blog.stackoverflow: Stack Overflow 2010 Moderator Election Begins

Based on the traffic volume, it's crazy that we have so few Stack Overflow community moderators relative to the site's size and traffic. Numbers in parens, below, are the 1 month visitors from Google Analytics:

  • meta
    Joel, Kyle, Tom, Sean

  • serverfault
    Kara, Denny, Stefan

  • stackoverflow
    Bill, Marc

  • superuser
    TheTXI Ivo, Stefan, Diago, HTG

The original thinking was that Joel, myself, Jarrod, and Geoff would be pitching in as moderators, and I desperately try to every day, but I don't think that's enough in practice.

So, I think we need to have another Stack Overflow Moderator Election. Let's start by collecting some nominations.

Post an answer if you think you would make a good community moderator. But first, some ground rules:

  1. You may nominate another user who you feel meets the below criteria, but the nomination is invalid until the user him or herself acknowledges the nomination and accepts it by either editing or posting a comment on the nomination to indicate they accept.

  2. You must be a currently registered Stack Overflow user in good standing

  3. You must have at least 7,000 reputation on Stack Overflow.

  4. You exhibit patience and fairness at all times in your questions, answers, and comments.

  5. You lead by example, showing respect for your fellow programmers in everything you write.

  6. You should want the responsibility. This is not an obligation. It's purely voluntary.

Moderation guidelines:

Nominations are now closed; thanks for participating, and keep an eye out for the vote!

  • 24
    Can we take this opportunity to remove moderators we don't think did a good job? – Welbog Jan 14 '10 at 13:58
  • 13
    Wouldn't it be a good idea to let people know that this is happening? Not everybody visits meta (hell, not everybody even knows about meta). Would it be possible to add a banner saying "Elections ahoy! Head over here"? – alex Jan 14 '10 at 14:00
  • 60
    Oh, I see where this is going. Sorry, I cannot be removed as moderator. :) – Jeff Atwood Jan 14 '10 at 14:00
  • 28
    Maybe add 7: must be reasonably thick-skinned. The SO community is generally very professional and civil, but when the fur flies it can get a little ugly - truly the exception, though. In summary, can do points 4 & 5 even when someone is being a complete tit. – Marc Gravell Jan 14 '10 at 14:56
  • 5
    Geez, can't recall seeing any of the current nominees around on SO. I must follow the wrong threads... ;) – jalf Jan 14 '10 at 15:23
  • 5
    SO is self-regulating. Why would we need more mods? – BalusC Jan 14 '10 at 16:11
  • 33
    Just saying, it'd be nice to have moderators in all the timezones, not just US. – marcgg Jan 14 '10 at 16:30
  • 11
    Anyone who promises to crack down on the "Give me job-hunting/career advice" questions will get my vote. ;) – gnostradamus Jan 14 '10 at 17:29
  • 7
    @marcgg: Your statement implicitly assumes that we sleep when "normal people" do. – mmx Jan 14 '10 at 17:39
  • 9
    I'm kinda torn here: I'd really like to do this, but at the same time I know I already spend too much time on SO (and I'm not joking about that). – Joel Coehoorn Jan 14 '10 at 17:44
  • 4
    Wow, I decided to vote for everybody on here that I recognized. I only recognized one person. And I've been an active participant since the beta on SO. – user1228 Jan 14 '10 at 17:50
  • 5
    If there is a relation between the success of a site and the number of moderators, you'd want to reduce the number of moderators on the other sites, not increase it on Stack Overflow :) – Andomar Jan 14 '10 at 18:40
  • 17
    You should make the Fanatic badge a requirement. – deleted Jan 15 '10 at 6:15
  • 5
    Where did Paul Tomblin's post go? – mmyers Jan 16 '10 at 18:25
  • 6
    per an email response to me, Paul just started a new job and won't have bandwidth to become a moderator. He deleted instead of updating to prove a point, since I kinda deleted one of his meta posts. (Don't worry, we have since reconciled via email..) – Jeff Atwood Jan 16 '10 at 18:39

38 Answers 38


I got an email this morning asking me to nominate myself, so I have. Here's a handy pro/con chart:


  • I've been using Stack Overflow for quite a while
  • I check the site fairly often
  • I have a very inclusive definition of what constitutes a "programming question"
  • I'll bring a non Microsoft-centric view to things (more of a Mac/Unix perspective)
  • I always try to give helpful answers to questions
  • I have moderation experience on a number of other discussion forums


