12

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. Not every question was compiled - as noted, we only selected the top 8 questions as submitted by the community, plus 2 pre-set questions from us.

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. Oh, and 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.

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!


  1. What is your opinion of the role of the Magento StackExchange in relation to third-party extensions--both free and commercial?

  2. Moderators have a decisive vote when it comes to closing questions, opening questions, validating edits. This means a moderator can close a question without the need for other 4 votes. What's your view on that? Does it change anything, does it make you pay more attention to what you are reviewing? or it doesn't make a difference?

  3. Do you think you can/should help keeping the answered question rate high as a moderator? If yes, how would you do that?

  4. 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?

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

  6. Moderators frequently have to deal with content from user new to Magento and to StackExchange. What will you regularly do as a moderator with regards to these users?

  7. How would you react with users who shamelessly posted stupid question/doing this job for me type of question. How would you react with those users?

  8. In phase 2 of the graduation, the "trusted user" privilege will be gained at 20K reputation instead of 4k. This means, the number of users that can vote to delete questions and answers with negative score suddenly drops from 23 to 3 and the responsibility to decide about deletion is shifted more towards the moderators (at least for some time). How do you feel about this responsibility and what's your policy on deleting posts?

  9. Moderators have several tools at their disposal to educate users and to ensure the quality of content. How would you rank the various activities of moderators?

  10. What do you believe is your most important role as a moderator specifically for this exchange - in your personal opinion and from a community perspective?

25

I'm Marius and these are my answers to the moderator questionnaire.

  1. What is your opinion of the role of the Magento StackExchange in relation to third-party extensions--both free and commercial?

I don't think there is a black or white solution here. Not even a grey one.
There are a few types of third party modules related questions that can be asked:

  • "I need an extension that does this and that. " - I will let these questions live for a while as long as they describe a specific problem. I might even answer if I know an extension or two, paid or free.
  • "I installed this obscure extension from this obscure provider and it doesn't work" - I will close these questions without hesitation.
  • "I installed this extension, I have a problem with it, I did some digging and most probably the problem is in this piece of code (insert code here) that should do this (insert explanation here)" - This is a totally legit question, but I will still recommend contacting the developer for support.
  1. Moderators have a decisive vote when it comes to closing questions, opening questions, validating edits. This means a moderator can close a question without the need for other 4 votes. What's your view on that? Does it change anything, does it make you pay more attention to what you are reviewing? or it doesn't make a difference?

I would like to say that this does not change anything, but it does at least subconsciously. I pay more attention now to the questions I close or reopen. I admit I sometimes close the wrong things, but I always open them back when presented with facts or explained that I was wrong.

  1. Do you think you can/should help keeping the answered question rate high as a moderator? If yes, how would you do that?

Yes, I think I can, I think I should and I already did that.
A moderator has unlimited number of close votes and can close a question without the need for 4 more votes. I constantly did this till now, by going through really old questions and closing very specific ones or the ones the I thought won't get any answers.

  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?

I don't think there should be a difference between "user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers" and a user who doesn't. Don't moderate the person, moderate the content. For a while I would handle the flags as any other flag. Then contact the user privately and, if needed, I can resort to temporary suspension.

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

Easy. Reopen it/undelete it/etc and state the reason for doing so.

  1. Moderators frequently have to deal with content from user new to Magento and to StackExchange. What will you regularly do as a moderator with regards to these users?

Educate before punishing. Edit the post / close the question if it's unclear and point the user to the "help" section / instruct the user to accept an answer that is clearly the right answer.

  1. How would you react with users who shamelessly posted stupid question/doing this job for me type of question. How would you react with those users?

This is somehow similar to the previous question. I would do the same. Educate and then "punish" if needed. First explain the rules of the website and, if the "stupid" streak continues, suspend temporarily.

