Community leadership

I’ve blogged before about what I get up to as a moderator on TeX.sx. Here, I’d like to look at this from a slightly different perspective: what is the role of the moderator on TeX.sx?

Currently, the site has three moderators: Stefan Kottwitz, Martin Scharrer and me. If you take a look at our user IDs and log in records, you’ll see that Stefan and I have been visiting the site from almost day one (or actually day one, for me!), while Martin started slightly later but is currently the most highly-rated user on the site. So we are all experienced TeX.sx contributors.

Jeff Atwood (StackExchange supremo) wrote a blog entry a while ago about moderation, where he talks about how he sees the role of the moderator. Each StackExchange site has taken it’s own path, and how the moderators fit into TeX.sx is therefore unique to us.

So what is our role? I’d say it’s primarily ‘community leadership’. We all leave a lot of comments, do quite a bit of voting and are active on the meta site and in the chat area. Stefan went out to India to talk about TeX.sx (and other ways of getting TeX help), and at least one of us is present during the regular ‘Answer the Unanswered’ sessions. We all answer questions too, but probably have backed off a little so that newer members of the community can get involved.  Of course, there is a bit of real moderating to do too, looking at the flags and deciding what to close. But that’s quite a light task. I think that’s a good thing: we do have a community on TeX.sx, and it’s proving to be a good way to support TeX users.

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