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I've recently been asked to be a Moderator Pro Tempore on the Gadgets site. I don't know yet if I want to be a full time moderator, or indeed if I'd be wanted as one, but it seems that this is an area of site building just as important as the various other criteria for which badges are awarded on Area 51. So should the pro tem moderators get a badge for their contribution?

A possible reason to not award one is that the position is by invitation only, so basically you're getting a badge at Robert's say so. Perhaps to counter this the badge could be awarded if enough site users say you've done a good job at the end of the beta period. This would mean that to get the badge you would need to be an active and helpful contributor to get offered the position, then judged to be doing a good job by the users once you got it.

Perhaps the "good job" mechanism could be in a format similar to the existing moderator elections where each pro tem moderator is listed and users can vote them up or down.

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You already get a diamond by your name on Area 51 in any place that your badges are shown. – mmyers Aug 2 '10 at 14:30
@mmyers you only get a diamond while you are currently a moderator. The pro tem moderators are temporary and once the beta is over they may no longer be a mod. I'm talking about a badge for doing a good job as a moderator during the beta phase. – Rich Seller Aug 2 '10 at 14:51
Ah, I see. Never mind then. – mmyers Aug 2 '10 at 15:05

Moderators of SOFU (and MSO) don't get badges for giving a bit of their time, I don't see why the SE 2.0 sites would be any different?

Its also not just Robert's say so, we're elected by our respective communities. I'm not sure if you could count the e-mail we get asking for our thoughts on being a moderator as an interview process.

I'm actually considering a proposal to take the diamond away from my user name when I answer questions, so I'm not up-voted simply because there is a diamond next to my name that makes me stand out from other users.

I'd be in favor of a Retired Moderator badge, though. But I think that should be awarded on the site where service was provided, not Area 51. Moderator elections have very little to do with Area 51 - they are conducted after Area 51 bootstraps a community and leaves the picture.

Wouldn't a T-shirt be much cooler than a current moderator badge, anyway? :)

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To be clear I'm talking about getting an Area 51 badge, not a badge for the actual site. You get badges for other aspects of contribution to those sites. – Rich Seller Aug 1 '10 at 20:10
@Rich - I think my answer still applies. Why should we get badges that SO mods don't get? Even on Area 51. Also the part about it not being up to Robert exclusively. – Tim Post Aug 1 '10 at 20:12
Those nominations are for the permanent moderators, not the pro tem ones. As far as I know pro tem moderators are not elected. There are also ashley some badges on Area 51 that you can already get that don't apply on the original sites, e.g. Founder – Rich Seller Aug 1 '10 at 20:28
I like the idea of a t-shirt though – Rich Seller Aug 1 '10 at 20:28
@Rich - I think one or both of us might be confused. I was elected to be a Pro Tem moderator as a result of the thread that I linked. – Tim Post Aug 1 '10 at 20:43
I understood that the elections were for permanent moderators, perhaps you also got asked to do it pro tem as a by product. Regardless it doesn't affect the fact that pro tem mods are important to the growth of a beta site, and there is no precedent for such a temporary position. Unless a pro tem mod goes on to be elected a permanent mod there would be no record that they've contributed once the beta is over. – Rich Seller Aug 1 '10 at 21:16
@Rich, Everyone on our site elected from that post is a pro tem moderator. I think you might be confused. – Tim Post Aug 1 '10 at 21:40
Moderators don't retire. They just disappear and nobody hears from them again. – Gnoupi Aug 2 '10 at 8:34
@Tim, I'm sorry, on rereading your link I see that the wording is very similar to that in the blog post (, but is worded slightly differently. I don't think that affects my main point that the pro tem moderators are temporary, yet play an important part to help build the site. So a badge to recognise that contribution seems appropriate to me. You seem to be almost agreeing with me by saying "I'd be in favor of a Retired Moderator badge, though.". How would that be materially different from what I've proposed? – Rich Seller Aug 2 '10 at 9:58
@Rich - I was thinking that the retired badge would be given on the site where service was provided. I think the key difference would be, the retired badge is saying thanks for what you did, vs thanks for what you are doing. Perhaps the difference is so subtle that it becomes irrelevant, but the key difference is we don't get anything that SOFU mods don't receive, and that if either badge idea is implemented, its implemented on the site where service was provided so all mods on all sites can have it. – Tim Post Aug 2 '10 at 10:55
I was also saying the badge should be awarded after the beta period, so would be a thanks for what you've done if you've done a good job at the end of the beta period. So I think we agree, as to whether it should be an Area 51 badge or a site badge I don't really mind. – Rich Seller Aug 2 '10 at 11:03
Pro Tem moderators aren't selected just from the election threads. Oak, one of our pro tems over on Gaming, was not actually nominated by anyone. They really are reviewing everyone and their actions. – Grace Note Aug 2 '10 at 12:09

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