed it.
Sorry 'bout that
10:46 AM
@halirutan Hung over?
Moderating is a lot of work. Do you expect to be able to keep answering questions or will you spend all your time here moderating?
2
(Also, quarter mark)
@GraceNote I would discuss it with them in chat. I am less worried about closed questions as deleted ones. There are a number of closed questions (especially those closed as Too Localised) that actually have pretty good answers. I would not want to delete them. Actually that is as close as I get to a policy platform: "welcome newbies and don't delete closed questions that have good answers".
@J.M. On non-English posting: Wouldn't allowing that lead to a mish-mash of unanswered and untranslated questions in old-Mongolian and Iroquois etc?
2
@YvesKlett Yes. Went to bed at 7 o'clock
@GraceNote I strive to maintain a balance. Luckily, since most of the people here are good people, I've been able to spend more time answering than moderating.
10:48 AM
I'm not sure exactly when I went to bed last night since there was a power outage
@TimStone I am pretty happy with how the site is going. The only things that I would change would be (1) avoiding deleting questions with good answers, as noted earlier, and (2) I would like to encourage editors to fix the whole post, so we don't get sequences of edits, one fixing the code, one the typos etc. Neither are big problems, which is why I never raised them before, but these are some small things I would seek to encourage.
Reviewing, acting upon flags, voting to close - all gets repetitive more so as a Mod because you essentially don't have vote limits. What steps do plan to take to keep from getting burned out? If you do get burned out, how will you handle this?
2
@SjoerdC.deVries Methinks the likelihood of those particular languages showing up is low, but I suppose one could at least try to run them through a machine translation, if no human translators are available...
@GraceNote "If you do get burned out" - I'd probably take a break, but I will of course give advanced notice to the other mods, and possibly say something in the chat room.
@image_doctor See this meta answer. I think the strong base of top users we have is awesome. It is one of the strengths of the site. It's like having 10 Jon Skeets, but for Mathematica. I think we did have a bit of a problem with those strong users jumping in and not leaving much for newer users, but I think that has eased off a lot. In part, that's because some of those top users have started taking breaks.
@gracenote Would you know what the is the optimum number of moderators for a site of Mathematica's size/activity to avoid overloading?
10:51 AM
At the moment, we set that number as 3.
@image_doctor Sorry, answer was too long - I don't think enthusiasm should be supressed, but I would definitely try to set a tone of not jumping into questions too quickly, especially the easy ones.
@J.M. I was trying to be funny there, but the issue is serious. If the good questions are diluted by many unreadable questions the site will go down the drain. What do the other moderator candidates think about this?
2
A post is flagged. All moderators have looked at it. No one's taken action/cleared it because you're all unsure what to do with it. What do you do now when there is no consensus?
2
@SjoerdC.deVries I'm not really anonymous. My real name is able to be worked out through a bit of googling of my handle here. But I think those who know my identity appreciate that because of my work, I'd like to maintain a patina of anonymity. If that is a problem, I would step back from the position.
@SjoerdC.deVries I don't think we're at risk of being awash in untranslated questions just yet. Let's cross that bridge when we get there.
10:54 AM
@GraceNote I addressed this in my nomination post. I have been active in cleanup/moderation type tasks on both SO and here. I have Marshal and Copy Editor badges on SO and have voted to close etc.
@GraceNote I would still try to discuss things with the other mods in the mod-only chat room, but if we are still at an impasse, I'd probably ask the community at large for some assistance, via meta.
@J.M. So, no Gedankenexperimente? Did a lot of good to science...
We're nearing the end of the hour, so to that end, final thoughts from the candidates?
@verbeia thank you, the answer was fine, it, and it's links, gave me a good insight into your approach
@TimStone This is a pertinent question given recent events. People's votes are theirs to bestow as they see fit as long as it isn't abusive. But if the community feels that some querying of the person was required, that should definitely come privately from a moderator rather than, say, publicly in chat.
10:56 AM
@Verbeia I don't think that would be a problem.