  1. In phase 2 of the graduation, the "trusted user" privilege will be gained at 20K reputation instead of 4k. This means, the number of users that can vote to delete questions and answers with negative score suddenly drops from 23 to 3 and the responsibility to decide about deletion is shifted more towards the moderators (at least for some time). How do you feel about this responsibility and what's your policy on deleting posts?

I admit I'm writing this with a bit of a smile on my face. I'm one of those 3 people with over 20k points. For me things stay the same.

  1. Moderators have several tools at their disposal to educate users and to ensure the quality of content. How would you rank the various activities of moderators?

I'm going to skip this one. I honestly don't understand what "rank the various activities" means.

10.What do you believe is your most important role as a moderator specifically for this exchange - in your personal opinion and from a community perspective?

First of all a moderator has to be an active member of the community and should not stand out of the community if not needed. A moderator should help the website run as smooth as possible but do it from the "shadow".
Second, and third and more...a moderator should be objective.

  • 1
    ,You Really deserve it – Bhupendra Jadeja Aug 25 '15 at 4:59
  • dude, your score is only 39/40? ntz ntz, what happened to perfection? :) good luck! – Cristi Aug 26 '15 at 16:21
  • @Cristi. I didn't have the chance to get #40. It will be perfect in 3 days. :) – Marius Aug 26 '15 at 16:38
  • congrats! well deserved – Tim Hallman Sep 6 '15 at 0:33
  • @TimHallman Thanks. – Marius Sep 6 '15 at 4:25
9

I'm pretty late responding to these questions. Remember that you can change the vote you've cast up until the election closes.

In the interest of transparency I'll disclose that I'm choosing to respond before reading others' responses.


  1. What is your opinion of the role of the Magento StackExchange in relation to third-party extensions--both free and commercial?

No discussion involving Magento is complete without addressing third-party modules and their impact each & every Magento instance. As a pro tempore moderator I tend to be lenient on questions involving third party modules, and I see myself doing this going forward.

  1. Moderators have a decisive vote when it comes to closing questions, opening questions, validating edits. This means a moderator can close a question without the need for other 4 votes. What's your view on that? Does it change anything, does it make you pay more attention to what you are reviewing? or it doesn't make a difference?

I try to wield this power responsibly. I generally respond to flags as opposed to direct curation of content - that seems more community-oriented to me, and it acknowledges the reality that I cannot ever speak for the entire community. In instances where I might think a question or answer is insufficient or inappropriate I prefer to add a comment.

  1. Do you think you can/should help keeping the answered question rate high as a moderator? If yes, how would you do that?

Good content - both questions & answers - is much more important than answer rate, especially now that we are moving out of beta. We get a lot of "double newbie" questions/answers, by which I mean that poster is new to both Magento and to the Stack way of doing things. I like to moderate the unsuitable content in a educative way by putting poor content on hold with an instructive comment.

  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?

I would (and have) sent private messages. While I'm not a huge fan of private messages (I prefer things to be in the open), I've found that a well-stated, professional message from a mod to be an effective means of removing the noise from an otherwise valuable contributor stream.

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

This has happened a few times. I like for the OP to edit & nominate for reopening. If a mod were doing this repeatedly, I would like to have an open chat room discussion about his or her reasoning, from which a best path forward could be decided.

  1. Moderators frequently have to deal with content from user new to Magento and to StackExchange. What will you regularly do as a moderator with regards to these users?

As I mentioned in my response to item #3, I prefer gentle guidance above all. For a new user - who's here because he or she is already having some difficulty - nothing could be more frustrating than having their content closed without explanation. I'm a firm believer that investing a little guidance will yield a lifetime of great content from users.

  1. How would you react with users who shamelessly posted stupid question/doing this job for me type of question. How would you react with those users?

The community will flag these posts, and we will remove them. Repeat offenders get a private message - including some guidance on Stack culture - with a possible suspension. Easy!

  1. In phase 2 of the graduation, the "trusted user" privilege will be gained at 20K reputation instead of 4k. This means, the number of users that can vote to delete questions and answers with negative score suddenly drops from 23 to 3 and the responsibility to decide about deletion is shifted more towards the moderators (at least for some time). How do you feel about this responsibility and what's your policy on deleting posts?

