It seems to me that we're out of moderators on SuperUser. Diago's off for the next 2 weeks (seeing how much he works to keep SU running properly, he deserves it), and all the other moderators have had limited interaction lately with SU. Looking at their profiles, they've mostly stopped answering any questions by September 14.

I'm worried that this might become a problem; in my opinion, moderators have a very important role in the well functioning of these sites.

  • Wow, have you seen how many there are now?
    – random
    Commented Jul 12, 2010 at 2:40
  • @random I now think there are too many moderators on SU. Everyone's a mod...
    – alex
    Commented Jul 12, 2010 at 17:18

5 Answers 5


Not answering questions doesn't mean that they aren't doing moderator duties. Perhaps they are just too busy moderating to contribute answers. Looking at just a few of their profiles shows that most have visited SU within the last day. Check the "Seen" parameter in the profile rather than the last question answered time.

  • True, but if you look at the moderators on all the 4 sites, they are usually some of the most active people there (Mark Gravell on SO, splattne on SF, Diago on SU and TheTXI on Meta).
    – alex
    Commented Sep 23, 2009 at 21:48
  • 1
    And answering questions is one thing, but no comments?
    – alex
    Commented Sep 23, 2009 at 21:50
  • But have their been any problems that have cropped up and not been dealt with? That's the mark of whether a moderator is doing their job or not. Could be lots of reasons why they aren't contributing content or simply a statistical anomaly.
    – tvanfosson
    Commented Sep 23, 2009 at 22:00
  • 1
    Maybe I'm a bit paranoid, I agree. But it's nice to know there's someone out there to help you out :)
    – alex
    Commented Sep 23, 2009 at 22:01
  • They're probably even busier than usual with moderator duties because Diago is out for a bit. I'm not surprised by this. Moderating takes up the majority of my SO time. Commented Sep 23, 2009 at 22:38

It is entirely reasonable that the moderators are busy moderating and not busy actually answering and asking questions.

All of my activity on SU is generally spent responding to flags. My knowledge of basic computer troubleshooting is not exactly enough to make me a highly successful user of that site anyway, but I will attempt to answer what I can.

  • 3
    Just be patient. One day there'll be a pony/IT question, and then you'll be sorted. Or Jon will nip in and beat you to it ;-p Commented Sep 24, 2009 at 4:16
  • @TheTXI This question was not meant to be disrespectful about your contribution or that of the other moderators. I consider the moderators some of the most important users on the sites. I apologize if the tone of my question was a bit harsh.
    – alex
    Commented Sep 24, 2009 at 4:41

Diago spends a lot of his SU time (and he spends a good chunk of time on there) doing mod duties. Closing questions, reading through the current flags and responding appropriately, etc. Don't worry, they are there. TheTXI will not respond very often, but will moderate flags quite often.

Your part of the 3k+ crew, so use those close/flag votes.

  • I do my best to close and edit questions so I know what a time consuming job it can sometimes be.
    – alex
    Commented Sep 24, 2009 at 4:44

It is not at all unusual for users of a site who become moderators to scale back their contribution to the site.

From Podcast #48: On selecting your top-contributors as moderators:

One of the risks is that when you take one of your best teachers and turn them into the principal of the school, you lose a great teacher.

When you promote your best contributors, in some scenarios, you lose those contributors. They stop contributing in the same way. They spend more time policing the system rather than helping to build it. It doesn't always happen. But it is common.

  • 4
    Yup, if it wasn't for that pesky ♦ I'd have beaten Jon to the 100k, honest! ;-p Commented Sep 24, 2009 at 4:15

My biggest problem is that I sometimes doubt if I should flag something

I fear that closing the first question a new user asks on the site will probably stop him from asking more. Now there are two possibilities:

  • either his questions wouldn't improve anyway and it's good riddance or,
  • he would improve his questions and we lost a potential user

Plus as "just a regular user" you don't get any feedback, I don't have a page to see what questions I flagged were actually closed or get notifications when other questions are out of control.

So in the end the only thing I can do is keep answering questions and lead by example

  • 2
    Flag it, even if they're a new user. Or even especially if they're a new user. Help them out from the onset, but those flags are there for the people to help curate the site and bring to attention things that might slip through the mod field of vision.
    – random
    Commented Sep 24, 2009 at 5:56

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