Hello all. I am a fitness major in a previous life (Exercise Kinesiology) and have been an avid competitor and fitness advocate for the past 40 years. I have also been a moderator on the Fitness stack since 2016. I believe in helping people with their fitness questions, and maintaining the Fitness stack as an excellent resource for both beginners and experienced athletes alike.
I agree with Thomas that our tags need a categorization and revamp effort, and I also think that we can do more in promotion of the site and increasing the net knowledge and participation.
- How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?
I would look to see if this is a trend across the board (Such as harsh responses when being challenged in any way), or if it is a problem with one or two specific users,. Both can be mediated and handled, however it is much easier to talk to two or three people having a conflict than it is someone that is ruffling the entire community.
Unfortunately, in the end it may come down to the user themselves, and their willingness to change to conform to the expected behaviors on the site. Knowledge is valuable, but it can't come at the expense of others. Be Nice and similar always apply.
- How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?
Conversation. I would talk to the other moderator(s) and get a consensus on why they handled it the way they did, and the reasoning behind it. It is a moderation team, not a multiple headed dictatorship. If the mods cannot agree, it could point to a problem with scope definition, which is where the community would be consulted. It would be brought forth, with the close reasoning and the opposite side, and the community would have a chance to indicate their support for one stance or the other.
If it does point to a scope problem, that would be a separate meta conversation about possibly changing the scope of the site.
- In your opinion, what do moderators do?
Moderators ideally step in when it is not something that the community can handle on their own. This includes situations where a user is defacing their own posts (rage quitting), actively working to harm the site, spam, or other similar situations. Preferably the community would be handling off topic and other moderation tasks through the voting mechanism, the moderators should be acting when the moderation that needs to be done is outside the ability of the regular community to handle it in a timely fashion.
The other major responsibility of the moderators is to guide the site as it grows and adapt the will of the community in the growth of the site. Initially we included nutrition, however as the site grew it became apparent that this was not a great match. The moderators at the time guided the site through the scope change and name rebranding to match the community. This is a prime responsibility of the moderators and something that I will continue to do if elected.
- A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
This is something that I have grown to adapt to. Initially I looked heavily to my fellow moderators for guidance, especially when I voted to close questions, as a single moderator action is all that is needed to close, delete or otherwise moderate a question/answer. Moderations is a serious responsibility, but again, the majority of the moderation comes from the community, we merely serve as the stewards and intervene only when necessary.
- In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching enough reputation to access moderator tools or become a trusted user?
There are still actions that moderators can take that are beyond the tools that become available to high rep users. This includes regrettable actions such as suspending or banning users, curating and maintaining the tag system, guiding questions and responses on meta around scope and topicality, as well as figuring out ways to promote and grow the site. Moderator tools tend to have actions behind them, trusted user/access to mod tools is more informational in nature. Moderators also have a more direct access to the actual employees of the Stack network as well as other very experienced moderators on other sites.