@SjoerdC.deVries It's just that methinks most people on the Internet can at least write readable (even if not exactly proper) English, and I've a feeling the people whose English is so poor that we have to ask them to post in their native language will be few and far between.
Ergo, we handle on a case-to-case basis. If we hit the point where we're actually drowning in these "incomprehensible" questions, only then do we formulate a plan.
@xzczd Interesting question, thanks! The language of the site is English, so I'd leave a comment reminding the person of that. If it was in German, I'd try to translate it ;-). More generally, in my experience, people's English is much better than they think, and I'd encourage people to try their best - native speakers like me can always edit posts to be clearer. It would be a good idea for people to stick around so that they can confirm that the edit still reflects what was meant.
This marks the end of our Town Hall. Thank you to all of the candidates for their time, and to all others who came here to ask questions and to support the candidates. Good luck to everyone as this election approaches its close!
2
@TimStone This hasn't happened here yet, which is a sign of the strength of our community. I would provide them with fair warning in comments. Usually, the thread gets moved to chat if it gets long enough anyway. If things get out of hand, I would start deleting comments.
As mentioned, @TimStone will be making a digest of this that will be available after this at some point. Candidates who haven't finished, you are free to continue answering in here until you reach the end (and anyone who couldn't make it is also allowed to answer post-fact) - this end only signifies the end of new questions, not the time you have to answer.
11:01 AM
@halirutan Pfff, I'm glad it's over. Pretty cramped behind the pillar, don't you think?
@GraceNote Ah, no more additional questions can be entertained at this point?
where are the beer and nibbles ?
@GraceNote I only answer questions sporadically anyway, so I don't think much will change.
@J.M. Well, I guess you could sit around in the normal Mathematica chat, but we limit it to an hour mostly so that candidates get time to answer every question and that there is an end.
@GraceNote I plan to budget my time carefully and focus a lot of my moderating work in short bursts, as described in the earlier question on time budgets.
11:03 AM
@SjoerdC.deVries I had to check the meaning of pillar because in your first msg I thought you wrote pillow ;-)
@SjoerdC.deVries Sorry, does my answer answer your question?
@GraceNote We should discuss in chat or meta if it is a really gnarly one. But if we aren't sure, and there is only one flag, then I would leave it. If there is a real problem, the post would attract more than one flag.
@Verbeia Well, J.M. suggested everyone just post in his/hers native language when their command of English was lacking. I'm not sure if that would be a good idea. Did you comment on that, I didn't see it?
@SjoerdC.deVries I did say that if push comes to shove, we could try to run the non-English bits through machine translation.
@image_doctor optimum number of moderators? Mma.SE is pretty well-behaved. I think 3-4 would be sufficient depending on the time budget of the incumbents. If I am elected, we might have to reevaluate some time in the New Year to make sure it works with 3.
@GraceNote Final thoughts: As I said in my nomination post, I don't have oodles of time to devote to moderation, but I'm efficient, committed to the site, and I think my meta Q&A and some of my other initiatives show I have a suitable attitude.
I am going to nap a bit, then
11:09 AM
thanks everyone for the questions. I hope our answers are useful.
Indeed, good questions, y'all. Thanks, and I hope I was able to answer them to satisfaction.
@Verbeia @J.M. thanks to the candidates for putting up with our questioning :)
@J.M. This came back from Google translate. Not bad. "He said that, if push comes to shove, we can try to run bit by automatically translate English."
Ok I better go. Bye now!
11:14 AM
@Verbeia I think it does. And btw, I would help you translate the German questions.
 
1 hour later…
F'x
F'x
12:20 PM
hi all, I'm sorry I couldn't make it… I'm just checking the list of questions from a conference wifi, and I'll have to be off in a minute or two… I'll take some time later today or tomorrow to answer the questions that were asked
@F'x the same here
Worry not
 
7 hours later…
R.M
R.M
7:43 PM
@GraceNote I would remove the offending comments and let them know via comments (public) that their behaviour is causing friction and generating flags. If they still continue to be belligerent, then depending on the severity of their actions, my next step would range from a frank discussion in a private chatroom re: their behaviour and our expectations to possible suspension.
