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Taking a look at other Stack Exchange elections, it seems like they all have "Moderator Q&A," where candidates answer questions about moderating, allowing voters to see what kind of person they are looking at. So I am wondering, are we going to have these questions? If so, answer down below to share some potential questions.

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    $\begingroup$ Moderator Q&As are always user led. It's definitely a good idea! I strongly encourage and support using the answer space here to gather questions. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Mar 31 at 14:31
  • $\begingroup$ @ConnorGarcia Moderator Election Q&A is where nominees answer the questions selected by (existing moderators? other users?). Here is where users can suggest questions to put there. $\endgroup$ Mar 31 at 21:41
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    $\begingroup$ @ConnorGarcia I'm not sure, so let's wait for someone else to confirm. $\endgroup$ Mar 31 at 23:06
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    $\begingroup$ @ConnorGarcia & fasterthanlight - Happy to see you both throw your hat in the ring! Looking forward to seeing how things go. :) $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Apr 5 at 1:23
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage As to what Rosie said in her answer, "If we have more than one nominee we can certainly post questions and even start an election chat room at that time if it would be beneficial." As Connor Garcia and I have nominated ourselves, should we go ahead and put up the questions, or are we going to leave it as is? $\endgroup$ Apr 5 at 14:07
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    $\begingroup$ @fasterthanlight Let's wait for the nominations to close. If it's just you two, I'm not entirely sure a formal questionnaire is necessary. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Apr 5 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage Ok, sounds good :) $\endgroup$ Apr 5 at 14:14
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    $\begingroup$ @ConnorGarcia Unfortunately fasterthanlight will not be running. I was looking forward to seeing you both run. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Apr 5 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ @ConnorGarcia Congrats on becoming our fourth moderator! $\endgroup$ Apr 5 at 20:12
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Victor Stafusa requested that I answer the moderator questions even though I ran unopposed in the recent election. I think this is an excellent idea and could also serve as sort of a deeper introduction of myself to the community. I will start by answering FasterThanLight's questions and then answer my own!

FTL’s questions

  1. Moderation takes time, and dedication. How much time do you plan on setting aside for moderation, what are your expectations for moderating, what time zone do you live in?

I don’t plan to set aside specific time for moderation, but instead to burn down flags whenever I log on prior to asking and answering questions. My expectations are for it to be a significant time investment while I learn how to moderate, but then trail off as I learn how to do it. I typically am on ASE (Astronomy Stack Exchange) from 1800-2300 Mountain.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

As little as necessary? The members do most of the work, like closing questions, deleting inappropriate posts, etc... I think a moderator needs to step in when questions need to be migrated, when Spam accounts need to be deleted, or when the very rare instances of fighting, harassment, or abuse need to be handled.

  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 am fine having the diamond on previous posts. I’ve made my share of mistakes on this site, but I believe I’ve always treated everyone respectfully. I would prefer to never make technical mistakes, but occasionally I have, and I am not ashamed of them. Already, I am finding myself taking much more care about what I post as a moderator than what I posted before.

  1. What is the difference between getting high reputation and unlocking special privileges and becoming a moderator?

Getting high rep for members grants them privileges to allow them to help moderate the site. They are expected to help with moderation, but are not explicitly required to do so. However, moderation is an explicit requirement for moderators. I would say that moderators’ abilities are more powers (that accompany their corresponding responsibilities), than privileges due to reputation. Of course, moderators have more power than high rep users, but as Ursula K LeGuin's Ogion said to Ged, "Before you speak or do you must know the price that is to pay!"

  1. If a situation was handled poorly, what would you do as a moderator?

If the resulting resolution was under my purview as a moderator, I would try to reach a resolution that was fair and agreed upon by the parties involved, if possible.

  1. As a moderator, what can you do to make this site better?

I think it’s the members who ask great questions and give great answers who make the site the best it can be. The moderators can only enable this by keeping the site free from harassment and spam, and help keep the site focused on astronomy! Like a sys admin, if everything is working flawlessly, we should be mostly invisible.