Above all, users should rely on votes when evaluating answers. To this end, I'd like to encourage more voting from our community. Beyond this, I can say that deleting content is the most significant, awful responsibility which moderators have. Nothing goes further against the grain of an open forum than having content removed. That said, moderators & trusted users are tasked with curation rather than censorship, and this is to keep content on Magento SE focused & relevant. Until we have more trusted users, the moderators will need to be vigilant with regards to poor answer quality.

  1. Moderators have several tools at their disposal to educate users and to ensure the quality of content. How would you rank the various activities of moderators?

Beyond acting on community-sourced flags? Comments, comments, comments... followed by private messages. Education is just proactive curation.

  1. What do you believe is your most important role as a moderator specifically for this exchange - in your personal opinion and from a community perspective?

As a Magento developer and educator for over seven years I believe I have a well-seasoned "sense" of the Magento community, and it is from this narrative voice that I have exacted my moderation responsibilities.

As a "company man" I bring a unique frame of reference to all moderation activities here. I'm honestly not sure whether that is good/right/proper/appropriate, but I trust the community to answer this question as part of the election.

7

Hi, I'm Anna and here are my answers:

  1. What is your opinion of the role of the Magento StackExchange in relation to third-party extensions--both free and commercial?

I think there are some legit third-party extension questions but the line is sometimes thin with this one. Some questions (like having troubles installing them) are better for the extension support I think, others (like extending the functionality or correcting undesired behavior with detailed debugging information and after contacting the official support) can be valid questions for the platform.

  1. Moderators have a decisive vote when it comes to closing questions, opening questions, validating edits. This means a moderator can close a question without the need for other 4 votes. What's your view on that? Does it change anything, does it make you pay more attention to what you are reviewing? or it doesn't make a difference?

Yes, I think that makes a big difference in closing questions. I would not close a question alone if I’m not really sure it should be closed or not. Yet you are not alone as a moderator and you can discuss with others, if not sure.

  1. Do you think you can/should help keeping the answered question rate high as a moderator? If yes, how would you do that?

It’s not only about a high question rate, but this is also an important factor. As a moderator you should handle latest flags that are raised from the community but also keep an eye on old or orphaned questions and handle them.

  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?

Start with guiding the user to a more positive way of adding their content like updating their own answer or summarizing the comments as a new answer, pointing him politely to the rules and if it cannot be handled that way, consult with other moderators.

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

Contact that moderator, reopen it by myself, discuss the validity of the question.

  1. Moderators frequently have to deal with content from user new to Magento and to StackExchange. What will you regularly do as a moderator with regards to these users?

Welcome them, explain them the rules in short (what & why) according to the specific situation, link them to the help section of the page. Update the question/answer if needed and leave a comment what was improved and how they can do better next time.

  1. How would you react with users who shamelessly posted stupid question/doing this job for me type of question. How would you react with those users?

Most of these types of questions I’ve seen are “too broad” anyway most of the time. I would not go into detail but explaining the steps to take and ask him to come back with more specific questions.

  1. In phase 2 of the graduation, the "trusted user" privilege will be gained at 20K reputation instead of 4k. This means, the number of users that can vote to delete questions and answers with negative score suddenly drops from 23 to 3 and the responsibility to decide about deletion is shifted more towards the moderators (at least for some time). How do you feel about this responsibility and what's your policy on deleting posts?

This will be a big amount of work for a certain time, I’m sure. But there are at least 3 more in the “queue” who will reach 20k soon and I hope the graduation brings some more power to the platform in general so that we will have more members with a higher reputation soon. Deleting questions is of course a very sensitive part and as I mentioned before, I would never delete a question alone if I’m not completely sure this is the right thing to do.

  1. Moderators have several tools at their disposal to educate users and to ensure the quality of content. How would you rank the various activities of moderators?

