17

In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. Questions collected from an earlier thread have been compiled into this one, which shall now serve as the space for the candidates to provide their answers. Due to the submission count, we have selected the provided question and included all of our backup questions, for a total of 6 questions.

As a candidate, your job is simple - post an answer to this question, citing each of the questions and then post your answer to each question given in that same answer. For your convenience, I will include all of the questions in quote format with a break in between each, suitable for you to insert your answers. Just copy the whole thing after the first set of three dashes.Please consider putting your name at the top of your post so that readers will know who you are before they finish reading everything you have written, and also including a link to your answer on your nomination post.

Once all the answers have been compiled, this will serve as a transcript for voters to view the thoughts of their candidates, and will be appropriately linked in the Election page.

Good luck to all of the candidates!

Oh, and when you've completed your answer, please provide a link to it after this blurb here, before that set of three dashes. Please leave the list of links in the order of submission.

To save scrolling here are links to the submissions from each candidate (in order of submission):


  1. How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

  2. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

  3. Given that Wolfram is pushing towards a cloud-based platform, there exists the Wolfram Community for general conversation and discussion about the software/language, and there exists here a well rounded body of information suitable for most beginners to find answers so long as they can construct a proper search, what role does the Mathematica.SE Q&A play in the greater Wolfram/Mathematica realm and how would you like to see the site evolve over the next year?

  4. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

  5. A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

  6. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

24

Kuba

I don't think I am a good candidate with respect to human interactions but there is a lot to do content-wise which I think I enjoy and do anyway.

  1. How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

The only reasonable answer is "it depends". Otherwise we would have a script which does what needs to be done.

I don't think user's reputation matters here. If the discussion is on topic and constructive and not too long, then there is nothing to do but to ask for civilized behavior. If certain limits are crossed those comments can be deleted or the conversation can be moved to chat.

If that happens repeatedly I believe that a small talk in private chat can straighten things. At the end, I could ask a more experienced Mod. ;)

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

From my experience, there is no problem in working out a reasonable solution when talking with current Moderators.

  1. Given that Wolfram is pushing towards a cloud-based platform, there exists the Wolfram Community for general conversation and discussion about the software/language, and there exists here a well rounded body of information suitable for most beginners to find answers so long as they can construct a proper search, what role does the Mathematica.SE Q&A play in the greater Wolfram/Mathematica realm and how would you like to see the site evolve over the next year?

Personally, I have problems finding information on Wolfram Community and even when it will be easier it is still a very discussion friendly platform which makes it tough to scan. Content here is more compact and "ready to use" which I think is what many users are looking for.

Cloud related questions are now on topic so I see no problem. And I don't think about how the site will evolve, it is doing fine, the point is not to let it be flooded by crappy content.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Help to make this site being worth frequent visits.

  1. A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

I will probably comment less, complain less and focus more on more idiomatic English in my answers. (cheers to m_goldberg), which is what I should do anyway, so I'm looking forward to it ;)

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

Moderators know, they decided that they need another pair of hands even though many 10k+ users are helping. What also helps is that I'm from a time zone not covered by current Mods.

  • "I don't think I am a good candidate with respect to human interactions" - sundry question(s): have you ever modded before? If you have, you don't need to mention the site, but maybe talk about what you learned from that experience. – J. M. is away Feb 1 '17 at 21:24
  • (Also, you need to go here and click the "nominate yourself" link to make it official.) – J. M. is away Feb 1 '17 at 21:25
  • You got my vote – Sjoerd C. de Vries Feb 1 '17 at 21:35
  • @J.M. I haven't modded before. I don't see any 'nominate yourself' link there :( – Kuba Feb 1 '17 at 21:57
  • "I haven't modded before." - if you win this election, we'll help you get up to speed. ;) As for officially nominating yourself: there's a "Would you like to nominate yourself as a candidate in this election?" with a link at the very bottom. – J. M. is away Feb 1 '17 at 21:59
  • @J.M. Thanks :) Ah I see it now, the css theme I'm using didn't make it bold. ...oh no, the body has to be at least 150 characters there too – Kuba Feb 1 '17 at 22:01
  • @SjoerdC.deVries Thank you :) – Kuba Feb 1 '17 at 22:33
  • 5
    FYI: I am "from" all times zones, or none, or one on Mars. ;-p – Mr.Wizard Feb 4 '17 at 14:51
  • 1
    @Mr.Wizard I hope you won't lose interest then :) – Kuba Feb 5 '17 at 11:18
  • @J.M. ok, so here we are :) I'm looking forward to that. I will be available tomorrow after work, with short periods meanwhile. – Kuba Feb 14 '17 at 22:39
22