  1. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I think my strengths are treating people with respect, allowing others to have the last word without letting my ego get in the way, and giving people the benefit of the doubt. However, I am certainly not a push-over in a technical disagreement. If I can be shown to be wrong, I will admit it, apologize, fix or delete my post, and move on!

For weaknesses (is there a limit on post length?), I am prone to fixate on minor details and take an answer way too far. Sometimes I post answers that are contrarian to our mainstream understanding of astronomy. I am guilty of the occasional construction of a subversive coordinate system. I like the underdog and strange astronomy questions, so I tend to try to rehabilitate questions other members have begun to close.

  1. Is there anything that has happened in your Stack Exchange experience that really changed you (or the way you think)?

Yes, I used to think academia was the best way to learn something in a STEM field. I’ve learned so much from ASE in the last six months, I am now convinced it is also a great way to learn. I have definitely learned more from trying to answer questions than I have from asking. Stack Exchange makes me think about the learning value of deep reflection into difficult problems, sometimes for weeks or months.

Connor Garcia’s questions

  1. Who is the Astronomy Stack Exchange for? Is it for students or teachers? Experts or novices? Is it for the questioners or the answerers? Or is it mostly for the silent audience who neither votes nor comments, but composes the majority of the views?

The ASE is for all of the above and is really for anyone who with an internet connection and a curiosity about the wonderful field of astronomy! Also, I don’t think we need trade-offs where we value one group’s stake in the site over another groups. There is room on the site for novices to ask simple homework problems up to professional astronomers asking sophisticated questions about the state of the field. Each person can skip to the questions and answers that interest them personally, with the help of tags!

  1. Suppose a question is on-topic, but a bit confused, contradictory, lacking detail or poorly expressed. When should we make an attempt to help the author "rehab" the question and when should we vote to close?

If the question is clearly out of scope then I think it should be closed or migrated. If it is clearly a duplicate, I think it is fine to close it as such. If it is clearly spam or clearly written to advance the writer's own personal theories or fringe anti-science theories, I think it should be closed.

Otherwise, for good faith questions, I think we should make a good faith effort to help the author to clarify. Sometimes the same misconceptions that prevent us from understanding something make it difficult to ask a clear question about it!

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    $\begingroup$ Since you have been appointed anyway, how would you answer these questions? $\endgroup$ Apr 7 at 14:29
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These are some great and thoughtful questions. We don't require a questions for Pro Tempore elections because unlike elections on graduated sites, these elections do not have to be competitive.

If we have more than one nominee we can certainly post questions and even start an election chat room at that time if it would be beneficial.

We don't have any nominees at the moment so if anyone who is eligible is interested in throwing their hat in the ring, we encourage you to do so. We'll extend the nomination period next week if there are no nominees at that time.

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Maybe these may help (some formulated by myself, others taken from other Q&A's):

  1. Moderation takes time, and dedication. How much time do you plan on setting aside for moderation, what are your expectations for moderating, what time zone do you live in?
  2. In your opinion, what do moderators do?
  3. 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?
  4. What is the difference between getting high reputation and unlocking special privileges and becoming a moderator?
  5. If a situation was handled poorly, what would you do as a moderator?
  6. As a moderator, what can you do to make this site better?
  7. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  8. Is there anything that has happened in your Stack Exchange experience that really changed you (or the way you think)?
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    $\begingroup$ If it helps factor into the decision on the new mod, my time zone is Eastern Time, U.S. I'm usually on Monday-Friday, but I'm also sometimes available Saturday and Sunday (just not Saturday evening). I'm most available from 8 AM to 5 PM, but also usually can be reached between 8 PM and 10 PM. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Mar 31 at 14:36
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    $\begingroup$ I usually only see flags during the 8 AM to 5 PM time frame on weekdays, but if I'm pinged during other times I may log on to respond to something urgent. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Mar 31 at 14:39

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