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1:00 AM
@Ryan BTW, FumbleFingers isn't running. But perhaps you already know that...
1:19 AM
@Ryan Are you asking the candidates as a group about this? Or are you just asking FumbleFingers?
@MrHen I was confused and thought he was running, but I also would like to hear from all candidates. In a sense its like the "Single-Word Request" question but everyone is focusing so in on single-word request instead of talking about the broader issue of consistency and creating better guidelines for what is and is not accepted.
@Ryan Mmk. I'll swing by later and respond. :)
I'd love to hear from any of you on what you'd do to make the site a bit more consistent and friendly to newcomers as far as what questions are okay, and how to justify subtle things that the community finds not okay
@MrHen look forward to reading it :)
7 hours later…
8:15 AM
@Ryan - We can't make the site consistent and friendly. We can only do what we can do, one person at a time. As I stated in my answers to your question here, I would encourage people to be more understanding of the misunderstandings new users have on coming to EL&U, to be friendlier, more consistent in their responses by voting, migrating when appropriate...
...making suggestions to users about their question, asking them to show their work/context, editing a salvageable post, etc. But it's up to all the ELU members to implement change, not just the moderators. I do try to be friendly to new users. But friendliness alone can't save a poor question, or one that belongs on another site.
1 hour later…
9:39 AM
Niceness is orthogonal to quality, @kapa. The problem is one of volume - so wasting effort on indiscriminate fly-swatting is as much a part of the problem as wasting effort on indiscriminate hand-holding. The most efficient way to discourage someone asking bad questions is to just ignore them: don't fix their post, don't leave comments, don't close or answer - downvote it so that fewer people see it, and focus your efforts on questions that can be of use to others. — Shog9 ♦ Jun 4 at 15:19
I agree with Shog9. We should be downvoting more questions that we think are poor quality and upvoting more that we think are good quality. Do not engage with time wasters.
Admitedly EL&U doesn't have the same volume of questions problem as SO
To be honest, though, this is not a method that anyone could enforce. People will communicate
Askers will say "why the anon down vote" and people will respond
Also, not editing ugly questions goes against my nature
That @matt is the nature of kindness :-)
But I think that hiding the crud from the front page (by downvoting) will increase the number of new users that we want, because they won't be put of by us being matter-of-fact with new users who haven't tried to fit in.
@skullpatrol it seems to be a short-sighted type of kindness that encourages bad behaviour.
but maybe I'm over reacting
It is a natural first response @matt
As they say you can't please all of the people all of the time....
9:57 AM
I know.
10:09 AM
Hi everybody, can someone tell me if at this stage( primary ) candidates can be down voted as well up voted?
there aren't primaries this time as we didn't have > 10 nominees
but, yes, if there were a primaries phase, you could have up and downvoted nominees
Ok thanks, so are we now waiting for the 10th nominee?
we are now in the election phase
we are skipping primaries
primaries exist to select the top 10 candidates
since there are less than ten, all nominees pass the primaries by default
Ok thanks for updating me. Are results visible in the meantime or just at the end?
Just at the end
10:20 AM
Thanks Matt.
no problem
2 hours later…
12:48 PM
In case candidates are unaware: you can vote for yourself. I know I will be.
1:29 PM
@Ryan FumbleFingers is not running for moderator.
And what I was explaining was how those actions were not inconsistent.
If you have questions about the closure, you can post on Meta.
2:32 PM
@MattЭллен - I don't think kindness is shortsighted. I agree with down voting bad answers, but every new user who sees our comments requiring effort and context plus down voting will get the message about the kinds of questions we want here, and will not, by virtue of kindness, be able to blame it on elitism. Ending the unkindness in our comments is necessary, I believe. But you don't believe we're unfriendly, so on this maybe we don't see eye to eye.
@medica not all kindness, but the kindness that tries to polish a turd. The best thing to do with a turd is flush it. That would be kinder
