Welcome to the Stack Exchange Moderator Newsletter. This monthly newsletter highlights the top community-related issues and events of the previous month.
Question Down-Votes Are Now Free
As part of our effort to increase voting on questions, down-voting questions will not be subject to a -1 rep penalty. Down-voting answers still incur the usual -1 reputation cost. We will be monitoring voting patterns over the next few weeks and evaluate the effect of this change.
Community Promotion Ads for Your Site
If you’ve been following the Stack Exchange blog, you may have read that your Stack Exchange site can now host its own ads for events of interest to your community. Users submit the artwork for these ads and users vote for which ones appear. This is a great way to bring announcements of interest directly to your community. See the blog post for details.
Community Guest Appearances on SE Podcasts
Next week’s podcast (SE Podcast #07, airing June 8th) has scheduled our own Steve Karantza (Shirlock Homes from DIY.SE) as a guest. If your site has an interesting user you would like to “meet” on a future podcast, let us know! Who Do You Want to See on the Stack Exchange Podcast?
Keep Network Meta Questions on Meta.
There was an interesting discussion on last week’s moderator chat-cast (#20, starting at about 4:42 PM in the transcript). I mentioned the importance of keeping and supporting discussions on your per-site metas, even when those discussions could go on meta.stackoverflow.com.
We routinely follow all the support threads on your meta site. It is completely unnecessary to burden your users with the subtle nuances of where to ask for help or submit a feature-request. Network-related questions are okay hosted on your meta site. Please pass that on to your community when you see users shutting down discussions with “This should be asked on meta.SO.” Our goal was never to dismissively direct everyone to meta.stackoverflow just at the hint of the issue being “network wide.” Pass it on!
From the Department of “If you read nothing else…”
The Teacher’s Lounge hosts all the latest discussion of interest to moderators. But pouring through endless chat transcripts may not be your thing. If you read nothing else, why not drop by the chat room once a month to view the “starred posts?” The right column highlights the most “starred” advices and announcements the moderators found most helpful. If a favorite post rouses your interest, click on the link to see the full transcript — Why not use this newsletter as a reminder to check it out once a month?
On a related note:
If you have a general moderator issue that can be discussed in public (without disclosing private per-user stuff) then we encourage you to discuss general moderation issues using the [moderation] tag on your site. That way the entire community can benefit from the conversation and provide input. And don’t hesitate to email the Community Managers at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any deeper concerns. We always prioritize email from community moderators.
That’s all I have for now. See you next month!
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