Candidate: Jane S
- Comments: bane of any site that wants to maintain a good signal:noise ratio, harmless, something in between? What do you think about comments and the moderation thereof on The Workplace, and what would you like to change about it?
I believe that comments play an important role on this site. That's not to say every comment is useful or adds value as sometimes a comment loses relevance over time if the question or answer has been modified. It's important to remember that the workplace is very much about the human experience; how we deal with people. There are times when a comment can not only enhance the question or answer, but an amusing or insightful comment can add a "human" side to the site. I'm a strong believer that humour is an effective tool for helping people to drop their guard ever so slightly. But we also need to remember that this is a professional site, and there comes a time when we need to rationalise which comments truly add value and discard that that do not.
I feel the way comments are currently moderated on the site is generally good, even though sometimes I don't always agree with a comment being deleted or not deleted. Often it's a judgement call (back to that word "human" :) ), but I would say that the signal:noise ratio is pretty good.
- 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?
I suspect this one isn't a rhetorical question :) There are some highly valuable posters here who have an inherently abrasive manner. But when it comes to the "be nice" policy we have in place here, how much rep or how many good answers a person gives has no effect on if a confrontational response needs addressing. I would treat each incident on its merits, regardless of whoever the responsible person is.
- How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?
That's what meta.workplace.SE is for :) I wouldn't just reopen or undelete it; I would raise it so that it can be discussed openly, as I would hope that another mod would do if I did it. Moderators don't necessarily have all the answers; a mod's role is to guide, not to dictate. Getting input on meta keeps a transparency and allows others to give their input and perspective.
- Do you have some questions or answers of which you are particularly proud? Have you posted a particular question or answer that you think reflects the kinds of approach toward this site which you'll bring to your role as a Moderator? If so, which one(s)?
I am particularly proud of this answer: How can I stop being badgered for "leaving early" without hurting my co-worker relationships? What I like is that it's an issue that is not just resolving the asker's issue, but can be of use to others in future. And that is the intent behind the Q&A format of the Stack Exchange sites, otherwise we wouldn't care about duplicates, wouldn't worry about the quality of questions or answers as long as it solved the OP's problem. We are trying to provide a knowledge base, that can help many people, not just one :)
- What about this site do you best enjoy?
What I love most is helping others. I keep saying this, but the workplace is a human experience, and it's important for us to recognise that when people ask questions here, it is because they need help to deal with a human issue. I get a great sense of satisfaction if I can successfully help someone make their workplace a less stressful and as far as possible and enjoyable place to spend so much of our lives :)
- What do you think Moderators could do (which they aren't doing yet), that would make The Workplace a better place?
If they could make me a coffee in the morning, that would be great :) Failing that, I honestly believe that the moderators are doing exactly what they should be doing - guiding the tone of the community and maintaining the intent behind it.
- What excites you about being a moderator on The Workplace? What makes you nervous?
The reason I applied to be a moderator is because I feel that as a mod, I can help to maintain the fabulous community that The Workplace is. However, if I am unsuccessful in the election, I will continue to do exactly as I was doing, to try to help others and use my voting/flagging authority to keep the community at the highest standard we can.
Now what makes me nervous is that being a moderator is a very great responsibility. You are in effect an ambassador for the community, and your actions are no longer just your own, but reflect on the community itself. I want to make sure that I can be a good ambassador, and not slip up too often :)
- Do we need to stronger enforce Back It Up and Don't Repeat Others norms over here? If yes, how? If not, why?
I think in general we do a pretty good job here of enforcing "Back It Up" and "Don't repeat", simply by voting for questions or answers, or flagging duplicates. The community, particularly those who are very active, catch these well.
- In your opinion, what do moderators do?
Moderators are ambassadors for the community. They help guide the direction of the community and have the tools to keep it clean and in line with the key values. A gentle touch is how I have found to work best for me to achieve this.
It's very important to remember that moderators are first and foremost members of the community, and can be wrong just like anyone else :)
- 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?
I am confident with how I have behaved within the community, and have always tried to stay professional and above reproach. I'm also far from perfect, so like anyone I've no doubt made the odd stupid mistake and I hope that I've managed to admit and address most of them :) But mostly, I am comfortable with adding a diamond to what I have contributed and hope that it is indicative of how a mod, or indeed anyone should behave within the community :)