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2:25 AM
1
A: Could there be a warning when a new tag is created?

Todd TrimbleI have just received a message from the Stack Overflow Team that the Warning pop-up for new tags has been enabled.

@ToddTrimble Thanks for doing that. I think that my be my first ever feature request that was implemented.
 
2:45 AM
Hi @ToddTrimble, what do you think about the idea that well-chosen terms require the author to extensively study them in various perspectives in order to speak up the names reflexively in a rush? Do you agree or feel like it's missing something else?
 
3:35 AM
@Ooker Without trying to carefully articulate disagreement, this "reflexively in a rush" business still sounds odd and as formulated doesn't much resonate with me. It sounds almost as though you are trying to liken choosing terminology to solving a Zen koan. If so, then I wouldn't make that analogy. (To be honest, I'm not interested in pursuing this topic.)
 
 
4 hours later…
7:12 AM
0
Q: Should we have new moderator elections?

Federico PoloniMathoverflow has seven moderators, but many of them seem to be inactive. It feels that Todd Trimble carried the burden of moderation single-handedly in these summer months, for instance (at least from the point of view of an unprivileged user). Stack Exchange claims that "we periodically hold d...

Moderators have access to some more stats which show how well moderation works and how much work do each moderator does (for example, average time in which a flag is handled, how much flags are handled by each moderator).
Perhaps the participation on meta can be considered at least a very rough approximation of mod activity. (It has at least advantage that it can be seen by regular users.)
Maybe somebody can think of some better things which are available to regular users, and perhaps in the response to the above question mods will say more about mod-related stats.
In any case, if we check the activity on meta for users listed as moderators.
Ben Webster: Last seen May 22, last action September 10 2016.
David Zureick-Brown: Last seen June 14, last action April 7 2014.
François G. Dorais: Last seen August 19, last action May 15.
Mariano Suárez-Álvarez: Last seen April 6, last action November 22 2014.
S. Carnahan: Last seen August 16, last action June 29.
Scott Morrison: Last seen August 1, last action July 24.
Todd Trimble: Last seen today (August 24), last action today (August 24).
So four of the mods had at least one comment or answer this year - which meant that they participate on meta at least to some extent.
The participation tab takes into account only the last 60 days - I see only one moderator (Todd Trimble) on the first page.
 
7:56 AM
I have also made this SEDE query: Recent mod actions on questions.
It lists recent occurrences of actions that only can be done by a mod on questions - namely lock/unlock, CW, merge.
And if somebody wants to compare how the results of the same query look on Mathematics site.
 
 
2 hours later…
9:49 AM
You seem to conflate activity on meta with being an active moderator. And whether or not some of the moderators are more and less active, is a good question, but it's not the same as pointing out to the activity on meta on "the public front". — Asaf Karagila 1 hour ago
It is certainly true that activity on meta and moderating are two separate things. OTOH it's quite difficult to make a reasonable job as a moderator without at least knowing about the issues which are/were discussed on meta. (Asaf Karagila stressed participation on meta quite a lot during the recent election on Mathematics.)
Of course, this might be to some extent attributed to differences between the two sites.
In case it is more comfortable to check this in SEDE than manually, here are some queries (which can certainly be improved/modified).
For comparison, Mathematics Meta: last access, recent posts, recent comments.
 
 
2 hours later…
11:25 AM
Perhaps one more comment on moderators' activity on meta: What surprises me a bit is the fact that mods get a notification about every new meta question into moderator inbox, yet it seems that for many of them the questions did not seem interesting enough even to look.
Setting all statistics aside, however interesting they might be, I'd expect new election in situations when either: 1) The current mods feel overwhelmed by the amount of work and need new additional moderators to help out. Or: 2) If the MO community is, for some reason, not satisfied with the work of moderator's team. — Martin Sleziak 43 secs ago
One could even argue that since 10 mods are enough for Mathematics and Mathoverflow is ten times smaller, one moderator could be enough.
Still, it might be interesting know which of the users listed in the moderators' tab actually participate in moderating.
Since I have mentioned in one of the comments that moderators have access to more detailed stats about moderating activity, here are some posts from Mathematics Meta illustrating that.
> Judging by the last three months, the four really active moderators (who have collectively handled more than 99.5% of all moderator flags in this period) seem to be able to handle most issues in a timely fashion. As one point of reference, the average flag handling time during this period is about 90mins, which, if I recall correctly, is substantially less than prior to the last election.
> For the flags that are handled by moderators the average handling time is currently less than an hour (the median should be still lower).
> Some data on cumulative moderator activity for the 30-day period beginning 10 Nov 2014: Flags Handled: 3291 Comments Deleted: 1449 Posts Deleted: 190 Posts Closed: 78 Edits: 52 Mod Messages Sent: 46 Upvotes/Downvotes Cast: 305/258 Comments Created: 332 Posts Created: 126
 
 
2 hours later…
1:10 PM
Well, we can't have flag handling time below 1 hour with only one moderator --- I assume he needs to sleep and teach and do something else, too.
 