@medica I'm more talking about questions than answers
I hardly think of new users/new answers as turds. I think our attitude shows in people's comments about us. But I agree that a very poor question is something we should get off the front page as soon as possible. And, people who don't improve are people who should be instructed to. But I'm not quite at the stage you are.
I also do have a question: why did you duck the reason you shouldn't be a moderator question?
I didn't duck it
I answered it
By saying you should be a mod?
I might have changed my answer since you read it...
I misread it to start with, I thought it said "should"
2:38 PM
I'll check. thanks.
@MattЭллен hmm. ok. In medicine, we call that a hedge.
medicine is weird.
I'll say.
I'm a vote for the current way of things. That's all I'm saying
I understand that. if you don't see a problem, though (where I, @phenru and Mr. Hen believe we can be kinder), you won't fix it, that's all. But your platform is clear and well stated.
3:05 PM
Hm, I honestly expected more people to downvote me in the Answers thread. If anyone is worried about a particular answer, by the way, just hit me up in chat and we may be able to reach an understanding. :)
Looks like phenry is the most controversial candidate, but that's not much of a surprise. :P
looks like Mahnax is doing well :D
@MattЭллен Yes. I don't actually know Mahnax at all so it surprised me.
But downvotes don't actually matter in the election
he's not been around much over the last few months, but he is good for the site.
@MrHen I thought you had a very good platform. Much like mine when I ran.
I like the way ryan was expecting FF to explain how he would change the site!
3:11 PM
@KitFox Thanks. We'll see what people want, though.
@medica That was pretty funny. :)
@Ryan I think consistency is helpful for (a) those who are lurking on the site and are trying to figure out how to contribute the most effective way and (b) newer contributors who are attempting to step up their rep gain. As such, consistency is good but I don't think it is something to obsess over. If you spot a problem with how we have voted something closed and think it is worth bringing up you can ask chat or meta for their thoughts. (cont.)
I would caution against commenting directly on the post because long comment chains talking about why a post was closed or open very quickly looks like infighting and I think this is one of the reasons we appear so negative to new users.
@MrHen would you say, then, that we shouldn't consistently ask for new users to show their work or give context? I would agree that we shouldn't argue in comments.
Heh, I just thought of an interesting question for the candidates: Do you think that ELU chat is too chummy and doesn't focus enough on chatting about English? At any given time you can stumble into heated debates about religion, politics, workplace drama, gender issues, etc. What topics should take place in chat and what do you think the chat room's purpose should be?
@medica Actually, I think we should ask new users to show their work and give context. My caution is specifically to avoid calling out close voting consistency issues in comments since the new user who just posted won't gain anything from that particular debate.
All the new user will see is a bunch of bickering about why their question was or was not appropriate for the site. Which will never feel good or welcoming.
Ah. Then we do agree on that. Yes, bickering will reinforce ill-feelings. better not to bicker and instead bring it to meta.
My take on Chat is that chat isn't necessarily for anything specific, so whatever they want to discuss is fine with me. But if someone stumbles into a heated debate, they may have a bit of a time getting their questions answered. I don't think it's always like that. Often it's quiet, and quite easy to get an answer.
3:32 PM
@MrHen We could create a casual chat room, but then we'd never pay attention to the main chat.
And the ones who do get ignored are the vampires. We're pretty consistent about stopping casual chat to field questions.
@KitFox Hey, you're not a candidate!
I was one.
@KitFox Are you one now? Are you stepping down just to participate? ;)
Help vampires. "Pls tell me. gimme gimme whut iz it? tell me now"
3:37 PM
@MrHen my issue with Meta is that when I did bring a question up on Meta, the response was essentially: People on ELL are trolls that downvote for no good reason.
Q: Why is my question receiving down votes?

