2018 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 May 15 '18 at 20:00.

The results of this election can be viewed online via OpaVote. 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


1,788 voters were eligible, 475 visited the site during the election, 331 visited the election page, and 152 voted

Hi, I'm Joe, and I'd like to nominate myself to become a moderator on Parenting.

I'm a parent of two boys (six and five), and have been involved in this site since a little while after my second was born. Most of my posting history dates back to the first few years, but I've been around the site continuously in more of a watcher/lurker mode over the last year or so.

I saw the site go through a few major transitions over those years, and I think that the most important trait for a moderator is balance. This site doesn't have so much traffic that it's likely to need many hours' maintenance from each moderator, though I am highly available for those needs.

Rather, it needs moderators who are able to keep an even keel when seriously stressful subjects are raised (spanking being the most obvious issue), and who aren't afraid to be self-critical and admit when they've made mistakes. The moderators we have now, I feel, have these qualities; I think I do as well.

I'm very experienced with the StackExchange model, and am firmly onboard with the theory of moderation.

Please feel free to reach out on chat!

  • After participating for quite awhile, then standing back for even more time, but watching, dating back to around when you first joined parenting, Joe, I'm excited to see your nomination. – Sylas Seabrook May 3 '18 at 1:16
  • Thanks, I'm happy to see you still around as well! Let me know if you have any questions. – Joe May 3 '18 at 2:12

Hello, I am Becuzz and I'd like to throw my hat in the ring to be a moderator.

Why do I want to be a moderator?

I care about this community, plain and simple. This community has made me laugh, worry and appreciate just being here. One thing I strongly believe is that people are important. And this community is a way to help other people in meaningful ways. As such, I want to see it grow and become better. I'd like to see it grow to become a full fledged StackExchange site.

What would I do if I became a moderator?

I'd work to grow our community so we can graduate as a SE site. Right now the only things holding us back are our questions per day and our traffic from outside. But how would having moderator powers allow you to fix that you ask? By using those powers to help guide and keep new users active. More users means we get more content, which means more high quality questions which should bring more people in from search engines. With great power comes great ability to do good. And I would like the chance to do great good here.

  • Could you tell us a little bit about your parenting philosophy? – called2voyage May 1 '18 at 21:19
  • @called2voyage I'd be happy to answer that but that question is really open ended. Is there something specific you would like to know? And second (also so I can speak to relevant points), how do you see my parenting philosophy being relevant to my ability to moderate? – Becuzz May 2 '18 at 13:27
  • I left it intentionally open-ended, because I was curious how you would summarize it. I see it as relevant because it makes the community aware of where your potential for bias might be. If you do become a moderator, this makes it easier for the community to audit your behavior on difficult questions. – called2voyage May 2 '18 at 13:31
  • I, of course, don't see it as a requirement that you share this information, but if you're willing to share it would be a bonus. – called2voyage May 2 '18 at 13:32
  • @called2voyage I'm happy to share. I don't know if this will condemn me or not, but I'm not actually a parent yet (hopefully soon), but I do care for my nieces and nephews quite a bit. As far as a philosophy goes, the best way I can describe it is that I have a conviction about certain things that I use to guide my decisions and behavior. I believe that a parent's job is to teach their child how to be a good human being, to respect others and themselves and to care for others. I believe that some things have no place in a family (or anywhere honestly). (cont) – Becuzz May 2 '18 at 16:09
  • @called2voyage (cont) For example, abuse, mental, physical, emotional or otherwise is intolerable to me. That all being said, I've learned well the principle of walking away from things where I will have a hard time being unbiased. Which is why we have a moderation team, so moderators can help each other out when bias is too strong or as a sanity check to each other. If given the chance as a moderator, I will do my best to rely on the other mods when I know I have biases. Does this answer your question? – Becuzz May 2 '18 at 16:09
  • Excellent! Yes, thank you very much for sharing. By the way, I don't think there's anything wrong with not being a parent yet. There are plenty of parenting insights for others involved to provide. Best of luck in your pursuit of the moderator position! – called2voyage May 2 '18 at 16:18
  • "By using those powers to help guide and keep new users active." Can you elaborate how you would do that and which powers you would use? – Anne Daunted GoFundMonica May 3 '18 at 17:59
  • @AnneDaunted As far as specific moderator powers go it would mostly be the ability to clean up chatty / rude comments and get rid of non-answers. But more than that I feel like being a moderator adds weight to my words and actions. Currently, I try to edit, flag, comment, etc. to keep the site free of inappropriate comments, non-answers, etc. But that only goes so far. The flags have a bit of turnaround time with them, users may feel that my opinion doesn't matter as I'm only a member (I haven't seen that as a huge problem here, more on some other SE sites I've been on). (cont.) – Becuzz May 7 '18 at 12:37
  • @AnneDaunted (cont.) As a moderator I would be an elected representative of the community. My actions and words would be guidance towards the standards of the community and would showcase what we (the community) want this site to be. That weight and trust is what I believe would be most useful in nurturing new users, seeing that my opinion isn't mine alone, but that of the community as a whole. Does that answer your question? – Becuzz May 7 '18 at 12:37
  • Yes, it does. Thanks for taking your time to answer my question! – Anne Daunted GoFundMonica May 7 '18 at 13:52

