A day in the life of a TeX.sx moderator

I was asked recently to write about a day in the life of a moderator on TeX.sx. One of the great things about being one of the moderator here is that most of the time I don’t have to do anything special: most of my ‘TeX.sx’ day consists of doing much the same as any of the other high-reputation users.

My first visit to the site in the morning tends to be a quick scan over the items that have moved to the top of the front page over night. At the moment, this doesn’t tend to be too many, as we seem to get most hits during European daytime. Any questions or answers that deserve an upvote get one then, while any that need a quick edit get that. I also pop in to the meta site to see if there is anything needing attention there.

A bit later in the morning, I take a look at any flags that need attention. My impression from the Moderators Lounge chat room is that this is quite a laid-back task compared with some other places on the StackExchange network. We give people a while to get back on comments for flagged questions, so there is usually a list of flags but not too much to worry about.

I try to check back periodically during the day, looking for questions to upvote or edit, both tasks that I guess are not as appealing as writing clever answers! Of course, I do answer what I can, particularly where there is something beyond a one-line statement to make. Giving an answer which explains the background, rather than just sorting the problem at hand, is something that is worth encouraging. One area I do look out for is my own packages, particularly to make sure I pick up bugs.

The evening tends to see another pass through the days messages, and the meta site, and usually the chat room too. The later is a good place to see what other high-rep users are thinking: several people from Users page one are ‘regulars’.

Looking at all of that, you’d probably conclude that my TeX.sx day is little different from that of many other regulars: I think you’d be right. I’m always mindful that the moderators are ‘community leaders’, but we are lucky as the community is pretty strong anyway.

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