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December 2011 Newsletter

2012-01-04 by . 0 comments

Absentee Moderator Policy

We are in the process of implementing a policy for “absentee moderators” —

Any moderator who is not active on the site for a period of six months is subject to removal of their moderator abilities.

Moderatorship is an elected position, so if an absentee moderator returns to the site, they may be eligible for reinstatement. We understand that sometimes life happens: projects come up at work, other obligations take priority. If you need to take an extended leave of absence, just let us know and we will make the necessary accommodations. This policy is simply a way to help us better determine where additional help may be needed.

System Messages for Chat Events

This is old news, but it’s not widely known. When a moderator creates a chat event, a system message will be generated automatically to remind everyone when the event is about to occur. This came up as a revelation to most moderators during Chat Cast #031. These notifications can make a huge difference in the visibility for the event. Chat events created by non-moderators will not generate this notification.

Notes on Migrating Posts

This issue seems to come up a lot in the Teachers’ Lounge — When you see an exceptionally good question that doesn’t fit on your site, migrating great content to another site can sometimes be appropriate. But don’t hesitate to simply close mediocre off-topic questions. Migrations were never meant to simply shuttle off-topic question to the next “closest fit.” Ideally, the author should re-ask the question in the context of the proper site, but if a lot of great content has already been added to the post, migrations can be a useful tool. But don’t feel obligated to fulfill every flag request to migrate a question. Just close mediocre off-topic questions. When in doubt, ask in the Teachers’ Lounge.

Slow Month? Not Really.

For those who don’t follow every announcement in meta.stackexchange.com, I try to keep this newsletter to the top 5-7 thing you need to know each month. But this month is filled with redesigned profile pages and user experience improvements that you’ve likely already found. So rather than filling space with fluff, I’ll close this year out with a few resources every moderator should find useful:

  • If you don’t frequent the moderator chat room, it’s worth dropping in from time to time to check the list of “pinned” discussions on the right sidebar. Those starred messages do a pretty good job of summarizing the major concerns and announcements of the previous weeks. So, if chat isn’t your thing, a brief visit once every few weeks will provide a nice summary of the more notable events stemming from those discussions.
  • The Recent Feature Changes to Stack Exchange listing provides an up-to-date log of all the major new features added to Stack Exchange. Check it out every few weeks to see the new features and functionality added to your site.
  • If you don’t follow the Stack Exchange Blog, you may want to at least bookmark the reference category. It holds many of the most referenced blog posts and policy decisions you are likely to need.

That’s all I have for now. See you next month and Happy New Year!

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