An election is being scheduled on one of the sites that I participate on, and one of the moderators took some time to write a description of what being a moderator is like from their perspective. I thought it was a good way to get people thinking about becoming a mod, and that it might be useful to get more perspectives and specific questions from the community.
You might be tempted to close this as a duplicate of Let's give a better idea of what moderators do but hear me out. I think waiting until there is actually an election isn't a great idea. I think the current mod team composing a message for potential candidates when an election is scheduled is a great idea that never got implemented. However, making them start completely from scratch every time is not a good idea. They should have something to start from and just highlight how their site at this time is a bit different from it. I think it would also be helpful if the information was structured as questions and answers instead of as a free form essay.
We have documentation to help newly elected moderators, and we have a good description of the job in general. We don't have anything (as far as I know) describing what it's like to be a mod from a moderator's perspective.
Because it's not really feasible to have a moderator "take your community to work" day, I think an "ask me anything" type Q&A with existing elected mods from across the network would be the next best thing.
I'm imagining these types of questions
- How much time does being a mod take?
- What is the best and worst thing about being a mod?
- What happens if you make a mistake when using a moderator power?
- How does being a mod change how you participate on the site?
but I think collecting questions from the community like we do for candidates would be ideal.
What do you think? Would demystifying some of the day-to-day work of a moderator help attract more candidates or be pointless? How should we decide on what questions to ask? How should they get answered and by whom? Is there a better way to give communities more insight into the job?