Hi! I'm kmc and I'd like to be a mod.

I love and respect the Parenting.SE community. I'm here a lot, but I do a lot more reading than commenting. This is because I often come to a question and find that the answers and comments have already addressed the issues in a thoughtful, multi-faceted way. What I really appreciate about Parenting.SE is the heartfelt suggestions from diverse parenting experiences and philosophies, since what I've seen on most sites is either a caring group or a group for all. This is due to both the community and the mods. I've enjoyed being part of the first, and now, I hope, the second.

I love and respect kids and parents. Every parent and every kid is a complex person and there is no amount of time or energy that is wasted when it's invested in parenting our kids. The best of my parenting comes from the guidance I've gotten from other parents, so I think this community provides an important function and I'm grateful for it.

Logistically, I'm able to have unrestricted access to the site during the day so that I can be available to monitor. When I don't have the site open, I am still available to receive messages should there be a need.

  • Aside from logistics and passion for the site/topic, what else do you think would make you a good moderator? – called2voyage May 1 '18 at 21:21

Hello, I'm SomeShinyObject and I am nominating myself for the moderator position. I will try to be brief in explaining why I would like this position:

  1. I'm here a lot. I come to Parenting.SE quite frequently and in every moment I come here, I try to see what positive changes I can make.
  2. I like our community. I think we have built something solid that people can depend upon and we provide quality answers and directions for new parents and veteran parents alike.
  3. I know StackExchange. I've been a member of StackExchange for over 6 years now and in that time, have learned quite a lot about how the site works, what it's primary goals are, and I have also learned a lot about myself and my interactions online.
  4. I'm a parent of 4 bilingual, brilliant, and beautiful children. I like being a parent and thus I like having this resource to assist when I have doubts about my methods or need assistance.
  5. I've wanted this since I first came to this site. At the very beginning I knew I wasn't ready for it, but now I feel that I am.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please give me this opportunity and I know I will not let this community down.

