2013 Moderator Election

On Ask Different, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!

This election ended Feb 19 '13 at 20:00.

Download the election data and use OpenSTV to audit the results.

2,034 voters were eligible, 842 visited the site during the election, 476 visited the election page, and 217 voted

7 Candidates

I'm a long time AD user and as much as I've given to this community, I've got many times that back. The knowledge contained in the collective here is staggering and I enjoy being able to help curate and coax the content being posted here to the highest quality and standards.

I have previous moderator experience with guitars.stackexchange.com (now merged with music.stackexchange.com) and avp.stackexchange.com. Both were successful moderator tenures.

I take a "tread softly, use a light touch" approach to moderation and along with a daily incantation of the mantra "be more like @bmike when I'm here" I think I'd make a good addition to the moderator team.

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"Be like BMike" is a great running slogan ;) –  stuffe Feb 7 '13 at 21:08
Awwww - what am I supposed to do, recurse? (maybe recuse [or just curse]) –  bmike Feb 8 '13 at 23:23
Edit: incantation, to recantation! Big typo there. :) –  Ian C. Feb 8 '13 at 23:27


I nominated myself for the last election, and was pleased to see the right guys win; namely someone else. You can relive my pitch here and here.

I'd stand by what I said then, but I don't want to just repeat it.

Initially I did not want to re-nominate myself; as of late my participation levels at the grass roots level of Q&A are not what they have been in the past. I'm still kicking about near the top 10 all time, but I'm not as active as I have been. But then I think back to last year, and the various challenges that immediately threw themselves in the way of the Mod' team IRL, and think that actually, a Moderator isn't there to clock in and pull a shift every day, they are there to do a great job when they are there, and that's why we have more than 1.

I think I'd make a great mod. I can't promise to be here every day. But when I am here, I'll be on GMT, or "Earth Time" while the others sleep ;) I'm not sure how much extra moderation we need, but consider a vote for me to be a vote for Global Expansion!

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PS, the character count limit for this years elections is not conducive to having nomination forms that are remotely useful, so I hope that the Town Hall chats offer a fair chance for every participant to actually participate, taking into account geographical and timezone discrepancies. AskDifferent is not just an American website for Americans. As of the time of this comment, 3 of the 6 nominations are from Europe, and 2 of the remaining 3 are not entirely serious. Also, this comment is practically longer than my nomination was. That's not right. Sort it out :) –  stuffe Feb 7 '13 at 0:52
+∞ I think your assessment of the job description is spot on, and you'd do a great job. –  Daniel Feb 7 '13 at 0:57
I haven't been active at all recently, mainly because of school, but I feel like you would be a great moderator. I remember seeing all of your great answers, and learned a lot from them too. You have my vote. –  anon173 Feb 7 '13 at 5:22
huzzah - my feeling is we would be well served if you spent even 1/3 of the time here in 2013 as 2012. I'm more worried when someone says they have oodles of free time to moderate than someone that estimates it might take some time and considers that before self-nominating. –  bmike Feb 7 '13 at 14:51

After having passed the opportunity to run during the last election I would like to throw in my hat this time.

Some background I first got in contact with Macs shortly after they became available in Switzerland, later I moved to Unix systems. I rejoined the Community with OS X 10.3 The long time I spent with Unix based systems was one of the drivers in writing Interesting new Unix commands/binaries in OS X Mountain Lion.

Me and this site I've joined AskDifferent 18 months ago and enjoy the accumulated knowhow and the good atmosphere on this site. Besides giving me the opportunity to help other people to get things done in iOS/OS X, I also keep benefiting from question/answers posted by others.

As a moderator I'm already doing quite a bit of reviewing so my daily life wouldn't change dramatically. I want to put more emphasis on helping users to make questions/answers more valuable for the long term to keep the site's quality up. In addition I could extend timezone coverage of the moderator team by being active mainly during European prime time.

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I was hoping you would step up. Your flag quality, community reviews, and existing moderator actions are excellent. Having you on the team would be ideal from a diversity standpoint as well as enhancing your ability to continue to help moderate the site. –  bmike Feb 6 '13 at 21:27
Thanks for running! You've done some great work on the site to date, and adding a ◆ would continue the trend. –  Daniel Feb 6 '13 at 22:56
Oh, and you accomplished my one goal on the site that I failed to reach before becoming a moderator: you earned the legendary Marshal badge. Well done. –  Daniel Feb 7 '13 at 20:41
Now if I would only know whether this qualifies me as a good citizen or as a police man in disguise –  patrix Feb 7 '13 at 21:30

I live in Kansas (Central Time), and enjoy the four seasons that it typically brings - when not in drought.

