Update 2 (March 6, 23)
We made a shortlist of the most promising suggestions from the answers provided, and we then shared our findings with Philippe Beaudette, our VP of Community. After some discussion, we determined that we need to do further exploration and research into these proposed roles before we can consider a potential fit for the network. Afterward, we’ll share our findings with the community and discuss the next steps for any roles we might pursue.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed their suggestions. At this point, we are going through all the feedback shared. Additional feedback past this point is welcome but won't be taken into account for our initial discovery work.
TL;DR: The Community Team has been doing discovery work on the possible creation of new community roles across the Stack Exchange network and individual sites. We started by approaching site moderators, and now we want to hear from the broader community about the different roles you would like to see outside of the existing site moderator role. This could be anything that you would see as applying to the network as a whole (which individual communities can choose to fill, or not), or a role specific to a particular Stack Exchange site.
For a long time, the only codified community role that we have had on Stack Exchange sites is that of the site moderators. The community contributes to and participates on each site in various ways, but we have rarely provided an official way to recognize the ways in which each user has helped maintain the knowledge base and/or support the rest of the community. As such, we wanted to find ways to give you all more ownership of your respective communities and empower you to shape them further.
What kinds of roles?
Throughout the network's history the only role designated to the community so far has been the role of site moderator. This is an exercise of exploring what could exist alongside that role to enrich the experience of using the different sites. These could be roles that would exist alongside new tools, opt-in responsibilities, or permissions related to specific badges. The sky's the limit here.
For example, we believe the following could be possible roles to consider:
- Plagiarism Handler – a role centered around reviewing and removing plagiarism from the network
- Deputy Moderators – a temporary role by appointment that would give lower-rep users some early access to reputation-based curation tools
- Event Planner – a role centered around creating and organizing events for their site, community, etc.
Don’t focus too much on these roles in particular; we’re just including them as examples of the different kinds of roles that could be considered. (But if you think one of the above examples would be a good role for us to add, feel free to suggest it as an answer and explain how you think it should work!)
How should I share my suggestions for new roles?
We don’t want the discussion to focus too much on analyzing our existing examples; rather, you should treat this as an open-ended opportunity to brainstorm and identify possible new roles that could help our communities run more efficiently and create a more enjoyable experience for all of you.
If you have an idea for a new community role please post it as an answer on this post (one suggested role per answer). To make it easier to discuss your ideas, please start each answer with a name for the role as the heading of your answer, followed by a brief description of how you think the role would work (e.g., what permissions it might need, new tools you think it might need, etc.).
December 19th, 2022 is our tentative deadline
You can always propose things on Meta – but as far as this post is concerned, we’ll be accepting suggestions of new community roles until December 19th, 2022. After that, we’ll present and discuss these ideas internally with the rest of the Community Team and other staff. We plan to make a post in early January to share which roles, if any, we will begin exploring in more depth with engineering and product teams.
We can’t promise that your suggestions will all be implemented; the examples we provided are just interesting things that we think might enrich the network experience. Regardless of the outcomes, we think this is an interesting exercise to carry out periodically, to continue innovating on the Stack Exchange user experience.