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I just saw there now are badge requirements for a person to even get nominated.

I agree with requiring Civic Duty and Strunk & White, but requiring Deputy and Convention really stinks.

I know at least one person who I think would make an excellent moderator - and I really think excellent - who until very recently didn't even have a Meta account.

But that aside - why are candidates being filtered out by an artificial set of requirements? What is the actual need for this? Why not let the community decide who it wants to vote for?

It worked fine the last times around.

Please remove the requirement for Deputy and Convention, or at least relax the badge requirements to a "3 out of 4".

share|improve this question
I suspect the new badge requirements are there because not all elected moderators are currently active participants in the moderation process. A significant number of them were never active. The badge requirements are there to increase the likelihood that the newly-elected moderators will actually be active participants. – Robert Harvey Nov 7 '11 at 22:15
@Robert the answer to that would be to more stringently remove moderators who aren't doing anything, not making it harder for others who don't happen to be interested in Meta or flagging to even get nominated. This is becoming the typical way of problem solving on SO: When something goes wrong, add a dumb filter. – Pëkka Nov 7 '11 at 22:18
@Robert Sounds like you should post that as an answer. – Grace Note Nov 7 '11 at 22:18
I want my moderators to show up on meta. – Paŭlo Ebermann Nov 7 '11 at 22:19
@Paŭlo that's a perfectly valid viewpoint. But you and I should get to decide that in the actual elections. – Pëkka Nov 7 '11 at 22:20
@Pekka Well, you're assuming that involvement in meta is unimportant, which I think they'd probably disagree with (certainly I do). They're not just picking arbitrary badges, they're picking badges that you earn doing things they want mods to do – Michael Mrozek Nov 7 '11 at 22:21
@GraceNote I'll let management post an authoritative answer, since they know better than I. There may be other reasons, such as familiarity with the system and the rules. See also… – Robert Harvey Nov 7 '11 at 22:21
@Pekka What do you think moderators do? Badges like Deputy can show that a person knows what posts deserve to be flagged and would likely resolve those flags correctly if elected. This is more about involvement in parts of the site and meta that aren't in the same category of activity as posting answers and getting rep. – Adam Lear Nov 7 '11 at 22:22
@Michael I'm not saying involvement in Meta is unimportant. You will have to be active on Meta when you are a mod. But it shouldn't be a requirement for someone to become one. Plus, as said, that should be our decision to make and not the system's. – Pëkka Nov 7 '11 at 22:22
You may be right. With the current requirements there are only about 141 people eligible. How many of those are likely to nominate themselves? The pool may be too small. – Awesome Poodles Nov 7 '11 at 22:24
@Pekka The last election didn't have these requirements and people got elected who ended up not participating in moderation activities. I think we're better off with the restrictions to narrow down the pool a bit to people who are already interested in those aspects of the site. The community still gets to decide. No moderators are being elected by "the system". – Adam Lear Nov 7 '11 at 22:26
@Anna I didn't say the system selects moderators, I said the system decides for me who can't run - and that is completely unnecessary in my eyes. The community did a fine job of sorting out what it thought is important in a moderator last time. I say if there are mods who aren't doing anything, kick them out instead of creating hoops for new moderators that say a lot - I totally acknowledge that - but not everything about being a good mod. – Pëkka Nov 7 '11 at 22:31
@Pekka So you want the rep requirement removed too? – Matthew Read Nov 7 '11 at 22:44
@Matthew ideally, yes. High rep is not indicative of a sure-fire good moderator at all, and there are great people in the 10k-30k bracket who dont grow at the top users' rates because they're busy editing. But well... I can see the point of limiting the candidate pool. And, admittedly, the point of showing a mod candidate what is expected of them does make sense. – Pëkka Nov 7 '11 at 22:52
Eh, that argument cuts both ways. I counter your "why change something that isn't completely broken?" with "why wait for something to break before you improve it?" – Pops Nov 8 '11 at 6:06
up vote 16 down vote accepted

I pushed hard for the pre-reqs, the past SO election had tons of nominees that clogged the list and were clearly not capable of moderating. We had Joke nominees, clearly inexperienced users, and more. This distracted us from the election.

We set a minimum threshold for activities we expect you to do as a moderator. This serves 2 purposes:

  1. We limited the pool to a reasonable size: there are only 164 or so possible candidates.

  2. We are sending a clear message to the community and future moderators about our expectations. (so we don't get ... "oh that is what you mean by moderating")

As to:

Why not let the community decide who it wants to vote for?

  • Why not let 1 rep users downvote?
  • Why not let 100 rep users close questions?
  • And so on.