Just a little about me: While I don't have a tremendous history with Apple, I got my first Apple laptop about 2 years ago, and my first iOS devices over a year ago. Before that, I used a variety of slow, and volatile PCs - a process that made me enjoy the transition (easy as it was) to Mac all the more.

My activity on here: I've enjoyed the review tasks that my reputation allows me to do. As is pretty apparent, the First Posts queue alone has kept me doing something. Keeping this site a high quality place anyone can come to for relavent answers to their Apple questions is something that I'm very much committed to. I have worked very hard on learning the system, and using it accordingly. I also work extra hard on wording so that I am as gentle as possible. I believe, as this community does as well, that this creates a more welcome environment to new users.

If I was elected: That would allow me to participate more fully in the community. I love reviewing, helping others out with answers, and policing in any way I can.

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+10 for a candidate who has been an active member of the community! –  Nathan Greenstein Feb 6 '13 at 18:23
I hear you about the transition to Mac made easier by bad PCs. A Dell machine running Windows ME crashed and corrupted a chapter of my dissertation (and managed to corrupt the backups before I noticed!), after which I became a happy Mac user. –  Daniel Feb 6 '13 at 22:58
@DanielLawson, and to think that happens all the time. Macs still may crash and burn, but with Time Machine, and what seems (at least to me) to be a much more reliable system in general, they have a solid ejection seat setup in the rare case that something goes haywire. Just another reason I run Mac... –  bassplayer7 Feb 7 '13 at 13:39

I, Caleb, hereby throw my hat in the ring. I consider this a long shot and hope that more experienced community members will step up to the plate. I may withdraw my nomination before the final phase if other qualified candidates enter the race in order to not dilute the pool.

I bring to the table experience as a pro tempore mod on two SE sites, one of which has gotten the green light to graduate. I know the ropes, not just as a set of tools but also the necessary communication, community education and cultural issues.

My primary roll as a moderator would be to support the community, not hijack it. I would not have carte blanche right to curb established habits in this community, however I would use my voice and influence to support a few changes. In particular, I have always been bothered by this site's approval of polling style and CW questions. In this one aspect I would advocate that the overall SE trend away from these is a net gain in content quality that this site could benifit from.

I don't see any major differences in vision in other areas and would see it as my roll to learn from the local community first, then support their visions with gentle enforcement.

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+1 for offering some constructive criticism. I encourage everyone to weigh in on Ask Different Meta to explain how and why certain questions have a down side regardless of their popularity. Elections are great times to examine trends and practices and see which ones should be left behind as we strive to move forward in quality and substance. –  bmike Feb 6 '13 at 21:31
Each site has it's own quirks and anomalies to the SE baseline, for example SciFi&Fantasy and Arqade both allow 'Name that tune' type questions which could be considered of no future use to anyone but the OP. I see it as a case of allowing the community to shape it's own identity in such matters, and the laying down of a stricter 'template' in the name of homogeneity is detrimental to forming character and community. Serve the people, don't dictate, in a way. –  stuffe Feb 7 '13 at 8:08
@stuffe: I am not and would not advocate an approach that dictates what the community must do. I would argue, as one (opinionated) voice that I as a community member am less well served by the prevolance of bike-shed and poll questions, and is indeed something that inclines me to avoid this site. I realize each site has quirks and this is a good thing. The two sites I moderate already take exactly an opposite approach on a fundamental issue: one requiring diversity in answers the other requiring conformity to the askers POV. I support both, each in their place. –  Caleb Feb 7 '13 at 10:08
Dictate is a bad choice of word with nasty connotations which were not necessarily intended. The only thing I would add is that whilst any 1 person may not be well served by the existence of our "wiki" questions, they are not in and of themselves in any way detrimental to the rest of the site. Having a wiki question does not use up space that a normal question would otherwise take. It's also useful to note that the last wiki question was asked in September 2012 and there were only 9 asked last year. It's not a problem within the community, and their prevalence is a misconception. –  stuffe Feb 7 '13 at 10:24
@stuffe I can let the word choice go. I would suggest that it can be detrimental to allow non-exemplary questions around for the simple reason that you attract what you have. It's not just the CW questions either, a lot of non wiki quetsions are personal preference based. However I realize it's not the main issue facing this site, just the only one that came to mind whre my position as a moderator would possible differ from existing community directions. –  Caleb Feb 7 '13 at 12:26
@stuffe Arqade most certainly does not allow 'name that tune' type questions of the sort that you're naming. /pedant. –  LessPop_MoreFizz Feb 7 '13 at 18:30
@LessPop_MoreFizz My Bad, SFF certainly does, and I've done similar in Arqade although after hunting I recall now it was in chat not in Q&A - the point stands though, there will be something a regular in Arqade (or any SE site) can identify as being unique or different to it as CW q's are to AD. –  stuffe Feb 8 '13 at 21:08

