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The nomination phase of the moderator elections was scheduled to end now. However, in order for the election to proceed, it is necessary to have at least one more candidate running than there are slots. This allows for there to be actual voting phases, so that the community can actually show that they support the candidates who are running. We will be extending the deadline for nominations for an additional seven days if the current deadline (20:00 UTC) approaches and there are insufficient candidates.

We need leadership to come from within this community, the election can't move forward unless someone wants to take on the responsibility. This was partly why we had an interest check in advance. The idea of elections is not just to appoint moderators - it's also a nice gauge of the community interest in site upkeep. If there aren't enough people interested in the site to have enough candidates for a competitive election, it's not too healthy of a sign for the site.

Did you consider nominating but decided not to for some reason? Now would be a great time to reconsider! Also consider checking out this post from your own Dan, which may help you feel more comfortable with the prospect of stepping up were you on the fence.

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    Interesting stats: According to SEDE, 16 users have posted at least one question or answer in the past 365 days on Emacs.SE Meta and 299 users have accessed (last seen date) Emacs.SE Meta at least once in the past 365 days. So the candidate (and voter) pool seems to be small. – Magisch Oct 2 '18 at 6:51
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    "This was partly why we had an interest check in advance" - it seems like you didn't check what the response was: namely, close to zero (a single person expressed some hesitant interest). – npostavs Oct 4 '18 at 1:34
  • @Magisch your numbers are a little suspect. If I open the 'week' tab on the home page, and count the number of different users listed as making the most recent change (answer or edit) to a question, I get to 30 without going back further than September – Tyler Oct 5 '18 at 15:11
  • my first attempt at SEDE, but I get 1213 users asking questions (data.stackexchange.com/emacs/query/907885/…) and 741 users answering questions (data.stackexchange.com/emacs/query/edit/907855) in 2018 – Tyler Oct 5 '18 at 15:57
  • Sorry, the second link is broken: data.stackexchange.com/emacs/query/907888/… – Tyler Oct 5 '18 at 16:34
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    @Tyler You seem to be querying emacs and not emacs meta. – Magisch Oct 6 '18 at 5:29
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    indeed I am. I thought that was what you had done, didn't notice you had limited your search to meta – Tyler Oct 6 '18 at 14:19
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As one of the current moderators, let me add a few words about what to expect.

The workload on this site is extremely light. I think the amount of time we spend doing ♦ moderator activity averages to about one minute a day. If you weren't sure whether to commit to the workload, have no worries! In terms of workload, one person could easily do it all.

The bulk of the moderator activity is to respond to flags and to settle meta discussions. As you can see from our meta, this is a mature site where few issues ever arise. The flagging activity is equally low, much lower than all the other Stack Exchange sites I've moderated (for example Computer Science has had about 4 times as many flags relative to the number of posts, French Language about twice the Emacs.SE ratio), and most of the flags are easy ones (not-an-answer, obsolete comment).

The reason to have a team of three is that in the rare cases where something does come up, we want to be able to confront our point of view and see multiple sides to the issue. It's preferable that each day at least one of the moderators visits the site, but that doesn't mean each moderator has to visit the site every day.


Let me add a few words about using moderator candidacies as a gauge of site health. This is often a good criterion in that lack of moderation can be a death sentence for a site as it crumbles under the problems. But in the case of Emacs.SE, I think that the lack of interest for moderation is that there is very little need for it. There's the occasional obsolete comment or comment or follow-up question posted as an answer, and… that's about it. There's very little spam and Charcoal gets most of it. There are extremely few problem users and, in 4 years and 45k posts, we've never reached the point where a user would have to be suspended. It's very different from most other sites where if you're a regular user you've seen a lot of off-topic questions, heated debates in comments and on meta, people insulting each other in chat… The site is so healthy that it pretty much runs itself.

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FWIW, I'm pretty active on this site, but I basically never read the meta site, and I'm not really interested in taking on responsabilities (after all, that's why I stepped down as maintainer of Emacs in the first place), so when the election came up, it never crossed my mind to nominate myself. And I had no idea there were so few candidates until today when I saw that I had to choose "3 out of 2" candidates.

I'm not sure if I'd be willing to volunteer as candidate (I'd have to think about it a little), but maybe I'm not the only one who hasn't seen that there were too few candidates until it was too late to volunteer.

  • Another Stefan, the same experience (aside from never having been an Emacs maintainer ;-) ). I don't read meta and only some popup on the top of the page caught my attention today when it was apparently already too late. – Stefan Kamphausen Oct 9 '18 at 13:32

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