2015 Moderator Election

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!


This election ended Dec 22 '15 at 20:00.

Anyone may download the election data. Voters have access to pre-built OpenSTV software to audit the results; all others may use this source distribution


906 voters were eligible, 359 visited the site during the election, 272 visited the election page, and 156 voted

I was appointed pro tempore moderator here a year ago when Alex Chamberlain left. Since then, I feel I've done a good job protecting and nurturing the site, albeit sometimes in ways people may have found controversial. I see us as part of a larger ecosystem, and like any ecosystem there is a delicate balance moving from the micro to the macro.

Being someone who provides a lot of help is an important qualification, but being a moderator is not about answering questions. It is more often about deciding which questions can be asked. This helps to define the community and keep it sustainable. In this regard, I've communicated a fair and reasonable perspective, which is:

  • Questions are the "demand" in a limited supply and demand economy.

  • Cooperation is important in making the best use of a limited resource.

Stack Exchange allows people who do helpful work to play a role in how this supply and demand are regulated. Moderators are the most privileged representatives of this system. We are here to facilitate people getting help in an effective way, and doing this requires vision and commitment.

  • You mention that some of your actions have been controversial, as a moderator, you often must be 'thick-skinned' and not take the actions or comments of users affect you. How do you feel you have dealt with this in your time as a pro-tem moderator? And what actions would you recommend to others in similar circumstances? – Jivings Dec 14 '15 at 10:19
  • I am a bit gruff sometimes. This is more for brevity than any intent WRT tone, but it possibly leads people to believe I am angry when I am not. Occasionally this turns into something negative, most notably this event -- but, as per comments on the question, that actually ended very well. I am willing to take time to get into it with people, by which I mean "lead someone difficult to an understanding", not "fight". I'm proud of my ability to do that. – goldilocks Dec 14 '15 at 15:52
  • I can't say certain actions don't affect me, but I do my best to resolve problems and improve my relationships. 95% of the time it works. – goldilocks Dec 14 '15 at 15:52

My name is Jacob, and I would like to nominate myself for our moderator election. I originally joined this site when I received my first RPi over two years ago. I've enjoyed watching the site grow, and helping it to move forward.

Currently, I'm a student studying Computer Systems Engineering (final year). I'm trying to improve my skills on the hardware side, but I'm primarily a software guy. So far, I've been an active editor and reviewer, and would like to take the step up to moderator.

Some basic stats:

  • top 3% of users this year
  • ~84,000 people reached
  • 51 posts edited
  • 92 helpful flags
  • 831 votes cast
  • 1,459 items reviewed

Edit to answer Jivings question:

I expect that a moderator needs to wear several hats. We get a lot of people who are not only new to the RPi, but also to computer science, electrical engineering, operating systems, and a several other related fields. Our moderators will need to balance being helpful and inviting, and maintaining the quality expectations that we've established for ourselves.

I also believe that our moderators will need to be active in the queues, and to continually guide the site as defined by the community.

  • What do you feel that your main roles will be as moderator? – Jivings Dec 10 '15 at 9:38
  • @Jivings: edited to answer your question... 14 characters left! :P – Jacobm001 Dec 11 '15 at 19:37

I would like to nominate myself to become an elected moderator. I joined RPi.SE in September 2014 and have actively contributed ever since mainly by answering questions and the housekeeping work: editing (first to gain the Copy Editor badge), voting, reviewing, and flagging. Other than that I try to come up with some questions too, and participate in our chat room as well as meta. If I am not around SE, I play with my three Pis - all running Arch Linux - or support the "German Energiewende" (energy transition) in a non-profit association and a cooperative.

Some stats (though I hope that it is not about the numbers):

  • Q/A: 5/120
  • edits: >600
  • votes: >850
  • reviews: >2600
  • flags: >300
  • meta: 7 answers, 27 votes

Both in real life and on SE I believe in the power of the crowd and cooperation. Therefore it is my firm hope that a mod only has to step in in the rare cases where self-regulation fails.

It is my understanding that the community members define the goals and policies of the site together (e.g. in meta), with the mods aiding to focus and implementing it. As a moderator I would like to act as part of a team on behalf of and to the benefit of the community.