RyanIt is very strange to me that on a question I recently asked already has 3 down-votes. Is there a word or phrase for language and culture? Meanwhile, here are examples to very similar questions but with up-votes. Word or phrase that describes the biased perception of a group What is the term ...

Ah, i understand, thanks.
As a new member its difficult between inconsistencies and then not getting a proper justification.
@Ryan is your issue with ELL or ELU?
I can entirely agree with the reason @KitFox gave me above... but nobody left that as a comment on that question. Anyone could have been friendly and asked for clarification or further research.
@medica unless I'm really, really confused I thought I was on ELU and the election is for ELU? Not sure what ELL has to do with anything? I've never even logged into ELL
@Ryan you (accidentally) just said ELL when you meant EL&U
3:40 PM
@Ryan Your comment above states " the response was essentially: People on ELL are trolls that downvote for no good reason."
Ah I see, my mistake
Too late for edit it seems
@Ryan Your meta post got 11 up votes so there is support for your question.
Right. I'm more wondering how people can be friendlier without it coming to Meta. On the exchange I most often frequent instead of voting to close with the only comment being, "There's no way this could be useful" someone would've commented on how the question can be improved.
So I find it interesting there are inconsistencies in tags, voting, and a problem with friendliness. At this point these are the main things I'm considering while casting my vote, and what the candidate plans to do to improve it.
Moderators won't do much for that.
There is too much content and too many users. The community will have to change.
@Ryan I'm just playing catch-up here, but I see your question got a good number of upvotes (13) and 4 down votes. That isn't bad. Is it that you don't understand the down votes at all?
3:46 PM
And much of our regular userbase is burnt out from fighting the flood.
@medica it has nothing to do with the downvotes. I was originally asking about a different question. I was using that meta to point out that when I did receive downvotes (it had a negative score when I posted that meta) the response was "trolls"
Right now I'm not worried about the upvotes or downvotes. I'm worried about what people running for moderator will try to do to help improve the perception and friendliness of this exchange. A new member being told their question was downvoted because of trolls is pretty lackluster.
@Ryan OK. well, I'm one of the candidates, so if I can answer anything for you that I haven't addressed above, please let me know. Did you see my answer to you from earlier?
For example on Graphic Design we have numerous guidelines in place and community wikis to direct newcomers to. Some by myself, some by mods, some by other community members. If that does exist here - nobody is doing a good job directing new members to them.
@medica I did
@Ryan phenry, myself, and Mr.Hen feel we should be kinder in our responses.
Is there another question?
@Ryan I agree with you. There isn't a concerted effort to guide new users in a friendly and helpful manner.
@Ryan Well, to be fair, John Landsberg is not a moderator.
3:52 PM
@medica I appreciate that. At this point I already upvoted your questions as one I intend to vote for so far. Phenry as well though it looks like others have downvoted him.
@Ryan I would love to see that happen, but mods can only suggest, encourage, and try to set an example. But we have a lot of users, with a fair number of newer users, who don't bother to post comments at all.
A: Why are most new questions being downvoted?

KitFoxYou have made a very good observation. You may recall that the last time we communicated, almost a year ago, I told you that I thought that the silent downvotes on your question were due to "overzealous enforcement of the FAQ guideline that suggests that off-topic questions should be down-voted ...

It's old. Way older than when I was elected even.
The problem that has grown bigger and bigger is that the potential userbase grows, new people come, and the vast majority are either "drive-bys" = post crap and move on, sometimes not even accepting an answer, or the kind of user that can't accept that the community here functions differently than they want it too, so we are labeled "elitist" or "mean" etc.
@Ryan As for down votes without comments, there are a lot of reasons for that. People might be afraid of revenge down voting. Or might be too lazy to comment. Sometimes, when they do comment, they'll get an argument in the thread. So it's easier not to comment.
And yet more and more people come, and there aren't enough of us to teach everyone, and we get tired of the abuse.
Because you can't tell whether you will actually be helpful or not.
And most of the time you get yelled at.
@KitFox I agree with you.
@Ryan Once I left a comment with a down vote. The answer was authoritatively stating something that I thought was probably untrue. The person then commented to me, prove that I'm wrong. That's the kind of argument I don't want to get into. He finally did do research for his answer, instead of just giving an opinion, and it did turn out he had been wrong.
When he edited his answer, I removed my down vote and up voted him instead. It worked out in the end, the way the system is meant to work. But some people don't want the confromtation which often comes with a down vote comment.
4:02 PM
I agree these are problems. I'm just trying to feel out the candidate pool for if the others agree and what different candidates think can be done about it.
> And, supposedly, the 3-of-15 statistic implies that the problem is with people who are too hasty to downvote? What about the problem of people who are too flippant about asking questions?
Its just unfortunate because it sounds like you all are assuming the worst rather than assuming the best. I mean if someone left a comment like that for me and it seemed to be something that would go into discussion I'd just say lets move this to chat if you want to continue
I think most people who have been here a while do assume the worst.
Because there is good reason to.
@KitFox then this site has fundamental issues that need to be addressed if you, and the majority, feel that way and openly acknowledge it.
4:06 PM
I do not disagree.
As I said, the mods can't do much about it. The community will have to change.
Which is why we have Meta post after Meta post about it.
And also why I think Mr.Hen's platform is well-considered.
Q: How to guarantee getting downvotes without explanation

medicaThere has been significant interest in this topic, as shown by the number of related questions. Since new users come along regularly (such as myself), I don't think it's useless to review the downvote. When I first joined EL&U, I was offended by downvotes without explanation. I thought it was r...

