The following is a "digest" version of the February 2013 Moderator Election Town Hall Chat. The format, as described on Meta Stack Overflow, is one answer to this question for every question asked in the Town Hall, containing all the candidate's answers to that question.

To view the digest chronologically, please sort the answers by "oldest".

If you have questions or comments about this, please do not answer this question as the answers are designed to be used for the questions from the Town hall itself. Instead, please ask on the parent question or in the Town Hall Discussion Room.

If you see any corrections which need to be made to this digest, or if you were a candidate who was unable to attend the town hall and would like your answers included, please @GraceNote or @TimStone in the chat room and let us know!

  • 16
    Thank you for compiling this! We know how difficult it was. Here, have my +1! Mar 7, 2013 at 19:33
  • 1
    Where's the plus int.MaxValue button? Fantastic work Tim!
    – mattytommo
    Mar 7, 2013 at 19:44
  • 2
    I'm being serious: Do you have a script for that?
    – slhck
    Mar 7, 2013 at 19:52
  • +(unsigned)-1 Mar 7, 2013 at 19:56
  • 3
    @slhck Yeah, I have a script that pulls out all responses to whatever I select as a question and reverse-engineers the appropriate Markdown, which is part of the reason why explicit replies are encouraged. An older version just formatted individual posts, but that's extremely tedious. There's still some manual work involved, but I've managed to cut down the time pretty significantly from the early digests at least.
    – Tim Stone
    Mar 7, 2013 at 20:15
  • Question, wasn't the meeting took place on March? :P Mar 7, 2013 at 20:41
  • @MadaraUchiha Yes, but the election itself technically started on February 25th.
    – Tim Stone
    Mar 7, 2013 at 20:42
  • 1
    This is great material to help me decide. But it will still be tough to pick only 3 candidates!
    – bfavaretto
    Mar 8, 2013 at 16:55

37 Answers 37


Grace Note Grace Note asked: Do you have a major interest or hobby outside of the world of computer tech?

Wooble Wooble answered: Nomic, NetHack, ice hockey.

Kolink Kolink answered: I play the Pokémon Trading Card Game somewhat seriously and I'm a major collector. Other than that, not really.

Rocket Hazmat Rocket Hazmat answered: Does being obsessed with MLP:FiM count?

Richard J. Ross III Richard J. Ross III answered: Not particularly. I did play football for 7 years, but those days are behind me.

Raghav Sood Raghav Sood answered: Photography and reading.

Neal Neal answered: Ummmm. walking, biking. being corny. being married. oldest of 6. LOVE DOCTOR WHO! ummm thats about it.

JNK JNK answered: Raising my kids. I'm also getting active in some social causes after a tragedy in my hometown.

bluefeet bluefeet answered: I exercise too much, mainly running. If I am not doing that I remodel my house or play video games.

minitech minitech answered: Reading, writing, tennis.

ChrisF ChrisF answered: Reading, movies (though I don't get to see as many films as I'd like these days) and walking the dog.

Gordon Gordon answered: diving and trying to be a guitar player. with varying success

animuson animuson answered: Video games! I own over 300, and that's usually what I'm doing when not browsing around the SE network.

Madara Uchiha Madara Uchiha answered: Not really, most of my hobbies are computer related. Be it programming, or computer gaming. I do love deep philosophical and/or theological arguments.

kiamlaluno kiamlaluno answered: Yes, I do: learning English, trying to learn Esperanto, and Sci-Fi.

Lord Torgamus Lord Torgamus answered: I have other interests, yes. You'll have to define "major" or give me a better idea where you're headed with that question if you want more information than that, though.

  • Grace Note Grace Note replied: Well, rather than necessarily listing all the things you enjoy doing, just think of what you'd consider amongst the top things you truly love.

    Lord Torgamus Lord Torgamus asked: So you want me to actually specify one or more hobbies, then?

    Grace Note Grace Note replied: As much as you are comfortable with.

    Lord Torgamus Lord Torgamus answered: Volunteering on an ambulance, playing games (video and board).

Flexo Flexo answered: Yes. Boats. Photography. Climbing.

Lix Lix answered: Is this a trick question? ;)

mattytommo mattytommo answered: You mean there's other hobbies outside computer tech? Jokes :). I like playing/watching football (soccer if you're American), console games, reading about physics (mainly space, quantum etc.).

Andrew Barber Andrew Barber answered: I have two major hobby interests beyond this sort of stuff; I play Airsoft (like paintball, but with look-alike replicas of real-life weapons, and 6mm plastic pellets instead of paint), and I am a GM of table-top RP games with a regular group of friends.


Raghav Sood Raghav Sood asked: Which tags do you believe are in desperate need of maintenance right now and what will you do to help out with said maintenance?