Well, what I wrote above concerning one mod could be enough was clearly an exaggeration. Still, the comparison is to some extent reasonable - being 10 times smaller site than Mathematics, it is to be expected that there are less flags and less work for mods in general.
 
Also, the SE philosophy is that only moderators can see and audit moderator actions, so having only one active moderator is dangerous because it makes their actions completely un-accountable. (I see nothing to complain about in Todd's actions and I don't mean to be critical towards him; I'm just saying this as a general principle.)
>What surprises me a bit is the fact that mods get a notification about every new meta question into moderator inbox, yet it seems that for many of them the questions did not seem interesting enough even to look.

I guess it's because there are so many notifications in the moderator queue that it becomes natural to ignore them.
 
1:31 PM
I guess the only MO election before joining SE network were in 2010. Perhaps some of the old-timers can correct me if this is wrong.
in MO editors' lounge, Oct 21 '13 at 7:06, by S. Carnahan
The original moderators were Ben Webster, David Zureick-Brown, Dan Erman, and Scott Morrison. François and I were elected in June 2010. See http://tea.mathoverflow.net/discussion/426/2/moderator-election-nominations/
 
 
1 hour later…
2:46 PM
In case this helps somebody who stumbles upon this room to notice it, there is a new room with MathOverflow as parent site:
in Geometry+physics, yesterday, by Arun Debray
A few friends and I have mentioned that we'd be interested in a MO chatroom analogous to the homotopy theory chatroom (https://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/9417/homotopy-theory), but for stuff at the interface between geometry (and sometimes topology) and physics (typically QFT but also other stuff)

 Geometry+physics

A room for people interested in interactions between geometry,...
 
 
1 hour later…
3:48 PM
Now I found Scott Morrison's answer to What do moderators do? - it has has some details on flag handling on MO:
> Dealing with flags for moderator attention is the main day-to-day obligation. Currently (October 2013) we do pretty well at this, averaging under 3 hours to process a flag. For various reasons, there are actually more flags for moderator attention now than there was before the transition to 2.0.
Another answer to the same question mentions meta (so this is a bit related to the above):
> We try to spend enough time on meta to ensure that questions requiring our input get answered properly.
 
4:27 PM
I guess I should mention that I am often in contact with my fellow moderators, especially when a sticky situation arises that I'm not sure how to handle, I'll want to consult them or get consensus. That kind of behind-the-scenes activity is of course invisible to general users.
I think part of the problem is that I am on MO so much, and I process flags pretty readily because I like having a clean inbox, to the point where other moderators don't have much of ordinary moderation to do when they tune in. They can't be blamed for that necessarily. I could voluntarily scale back my activity, if that would be considered a healthy thing to do...
I would also like to mention that other moderators are involved with labor-intensive activities such as setting up MO as a non-profit (that's a lot of paperwork and legal work), financial activities, and improvement of the citation function, to name a few. This may help offset a casual impression that other moderators aren't doing much.
Finally, let me mention that we moderators have a yearly meeting where one of the agenda items is to discuss whether we should have another moderator. Of course my input is sought since I am the most active moderator for day-to-day on-site actions. I report not feeling a personal need for more, but it's of course fine to discuss this at meta.
 
4:58 PM
@ToddTrimble I am glad to hear that I am not the only person who has problem with spending too much time on MO (and other similar sites). Although most likely he will notice your response, just to make sure I'll add also ping for @FedericoPoloni.
And also thanks for your response. (I guess it goes without saying.) I can't speak for others, but I was unaware of some of the things you mention. (Basically the stuff I knew was the existence of citation helper and that there exists Mathoverflow Inc.)
 
5:19 PM
@ToddTrimble Just to make sure whether I was not misleading somebody - moderators get notifications about new questions on meta into the moderator inbox (which is separate from the "main" inbox) is that correct? I've heard about moderator inbox on some other sites, but many things on MO are different from the rest of the network - so I thought it is better to ask.
 
5:35 PM
@ToddTrimble What you wrote above would make a good answer to my question. I suggest you not to leave it only here; chat is a lot less visible than meta.
 
5:47 PM
@MartinSleziak Yes, that's correct.
@FedericoPoloni Thanks, Federico. I'll do this soon.
 

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