@Ryan comments with downvotes would be ideal. There is even a suggestion when you click down that you consider leaving one. But the reality is we can't make people do so.
I don't have the rep on this exchange to know, but is there a lack of upvoting? I know thats come up on the graphicdesign exchange, moreso since we've left beta.
I ask because another question I've posted here, has a single downvote (maybe a mix, i can't see here) but over 500 views, and an answer with 4 upvotes. So people feel the answer is worth reading and upvoting but not the question?
No, upvoting is encouraged, and good questions will get plenty of upvotes. Your question got more than the average by far.
I'm not referring to the above question
I'm looking at this one now:
Q: When saying supplier of a building material should the material be singular or plural?

RyanWhich of the following is correct: Supplier of tile, stone, tools and equipment or Supplier of tiles, stones, tools and equipment If you could provide an English rule to know that would also be very much appreciated. Thanks!

just kinda going through my own experience here to evaluate
4:21 PM
I would say it doesn't demonstrate research effort.
Just "here are two alternatives, which is right?"
You do specifically ask for a rule, so that's helpful, but you don't demonstrate any understanding of what you are asking for a rule about.
Are you asking about the genitive? About whether your nouns should be count or mass?
Whether there should be a comma?
I don't think it is particularly clear.
I do think it is on-topic though.
Again @KitFox I'm not asking for justification right now. I'm more wondering why there's a voting issue here. You just confirmed 1 upvote, 2 downvotes. But the answer received at least 4 upvotes that I can see. How can we better encourage people, especially to newcomers, to either upvote the Question as well or leave a comment to improve it?
Of course you're not running for moderator, so I'm more interested in what those who are would do to improve these types of issues
Well, the discussion you had in the comments would beef up your question nicely.
@Ryan A comment should be left on that post. That is something one can find in a dictionary. But if they stated they looked in the dictionary (esp if they gove us a link), but are still confused, then it's on topic.
Not to say I don't appreciate your time and discussion here, I can certainly edit the question as could anyone. But why is it that people are willing to upvote the answer but not the question that created it
Because the answer is thoughtful and well-written and the question is not.
4:29 PM
@Ryan If all it did was ask "Please give me the answer", that's not on-topic here.
@Ryan Up voting good questions is encouraged here. There is even a badge given for having a certain number of up votes for questions as opposed to answers.
I didn't just ask for the answer. I asked for the rule because as you say I could've looked it up in the dictionary. I tried and had no idea what to search for. I had never heard the term "Mass Noun" "Count" and "Non-Count" before the comments were left.
I'd also point out that was my first question on this exchange. If users felt it wasn't clear enough they could've commented and asked me, "What have you tried?" "Did you look up Mass Noun?" Or just left a comment to english.stackexchange.com/search?q=mass+noun
Which are the types of steps that I feel would make this site more friendly to newcomers.
Yes, they could have.
And that would have been friendly.
And the usual response would have been getting abuse heaped on us.
Which is probably why they didn't.
Sorry to hear that you all have so many problems with abuse towards such comments. We certainly don't have that issue on the GD exchange, but we are still much smaller.
@Ryan "What have you tried?" "Did you look up Mass Noun?" That's exactly what we would like to see.
Not sure if you mean that's exactly the type of comment you'd like to see, or what you would've liked to see in my question to begin with.
4:43 PM
Please tell us what you found in the dictionary and which meaning you think can be used as a facade. If you have questions about how we can help you, please visit the help center. — medica 2 hours ago
That's a comment I left on a "poor" question.
Q: Synonym for man-made, but not by man

zennehoyI'm looking for a synonym for man-made (i.e., not naturally occurring) that doesn't imply it was made by humans. "Fabricated" or "constructed" are the closest I've come, but I'm not very happy with either of them. Does anyone have some other suggestions? Edit: Thanks for all the great suggestion...