Jon Clements Jon Clements answered: I want the python tag cleaned up - sopython.com

Jon Clements Jon Clements continued: and then seeing i put work into it, I want it more available to others

Madara Uchiha Madara Uchiha answered: , , . All of those need attention. I'm active on two of the three.

Richard J. Ross III Richard J. Ross III answered: Android, php, and somewhat the C++ tags all could use some help.

Neal Neal answered: , , <-- ones that I am active in

Wooble Wooble answered: I don't believe in giving more attention to specific tags (except the ones that are frequently misused because of misunderstandings, which I tend to adopt as favorites), but looking at questions individually on their own merit.

  • Raghav Sood Raghav Sood remarked: But some tags have major quality problems. For exame, the Android tag gets a lot of new questions everyday. Many of these are duplicates.

    Wooble Wooble responded: If people want to vote for someone who the Android community will break legs for because they want their tag cleaned up, they know who to vote for.

    Raghav Sood Raghav Sood replied: Ah. My campaign manager has become famous ;)

JNK JNK answered: I think the folks in those tags can probably tell us better than we can deduce on our own. There are millions of users and a few dozen mods - let's crowdsource some of that initial filtering to see what needs attention.

Kolink Kolink answered: I think all questions should be answered with raw because Vanilla JS is a lost art :p In all seriousness, though, it's also one of the most active so is bound to have more to clean up.

minitech minitech answered: Err... all of them have their bad moments. I don't discriminate :P

Rocket Hazmat Rocket Hazmat answered: , problem is lots of people just post links and say "fix this". I'd tell them they need to clean up their question and direct them to similar ones.

bluefeet bluefeet answered: I think a lot can be done to clean up the MySQL and PHP tags.

ChrisF ChrisF answered: I see poor question in all tags. Those that I know something about I can edit and/or close others I'm going to have to leave to others as I don't have the domain knowledge to improve the answer. All I could do would get bad stuff closed more quickly, but that isn't always the best approach.

Gordon Gordon answered: I'd say PHP is a mess. Simply because it's the most popular scripting language, is installed on 80% servers and everyone can pick it up so easily. We have tons of dupes in there. It could benefit from a full time mod actually.

Gordon Gordon continued: I'd help out like I already do. PHP is my main tag and I am part of the cv-ring, e.g. a group of PHP enthusiasts meeting the php chat room and coordinating cleaning there. We even wrote our own tools to assist us with that.

kiamlaluno kiamlaluno answered: Tags related to Drupal needs some assistance, especially because perfectly answerable questions are closed as off-topic, or not constructive, when they are not.

Lord Torgamus Lord Torgamus answered: and get a lot of complaints. I don't plan to actively go into any tags for cleanup runs, mod-guns blazing, but if there are more flags coming from those areas, I'll probably be spending a proportionate amount of time there.

Flexo Flexo answered: my intention is to go where the flags take me rather than spending a massive amount of time seeking out problems. There are certainly tags with quality issues. I have a tag blacklist optimised for reading questions I like currently, I'll remove that if elected.

Lix Lix answered: The active tags always need the most attention. A good way to help with mass cleanups it a constructive meta post calling users to action.

mattytommo mattytommo answered: I don't think I would know which tags are in desperate attention, but if one was raised by a community member, I'd surely divert my attention and help clean it up (voting, editing, deleting, migrating questions etc.).

Andrew Barber Andrew Barber answered: One of my major tag-related crusades is watching the newly-created tags for misspellings, and obviously Meta tags (probably because my default 10k Tools view is the one that includes new tags at the bottom). My hope there is to try to prevent new tags from being tomorrow's train wrecks. Beyond that, I look out for current issues on Meta, and edit when I can.


rlemon rlemon asked: Scenario Question: If an argument arose between two users (say in the chat) and third parties flagged it unaware or the context, but both parties find the argument constructive; would you ban them? disband the argument? or file them into their own little room (the two arguing that is)

Raghav Sood Raghav Sood answered: I would first look for the context, and then make a decision.

Kolink Kolink answered: They would probably be better off directed into their own room to be constructive with each other without disrupting others.

Madara Uchiha Madara Uchiha answered: Read through the logs, that's why they're there. If the argument is obviously interrupting or annoying the other users in the room, I would ask them to move their conversation into a different room.

animuson animuson answered: If it's in chat, I can't say that any action is needed on a moderator's part. If users find it annoying that they're arguing there, they can always ask them to move somewhere else on their own. I imagine it would have to be a pretty extreme case to warrant manually moving their conversation for them.

Rocket Hazmat Rocket Hazmat answered: I'd see if I could figure out the context. If it wasn't useful, I'd remove the comments. If it was useful, I'd see if I could make a chat room for them.

kiamlaluno kiamlaluno answered: It depends from the argument, and which tone they keep.