Having a large number of clearly incapable candidates gets in the way of the process.

share|improve this answer
fair enough re 2.) I can see the point - and I guess everyone who really wants to become moderator can work on those metrics until next time. – Pëkka Nov 7 '11 at 22:51
Only 164! Wow. I think the requirements are a great idea. Those top users should be the ones moderating. – jjnguy Nov 8 '11 at 0:32
@jjnguy You are wrong: I am listed. – Dr. belisarius Nov 8 '11 at 0:49
So far, there's only one joke nomination.. This does seem to be going better than last time. – Tim Post Nov 8 '11 at 9:11

Badges are a quick way to signal how involved you are with the site.

  • Civic Duty - Voting is important to the running of a site. It's the money line that helps other users get a leg up with reputation and unlocking abilities. Says you're interested in moving the site along.

  • Strunk & White - Curating other users' posts into something not horrid shows a hand of a moderator keen to help others fit in, guide them and show them the way through example.

  • Deputy - Says you'd like to not have your brain vomit every time you see the site. You want it clean and taken care of. Flagging is a user's way of sending flares about trouble spots, and issues with posts and/or users.

  • Convention - If you don't clue yourself in as to why things are done and what scope is, the way community thinks and how things operate on a higher level, you could be that mod that just bulldozes through everything because you have no clue. Or you might be that mod that keeps flushing anything not programming to a sister site or down the drain when the consensus says otherwise.

If an election is the only time you show being really involved with the site, you're only gunning for a moderator position so you can say you're a moderator. Not because you have any interest in keeping the place how it should be.

The requirements saves you from wasting your time on seeing users who are not moderator material step up because they saw a form to fill in.

share|improve this answer
I disagree most about Convention. I see plenty of people putting a lot of effort into these sites who think participating on Meta sucks, and I can see their arguments why. Plus the main point still is - let the community decide about that, not the system. It did a fine job last time, didn't it? – Pëkka Nov 7 '11 at 22:34
You'd think the users did a good job about last time, but why would there also be a call for a moderator standard of duty?… @pek – random Nov 7 '11 at 22:39
Even if you "think participating on Meta sucks", any SO user worth his salt, should have had questions or problems with SO. Answers are on meta. While on meta, if you don't vote and help out with questions and answers, then you're not really about helping the SO community. No Meta, no moderator! – Awesome Poodles Nov 7 '11 at 22:41
@Pekka: They should make those arguments on Meta then. And participate in some [retag-request]s while they're at it. – Shog9 Nov 7 '11 at 22:45
@Pekka Meta is our (the developers) direct channel into the SO community. I need the moderators around here ... watching and teaching us how to improve the system. If you hate meta we have a problem. Are we in the business of electing people who will cause floods in the team email box, cause meta is not for them. – waffles Nov 7 '11 at 22:52
@waffles the thing is, everyone who hates Meta got filtered out really, really quickly last time by the community itself, without any need for a filter. Because I fear that next election, there are going to be more filters because there were problems with some mods. And then more and then more. Anyway, I can see you guys' points. Fair enough. – Pëkka Nov 7 '11 at 22:57

Look at it from the other way around; people who can become diamond moderators already are moderators.

It also promotes the tags - I'm sure we'll be seeing more flagging and editing now that it is required.

share|improve this answer

I know at least one person who I think would make an excellent moderator - and I really think excellent - who until very recently didn't even have a Meta account.

Why would someone who is not currently participating in moderating the site to the extent that they are able want to be a mod? Sounds power-hungry to me. Let them prove their good intentions and capability by flagging and participating in Meta. 40 flags and 10 decent Meta posts is not much for an active user who wants to help improve the site.

share|improve this answer
40 flags, really. 50 is only if you botch 10 up. – Grace Note Nov 7 '11 at 22:22
@GraceNote Right, thanks, having a slow-brain-day. – Matthew Read Nov 7 '11 at 22:23
@GraceNote How do you arrive at 10 botched flags? I thought wrong flags give -10 – CodesInChaos Nov 7 '11 at 22:24
@CodeInChaos 100+500-100 = +50, -10 – Grace Note Nov 7 '11 at 22:26
I calculate that as 100+(50-5)*(+10)+5*(-10)=500 => 5 of 50 not helpful. – CodesInChaos Nov 7 '11 at 22:29
@CodeInChaos You're going by a total of 50 flags, and not "50 good flags", I'm assuming. Whereas, my calculations (which assume the 10 declines occur before you hit 500) assume that there are 50 good flags, which would need 10 declines to compensate. – Grace Note Nov 7 '11 at 22:30

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