Good! Now you know it does indeed happen! ')
I think Matt's response here was perfect too: Why don't you like those words? – Matt Эллен
Anyhow I spent way too much time chatting and need to get work done and lunch.
You are correct. "Me too invited" sounds like something (charming) that an English language learner would say. Speaking of such, we have a sister site for learners' (of all levels) questions. Tell her about it! ;) It's here
Good luck to all candidates.
4:47 PM
the above was a comment to a question, but not an answer.
5:26 PM
@Ryan: I won't address the particulars you've brought up since others already have. But your general point, as I understand it, is very on target. There is a double-edged problem on ELU between "taking the time to be nice/helpful" and "avoiding burnout among the regular contributors". My opinion is that we can do better on both fronts but it will take some special finagling to get the mixture just right. (cont.)
Your original concern is about consistency but I interpret this as an issue of how new users can learn the ropes without feeling downtrodden by close votes and down votes. My goal would be to keep the communication between new and old users open and make it easier to explain how each side sees the issue. This could entail updating the FAQ or posting topics on Meta to aid in driving a consensus (which would theoretically impact consistency). (cont.)
The end purpose, then, would be to help bring new users into the fold without "squishing" them while still keeping the majority of regular users free to answer questions they find interesting.
@MrHen Something I've observed to work well on a few different sites now has been the creation of small, targeted FAQs covering topics that aren't strictly allowed but get asked frequently in various forms anyway. So you offer a way to shut down tedious questions without actually slamming the door in the face of folks.
5:42 PM
@Shog9 I would love that! I find the criteria for a good rather vague and difficult to find. It would be great if it were prominent to refer to. But the close reasons eliminated a reason usually used for many of the poor questions here, and it's tedious to comment on all of them, though I try to when I see them. But there is no place to which I can refer them where it's clearly spelled out.
@medica From the look of things, y'all are still using the Off Topic reasons I wrote for you a year ago. While I suppose this is somewhat flattering, you could probably do a lot better.
@Shog9 I would agree with that!
Q: Please help define the limits of General Reference

Shog9As mentioned here, the General Reference close reason is dead. In its place, I've added a custom "off-topic" option: Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. A list of these references can be found here: List of general references Like all of the cus...