  • Despite thriving for self-regulation, as a moderator you will make decisions that may annoy certain individuals. Do you have experience diffusing difficult situations? – Jivings Dec 11 '15 at 17:26
  • In the work place I am an experienced project leader and therefore acustomed to handle "situations" with team members, superiors, and customers. As a matter of professionalism factual and objective discussions are key to do so. In moderation on SE I assume that clear and open communication with the members of the community, with an (hopefully) impartial judgement along the policies of the site should keep the number of difficult situations to a minimum and helps to resolve those that still come up... – Ghanima Dec 11 '15 at 18:05
  • If a mod can - for whatever reasons - not act impartial in any particular case, he should stand aside and let the situation be resolved by someone else. That's where expect the teamwork of moderators come into play. When in a conflict of interest it is obvious not to wield the power placed on the shoulders of the mod. – Ghanima Dec 11 '15 at 18:06

I would like to nominate myself to become an elected moderator. I have been an active member since the private beta stage (June 2012), and I have served as a pro-tem-mod since August of 2013. Over that time I have

  • Maintained a high reputation currently 4th overall.
  • Handled 1.3k flags more than any other moderator.
  • Reviewed: 68 close votes, 253 first posts, 34 low quality posts, 60 late answers, suggested edits 613, 21 reopen votes.
  • Cast > 2000 votes.
  • Made 243 edits.
  • I have actively participated in meta: 23 answers, 62 comments and 94 votes.

I feel a moderator needs to be a cop (keeping the peace), teacher, politician, and publicist. here are a few examples:

  • What do you see in the future of RaspberryPi.SE? What are the biggest problems you think we will face and how could they be resolved? – Jivings Dec 10 '15 at 9:36
  • I think the biggest problems going forward will be building/maintaining a welcoming community, and converting our new users (often noobs/first time SE users) into more actively engaged community members. The Need for the first of these can be seen in this question raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/39218/…, While this is a reference to behaviour from another site(s), it is clear what a bad experience the OP had. – Steve Robillard Dec 10 '15 at 9:57
  • As a moderator Keeping, interchanges civil and quickly addressing users concerns over tone, language and content (i.e. flags and comments) can go along way to addressing this, especially if done quickly. so that animosity does not fester. As a moderator sometimes a well timed/placed comment can make a big difference and smooth the waters between people - especially since we are inherently a somewhat impersonal written medium with many members for whom English is a second language. – Steve Robillard Dec 10 '15 at 10:32
  • Likewise some parts of communication are lost or can be misconstrued in written form). A simple example of how a small change can make a big difference is presenting a search result back to a user. saying have you seen this is far better than using "let me google that for you". The latter basically says go away don't bother me. – Steve Robillard Dec 10 '15 at 10:33
  • As for convertiing noobs into active community members I think two things can help here: first, taking advantage of the teachable moment, by which I mean helping them learn to help themselves. This includes teaching them where to find help (e.g. man pages, reading an error message) how to ask better questions (see my comments here raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/39187/…), second, taking advantage of the gamification system baked into SE by encouraging them (after determing the problem) to answer their own question, vote or ask a question. – Steve Robillard Dec 10 '15 at 10:33
  • This gives them a little boost of self confidence (to stick with the Pi and this site), a reputation bump, and a badge or two. It also affords them the opportunity to pay it forward (see the comments to my answer here for an example - raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/2059/…). As a moderator I should be held to a higher standard then the rest and lead by example (something I am sure I do not always achieve but that I do strive for). – Steve Robillard Dec 10 '15 at 10:33
  • Though one thing that has helped is conferring with the other mods about a users behavior so as not to allow my own bias/annoyance etc. become an issue. Moderation should be seen as a team sport. I am sorry for the long string of comments. Perhaps in future meta may be a better location for these questions and answers, or you could give me a word limit. – Steve Robillard Dec 10 '15 at 10:35
  • I think you can update your nomination? Might be better than long comment stream. – Jivings Dec 10 '15 at 10:58
  • It has a limit too, and I am very close to it. BTW I couldn't resist referncing your comment to this answerr – Steve Robillard Dec 10 '15 at 11:05
  • Haha, I'd forgotten about that :) – Jivings Dec 10 '15 at 11:12

This election is complete.