The second 2011 moderator election is closing in a couple of days, if you have not yet voted and are eligible to do so, please do so. Interestingly, I’m in the same dilemma that I found myself in earlier this year. My first vote was easy, the other two are costing quite a bit of thought.
I strongly feel that one of the candidates should have been elected as a result of the last election. I’ve watched as they voted and flagged in favor of the same action that I would take literally hundreds of times over the last nine months and I’d be very happy if they could just go about maintaining the site without needing to ask for our help. I’m not naming the candidate directly, but I will after the election.
What’s different is that I don’t need to discount half serious or outright joke nominations this year. Additionally, there are quite a few solid candidates from many backgrounds and reputation levels who decided they had enough fun answering lots of questions and would rather work on keeping the site healthy. Every single one of these candidates in my opinion would do a fine job as a moderator. At this point, the whole question of who would make a good moderator? has been answered, everyone running would. I almost feel like I’m now selecting based solely on who I want to work with the most, and I find that extremely difficult.
Being a moderator on Stack Overflow is, in essence, a part time job. The rewards aren’t monetary, but they are tangible. You’re also held accountable for what you do, and can be ‘fired’ for failing to do your job properly (or completely). Heck, you even get business cards. I view my fellow moderators not just as colleagues, but also co-workers. Since I know that everyone running would do a good job, I’m left deducing which candidates would do it more often than others. We also need people who will focus on community and site building when there aren’t a bazillion flags to handle.
Finally, I’m hoping our collective ‘tag knowledge’ broadens a bit in this election. While moderators focus purely on quality, it does help to have some domain knowledge when you encounter something marked as not a real question. There are some very qualified people running who have a great deal of expertise in some of the higher volume, more problematic tags.
It’s really a tough call, and I’ve already spent quite a bit of thought on my picks. To everyone running – damn you!, good luck and thanks for being awesome!