MarcoB

  1. How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

Arguments in comments are fine, as long as they are kept relatively short. The comments can otherwise be removed or the conversation moved to chat when it gets too long, repetitive, or simply off-topic. The site is about content, so a steady stream of nice answers is an asset for the whole site. I would be extremely loathe to turn away such a user. On the other hand, rude or offensive comments would be removed promptly and regularly. Realistically, though, I can't think of any such situation on this site in my (limited) experience.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

First, I would try to understand the other mod's reason for their action (through chat, comments) and see if perhaps I should change my mind. If the question has simply been closed, but I think it can be improved by editing, I might do that, and leave it to the community to vote on its possible reopening. Once again, though, we have very understanding, very open moderators: I recall only one or two cases in which, as a user, I petitioned a moderator to reopen a question that had been closed by a binding vote, and a very civil, very balanced conversation ensued. I suspect that this might be a non-issue for our site.

  1. Given that Wolfram is pushing towards a cloud-based platform, there exists the Wolfram Community for general conversation and discussion about the software/language, and there exists here a well rounded body of information suitable for most beginners to find answers so long as they can construct a proper search, what role does the Mathematica.SE Q&A play in the greater Wolfram/Mathematica realm and how would you like to see the site evolve over the next year?

MMA.SE will remain as a carefully curated source of excellent solutions to common and abstruse problems alike. I particularly enjoy the general understanding that feature requests and general rants about MMA are off topic here. This makes for a much pleasanter reading experience overall. I'd like to see the number of active users on the site increase, which would hopefully reduce drive-by questions.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

As little as possible. Moderators naturally handle flags and abuse promptly, and nudge especially new users towards existing resources. They also maintain the tag database, tag or re-tag questions, edit questions and answers for clarity and readability. Otherwise, they let the site's users run their own site.

  1. A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

I would feel awed by the responsibility. As a new user to the site, not long ago, I know that I did look at the current moderators' answers and comments differently from those of other users, whether rightly or wrongly. The recent memory of this perception will make me reflect more about my actions, especially if casting a binding vote.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

As I mentioned in my nomination statement, due to changes in my day job, unfortunately I rarely have the larger chunks of time necessary to craft long / complex answers. In fact, I recently had a pretty dry spell, during which I contributed close to no answers, but I still kept visiting the site and doing some voting / editing. This is because I do often have small bits of time that I could dedicate to maintenance tasks: that may very well be the most effective way for me to keep contributing to the site in a meaningful way.

  1. Mr. Wizard asked: why have you never asked a question?

In the glut of statistics of the last few days, that fact jumped out at me as well. On reflection, I think the reason is twofold.

I will preface the explanation with the confession that I used to thoroughly enjoy the challenge of homework at school, and miss it somewhat. So, being mostly a Mathematica amateur, I can still afford the luxury of treating questions on MMA.SE as brain teasers, and banging my head against the wall for a while: that's how I learn best. It is also nice to know that, if I did get stuck and asked a question, it would be answered thoroughly and swiftly by the knowledgeable users of this site, which provides a safety net of sorts. That would spoil all the fun, though, wouldn't it? :-)

A second reason is that, the reach of my MMA projects being still somewhat modest, and on the other hand being pretty good at searching, so far I have found answers or hints to my nascent questions in this site pretty much every time I searched, so the need for a formal question has not yet arisen.

  • 1
    Do you have any previous modding experience? – J. M. is away Feb 4 '17 at 8:22
  • 2
    I think moderators should have a avatar that stands out. If you are elected would you be willing to change from an assigned, hard-to-distinguish identicon to something more recognizable? – m_goldberg Feb 4 '17 at 14:24
  • @J.M. No, I don't have any previous experience as a moderator on this or other SE site. – MarcoB Feb 4 '17 at 16:28
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    @m_goldberg Interesting point; I had typically found the diamond to be a clear enough indication of "office", and never thought of the distinctive icon. But in any case: yes, of course I would be willing to change to something more unique. – MarcoB Feb 4 '17 at 16:33
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    @m_goldberg mathematica.stackexchange.com/users/8/verbeia – Kuba Feb 5 '17 at 8:04
  • 7
    Can we have you both? – Sjoerd C. de Vries Feb 5 '17 at 17:43
  • @Sjoerd I'd have no objections at all! The more the merrier, I say, although our current mods might think otherwise ;-) – MarcoB Feb 6 '17 at 12:57
  • @MarcoB I have a late question for you: why have you never asked a Question? – Mr.Wizard Feb 6 '17 at 21:16
  • @Mr.Wizard An excellent point. I started answering here, but it grew long so I figured I would add it to the Q&A collection above. – MarcoB Feb 6 '17 at 21:37
  • @MarcoB Thank you. By the way you are in good company; it was a long time before Leonid asked his first question and even then it was only to self-answer. – Mr.Wizard Feb 6 '17 at 21:43

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