I guess I cannot rank the tools (yet I don’t know which of them I should rank here?) but there are a lot of tools and as a moderator it’s important to use them all and not just focus on 1 or 2.

  1. What do you believe is your most important role as a moderator specifically for this exchange - in your personal opinion and from a community perspective?

Being active in a way of taking care of the content and encouraging people to contribute and help them improving their content. Be nice & friendly :) but take control where needed.

6

Hi I am David Manners and please vote for me :)

  1. What is your opinion of the role of the Magento StackExchange in relation to third-party extensions--both free and commercial?

For me I think that though it can be a pain to answer someone else's support questions do we not technically do that all the time since not many of us are core developers. For the third-party questions I think it will need to be done on a question by question basis. There is a place for the right kind of questions. If the person can find the answer or at least some help here then we should let me ask these sort of questions. If we have any chance of helping people out then we should do it.

  1. Moderators have a decisive vote when it comes to closing questions, opening questions, validating edits. This means a moderator can close a question without the need for other 4 votes. What's your view on that? Does it change anything, does it make you pay more attention to what you are reviewing? or it doesn't make a difference?

Yes I think it does make you pay more attention when looking through questions. As a normal user you are only one voice and other people can help you out more. Though saying that you do not moderate alone and if you are not sure then you can ask one of the other moderators for advice.

  1. Do you think you can/should help keeping the answered question rate high as a moderator? If yes, how would you do that?

I think as a site user you can help out by answering, editing and clarifying the question being asked so that it is clear. As a moderator you can do all of these so I think there is no real difference here between a moderator and normal site user with regards to the answer rate.

  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?

I would talk to the user about this, being honest with them as to the issue at hand but making sure they know that their input is valuable to the site. Sadly most of the time typing something up does not get across someone's tone. This can easily be clarified with the user.

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

Discuss this with the moderator. You need to work as a team or moderators so you should be fairly open with each other. I would hope that the other moderators would come to me with questions/problems and I hope they do not mind because I will do the same to them. It is a big responsibility and no one has all the answers, sadly we just have our opinions.

  1. Moderators frequently have to deal with content from user new to Magento and to StackExchange. What will you regularly do as a moderator with regards to these users?

I think we already have a great set of examples of how to write questions/answers so I would point new users to these to see what should be included in their questions and how to format a good question. As a Magento community we also have a great set of resources for new users and this can be used as guidance for new users.

  1. How would you react with users who shamelessly posted stupid question/doing this job for me type of question. How would you react with those users?

I would always start with discussion with the users, I think this is the best way to let someone know what is expected on this site. I am sure most of us have had the same experience of someone "mentoring" us. For me this is the best way to learn. Sadly if this still continues I would suggest discussing with the other moderators and also maybe asking moderators or stackexchange themselves how best to deal with this situation.

  1. In phase 2 of the graduation, the "trusted user" privilege will be gained at 20K reputation instead of 4k. This means, the number of users that can vote to delete questions and answers with negative score suddenly drops from 23 to 3 and the responsibility to decide about deletion is shifted more towards the moderators (at least for some time). How do you feel about this responsibility and what's your policy on deleting posts?

I think that the site will change a lot after migration from beta. At first remember that the moderators are a team and if there is anything that is not clear with regards to closing/deleting they can discuss it between themselves. 3 minds are better than 1.....sometimes. I also think that deleting should be a last resort, discussion with the user to improve the question is the best start, finding the right tags will also help find the right answer but yes stuff will need to be deleted and if I an not 100% sure I would discuss it with the other moderators first.

  1. Moderators have several tools at their disposal to educate users and to ensure the quality of content. How would you rank the various activities of moderators?

I would say a moderator job should cover all tools. I am not sure what each tool is at the moment though so I cannot give a good answer here :)

  1. What do you believe is your most important role as a moderator specifically for this exchange - in your personal opinion and from a community perspective?

