I was wondering if the moderators could get an official e-mail account for their moderating activities like notifying users via e-mail. I’m a little worried about using my private one for these activities.
A user's take:
I've never received a moderator email, but I would expect such a thing to come from the stackoverflow.com domain.
Currently only e-mails from Jeff (et al) come from stackoverflow.com.
A definite plus to centralization here would be that if we were performing the e-mail through the system, it would provide very clear tracibility / visibility / etc, rather than relying on separate communication as necessary. It would also make it impossible to spoof a telling-off (especially if the e-mail only contained a link, and all moderator messages were on-forum - although that might make it tricky to send a "your IP has been black-listed because...").
Having all comms via the envelope in the header bar is an interesting option; essentially limited private messaging on the site, as discussed here.
The downside is that reply e-mails become a problem; where does that go? Many times a moderator e-mail has had more than one message. The ♦ mods do not have open access to the "firstname.lastname@example.org" inbox (and I'm not sure I'd want to), but how does the user reply? The only thing I can think is "on the forum", but then you are building more and more into the system for what is largely an exceptional case. Moderator e-mails are not an everyday thing, thankfully.
My e-mail address is pretty-much open anyway, so I'm not hugely fussed, but there is always the "do I really want to advertise myself as an attack-surface to somebody who is already misbehaving".
For the most part it kinda works as is.
Finally, I'm also not a huge fan of anonymity - I stand by any comments I make as either a moderator or user - so even if it was centralized I think I'd prefer it to come from "marc@..." than "mods@...".
To be honest my e-mail address is public information and on my profile, so I have never had an issue sending from my visible account. It is extremely rare that I do mail a user, at most twice a month.
The question is also raised if each site in the trilogy should have a separate account or a combined account for all moderators?
With Jeff's intense dislike of email I will be keen to hear his opinion. I am however not against the idea.