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In connection with the moderator elections, we will be holding a Town Hall Chat session with the candidates. This will be an opportunity for members of the community to pose questions to the candidates on the topic of moderation. Participation is completely voluntary. I am working with the candidates to find a time that allows the most participation.

The Town Hall Chat will take place Thursday the 22nd at 6pm UTC / 2pm EDT.

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register here


Here are the details so far:

  • I would like to schedule this towards the beginning of the election phase. I'm operating on the assumption that there won't be a primary phase. This means that I am looking at the 21st-23rd. As soon as I coordinate with the existing moderators and candidates to find a best fit based on availability, I will edit this post with details on the "when".
  • The Town Hall Chat will be a one-hour event using our chat platform.
  • The format will be an open discussion. Users are encouraged to pose questions to the candidates regarding their thoughts on moderation.
  • After the chat session, a digest of the event will be permanently linked here.
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I'm told that coming up with questions early, giving nominees time to prepare, can be quite helpful. Perhaps these are the sort of questions we should consider asking.

Making this CW, so please edit or add to this, or even remove questions. I'm aware that I can be long-winded!

  • What's your position on when we should close bad questions? Do it early or late or not at all?

    Background: Moderators on bigger sites seem to favor closing them quickly before answers accumulate. However, new users often don't realize that a closing a question is simply a way of freezing it until it can be edited and then re-opened, and seeing [closed] at the end of their question can be unfriendly.

  • How quickly would you jump in when there's a problem?

    Do you prefer a hands-off approach, or would you prefer to say a word or two early on as a problem develops? (Obviously this would depend heavily on the specific situation.)

  • What are your preferred ways to steer new users?

    New users often approach the site as if it were a forum. I've seen people on other SE sites take offense at the standard greeting "Welcome to the site, please read the FAQ" as coming across as "I've been here for a long time, and I know better than you". How can we strike a balance between being welcoming and gently correcting typical new-user problems?

  • What are your thoughts on site publicity?

    Should we promote the site heavily, bringing in a lot of new blood quickly, or let it develop organically?

  • As a user, what have you done for the site?

    What are specific contributions that you're proud of? If you're new, have you participated elsewhere on the network?

  • What do you feel is the best use of Community Wiki?

    Should we be using it at all? Do you agree with current Stack Exchange guidance on this?

  • (These are just suggestions; I'm currently a mod here, but I'm not running in this election and have no direct interest aside from the same one we all have: that the site have good mods and that it do well in general.) – Neil Fein Sep 19 '11 at 15:21

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