  • What are, in your opinion, the greatest challenges Parenting.SE faces currently, and what do you want to do about them? – Anne Daunted GoFundMonica May 4 '18 at 11:36
  • @AnneDaunted, I believe the greatest challenges Parenting.SE currently faces at the moment are content generation, tagging, and site scope. I'll write to each of those in three separate comments rather than trying to mash them all together in one. – SomeShinyMonica May 4 '18 at 12:02
  • Content Creation: The very nature of our site doesn't lend well to a lot of content creation over time. Parenting philosophy changes over years because raising children takes years. Also our problems tend to take longer to write, expand upon, and test when we do get an answer. Sometimes the answers we provide or receive may even take months to implement (sleep training for example) or even years (my question about teaching my son English will take years). Our content generation has been always been slow. However, our content generation, especially this year, has not been good at all. – SomeShinyMonica May 4 '18 at 15:40
  • So far we have closed almost 30% of our questions asked in this year. By this time last year, we had 278 questions with only 49 closed - only an 18% close percentage. 2016? 267 questions with 34 closed. This year, we are on track to have the lowest number of questions asked in the history of the site - unless we can change that. This issue ties in to my other two issues. – SomeShinyMonica May 4 '18 at 15:41
  • Tagging: A single tag is a small thing. The concept of tagging is a big thing. When looking at single tags, they seem immaterial as to the function of the site. But if you look at how beginning users use tags, they don't seem so immaterial anymore. Tagging of any StackExchange site or metadata usage on any site on the web is an insanely powerful tool. Unfortunately, while some of our more popular tags are well defined with guidance, a lot of them are not, some not even having basic usage guidance. – SomeShinyMonica May 4 '18 at 15:41
  • Yes, I am capable of editing tags so the blame partially falls to me. But unfortunately, there are a lot of tag topics that I don't know about, thus I can't write on them intelligently or define usage guidelines for them. – SomeShinyMonica May 4 '18 at 15:41
  • Site Scope: What do we, as a community, more than a StackExchange site, do? Yes it's defined in the help center and users read it on the tour. Without good tagging, our site scope is left to guessing games most of the time, I feel for new users. This problem is two-fold. First of all, we have to be able to direct first posters on how to use this resource and we have to do it in a manner that is not copy and paste "Welcome to Parenting.SE. This isn't how to use our site. Here's the help link (link drop)." – SomeShinyMonica May 4 '18 at 15:42
  • People don't come to parenting because they didn't read the manual or they didn't properly follow the new tutorial just posted on some tech blog. They come here because they have a life issue with something more precious than a pet programming project, a cooking recipe, or a database issue. A generic message to them saying "you phrased it wrong, try again" will only serve to put their defenses up and to drive them away from our site. Our second problem in this category is are users even reading the tour? Again parenting is different. – SomeShinyMonica May 4 '18 at 15:42
  • People go to a Parenting forum to discuss. They know how to use forums. We need to get better at actually instructing users on how to use a question and answer site like ours. This means, circle back, quality content creation. – SomeShinyMonica May 4 '18 at 15:42
  • What I intend to do as a moderator about these issues: I'd like to start by generating some discussions between all of our regular users. We need to open a dialog about why we are seemingly losing popularity. I'd also like to discuss, and this may be something higher than even the mods on this site, how we can set Parenting apart from other StackExchange sites. I'd like to press to make it look friendlier and inviting. As for tagging, I need help. We need help. – SomeShinyMonica May 4 '18 at 15:42
  • I know we have experts from a lot of different fields who we can leverage to help create beautifully worded, concise tagging guidelines and tag wikis. How to encourage them to come and lend a hand is something that we will have to brainstorm together. I'd like to really lock down the scope of our site for new users and I'd like to start encouraging empathy and clear direction on our site usage rather than immediately shutting questions down because they are a little off. – SomeShinyMonica May 4 '18 at 15:43
  • And as always, I'll continue to do what I do. Watching the review queues, welcoming new users, and making post and tag edits where I can. You may now say "Well SomeShinyObject, you can do all of these things without being a moderator" and you would be correct in that. As a moderator though, this site would become a responsibility. Don't take this the wrong way, I care about this site, but as of now, it's more of a hobby. When something becomes a responsibility for me though, my focus will shift from hobby to duty. – SomeShinyMonica May 4 '18 at 15:43
  • My father always told me when I was younger to "do the little things. Take care of the little chores and little, seemingly meaningless tasks I have set forth for you. Be faithful in the little things and that will show me you are ready for the big things." I feel like I have been doing the little things and, other than a brief hiatus during some personnel issues, I have done them faithfully. I know I am ready for the big things. This was long @AnneDaunted but I hope it answers your questions. – SomeShinyMonica May 4 '18 at 15:44
  • Thank you very much for this exhaustive answer! – Anne Daunted GoFundMonica May 4 '18 at 15:55

This election is complete.