I think as a moderator there are two important roles. Cleaning up and encouraging positive activity on the site. For me I think that the most important is cleaning-up so that when a user comes to the site they easily find what they are looking for. In my opinion this will help with the second role as this user is more likely to stick around and get involved if they have a positive opinion of the site from the beginning.

5

This is Fabian, thanks for reading my answers:

  1. What is your opinion of the role of the Magento StackExchange in relation to third-party extensions--both free and commercial?

Magento StackExchange should not be or try to be a support forum for extensions and also not degenerate into an advertising platform for commercial extensions. I do not see any of this as an immediate threat, but will make sure it stays like that.

I will continue to close quesions that boil down to "recommend me extensions for X" (opinion based, attracts low quality answers and spam), questions like "I installed extension Y and get an error" (better suited for vendor support or as GitHub issues), and delete low quality answers that are obviously spammed by extension vendors to sell their products (recommending extensions is okay in general, but it should be reasoned, and any affiliation should be disclosed).

Other questions related to third party extensions must be handled case by case. Good examples are questions about modules that are targeted at developers, like the questions in avs-fastsimpleimport and ecomdev-phpunit tags.

  1. Moderators have a decisive vote when it comes to closing questions, opening questions, validating edits. This means a moderator can close a question without the need for other 4 votes. What's your view on that? Does it change anything, does it make you pay more attention to what you are reviewing? or it doesn't make a difference?

It's a big responsibility. Since I already rather skip questions in the close queue where I am not sure if they should be closed, not much will change for me. I promise to not shoot too fast and leave a comment alongside the close if I feel the question could be improved to deserve re-opening. Regarding re-opening, I will not hesitate to make use of this privilege if I feel it is deserved (from experience, most of the time it is not).

  1. Do you think you can/should help keeping the answered question rate high as a moderator? If yes, how would you do that?

It's not the main focus of a moderator, but of any active community member and moderators should be active community members. But since they have a few more possibilities at hand, they can be more effective. Not with answers and votes, but with closing and deleting old unanswered questions with low views that are unlikely to help anybody.

  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?

A user that generates lots of trouble in comments should be warned and if it does not help, I guess you can remove the right to comment for a certain time period. Since suspending the account entirely is not in question, I would handle that independent of other, positive, activities on the site.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?
  1. Reopen, leave a comment, invite other mod to discuss the issue.
  2. Find out if we have different views on what should be closed or not and try to find a consent.
  1. Moderators frequently have to deal with content from user new to Magento and to StackExchange. What will you regularly do as a moderator with regards to these users?

Don't spare them downvotes and close votes but educate them. They should know why a question is not appropiate or in good form and get the chance to improve it.

  1. How would you react with users who shamelessly posted stupid question/doing this job for me type of question. How would you react with those users?

See (6). If a single user continues "shamelessly" and obviously does not want to be educated, questions will be closed without further comments.

  1. In phase 2 of the graduation, the "trusted user" privilege will be gained at 20K reputation instead of 4k. This means, the number of users that can vote to delete questions and answers with negative score suddenly drops from 23 to 3 and the responsibility to decide about deletion is shifted more towards the moderators (at least for some time). How do you feel about this responsibility and what's your policy on deleting posts?

Since this is my own question I am well aware of this responsibility. As a moderator I would be more careful with deleting low quality answers and rather downvote them. I will continue to delete obvious advertising and gibberish.

  1. Moderators have several tools at their disposal to educate users and to ensure the quality of content. How would you rank the various activities of moderators?

To be honest, I do not know all these tools and without previous experience as a StackExchange moderator it is hard to "rank" them. Time will tell.

  1. What do you believe is your most important role as a moderator specifically for this exchange - in your personal opinion and from a community perspective?

This SE has the problem of a steady flow of low quality questions, most because they are too vague or too broad, but not immediately closeworthy. So it is important to highlight unnoticed quality questions and weed out questions that will not be useful for anybody except the asker, all to make the site attractive for serious help-seekers as well as helpers.