@Shog9 If elected. But I certainly would!
@Shog9 Yeah, that's the kind of thing I had in mind. Good to know we'll have some examples to start from. :)
One question for the current mod/admin team: Do you have any direct influence over the election? How do you handle candidates that are well received but also seem to be attracting a lot of criticism? In this case, one candidate is well upvoted but a lot of people apparently really don't like the idea of them becoming a moderator (or are downvoting him for some other reason.) Is the total vote count the only thing taken into consideration for the election?
5:58 PM
@MrHen The voting on the survey doesn't matter at all. There is no "downvoting" in the election.
@Caleb So, only the "upvotes" on the election page matter?
Consider the meta questionnaire just a public opinion poll on the candidates responses. It doesn't effect anything but might give you a clue as to the tide direction.
@MrHen you have 3 votes to make, there are no downvotes
And those votes are the only thing that matter? As in, no veto power from existing moderators, etc.?
@MrHen No upvotes either, just votes. Everybody gets three ordered preference votes.
6:00 PM
@Caleb Er, right. :)
@MrHen Yes. SE could do whatever they like but they are not in the habit of interfering with elections (although you'll notice they did remove one candidate that had a trollish nomination in this year) and existing moderators have no more power over this than any 150 rep user that votes.
@Caleb Got it, thanks. I was just curious about the process. :)
Although they do have a lot of influence. Their comments on nominations and meta posts tends to weight in pretty heavily to public opinion.
Yeah, I can imagine.
@MrHen we (I or a teammember) can remove candidates from the election completely. We rarely do this, but the capability is there for cases where someone blatantly ignores the criteria stated at the top of the election page (posts a fake / joke nomination, gets suspended for some reason, etc.) Beyond that, it's the people's choice: whoever gets the most votes gets the diamond, unless/until they violate the moderator agreement or just stop showing up.
6:03 PM
@MrHen is that appropriate to ask here?
@MrHen I think you should make comments like that in private.
@medica I think so. This is the chat room for the election and I'd rather hear the answer now than get surprised later.
Unless I'm misunderstanding the concern. :/
@Shog9 Thanks. That's more or less what I expected.
@MrHen I don't think you should be discussing the desirablilty of another candidate here.
@medica I don't see anything here that is not for public consumption anyway. The election process does happen behind closed doors, and this is the place setup to discuss just this sort of thing.
@medica I wasn't really trying to. Did it come across that way?
@MrHen "In this case, phenry is well upvoted but a lot of people apparently really don't like the idea of phenry becoming a moderator (or are downvoting him for some other reason.) Is the total vote count the only thing taken into consideration for the election?"
6:07 PM
@medica The vote status on meta is public record. Commenting an apparent public opinion is hardly a private matter.
@medica Right. I was curious if that mattered. And now I know it doesn't.
@MrHen \It sounds to me as though you're trying to get information about whether the vote could be overridden.
Should I have just said, "In this case, someone [...]"
@MrHen Better, I think.
@medica Yes, that's exactly correct. I was curious if anyone possessed the power to do that.
The answer is "only the admins" and they typically don't. Which is what I expected.
6:09 PM
@MrHen and you could have asked that without naming any names at all.
@medica Yeah, true. I didn't think about it. That was just the example that made me wonder about it and I thought being specific would make my question more understandable.
If I could edit it to "someone" I would.
Perhaps you can ask a mod to do it?
I think either @Shog9 or @Caleb could do it, yes?
@medica Again the names of the candidates and the status of voting on meta is public record. Those said same people have also been invited to this room. By running for office there is some expectation that their actions, personal opinions, and others opinions of them will be scrutinized and discussed.
At the end of elections the total vote counts will also be public record.
@MrHen Done, although my argument that it is not a concern stands.
@Caleb I think there's a fine line between discussing differing opinions, and saying, in effect, "this candidate is unliked but getting votes. Is there something that can be done about it?" But if you see that as fair game, there's not much I can do, except object. and point it out.
6:13 PM
@Caleb Thanks. I'm not terribly worried about either but I understand the point. :)
@medica To be clear, I wasn't planning on doing anything about it. I was curious if someone could because I highly suspect that the person in question would, uh, object strongly.
FWIW, it's perfectly OK to discuss specific candidates in here, as long as the discussion is focused on their suitability to moderate. That's kinda why this room exists. Just keep it constructive.
@Shog9 so whether a candidate id liked or unliked by the users is unproductive, or would you consider that productive?
@medica What is your opinion?
My opinion is that we can discuss and challenge each other's opinions about moderation. But bringing up the unpopularity of a person is a little below the belt, as I've stated.
@medica all you have to go on at this point is comments on the nomination and votes on the meta answers. So not a lot - neither of those is a good reflection of how folks actually vote - but if that's what you're focused on, it's not a problem.
Just avoid comments like "MrHen is a nazi who eats babies and likes the color orange"
6:24 PM
@Shog9 ok, so no personal attacks?
@medica Well, my intent was to discuss the process. Not the candidate. Sorry if that wasn't clear.
One more process question: Does the 1st, 2nd, 3rd order matter?
@Shog9 OK, I agree with that. But how about, "Candidate X is argumentative and long winded, and generally unliked by this site, therefore he's unfit to lead." Is that OK?
@MrHen yes, it does. There's an excellent post on why it matters in Meta under elections:how they work.
Q: How are moderator election votes counted, in plain English?

PopsThe election pages' sidebars state that Stack Exchange elections use the Meek STV vote-counting method: After m days, the final voting results will be freely downloadable from this page forever, and we will calculate the n winners using OpenSTV with the Meek STV method. How does that work? ...

