Six months ago, the Moderators Pro Tempore of this site were appointed. As we were appointed by the Stack Exchange team and not officially elected by the community, it would be valuable (to me, at least) to have the community evaluate our performance.

What have the Pro-Tem mods done well? What are we doing that is working and what would you like to see us do more of?

What areas can we improve on? What have we done that you have been unhappy with? What do you wish we did differently?

What other feedback do you have for us? We're here to serve you, the community. Please provide any feedback on what's working, what's not, or anything else you'd like to share!

Anonymous Comments

As was mentioned in the comments, some people might want to submit comments anonymously. If you do, you may use the following form. Just type "anonymous" into the username field, paste the URL of this question into the "Post URL" field, and paste your answer (markdown formatted as you want it to appear) in the message box. I'll post that here myself as a community wiki answer.

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I'm probably the most frequent flagger and I've got no major complaints. You guys are just a bit softer on suspensions/deletions than I'd be. –  Ben Brocka Sep 14 '12 at 21:42
    
Thanks Josh for getting this discussion started. –  Jeromy Anglim Sep 16 '12 at 9:30
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I like the way people try to work with their users here without getting condescending. Maintaining a professional and helpful personality means a lot. I think tact is too often considered aesthetic, when it's actually a delivery system. –  Keegan Keplinger Sep 18 '12 at 17:48
    
I think we'd all like to share our opinions, but the "open" nature of Meta might hinder one's frankness (for both positive and negative feedback). I don't know how time-consuming it is to throw together a SurveyMonkey survey, but you might get more comments that way. –  Chuck Sherrington Sep 23 '12 at 13:49
    
@ChuckSherrington I actually already had a form on my website for people to contact me about issues on this site. Anyone may feel free to use that to submit feedback anonymously; technically username is a required field but "anonymous" will be accepted :-) –  Josh Gitlin Sep 24 '12 at 12:35
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@JoshGitlin Count on a reply from "Ben Kaznatcheev" then. –  Chuck Sherrington Sep 24 '12 at 12:38
    
@ChuckSherrington Ha! I look forward to hearing what he has to say :-) Also, you're more than welcome to start a SurveyMonkey survey if you prefer. –  Josh Gitlin Sep 24 '12 at 17:01
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5 Answers

I received the following feedback anonymously via my personal website:


Feedback for Josh Gitlin♦:

  • + Enthusiasm. Myself, as someone who is a mod on site(s) outside of their area of expertise, I really dig how you encourage new users with their questions as a tool for you to learn about the subject matter as well. You're our head cheerleader I think.
  • + Integrity, All of you guys are always asking each other to keep you in check, but in particular, I think that you are the most radical about it. Sometimes this has led to negatives, but I think in general it's awesome that you hold yourself to the highest of high standards
  • + Knowledge, You are expert in the SE interface, and you carry this into helping other people to use the site better, and you're not afraid to go to MSO with stuff if necessary
  • - (small negative, if I had to pick something) Hesitation, I know we've talked about it before, so you know how I feel, so I won't belabor it. In many ways it's a good thing to check and double-check, but sometimes I think that it's better to come down with justice swiftly.
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I received the following feedback anonymously via my personal website:


Feedback for Steven Jeuris♦:

  • + Unique perspective. I think that Steven's background helps him provide unique insight into CogSci as he's sort of in the field, but he brings a ton of related knowledge.

  • + Fair and unbiased. There was a post about sexual deviants that I remember him commenting on and commenting about in which he was concerned that the user's perspective be heard regardless of their beliefs. While I think all 3 mods are good about this, it is particularly strong with Steven.

  • + Passionate about putting things on Meta, this was moreso towards the beginning of the site, and I think relates to the above point about being unbiased, but he usually wants to run things by the masses before making decisions. Josh and Jeromy have filled in this role a bit as the site has progressed, but Steven's passion for it from the beginning is a strong asset.

  • - (again, small negative, if I had to choose one), participation. I know he's been busy, so hence he has an excuse, but it'd be fun to see him asking more on the site and commenting more on posts

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I received the following feedback anonymously via my personal website:


Feedback for Jeromy Anglim♦:

  • + Expertise, although not required to be a mod, I'm glad Jeromy brings all of his knowledge of the discipline to the table. If he doesn't know the answer (and I swear he's got a database full of them somewhere), he looks it up. He is a positive role model for users providing bibliographies and giving thorough answers. He also brings his SE expertise as a high rep user of Stats.SE to the table, which helps the site run smoothly.