While it is important that we recognize their contributions, it is also necessary that firm action be taken if their behaviour hurts the community and turns it to an unpleasant place for existing and future users.
Hey @R.M
R.M
R.M
Hello @GraceNote :) Working through the starred list one by one...
btw @TimStone, do I need to address the second message above explicitly (continuation of my answer to the same question)
It's not strictly necessary, I'll be sure to grab it either way.
R.M
R.M
ok, thanks :)
@GraceNote I don't really have a specific time set aside since I'm not as busy (yet) as most people are. I typically visit quite a few times each hour between 7am PST to 11pm PST. Of course, that's not guaranteed forever and will change in the future as life moves on, but I always try to visit the site at least twice or thrice every day (I've visited the site on 245 days so far).
The expectation is also that as the site grows in the coming years, there will be a larger user base contributing to things like editing/closing/reopening/deleting, and more mods will be elected, so the load will be shared among several users.
R.M
R.M
8:09 PM
@TimStone The fact that whatever I say is attached to my name (or initials, at least) matters more to me than an additional symbol, so I would continue to be the way I am right now. However, I am cognizant of the fact that the lay person might see things as "more official" and so would exercise more caution and be diplomatic in my phrasing in tricky situations (esp. in arguments, etc)
R.M
R.M
8:22 PM
@image_doctor I personally don't think that moderators alone should set the policy on that — we, as a community, should decide on the course of action. I like our present approach of being welcoming to new users, accepting questions no matter what the level (but politely letting them know that more personal effort is required for RTFM questions).
I don't think that easy questions will "annoy" the experienced ones — they're more likely to just ignore them, which already happens on a daily basis with questions outside of their interests (even if they're advanced). Such decent, albeit simple questions will also serve as a way for newer users to start contributing and perhaps be an opportunity for the experienced users to elaborate on hidden/tricky aspects (there can be an educational moment even in seemingly trivial questions)
R.M
R.M
8:55 PM
@SjoerdC.deVries I wouldn't make it a sitewide policy, but high rep users could adopt it as a personal policy. Instead of refraining from answering as you suggest, they could try to tailor their answers so that it is complementary to others' and this would provide an ecosystem where both types of users can coexist. I have observed high rep users guiding inexperienced users to answer in the right direction instead of writing a competing answer, so they're not always predatory...
Of course, going by precedence, the gloves come off when it concerns questions ;)
@TimStone Yes, I do think a representative %age of the community participates in meta. I'm actually surprised (in a good way) by how many regulars and non-regulars voice their opinions on meta (feels rather high compared to similar SE sites) and new users also find their way to meta, so it is a very encouraging sign for the future of the site. So yes, meta discussions should factor into decision making, but I'm aware that there are times when it might come down to the mods making a judgement call
@GraceNote Perhaps the fact that I've used practically every tool available to me to its fullest. I've edited a lot of posts (the lone Copy Editor as on date), top voter, top reviewer of suggested edits (71 so far), flagged over 100 posts, (continued...)
constantly participated in community moderation such as closing, reopening, deleting, etc... all this while answering over 300 questions and being second (as on date) in the all time rep league. So I'm fairly aware of the effort required and know how to balance my time here.
@GraceNote I always try to edit it first unless it is way beyond the point of no return, in which case I try to leave a comment and vote to close.
@GraceNote Discuss the issue with them first to see their reasoning — maybe they have a different point of view or there were other circumstances not immediately obvious to me, which would persuade me to change my mind. I'd probably discuss it in the public room and not the private one because if instead it were 5 users that hastily closed something, I'd be talking to them in a public room.
@TimStone I think the site has been functioning smoothly so far. If anything, I probably wouldn't delete good duplicates and especially not those with good answers. I'd be OK if the community (3 users) decided to delete it though.
@SjoerdC.deVries I don't think that's a concern. What should really matter is their participation, behaviour and contribution to the community. People should be allowed to keep their privacy if they so desire.