This task cannot be achieved by a few moderators alone but the whole community did a great job in the last months. As a moderator one should lead by example.


if you agree, don't forget to vote!

☑ @fschmengler 2015

  • Great answers, Fabian! – Anna Völkl Aug 26 '15 at 7:06
  • nicely answered .. get some tricks from you – Amit Bera Aug 26 '15 at 7:20
3

Way to late on filling this out so sorry. But here goes; I'm Sander Mangel and these are my answers


  1. What is your opinion of the role of the Magento StackExchange in relation to third-party extensions--both free and commercial?

There's no need to close them per sé. As long as something is reproducible or the vendor/builder is active on the forum or someone knows the answer it can be quite valuable. That being said, I rarely encounter those questions. Generally it's due to module conflicts and is nearly impossible to correctly reproduce

  1. Moderators have a decisive vote when it comes to closing questions, opening questions, validating edits. This means a moderator can close a question without the need for other 4 votes. What's your view on that? Does it change anything, does it make you pay more attention to what you are reviewing? or it doesn't make a difference?

In the end the forum is community driven and closing/opening/etc a question without other votes should only be used when there's a good cause for it. So in case of spam or when a question was closed to hastily and it should be discussed. Moderators shouldn't decide forum policy, that's up to the community. they're only there to make sure everyone lives up to the policy

  1. Do you think you can/should help keeping the answered question rate high as a moderator? If yes, how would you do that?

Nothing changes as far as answering goes for moderators as far as I'm concerned. I try to stop by the forum for one or two hours each day to answer, vote and edit what I can and that wouldn't change.

  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?

Generally explaining why certain behavior is unwanted will go a long way. Let's pretend we're all adults and we can discuss anything. If that doesn't help warnings should be given. With the great community we have this would not only come from a moderator but probably from a lot of active users. In the end temporary suspension should only be used when nothing else is possible but I don't think it's in the spirit of the type of community this is so I rather not use it.

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

The mods are generally just a call/slack/mail/text- or beer away. Let's discuss it and we'll be sure to work it out!

  1. Moderators frequently have to deal with content from user new to Magento and to StackExchange. What will you regularly do as a moderator with regards to these users?

Same as always: welcome them, explain the rules and try to help them by editing the question or give pointers on how to post questions.

  1. How would you react with users who shamelessly posted stupid question/doing this job for me type of question. How would you react with those users?

This is not an issue for a moderator only. Vote to close and let 4 others decide as well. Next to that try and inform the user this isn't the way the forum works. I don't think the moderator should decide himself if a question is stupid or "doing this job for me". Thats for the community to decide

  1. In phase 2 of the graduation, the "trusted user" privilege will be gained at 20K reputation instead of 4k. This means, the number of users that can vote to delete questions and answers with negative score suddenly drops from 23 to 3 and the responsibility to decide about deletion is shifted more towards the moderators (at least for some time). How do you feel about this responsibility and what's your policy on deleting posts?

After a year plus of being on the site I'm pretty sure I know what people do or do not like to see. In the end we need quality posts. And when in doubt we still have a Slack channel to discuss this kind of stuff. It will require some more work at first but I'm sure a lot of new 20k users will join soon!

  1. Moderators have several tools at their disposal to educate users and to ensure the quality of content. How would you rank the various activities of moderators?

Educating users is as far as I'm concerned number 1. If users understand how the forum works and what is appreciated and what not the rest of the activities should be less.

2nd would be quality control. A forum is only useful when both questions and answers are up to high standards and help users.

  1. What do you believe is your most important role as a moderator specifically for this exchange - in your personal opinion and from a community perspective?

Making sure everybody knows the rules and follows them. And, when required, edits or closes posts to ensure the content of the forum stays of high quality

  • "beer way" .... woowww.. we missed you man :) – Rajeev K Tomy Sep 2 '15 at 3:35
2

Hi My name is Brent Peterson, here is my answer to the questions:

What is your opinion of the role of the Magento StackExchange in relation to third-party extensions--both free and commercial?