  • + Salvaging Questions (though see below). I once wrote in chat that Jeromy leans over some bad questions like one would to a guy passed out on the subway and pounds on their chests screaming "LIVE DAMMIT". He is always willing to come in with an edit and neaten things up so we have some self-respect.

  • + Time commitment, Jeromy is always around (it helps that he lives 3/4 of a world away, but even during what must be late hours for him). I've proposed edits at the weirdest times and he flies right in and approves them. He also spends a lot of time asking and answering on the site as a "regular user" which goes above and beyond his mod duties.

  • - Salvaging Questions, wait a minute, that was just a + up above?? Well, sometimes I think Jeromy will take a question that is a tarnished rusty piece of metal that is destined to be melted down and turn it into a sculpture of a swan or something. While this is great for the site, I think sometimes it takes the reigns too far out of user's hands. If only someone could do this on SO, my point is that eventually it will become not feasible to do so, and users should be left with some responsibility for their own stuff, good or bad.

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Given that us Pro-Tem mods were appointed through self-nomination, I feel it's fitting if I add my own self-evaluation. First, a few stats:

  • Since the site launched, there have been over 700 flags raised.
  • Our all-time average flag handling time is approximately 12 hours.
  • Our average flag handling time over the past quarter is approximately 2.5 hours
  • Our average flag handling time over the past month is approximately 5 hours
  • Before we were first promoted to ♦ Moderators, the average flag handling time was 22 hours.

Given that the primary job of a ♦ Moderator is to handle flags, I'd say we're doing pretty well. We've cut the average flag handling time in half since we were handed the site (but that's no surprise as there were no mods before us) and while the past month we've been a bit slow to handle by my standards (most months we average 2-3 hours) we're still doing excellent by most site's standards.

However, the job of a Moderator is not limited to handling flags, especially for Pro-Tem Moderators on beta sites. As Pro-Tem Mods we're expected to help lead the community, promote it, and help it grow. I think we're doing a good job at this, but speaking for myself, I think there's room for improvement.

I think the three of us work hard to make newcomers feel welcome and to foster strong community relationships amongst the members on the site, in chat and also on Meta. I know I try to greet new users in comments or in chat and even when I close questions I always try to encourage the users to not be discouraged and ask a new question. Jeromy does an awesome job of improving questions, helping new users keep their questions open and get good answers while also positively demonstrating the power of the Stack Exchange editing model. Steven is active in chat and always willing to explain things to new users and help them improve. So I think in these areas we're doing great.

However, due to my own personal time constraints (I own a business and have a life...) I have been unable to do some of the "extracurricular" activities I'd really like to be doing to help us grow. For example, I proposed a Regularly Scheduled Chat Event but have been unable to actually lead that event. I haven't been available in chat much the past 6+ weeks... I started a Facebook page for this community but have been unable to get it going.

If there's one area I'd like to improve in, it's my ability to promote and grow the community through means external to Stack Exchange.

Another area I'd personally like to improve in is my ability to create, manage and organize our tags. Tagging has never been my strongest area on any stack Exchange site, and when it comes to tags I often defer to Steven or Jeromy.

On that last point, I'd like to say that I believe Jeromy, Steven and I work extremely well as a cohesive team and I am very happy with my fellow two mods. We have no trouble communicating, we discuss things clearly and without argument, and we complement each others' skills nicely. I have friends who are mods on other sites and I get the impression that not all mod teams get along so well, so I feel that's another strong area for my evaluation.

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I received the following feedback anonymously via my personal website:


the mods of this site are horrible and need to be removed! they close good questions and ban good users and they are destroyeying the site! they never should have been allowd to continue and need to be removed and all baned users should be reinstated. the mods are elitist @$$#%!#$ who are preventeing the site from growing by deleteing questions and making users leave and they need to be removed.

I'll bet you're not even going to post this because you just love to be an elitist censor!

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Contestants must pass minimum eligibility requirements? –  Chuck Sherrington Nov 7 '12 at 20:41
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Huh, I wasn't expecting anything that...*stupid* –  Ben Brocka Nov 7 '12 at 21:04
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