In Do We have a quality control issue Robert warned us *you don't stand a chance at making the Internet a better place by asking generalized, generic questions that have been asked 100's of times on every other site on the topic * and * trite, hackneyed answers they attract aren't going to be all that interesting, either. That's a death knell to this site.*

I think we are on the verge of having that. Arguments are being made that there are other questions that are bad so this question and this question should be ok.

Do we know when we will be getting Mods? Is there anything we can do until then?

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    I was an early advocate of this site. But if we do not take control of it soon then by the time we can it will be too late to do any good. Apr 24, 2012 at 16:52
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    You shouldn't need moderators to fix the issue... moderators are exception handlers, not policemen or janitors. The purpose of beta is for the community to figure out a site's scope, and what is/isn't acceptable.
    – Rachel
    Apr 24, 2012 at 17:03
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    @rachel - I think this site is going to require more moderator intervention than most to keep it from becoming a forum. Apr 24, 2012 at 17:15
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    You shouldn't need moderators to maintain a user-run Q&A site and stop it from becoming a forum. You need an educated community.
    – Rachel
    Apr 24, 2012 at 17:28
  • @rachel - The community wants to vote up these lousy questions. Apr 24, 2012 at 19:23
  • Maybe we should listen to the community? Afterall, this is supposed to be a community-run site
    – Rachel
    Apr 24, 2012 at 23:04
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    There's a reason these sites have two parallel voting systems, one for ranking and the other for moderation. Helps to separate the "bikeshed" voting from that intended to indicate suitability.
    – Shog9
    Apr 25, 2012 at 0:06
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    @Rachel Maybe we should not? There would be no sense in letting a few people repeat the same mistakes that have brought other sites to their knees in the past. "community-run site" doesn't mean everything goes.
    – yannis
    Apr 25, 2012 at 0:24

2 Answers 2


What we need to do as a community is define.

Then we can close. There are plenty of us to close.

Fortunately we have some good community members to help us define what is on-topic and what is good-subjective. Some of those are mods from other sites that deal with similar problems (Yannis from Programmer sand Rarity/Ben Brocka from UX).

I think the thing that is keeping us from closing and/or downvoting these questions is a clear understanding of what questions are good and bad. Programmers still deals with it so I think it will take time.

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    +1 - a big part of the problem is that some of the bad questions are interesting, and some of them are even generating interesting answers. We need to clean up the ones that can be saved (EDIT!), and put the others out of their misery...
    – voretaq7
    Apr 25, 2012 at 3:50
  • +1 for define. I'd really like to see more of that happening. It feels like a lot of these discussions about closing particular questions could be avoided with clearer definitions.
    – weronika
    Apr 26, 2012 at 5:02

Is there anything we can do until then?

Tons of stuff!

There are over 20 users currently who can edit and vote to close. Many more who can suggest edits and flag for moderator attention. Trust and believe, we're keeping a sharp eye on the flag queue here.

And when you edit, or vote to close, explain why and answer any questions that arise. Bring lengthy discussions into Meta, or chat.

Seek consensus - it's not enough to "win" an argument, you must build a canon of knowledge that the community will refer to in the months to come, a pervasive attitude as to what is welcome here.

None of this requires - or indeed, even benefits that much from - moderators. Don't wait for someone else to step up and fix the problems you see - stand tall and solve them together, as the community of experts you hope to become.

  • Yes and no. Everything you say makes perfect sense, but The Workplace is kind of special as it was proposed specifically to counteract closures of career related questions on ProgSE. It certainly isn't as much OffTopic.ProgSE as NPR was OffTopic.SO, but it was advertised like a place where a lot of crap questions would belong. Furthermore the site doesn't really have a well defined set of experts, I have absolutely no idea what qualifies someone to be an expert on navigating the workplace.
    – yannis
    Apr 27, 2012 at 6:46
  • (cont...) The site already has quality problems, two weeks in, and I think it will benefit greatly from firm moderation. I'd hate to see it fail, and I'm certainly hoping my alarmist position is completely unjustified, but insofar it doesn't look good. And I thought Astronomy looked good.
    – yannis
    Apr 27, 2012 at 6:48

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