I noticed that the people with moderating powers (including little nice things, like merging tags, editing tag wiki and whatnot) are always those with more reputation...

And reputation is usually linked to technology popularity, you see lots of 10k users that work with C++, Java, databases, web...

But sometimes you see very awesome people on some low popularity tags, but the tags end up neglected, because they never get sufficient upvotes to be able to even merge tags on those tags or edit the wiki and whatnot, and thus some less popular tags are less well moderated because even the top people on those tags never reach the score needed to do some basic tasks.

Now what to do about this, I have no idea.

  • Actions that require moderator attention can be posted in meta. – Dave Newton Sep 5 '12 at 22:27
  • The idea is to help people with their programming problems. The point system is there just to make it "fun"... A very popular tag such as facebook still has many questions that have been answered correctly where no attention was given. I got an unsung hero badge from frequenting that tag... – Lix Sep 5 '12 at 22:27
  • Maybe those people have more rep because there are more questions about the popular technologies ... because they are more popular? – JimmyPena Sep 6 '12 at 3:03

Those with "moderation" privileges have them because they have demonstrated contributions to the site that have contributed to the success of Stack Overflow in some meaningful way. Many people have reviewed their contributions and have deemed them worthy of note. They have demonstrated a long-term committment to SO, and they've shown that they understand how the system works.

Thus, they have powers that other SO members lack.

While we appreciate the work that is done in low visibility tags, because they are low visibility, they are not a contribution to the success of the site. Their contributions have not been vetted by as many people. Their committment to the site is not as well established. They may have great knowledge, but there simply isn't much interest in that knowledge, so we cannot verify it in any reasonable way.

The most effective way to deal with this is the most obvious: help keep those tags from being low visibility. Encourage Lua/whatever developers to come out of their forums to ask and answer questions here. Give the tag higher visibility, and people will get the rep they deserve.

Another effective way is to simply post better answers. I've looked over some of your answers, and while they're satisfactory, they're not particularly great. I've never had much trouble getting up-votes in Lua, for example. I'd say that of the main tags I frequent, I probably have more 0 and 1 voted posts percentage-wise in Lua than anywhere else, but that hasn't stopped me from having fully 1/3rd or so of my posts be +3 or better.

Remember that in low-visibility tags, quality matters more than ever. Speed isn't nearly as important. Each view is precious; you want each person who sees it to go "wow, that was really good!"


I can't believe the other posts don't mention this; moderators aren't chosen for domain knowledge, nor is specific domain knowledge needed in any typical moderation task. If a question/answer/etc is a problem in the Wipqozin tag, throw a flag and non-Wipqozin moderators will still see it.

Moderators may not read new questions in that tag on a day to day basis, but if you do then it's easy enough to control spam/low quality questions. Flag spam, edit low quality posts or flag them for moderator attention. At most you need just 15 rep to flag to be able to bring moderation to a tag via flags. All other privileges are just gravy and allow you to perform simple moderation tasks yourself along with other higher rep users. The site still works without them, as intended.

The only real thing that needs significant privileges AND domain knowledge is setting up tag wikis. As Kiamaluno says, you can suggest tag wiki edits and they can be approved by others.


You are making confusion about who the community moderators are. The only users who can merge two tags are the users with a diamond, who are community moderators, and community coordinators; other users will never be able to merge two tags.

If you have enough reputation in a tag, you can propose a synonym, which still needs to be voted from four different users.
If your reputation reaches 20000, you will be able to edit any tag wiki; until then, you can suggest an edit for any tag wiki.
If you think that two tags should be merged, or that a tag should be used as synonym of another one, you can ask it here on Meta Stack Overflow. There are many requests about tags on this very site, all using , , and .

  • Note that approved suggested edits also bring in rep. – Nicol Bolas Sep 5 '12 at 22:50
  • That is true: Reputation doesn't come just from votes from posts. The topic of the question seems to be moderating low-popularity tags, for which the solution is opening a request on the meta site. – kiamlaluno Sep 5 '12 at 23:29

I agree with the OP [waves rep goodbye]. It is a problem.

The privileges are based on absolute points, so high traffic tags like Java consistently earn the contributor more rep than the same post for Python would have got, which is more than you'd get for CoffeeScript.

It'd be interesting to see what would happen if reputation for answers was based on what percentage of visitors to the page upvoted the answer.

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