I'm not really qualified to be a moderator here. I don't have much reputation. I haven't flagged many posts. I haven't made many edits. I don't participate in chat. I haven't built up trust with the comunity. I don't use my real name. I don't even have one of those fancy icon thingies. So here's my campaign promise: elect me moderator, and I'll accept the position and serve just long enough to make the election "count," then I'll resign without handling a single flag.

Consider me a vote for the status quo: the current moderator team seems to have things wellenough under controol. If you don't think we need to add two moderators to the team, make me one of your choices. A vote for me is a vote for no one!

If elected I promise to do nothing, and then to resign. Vote for me; the site is already moderate enough.

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This is an interesting ballot. Could the existing moderators comment on the status quo, particularly the overall load and their tine commitments? What prompted this election in the first place? –  Caleb Feb 6 '13 at 7:35
This is hilarious. My vote goes to you! –  Emil Feb 6 '13 at 8:18
Ha! We should discuss this in the chat room for elections and the town hall. My short answer is we could always stand more help, and preparing for future growth - especially if we find moderators that sleep when we are awake and vice versa is wise even if we're not overloaded at present. The Internet never sleeps and this site is best with a world wide moderation team - both elected and by virtue of earning reputation. –  bmike Feb 6 '13 at 21:34
While this is admittedly only one metric, our stats for this month are an average flag handling time of 1 hour and 15 minutes. Between the fact that my sleep schedule is ridiculous so I check in on flags overnight, consider this a comment relevant to this particular candidacy entry. –  Jason Salaz Feb 7 '13 at 0:24
It's a nice idea, and just think, if you win you get to join the elite Mod Letterpress Club... –  stuffe Feb 7 '13 at 10:36
A note: if you step down after an election, the runner up is generally appointed as a mod. Though I guess this is a special case. And an amusing one at that :) –  Manishearth Feb 11 '13 at 12:35

I'm 16, currently living in Oslo, Norway (CET/UTC+1). My interest in Apple and their products started when I was 10, and has only grown since then, and I can now proudly call myself an Apple-nerd.

When it comes to the StackExchange Network, I have experience from Stack Overflow, where I am an active editor and reviewer. The StackExchange platform is familiar to me, and I would like to become an even more active participant and moderator here on AskDifferent, not just for my own gain, mostly to contribute to this community and help it grow.

One of my main points of concern is the trend on SO at the moment with questions of decreasing quality. I would like to prevent this from catching on here at AskDifferent. I have always been a person who likes to be in control and teach others the social norms and ways to act and not to act in societies, both web-based and in real life.

I know I'm underqualified when it comes to reputation and activity here on AskDifferent, but I think I can still be able to make a change and be a good resource to the community .

Thank you!

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I like that you believe high-quality questions should be a higher priority. Also, you remind me a lot of myself. Good luck! –  Tyler Wayne Feb 5 '13 at 22:10
I was low rep a year ago when I first put my name in the ring, I don't necessarily think it's a problem, and even if you are not successful then putting your head above the parapet is a surefire way to start a conversation with the rest of us who are keen on looking after our patch. I would hope that anyone who puts their name on the card is essentially signing up to get involved more formally with a view to doing more than just Rep hauling, regardless of the outcome. Good luck! –  stuffe Feb 7 '13 at 10:35

This election is complete.