Gordon Gordon answered: I'd tell them to continue their argument in a way that doesnt attract more flagging

Lord Torgamus Lord Torgamus answered: Show up, let the users know that they've caused a disturbance in the opinion of other users and ask them to tone it down for a minute or two. That'll give me a chance to read the context. After I do that, I can decide whether they need to be censured, censored or suspended.

bluefeet bluefeet answered: I would read the transcript to get some context on the situation and if need be ask them to move to a separate room

Flexo Flexo answered: flags in chat have historically been pretty tricky. A lot goes in chat that wouldn't be acceptable on the main site. Unless it was pretty serious (doesn't sound like it from your description) I'd probably just stop by and see for a while.

Lix Lix answered: Move it to a different room. Although "constructive" is a pretty broad definition, as long as they are not at each others throats they can just take it to their own room... let them CAPS all they want in there...

mattytommo mattytommo answered: Not banning no, as the argument is deemed constructive then I would politely encourage them to move the conversation into another room, thus keeping all parties happy.

Andrew Barber Andrew Barber answered: What to do with two users misbehaving in chat would first depend on the prevailing atmosphere of that chat room. Many flags would strongly suggest it is out of the accepted norm. My first hope would be to convince the two to take it somewhere private. If that needs to be done with a firmer hand, so be it.


rlemon rlemon asked: As a moderator, will you take the time to "get to know the community" on a personal level?

-rlemon rlemon clarified: I often see Mods in the chats and answering / helping with questions/answers - but then there are mods who i've never seen outside of meta or "here when something has happened". It's not that important that you get to know us, i'm just curious to know who will.

Rocket Hazmat Rocket Hazmat answered: I'll buy anyone who upvotes my posts/votes for me a beer! :-D I'd like to get to know people here, it'd be nice :)

Neal Neal answered: invisible cookies for all!

minitech minitech answered: I don't really use the chat much to begin with, but apart from that, yes.

Madara Uchiha Madara Uchiha answered: I think it's important. A moderator isn't there only to solve problems anonymously. He's there to be a figure.

bluefeet bluefeet answered: Yes I already do that to an extent. I am in the chat room The Heap on DBA.SE most days mainly due to the direct connection with my job. This same community is in the tags I am active in.

Kolink Kolink answered: I like to know who I'm working with. I like to know when people have problems and if there's anything I can do to help, even if it's just "be here so I can rant to you".

Raghav Sood Raghav Sood answered: I'm already very active in the Android chat room, and depending on what technologies I use further on, I may join the PHP and JavaScript rooms (and possible C++)

JNK JNK answered: I already know the community around my tags pretty well, so I'll continue that if elected.

Wooble Wooble answered: "The Community" is hundreds of thousands of people. You can't know them all personally.

Richard J. Ross III Richard J. Ross III answered: I don't frequent chat as much as some users - but I do feel like I will be there to give helpful feedback on subjects that I may have input on, I don't see that changing. most of my activity now is edits & comments, both of which are critical to being a moderator

Gordon Gordon answered: I am usually in the PHP chat room. But the community is rather big, so getting to know the community on a personal level is unfortunately largely impossible. I'd love to attend some sort of SO meetup though.

  • rlemon rlemon remarked: yea this is the answers I expected. I do see mods sticking to their areas of expertise. and I wouldn't for a second expect anyone to get to know everyone. Just wondering the stance on community involvement from a "soon to maybe be" mod.

    Gordon Gordon responded: What is your definition of community involvement?

    rlemon rlemon replied: involvement in the community :P (I know not helpful, but I was tossing the term in loosely)

Lord Torgamus Lord Torgamus answered: To some degree, yes. I already participate in Meta a lot -- I think I'm one of the top five users who isn't a current or former mod? -- and some chats, but my lack of subject matter expertise keeps me out of the comment threads of most questions.

Rocket Hazmat Rocket Hazmat answered: I once attended an SO meetup, it was fun. We need more of those!

kiamlaluno kiamlaluno answered: I much prefer to be active as moderator, and in the meta site. Those are the places where I can help more.

ChrisF ChrisF answered: As I'm on line mainly from work it's difficult (if not impossible) to have multiple chat windows open. I try to get into the various rooms when I can, but in terms of being available to the community it has to be when I'm free.

Flexo Flexo answered: I think I'm already somewhat known in the community. I hope it'll stay that way.

Lix Lix answered: Sure! I'll go where the action is!

mattytommo mattytommo answered: I feel that getting to know the community on a personal level is a pretty important step. It helps you further understand the person behind the words, sometimes it's difficult to come across, but if you know someone on a personal level, you'll know exactly what they mean.

Andrew Barber Andrew Barber answered: Chats are, admittedly, one of my weak points. I don't tend to be able to 'hang out' on the site enough to make chatting a frequent thing I can effectively do. I expect I would try to 'pop in' a bit more often, but I have to honestly say that kind of participation would not lend itself to 'getting to know' the chat community all that well.