  • I can be a bit blunt when folks haven't done their homework
  • I'm not obsessively on the site 24/7
  • I've never asked a question on the site, just answered them
  • I'm not very interested in "gaming" my reputation, so I don't know how that system works in any great depth
  • And hey, you're more mature than all of us at age 89! – Dominic Rodger Jan 15 '10 at 17:52

I'd like to step up. Profile: Gishu

  • Too late in the night for me to write an elevator pitch. I'll let the votes and my SO profile decide (pretty minimal presence on meta and the others, which is a nice segue into)
  • Pro/Con: Favor minimalism. That is my excuse for saying I'll be able to do the mod thing, 15-30 mins a day. Walking a flimsy tightrope with a resource-hungry day job, a great family, a blog that's threatening to put itself up for adoption and a love for programming languages.
  • Like to be inconspicuous - will do my best to remain in the shadows. Still I'd like to volunteer for a year - the least I could do for SO and its community.
  • Haven't been in a mud-slinging event on SO since I joined.. a year+. I think I'm the calm-n-composed type for the most part.
    So checkmark on prereqs 3..6

I'd like to nominate myself.

I feel I can be fair for the most part, and like to contribute actively.

I've been on SO for over a year, and have learnt a huge amount reading through questions and answers, and like to plug that knowledge back into the community.

I know at times I can be harsh on people, but this is the internet, and that's generally what people do. I can also take criticism and will humbly accept when I am wrong.

I'm also on the right side of the Atlantic for those that are awake in the GMT+0 times of the day.

Whilst I'm primarily a Microsoft fan (boo, hiss) I don't treat other technologies with disdain, as without Java, where would C# be?

Also, as proof I known what I'm doing:

bold, italic, interesting

 IModerator newModerator = CheeseFactory.CreateModerator("ck");

The worst website in the world <= this link is to the worst website in the world.

This is a good website:

Some strange logo

  • 18
    That looks an awful lot like you were saying Google is the worst site in the world. – Dominic Rodger Jan 14 '10 at 16:47
  • If you were a mod, you would instantly see the dotted underline to indicate it was a link in itself... ;) – cjk Jan 14 '10 at 16:52
  • 6
    @ck: You're right. That is an awful website. – Welbog Jan 14 '10 at 16:57
  • @Gaspar - hasn't been updated in years, its PHP on Apache, and my specialisation is now ASP.NET on Windows.... – cjk Jan 15 '10 at 8:15
  • Love that worst website. It has recent news dated 2006 stating that the blog section has started and when you go to "my blog", you get: Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING, expecting ',' or ';' in /home/sites/cksiteoftreats.co.uk/public_html/getpage.php(21) : eval()'d code on line 65. To call this bod glacial is an insult to glaciers :-) – user14860 Jan 18 '10 at 13:21
  • @paxdiablo: loving the glacial terminology... Maybe if I didn't spend so much time on SO I could update my website... :) – cjk Jan 20 '10 at 9:00
  • Oh, and I don't even have the FTP password anymore :( – cjk Jan 20 '10 at 9:01

I (dribeas) will pop in the game. I have been an active user for quite a while and spend quite a bit of time each day in SO browsing C++ (where I am most active), C#, Java and Python.

Most of the time I participate by commenting to improve answers or to help correct small details in overall appropriate responses. In most of the cases that ends with answers being corrected by the author, improving the overall quality of the site and maintaining a low downvote/upvote ratio (less than 10%). In all those cases, where I downvoted and discussed the reasons, I never got into an argument.

On my judgement on question quality, it seems appropriate as all the questions I voted for closing were actually closed, and the two questions I voted for reopening were also reopened.

On the negative side, I hardly ever go into questions that are not tagged with c++, c#, java or python, so chances to spot problems in all other questions are limited.

As a last note, I also endorse Neil Butterworth (also in GMT+0 timezone) nomination, as shared interests made us coincide many times, and from what I know, I do trust him with the responsibility of moderation.


Well, I like to nominate myself too. All I can say is:

  • I spend a great deal of time on Stack Overflow anyway.
  • I'm willing to think the best of people, I actually believe almost everyone on Stack Overflow tries to help... even when they don't
  • I try to never prejudge anyone and consider all points of view.
  • I think the moderator spirit is to handle discussions and get consensus if possible, dealing with people. Again, I firmly think people that need moderation do not know they do need it.