@medica pretty subjective
@medica FWIW, personally I'd rather people just call me out if they would rather I wasn't a moderator. I don't take things like this personally wouldn't feel slighted if people think I am not a good candidate. :P
@medica Ah, thanks
6:28 PM
@Shog9 wow. I must be too thin-skinned then. OK, that is something I will keep in mind.
@medica Somewhat ironically, your quote of the original comment now has the only overly specific mention.
In case you care.
@MrHen But that was the part I objected to. why would I mention something that I didn't object to?
@medica I just meant that the original post has been edited per your recommendation.
I'll stop mentioning it.
I'm sorry.
In any case, shog9 has stated that it's not unfair.
So, I should apologize (and do) for bringing it up, and won't any more.
@medica Oh, I wasn't objecting -- no need to apologize. I just thought it was mildly amusing.
6:35 PM
Let's fling some mud at each other.
@medica I don't think you should have to apologize for asking if something is appropriate. I think those kinds of questions are always acceptable.
@MrHen I think it's outrageous that... well, the problem is, I don't think anything you said is outrageous.
@medica Haha, okay. One thing I've been curious about is why you changed your username. (I don't typically ask questions I find too personal so please feel free to not answer if it is too personal.)
@MrHen I can answer that, but I hope it gets lost.
@medica Ah, that makes sense. That sucks. :(
6:39 PM
yeah, it did.
I find ELU's chat a little overly insensitive at times.
Not sure if that is where things happened.
@medica Understandable.
Chat can really explode. If I'm elected, I will leave it open on my computer, but will not necessarily participate.
If anyone wants to chat, they can ping me, then I'll know someone has a question.
@medica I think the God-cock ordeal was the crazied I've seen chat in ages.
yea, and if you remember, that was me.
@medica Kit, Reg and I tend to be in chat frequently so hopefully there will always be a diamond around.
@medica I do remember. I tried to stay out of it. But I felt bad for GraceNote. :( Not a fun mess to clean up.
6:43 PM
That is the incident to which I was referring when I said I'd do thing differently now.
She did well, though.
@medica What would you do differently?
She kept a level head and made everyon feel heard.
Or, let's say a user finds themselves in a similar situation. What should they do?
First, I wouldn't engage in a roll-back war.
@medica Agreed.
6:44 PM
I had another incident in which I edited, it was rolled back, and I walked away.
@medica Good for you.
It's hard to walk away. :P
I would let the community decide what it wants for their front page.
yes, it is.
But it's worse to cause a scene in comments.
and I will never do that again. It's totally not worth it.
for anyone.
another thing I've learned is that it's better to flag and walk away, just as you said in the meta question.
What made you decide to change your behavior?
I didn't used to flag because i didn't want to make work for the mods.
I realized it was wrong, both personally, and for the community.
If I ever hope to lead by example, my example should be a better one than that one was.
@MrHen I think your answer to ELL was spot on.
I think continuously seeking to improve your behavior is the best example to lead with. Everyone makes mistakes or but not everyone admits mistakes.
@medica Thanks. I wasn't actually active on ELU when ELL was introduced so I missed all of the debate on its creation.
6:51 PM
It was hard for me to answer that question the way I did. But I agree with you. I needed to recognize that I've made mistakes and take responsibility for them.
People seem to have strong opinions about ELL but I'm still trying to understand why people have those strong opinions. It seems that people feel more strongly about ELL than Writers. :P
@medica If you keep improving, people will forgive old mistakes.
I've done stupid things, too.
I don't know why ELL is such a hot button; I wasn't here for the start of it, either. I will, however, be spending a bit more time there to learn what is on-topic and off there as well.
@medica So, do you have any previous moderating experience? I'm kind of surprised I forgot to add that question to the list earlier.
@medica I haven't decided how much time I will spend learning about ELL versus just asking the ELL moderators what they want me to do with ELL candidates. I care about topicality only so much as it will let me send them questions they actually want. I'm not planning on participating directly on ELL -- my focus is ELU.
No, I don't. But if you look at my activity, I'm using all the 20K tools, and actually have at least 3 gold badges in moderation tools.
@medica Yes, I noticed that you are very active on the tools.
I've actually appreciated that because it made me feel more comfortable using my time on other things related to the site.
6:56 PM
@MrHen exactly. I don't want to treat it as a dumping ground.
@MrHen I'm glad to hear that. I'm also glad to do it.
I find reviewing low quality flags the hardest.
Close, reopen and suggested edits seem easy by comparison
The only queue I don't like is the close queue.
People certainly complain more about closing reasons than anything else on the site
Low quality doesn't mean the same thing to different people. I think that's hard.
@medica Agreed.
Do you have an overarching policy regarding closing questions? Is there some sort of generally applicable approach to deciding which questions should stay open versus which should be closed?
6:59 PM
With low quality, I decided to follow the guidelines as closely as possible and make a decision, then not fuss. If it was declined, I reexamind my decision. Most of the time, the mods picked up something I didn't.
(PS: Any other candidate is welcome to answer or respond to any of these questions.)
I think questions that are clearly discouraged on this site should be closed, and relatively quickly. That means homework type questions, single word requests without any evidence of thoughtfulness ("What's another word for open-minded? One syllable.") that sound like a cross word answer, those should go immediately, proofreading.
Thins that attract low quality answers and guessing.
I like a well formed single word request.
Other than the obvious cases, I think the community should close questions.
@MrHen What would you add to that?
@medica My general philosophy is that questions should generally be useful to more than the person asking the question and they should take some amount of expertise in order to answer. Therefore, (cont.)
(a) questions about naming things are irrelevant since that scenario will never really apply to anyone else
(b) questions that can be answered with a dictionary or thesaurus are bad because anyone can just look it up
(c) proofreading questions should be off-topic because the specific advice needed really only applies to that one scenario
And so on.
The moderator's job, however, is slightly different. Moderators should be the first line of defense against troublesome posts. These would include things like spam or severely low quality posts.
I think that our current close reasons are kind of muddled and not terribly practically useful.
But I am a little hesitant about changing them without a lot of community input
(Whoop, gotta go. Back in a bit.)
7:20 PM
@MrHen I agree with you on your examples of low quality questions (and I would add that I would elect to close egregious examples.) But POB closures are difficult, and I would not close them unless it was clearly outside the scope as written. (E.g. what are the literary devices used in Moby Dick?) I would migrate those questions to literature or writing sites as appropriate. Spam is taken care of well by the members (but of course a mod would be nice).
As Shog9 suggested, we should rewrite (if possible) our guidelines to reasons for closure so they are clear to someone taking the tour. It might save a lot of trouble.
@medica Yes, POB is a good point. The other principle I didn't mention above is that questions should be asked in a form that suits the StackExchange format. They should be answerable in manner that is authoritative and in the standard One Answer Per Post format. Questions that invite answers that contain more than one potential answer per post may be inappropriate for the site.
@medica Yes. My concern is that the community doesn't really know what it actually wants. Everyone has some opinion on what a good question is but it is hard to form consensus on the close reasons or the way those reasons are worded.
@MrHen Good point. It should be easy enough to ask the OP to repost one question.
Part of this topic is relevant for a meta discussion that phenry and I had on POB questions:
A: What the "primarily opinion-based" close reason is for

