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I realize that the old-timers, moderators, and staff may already know the answers to these, but here are a few questions from a new user and some suggestions.

  1. The moderator election itself doesn't offer any space for comments or questions on the process itself, just nominations. Suggestion: it would be nice to have a fourth tab for comments or perhaps for posts based on questions (with answers in subsequent comments). I realize this isn't suggestion isn't the standard SO framework, but neither is the page that's displayed for the election. I only realized this because I had the following questions & no clear way to post them, except on Meta. :)

  2. It isn't mentioned whether moderators elected in the past will lose their role or whether they need to be re-nominated. Is there a term (and term limit) for elected moderators?

  3. There are links to identify who has the qualifying badges individually, but there seems to be no way to intersect the badges to examine possible candidates. Being able to search users by badges acquired would be helpful.

  4. Even given a list of users who qualify, I expect it would be difficult to quickly see what coverage may exist for different tag communities. Being able to search users with high rep in particular tags, plus badges (i.e. extend suggestion #2) would be a nice feature to speed up the ranking and selection process of making nominations.


Update 1, regarding #4: as I noted in a response to Anna Lear's helpful answer, my interest in this feature is based on the fact that I can better review individuals' contributions on tags that I know something about than on tags I know nothing about; I might as well start by looking for individuals who post in tags that interest me.

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Regarding #3: It is rather frustrating to find people who have the convention badge. I struck out with 6 profiles. (Ironically, I received the badge with this question, but I am not looking to be a moderator.) –  Iterator Nov 9 '11 at 14:31
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Regarding #4: Moderation is not a technology-specific activity. –  Robert Harvey Nov 16 '11 at 20:18
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@RobertHarvey That is certainly correct, but unfortunately my moderator-candidate-detecting radar is technology specific. :) I should upgrade, but moderator-candidate-detecting radar isn't easy to come by! That's why it's crowd-source. ;-) –  Iterator Nov 16 '11 at 20:26
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2 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Meta is the right place for all your questions about the election. :)

It isn't mentioned whether moderators elected in the past will lose their role or whether they need to be re-nominated. Is there a term (and term limit) for elected moderators?

Right now there is no set term for moderators. It's a position "for life". Existing moderators are not losing their spots at the end of this election.

There are links to identify who has the qualifying badges individually, but there seems to be no way to intersect the badges to examine possible candidates. Being able to search users by badges acquired would be helpful.

The badge requirement is new for this election, so I guess there was no time to prepare a technical solution. I believe the nominations are monitored to make sure people who advance to the next stages of the election meet the requirements, but I agree that more support for easy badge look-ups would be nice.

There's http://elections.stackexchange.com that has more information, but that site's not yet aware of some of the badges that were identified as requirements this time.

Even given a list of users who qualify, I expect it would be difficult to quickly see what coverage may exist for different tag communities. Being able to search users with high rep in particular tags, plus badges (i.e. extend suggestion #2) would be a nice feature to speed up the ranking and selection process of making nominations.

Certainly couldn't hurt, but be aware that moderators act on the entire site, not just in tags they're especially familiar with. A spam post is a spam post regardless of the tags. :)

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Thanks for the information! I should've mentioned that I realize the mods act on everything, but I (selfishly?) want to promote individuals who do a good job in tags that I know something about. –  Iterator Nov 9 '11 at 3:18
    
@Iterator There is nothing selfish about only judging those whom you are qualified to judge. :) –  John Nov 9 '11 at 3:36
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Hey, elections.se is quite cool. Thanks for sharing the link! –  Chichiray Nov 9 '11 at 3:37
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Anna Lear's answer covers everything, but I want to address one part because I keep seeing people say things along these lines:

Even given a list of users who qualify, I expect it would be difficult to quickly see what coverage may exist for different tag communities.

And:

Update 1, regarding #4: as I noted in a response to Anna Lear's helpful answer, my interest in this feature is based on the fact that I can better review individuals' contributions on tags that I know something about than on tags I know nothing about; I might as well start by looking for individuals who post in tags that interest me.

Mods aren't somehow "better" in certain tags, and even if they are more active there, there's no way they're going to be able to focus on flags from those tags alone -- the mod tools aren't designed that way, and there's really no reason they should be. Choosing who you're going to vote for by who posts the most top-quality answers is an atrocious criterion. Posting good answers and being a good moderator are completely disconnected. In the past it was very difficult to judge who would be a good mod, but it's much easier now, because there's so much the community can do that's moderator-esque, and it's helpfully tracked and displayed on their profile

The absolute best way to determine if someone would be a good mod is the Deputy badge. Flag weight is a fantastic indicator of people who already handle moderation activities -- flaggers flag posts that need to be dealt with, and mods deal with them. It's practically the same responsibility, the flagger just delegates to the mod because they don't have the power to do it themselves. The fact that multiple nominees had to suddenly flag a bunch of things to get Deputy after the election started is shameful -- people who want to be mods should have had this badge ages ago

Another one that's good is Convention, which is laughably easy to earn and another one that people shouldn't need to try for after the election has started. Stack Exchange rules change every 20 minutes, especially on SO where things get special cased because of its size. In the last week or so 10k tools were changed to show more classes of mod flag to 10k users -- how many election nominees were aware of it? Spam bot protection was greatly enhanced in the last couple weeks, but it lead to some users getting a flood of captcha checks -- would a new mod be able to help identify what went wrong? This is the kind of change you find out about through meta, and it's the kind of thing mods should be aware of. There's a reason a candidate's meta stats are shown right on the nomination page

On SE 2.0 sites, I would say Strunk & White or even Copy Editor are important, but on SO it's probably less so, since there are tons of editors and the community is going to dive all over badly formatted posts right away. Other than badges, it really comes down to individual voters recognizing what a mod does from day to day, and voting for people that seem good at that sort of thing. I guarantee you that posting lots of answers in your favorite tags is not one of the things a mod does from day to day

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Good points, especially regarding newly-minted Deputies. I disagree about tag strengths, however. I think (and one or two of the current mods have expressed the same) that it would be handy to have a new mod who knows the iOS-related tags (as well as, from what I've heard, one who knows Android-related tags) very well. Knowledge of the domain helps in borderline question-closure cases (especially for duplicate votes), and is sometimes essential for editing. Granted, however, that no mod has the time to (or indeed, should) focus on any specific tag set. –  Josh Caswell Nov 9 '11 at 3:53
    
Many good points, thanks! I realize that there's a disconnect between people who post for a given tag and those who would be good moderators. Nonetheless, moderators do seem to me to have fairly thoughtful posts. I wouldn't want to get a moderator who posts dumb things, so screening based on posting contributions seems useful. Starting from a given list, I can sift through activity by the user and see how they revised posts, did they vote much (some people rarely vote, despite receiving many votes), what other editorial activities they conducted, and so on. –  Iterator Nov 9 '11 at 3:53
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