And that's basically all, I don't have an outstanding reputation although is sufficiently high to at least guarantee I've done my homework :)

By the way, I'm from Spain so another timezone. If that even counts because I see answers being posts at ANY time I connect...


Sup-a-Dillie-O All!

I'd like to nominate myself for the role of moderator. I've been in part of the SOFUM suite since the early beta testing and believe I have a good grasp on the "big picture" with the overflow sites. This puts me in a good position to keep a level head despite the flare-ups that pass through from time to time.

I'm on Stack Overflow every day and while I'm no "rock star" participant, I'm dedicated to see the site continue its AMAZING success it has had in nearly over a year now. If you want consistency, level headedness, and dedication, I'm your man.

  • You are close to "Rock Star!" – JohnB Jul 1 '10 at 16:26

I'd be happy to be a moderator. I'm not going to try and sell myself here, I'll let my profile speak for itself.

The reason I'm interested is that I get a huge amount of value from using SO but am a lop-sided in terms of what I have contributed vs. what I have got out of it. This would be a nice way of putting something back.


I would like to nominate Chet A, a long-time Stack Overflow user and possibly our glorious leader's secret evil twin. He's far too modest to nominate himself, however I managed to obtain tacit approval:

Certification of Acceptance http://shog9.com/so_chet_accept.png

Reasons Chet would be a good choice

  • He's a serious workaholic
  • His avatar pic looks like an explosion from some 8-bit console game.
  • Long history of doing boring janitorial work on SO.
  • Everyone already hates him.

Reasons Chet would be a bad choice

Non sequitur note is non sequitur

If you run this nomination through a Perl interpreter, you'll see a dancing bunny.

  • 2
    Note: If you instead run it through a Ruby interpreter, it will format your hard drive. Do not try this at home. – mmyers Jan 14 '10 at 16:08
  • 9
    My notes on this nomination: Yeah, right. – balpha Jan 14 '10 at 16:14
  • Bareword found where operator expected at - line 1, near "time Stack" (Do you need to predeclare time?) – Brad Gilbert Jan 14 '10 at 16:17
  • 5
    I LOL'ed at "reasons Chet would be a bad choice" – Jeff Atwood Jan 14 '10 at 17:08
  • Should add "Has only been banned a few times" to "Reasons Chet would be a good choice" – Pollyanna Jan 14 '10 at 17:37
  • Since he's currently in suspension on meta, wouldn't that violate (2)? – tvanfosson Jan 14 '10 at 17:37
  • 7
    @tvanfosson: Never mind #2, as much as I like Rich and think he has been known to provide a valuable service, #s 4 and 5 are the ones which worry me most. There's direct, and there's rude, and he has a tendency toward the latter. I wouldn't want him as a mod. – John Rudy Jan 14 '10 at 17:44
  • 5
    @tvanfosson: so far as I'm aware, he's still in good standing on Stack Overflow (the requirement of #2). It's meta where his, uh, singular methods of interacting with The Powers That Be put him in the box... – Shog9 Jan 14 '10 at 17:58
  • 1
    @Shog9 -- doesn't being a moderator on SO automatically make one a moderator on meta? Now, that would be interesting... – tvanfosson Jan 14 '10 at 18:54
  • 1
    @tvanfosson: and I love interesting... – Shog9 Jan 14 '10 at 18:56
  • 1
    This would be a good show for a couple of weeks, though. – squillman Jan 14 '10 at 19:14
  • 4
    In all honesty, I think the downfall of Chet as a moderator would come from the deafening whine of the same people who've been whining about Chet as a user for the past year+. There are plenty of other opinionated and/or rude users around, but he's been something of a lightning rod - he could probably keep doing the exact same thing he's been doing for months and still collect allegations of mod abuse... Which of course, would provoke some interesting discussions. – Shog9 Jan 14 '10 at 19:20
  • 10
    I have to admit I would love to see how many people crap themselves silly after witnessing a diamond trailing Rich B's name. – gnostradamus Jan 17 '10 at 3:42
  • 1
    LOL at Chet rolling back the post. – Pollyanna Jan 21 '10 at 15:22
  • 1
    April fools joke: Make Rich B a moderator for the day. Hilarity ensues! – Super Long Names are Hilarious Feb 2 '10 at 21:10

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