MrHenThe purpose for closing questions is to remove questions that are not helpful for future visitors or would be extremely difficult to answer in the StackExchange format. "Opinion" questions can bump into the latter problem and the relevant question to ask oneself when deciding whether to close vot...

@MrHen And, add to that, there are good exceptions to the rule, which is a source of contention to those who do get downvoted or closed.
@medica Yes, completely. This relates to the topic of consistency that was brought up earlier in this chat.
7:27 PM
@MrHen So, I'm not sure how to handle those exceptions. I feel that consistency is key, but I don't know that well reach consensus on what we want as a site standard.
@medica Based on my past experience with communities similar to this one, I can virtually guarantee that we won't reach a full consensus.
(Also, an important thing to remember is that the Meta.ELU is not a perfect representative of the entire ELU community.)
Alright, I need to take a break. I'll swing by in a few hours to check on the chat. Anyone lurking, ask us lots of questions! It's what we are here for!
@MrHen I agree. I wish more people participated in meta. Encouragement in that area, and in coming to chat - which is very intimidating - to ask questions is very much in order.
7:52 PM
@Kabir101 Hi; if you are asking an English language question, it would be better done in chat. This is the chat room dedicated to the election. Do you have an election question?
@Shog9 - Is it possible to add a text box to a custom close reason which the voter must fill out, similar to Duplicate or Off Topic > Other?
5 messages moved to Trashcan
@phenry Good idea.

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