Madara Uchiha Madara Uchiha asked: How much do you think this Town Hall affected your vision/viewpoint/chances of getting elected?

Rocket Hazmat Rocket Hazmat answered: I hope I didn't say anything stupid :) Also, it made me see that I may need to think more about what I'd do as a mod.

Richard J. Ross III Richard J. Ross III answered: If anything, it has hurt them. That conversation with neal put me at odds with some people, but I didn't come into the election with high hopes.

Neal Neal answered: I think my chances have stayed the same.

Kolink Kolink answered: I have no idea! I hope I've shown people a bit more about who I am, and what I can bring to the table. That said, my vision/viewpoint of other candidates has been somewhat altered.

JNK JNK answered: Hopefully it's helped me. I know it's clarified who I am/am not voting for among the other candidates. I hope it gives voters a better idea of how we will operate as mods.

Raghav Sood Raghav Sood answered: I hope they've gone up, but I really can't say :P

ChrisF ChrisF answered: Possibly because the questions are coming thick and fast I don't think that the actual chat will affect whether people vote for me or not. I think that will come when people read the transcript and meta post.

Wooble Wooble answered: I think I'm now the clear frontrunner. Sorry, Andrew, wherever you are.

bluefeet bluefeet answered: Well I hope that I have been able to state some additional points of view that were not in my nomination. I hope it has helped my chances.

minitech minitech answered: I don't think it changed much. I hope not. Otherwise, I've been explaining myself pretty badly in nominations.

kiamlaluno kiamlaluno answered: It didn't change anything: Those who up-voted me already voted; those who down-voted me already voted. Nobody is going to change their vote because something I said here.

Gordon Gordon answered: The Town Hall meeting has shown that I am the mod everyone is looking for. makes Jedi gesture

Lord Torgamus Lord Torgamus answered: This chat has made me think a little more about the aspects of moderation that don't immediately come to mind when you think about day-to-day mod business. By that, I mean evangelizing about SO, retaining good members and figuring out how the site can best serve the community on a large scale (rather than an individual-question scale). But other than that, I don't feel very different.

Lord Torgamus Lord Torgamus continued: I'm extremely familiar with Meta, I've read the transcripts of past Town Halls, I read the mod newsletters occasionally, I listen to some of the podcasts... there were no huge shockers in here.

mattytommo mattytommo answered: I hope it's improved them. I've simply tried to portray my beliefs/passion throughout my answers to the questions and I hope that they're seen as positive :).

Andrew Barber Andrew Barber answered: I don't think my viewpoint/vision, or chances of being elected are significantly effected. I think my views and activity are well-enough established/known and nothing here feels out of expectations, there. My biggest hope is that some who don't know me from Meta will get a better idea about me, knowing whether to vote for me, or not.


Neal Neal asked candidates who are already SE moderators: How do you feel being a mod on another site would affect your moderation on Stack Overflow?

ChrisF ChrisF answered: Well I'll be able to "hit the ground running" as I'm familiar with the tools. I'm around most of the day anyway so having one more site to look after (with the other moderators of course) won't be an problem (hopefully).

Madara Uchiha Madara Uchiha answered: I think it would only strengthen both of my sites. I think being a moderator on both a low-profile and a high-profile site has some very interesting advantages, you get the best of both worlds, you learn to be strict on Stack Overflow, while you learn to be patient and gracious on Anime and Manga.

JNK JNK answered: The effort required for moderating other sites pales in comparison to the demands on SO. I have some tangential understanding from current SO mods about what is needed. There are very few flags on my site and we have several other very active mods, so I could focus more on SO without hurting DBA.

kiamlaluno kiamlaluno answered: It will not affect how I moderate Stack Overflow, since Drupal Answers doesn't require 30 minutes of moderating, if not in very exceptional cases (such as spammers).


swasheck swasheck asked: What happens when you kill the joe?

Richard J. Ross III Richard J. Ross III answered: He dies?

Jon Clements Jon Clements answered: bury him under the patio? Hope the police don't find out later?

Madara Uchiha Madara Uchiha answered: joe dies.

Rocket Hazmat Rocket Hazmat answered: I think I missed the joke @_@

Neal Neal answered: 42 things.

Raghav Sood Raghav Sood answered: Make sure I use a plastic tub when taking care of the body breaking bad reference

Gordon Gordon answered: I make more coffee

Lord Torgamus Lord Torgamus answered: I don't understand this reference, sorry.

Lix Lix answered: He dies, @swasheck... He dies...

mattytommo mattytommo answered: You make some mo'. As Terry Tate would say ;)

Andrew Barber Andrew Barber answered: I am sorry to say that I completely miss the apparent joke, here. Who is Joe, and why does he deserve to be killed? And, the most important question: is someone flagging it?


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