@GraceNote I already answered this in an earlier response, but I'll recap for the digest — I've used practically every tool available to me to its fullest. I'm the top editor (672 edits and the lone Copy Editor as on date), top voter, top reviewer of suggested edits (71 so far), over 100 helpful flags, constantly participated in community moderation such as close/reopen, delete/undelete since January and all this while answering over 300 questions and being second in the all time rep league
@TimStone Probably not very much can be done anyway if it isn't against the rules and can't be detected (like with the recent unupvoting spree by some user). A moderator could perhaps make a public statement (in chat or meta) — those who are doing this because of ignorance might correct their behaviour and those that are doing out of malice will continue to do so, no matter what. If it seriously hurts the community, I'd probably get a dev involved to identify the user and move from there onwards.
9:43 PM
@R.M It wasn't my concern really. It was Rolf's. It lead to the famous "I'm Spartacus" meme.
R.M
R.M
@SjoerdC.deVries Yes, I remember that :) I was ready to say R.M stands for "Rolf Mertig" if he had asked me :D
@R.M Roman Maeder 't was?
R.M
R.M
sshhh... Rolf doesn't need to know that!
@xzczd English is the de facto language of the site, but if it is a new user and if the question can be understood by one of our users (or Google translate), then we should try and translate it and fix it to the best of our ability. However, I wouldn't allow this to be a pattern, because if I can use Google translate to understand it, they too can (and should) use it to translate it to English (to the extent GT can) before posting. So after the first post, they should be made aware of GT
@r.m. I had been posting anonymously (well, pseudonymously) for a couple of years on MathGroup when I decided that answering Mathematica questions isn't much of a criminal offense and really couldn't be used against you (perhaps to prove you're a nerd), so I switched to using my own name.
It also builds some track record that can be used if you ever decide to apply for a Mathematica-related job.
R.M
R.M
9:59 PM
@SjoerdC.deVries Heh, I know your pseudonym (not sure if it is well known)... You're right, it's useful in applying to jobs and there's nothing wrong in mathematica discussions, but I'm still not comfortable posting completely non-anonymously... This is a step closer to the real identity, as you might know, but I guess I just need more time. I've mostly been a silent consumer of online information, not a contributor (except for the past couple of years), so this feeling is still something "new" for me.
@R.M I gave it away when I posted on Reddit, didn't I? I also know I once posted to MathGroup from my real email address using my tagname.
Anyway, I had a couple of them, some of which haven't been used for more than a couple of times.
R.M
R.M
@SjoerdC.deVries haha, yes! That was the clue :)
10:17 PM
@R.M Another argument could be that using your real name proves you're not a Wolfram sockpuppet.
R.M
R.M
Here or on MG? In any case, a fake name isn't hard to manufacture...
@TimStone I'd treat them just like I would any other user... tell them to politely to cut it out in the comments and then escalate if that doesn't help. Don't see why they should be treated with kid gloves, when they should've known better than to behave in such a manner.
@GraceNote I don't know, and quite frankly, I didn't make any commitment to answer a certain minimum number of questions, as your question seems to assume. As mentioned previously, I'm familiar with most of the tools and know how to balance my time on the site. I'll continue to answer questions that I find interesting and where I can contribute. But if I indeed have a time crunch, I'll probably focus what little I can spare on issues that need moderator attention.
Besides, with such an active community like ours, the moderator workload shouldn't be so heavy as to drown the mods in flags so badly that they can't don't have time to answer anything. If it comes to such a situation, then it's an indication that more moderators are necessary... I have absolutely no intention of just being an unpaid flag clearing workhorse like Stack Overflow mods. The community is what I enjoy more.
R.M
R.M
10:51 PM
@GraceNote Well, for the level of activity on the site (and given how much the community handles itself), it probably isn't much to get burned out easily. I don't intend to burn out either — this site is an outlet for me from the rigours of day-to-day life (which actually pays). If any moderator begins to feel that way (assuming everyone's pitching in reasonably), it is probably a signal that more hands are needed on the deck.
@GraceNote If the moderators are in a gridlock, then I'd turn to the community for suggestions on how to handle it (either in meta or in chat), taking reasonable precaution to maintain the privacy of those involved (if necessary).

« first day    last day (16 days later) »