I think opening it to every third party extension is a mistake. The third party modules should be supported by that party. Given that if there is someone that will answer a question and it gets answered then we can leave the question and answer. The problem is when you open it to everything and nothing get answered because it is obscured by a variety of small modules that only one person has the answer to.

Moderators have a decisive vote when it comes to closing questions, opening questions, validating edits. This means a moderator can close a question without the need for other 4 votes. What's your view on that? Does it change anything, does it make you pay more attention to what you are reviewing? or it doesn't make a difference?

I think if you carefully read the question (or answer) and can make a decision to close it then it shouldn't matter if it is 1 or 5. In the big picture it is probably better that 5 people vote.

Do you think you can/should help keeping the answered question rate high as a moderator? If yes, how would you do that?

What would preclude anyone from continuing to answer questions? Yes!

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?

Warning can always be given, but certainly anyone who disrupts the community, is abusive or causes friction in anyway should have consequences no matter how good their answers are.

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

I think collaboration with all the moderators on going is very important. I would get an opinion from my peers before I would take action like that. Unless the closed item should obviously be opened.

Moderators frequently have to deal with content from user new to Magento and to StackExchange. What will you regularly do as a moderator with regards to these users?

I will encourage the user to follow the spirit of StackExchange as well has helping them to understand how it works and if they made a misstep, nicely point out how they can better ask or answer a question.

How would you react with users who shamelessly posted stupid question/doing this job for me type of question. How would you react with those users?

Certainly a word or warning should happen as well some direction on how the community works.

In phase 2 of the graduation, the "trusted user" privilege will be gained at 20K reputation instead of 4k. This means, the number of users that can vote to delete questions and answers with negative score suddenly drops from 23 to 3 and the responsibility to decide about deletion is shifted more towards the moderators (at least for some time). How do you feel about this responsibility and what's your policy on deleting posts?

I rarely delete posts and only for good reasons. (like spam or something egregious.) I would engage my peers before doing so.

Moderators have several tools at their disposal to educate users and to ensure the quality of content. How would you rank the various activities of moderators?

Encouraging community is the number one priority and being a great "Coach" to all the users. I am not aware of all the tools at my disposal. I hope there is a cool belt with a bunch of devices like Batman gets ;)

What do you believe is your most important role as a moderator specifically for this exchange - in your personal opinion and from a community perspective?

Growing the Magento community and giving a quality place to ask and answer questions is the biggest responsibility of the moderators. This covers each person personally as well as the community. I also believe there are perspectives that are handled by a variety of different moderators from different backgrounds and should be included.

2

I am Phillip Jackson

  1. What is your opinion of the role of the Magento StackExchange in relation to third-party extensions--both free and commercial?

The power of Magento is found it its extendability, and therefore, by the community of extensions and extension providers that have grown up around it.

That being said, the community is way too vast to allow support of all modules. My stance is, and has been, that only the largest of the 3rd party modules and themes could ever have a place here on SE. "How do I" questions that are specific to 3rd party products - whether free or commercial - are too diverse to support, and therefore too difficult for us to create a supportive community around.

  1. Moderators have a decisive vote when it comes to closing questions, opening questions, validating edits. This means a moderator can close a question without the need for other 4 votes. What's your view on that? Does it change anything, does it make you pay more attention to what you are reviewing? or it doesn't make a difference?

I believe that a moderator should be a proactive vote in two distinct cases:

  • When the 4th vote is difficult to get support for
  • When there is an obvious violation of the community guidelines

In all other cases the mods should be slow to police. I don't like moderator styles that are heavily involved where they are creating the community THEY want, they should be enforcing the community that the COMMUNITY wants to create.

  1. Do you think you can/should help keeping the answered question rate high as a moderator? If yes, how would you do that?

Moderators should be knowledgable enough to answer questions on their own, and should have a steady answer rate. Closing old, abandoned, drive-by, or unanswerable questions should be the larger part of the moderator job.

