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Quick Update

We welcome the reception this post has gained, and appreciate all of you who are considering to run. We will therefore hold an election. As soon as new details are available, they will be featured in a separate Meta post.
Again, thank you all for your participation.


This community last held an election in late 2016, so it's been a while... In addition to that, you may have noticed that one of the current mods — ManishEarth — is stepping down from their moderator position.

While the remaining members of the moderation team don't feel an election to find a replacement for Manish is urgent, they agree that it could help to have one more volunteer step up. To avoid finding ourselves in a situation where an election would fail due to an insufficient number of candidates, though, I'm posting this to try to assess the community members' willingness to step up and nominate themselves, should we decide to hold an election.

Please leave an answer if you'd be willing to run for a moderator position, should we decide to run an election. We'd probably be able to schedule question collection to start some time in April '19.

NOTE: This is not an official election nomination thread, just a "pulse check" to get a notion of how many people here would be willing to step up, so you don't have to put up your whole election nomination.

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    $\begingroup$ Is there an up-to-date list of requirements for moderators (duties, time investment, skills)? I think many would be interested if they knew whether it is worth it:) $\endgroup$ – andselisk Mar 8 at 9:26
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    $\begingroup$ @andselisk I think the previous Chemistry.SE election page is still relevant, certainly not as strict as the Stack Overflow one. $\endgroup$ – Andrew T. Mar 8 at 11:46
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    $\begingroup$ A year ago, I would have nominated, but I haven't been helping with absolutely anything recently, so I consider myself underqualified. A few good names with recent activity that come to mind are Todd, A.K., Tyberius, Andselisk and others. It's their choice if they wanna run but they got my vote . . . Or we could have Martin run again and become some supermoderator with telekinesis abilities. $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. Mar 8 at 14:19
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    $\begingroup$ I find as a newbie on the site this role should be left to someone more experienced, but it sounds "interesting". How often do you elect new moderators, is it based on site traffic? Why not recruit more moderators? $\endgroup$ – Buck Thorn Mar 9 at 10:11
  • $\begingroup$ How many contestants are needed to clear the interest check? $\endgroup$ – Avnish Kabaj Mar 9 at 15:37
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    $\begingroup$ @AvnishKabaj there isn’t a hard and fast rule; we will have to sit down and talk about this again in a few days’ time. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Mar 9 at 17:38
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    $\begingroup$ @NightWriter sorry for slow reply. (1) I don't consider amount of experience a barrier to nominating; however, it might well be a factor that people take into consideration when voting in the elections. FWIW I had only been around for barely over a year when I was elected. (2) it is quite ad hoc; the most common reason is site traffic, but there are other cases where having extra mods may be desirable. (3) the number of places "up for grabs" is not set in stone yet. I don't feel that we need many more, but again, it is something we will have to sit down and discuss. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Mar 10 at 2:25
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    $\begingroup$ I'm still quite tempted by the prospect, but I still think it best for me not to run for the diamond. Glad to see there are others so inclined, though. $\endgroup$ – hBy2Py Mar 11 at 16:47
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    $\begingroup$ @hBy2Py, do you not want to sell your soul to us? $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Mar 11 at 19:42
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    $\begingroup$ @orthocresol I wouldn't mind having something to keep me more regularly drawn into the community -- but I've spent so little time around lately, the last thing I would want to do is get myself elected, and then not be fully invested in staying engaged. Have been too drawn to Python stuff and IRL music lately. $\endgroup$ – hBy2Py Mar 14 at 13:38
  • $\begingroup$ Slightly off-topic but just want to point out another thing that hasn't happened since 2016: chemistry.meta.stackexchange.com/q/3132/23561 $\endgroup$ – A.K. Apr 16 at 2:24
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For statistics: you can count me in.

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Put my name in the goblet of fire.

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Pardon the NAA answer, but here are some random thoughts on moderating (as was requested by andselisk in the comments):

  • There is generally quite little 'active' moderating that we do, so I would not say it is a huge time commitment. A common saying on SE is that moderating a site is mostly "janitorial work". This is definitely true on Chemistry; we get much less "drama" than some other sites on the SE network. So, there is a little bit of conflict resolution, but most of the work here is dealing with obsolete comments that get flagged (and there aren't all that many of them). See also: https://stackoverflow.blog/2009/05/18/a-theory-of-moderation/

  • You do not need to (for example) prowl the front page to keep a lookout for homework posts to close. I do close homework sometimes, but that's only when I happen to see it; I don't specifically go out of my way to hunt it down. What would be good is if you check in every now and then just to make sure nothing terrible is happening. Of course, if you use the site somewhat regularly, then this is probably not a problem.

  • Most of the work that I do here is not that of a moderator, but rather that of an ordinary user, i.e. creating Q&A content and editing posts. I would say that in recent months, meta has been fairly dormant and the split between "moderator-work" / "user-work" for me has been somewhere around 10:90, possibly even 5:95.

  • We prioritise real life heavily over being on SE. If you are busy, then take time off from SE, and come back when you have time. Part of the reason why we have a few mods is so that no one person is forced to be around.

  • It's ok to make mistakes, nearly every action on the site can be reversed. However, you do have to be slightly more careful when interacting with other users (in terms of tone etc.) because moderators are representatives of the community.

  • In terms of "skills" needed, there isn't all that much required, really. It definitely helps if you know some chemistry... but a lot of the stuff behind the scenes does not depend on your knowledge of chemistry. IMO, the most important thing is to have a desire to improve the site. The rest is pretty much secondary; you'll learn about how the site works on the job (I am still learning!).

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  • $\begingroup$ That's a comprehensive list, thank you for writing this up. One more thing: what if a person is more an observer/introvert and rarely participates in chat activities? Would you say the moderator position is not really suited for people like this who quickly get tired of communicating with others? $\endgroup$ – andselisk Mar 8 at 21:54
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    $\begingroup$ @andselisk I think some element of working in a team (of mods) is necessary. It doesn't happen very frequently, but sometimes we do have to sit down in chat and discuss what to do, e.g. whether to have an election ;) As for communicating with other members of the community, I would say that meta is the main platform for that and that yes, a mod should be (at least a little bit) interested in participating in meta. But it is sort of a collective responsibility and some of us do it more, some less. Being in the Periodic Table is not so important; nothing really crucial goes on there. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Mar 8 at 22:08
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    $\begingroup$ [Disclaimer, which also applies to my entire post: that's my personal take on it; I don't speak for anybody else.] $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Mar 8 at 22:10
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    $\begingroup$ It definitely helps if you know some chemistry... I'd say there's probably 10% of flags for which that is the case (mostly for determining NAA on answers that may either be profound or from quacks). I definitely defer to others in those situations, and there haven't been any problems. $\endgroup$ – jonsca Mar 8 at 23:24
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    $\begingroup$ I second this as written; I'd like to stress the part with being more careful when interacting. I have been a victim of myself regarding this occasionally, without realising it at first; thanks to the mod team and their reality check and taking over in some cases, these situations can be resolved without a lot of impact. $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Mar 11 at 14:17
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Count me in.

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I would be willing to run in the moderator election. I have been wanting to be a moderator for a while.

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I am certainly interested. Count me in.

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I would be willing to run. $\strut$

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