All of those activities have a positive contribution to raising the answer ratio.

  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?

Divisiveness is not welcome in our community, or in most FLOSS communites (unless your name ends in Torvalds) ... so it should be our goal to try to persuade those people into behaving in a more favorable manner.

Warnings should be issued and user given ample chance to reform. If after repeated offense and ample warning we should ban for some time.

It should be all of our goal - not just a moderator's goal - to create a welcoming community for people of all skill levels.

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

We should discuss openly in Meta. There are few things that should be done in closed doors unless there is the opportunity for a potential rift to form. Part of our philosophy in FLOSS communities should be for us to have participation take place in the open so we can be held accountable and others can weigh in.

Moderators may have the final say, but moderators' deliberation does not have to be a secretive process. I prefer openness and transparency to secrecy.

  1. Moderators frequently have to deal with content from user new to Magento and to StackExchange. What will you regularly do as a moderator with regards to these users?

My initial approach to new users is and always has been to be gracious to them. If something is clearly off topic or likely to be closed, I will oblige them with an answer while warning them of the infraction.

Again, we should treat others how we expect to be treated. We should provide answers while gently pointing toward the desired behavior.

I will continue to provide new users with guidance and give them the help they need while encouraging them to follow our community guidelines and Q&A format.

  1. How would you react with users who shamelessly posted stupid question/doing this job for me type of question. How would you react with those users?

"Stupid Question" is probably a bad start. By labelling a question as "stupid" we're elevating ourselves above other users. Let's not forget that we were all right back there at that skill level at some point. Blatantly telling someone how "obvious" their answer should be is degrading. This is another form of abuse I cannot easily stomach.

For me, I love to point people to resources that have helped me and to tell them how I thought through the problem rather than what the answer is.

I will not do someone's work for them, rather, give them to the tools to do their own work.

  1. In phase 2 of the graduation, the "trusted user" privilege will be gained at 20K reputation instead of 4k. This means, the number of users that can vote to delete questions and answers with negative score suddenly drops from 23 to 3 and the responsibility to decide about deletion is shifted more towards the moderators (at least for some time). How do you feel about this responsibility and what's your policy on deleting posts?

I like this policy very much. I often see ganging up on this small SE site where I feel people see someone noteworthy mark for deletion and jump on the bandwagon.

Bandwagoning will inherently be difficult when the bar is set so high.

As time goes on and the site matures we'll have more people grow up into this role. Until then I'm happy to have Mod discussions for close/delete/reopen in the open.

  1. Moderators have several tools at their disposal to educate users and to ensure the quality of content. How would you rank the various activities of moderators?

Most importantly: encourage participation. That is the main goal. Note that I didn't say curb behavior - this is not the goal of a Mod. The goal of a Mod should be to teach correct behaviors; not just to punish bad ones.

All other goals are secondary.

Another ancillary goal should be to further and promote our platform by celebrating its usefulness. Therefore a Mod on Magento.SE should be someone who is actively helping to build communities. This should not be someone who is overly critical of Magento or eBay or anything else relate to Magento as a business. We should be cheerleaders of the success of this platform and those who use it.

  1. What do you believe is your most important role as a moderator specifically for this exchange - in your personal opinion and from a community perspective?

My role here to date has been to provide authoritative, long form answers, that help people solve real-world problems.

Along the way I've encountered interpersonal challenges and have strived to make friends and build relationships with those people. I have been very successful in that arena.

I believe that is what it takes to be a good moderator. To be someone who has the ability to deliver authoritative advice (so as to be respected) but who is interested in developing community; not just trying to hit an answer rate goal.

I know most of the people in the running and I personally believe that any one of them would make for excellent moderators.

Cheers to you all - and congratulations for our graduation of the Beta!

  • Well said, you just earned my vote. *(sorry Kalen) * – Fabian Schmengler Aug 26 '15 at 5:26

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