To all-users-with-more-than-300-rep-who-care-about-our-community:

We have enough candidates to fill all the moderator positions, but, at the time of writing, we don't have enough for a robust election. All the candidates will just walk into the role unopposed. I, for one, would like to see more candidates - we have a strong community, so we shouldn't have trouble doing that.

Even they don't walk away from the process with a blue diamond, the voices of dissent (be it mild or strong) from extra candidates will help shape the community going forward. They will help future moderators (and the regular users) understand if their positions really have community support or whether they are sitting just one rejected-flag away from revolt.

I wonder if people are concerned about some aspect of moderatorship which is causing them to hold back from self-nominating. If it is a misapprehension, the four "pro tempore" mods can help out. If it is being worried about running and not winning, I'm sure we can provide support for that too. If it is something technical, we can help address it. If it is some other reason, we can help you get past that, and click the nominate link.

So, please take this opportunity to share with us your key reason for NOT running in this election.


10 Answers 10


I now have to answer my own question, having withdrawn my nomination.

I explained in my nomination that I would stand aside if there were a sufficient number of strong candidates. As there were 5 others, and I couldn't see a combination of winners that would be unsuccessful*, I followed through on my word, and withdrew my nomination.

I want it to be absolutely clear that this is not in any way a vote of no confidence in the site, SEI or the other nominees. I expect to be remain an active member of the site (perhaps a little more focussed on researching answers to questions, but still patrolling around sticking my nose in where it isn't needed.)

It should also not be taken that being a mod isn't rewarding. It has been a great experience, and I am proud of what the team has done.

My reasons for withdrawing consist of several minor issues that add up:

  • For the last few years, I have been deliberating allocating more of my time to creative and interesting projects. Most of them are measured in weeks. When I agreed to be a mod, it was for a short-term, until the elections; it took much longer than I expected. I've already drastically exceeded how long I thought my attention span would last on this site. While I am not at all bored of the site, I don't want to commit to something I can't deliver; I don't want to run for mod, and then start drifting away after only a few months.

  • I want to see the site constantly improving. However, I think I am out of new ideas. I have tried out a number of different ideas as mod. Some succeeded. Some failed. Some were impossible. Some I was persuaded were silly.

When I try to think of what I want to do next, it is limited to small ideas that don't need mod powers. (I want to write some reports when our data is published. I want to test some ideas on writing for different reading ages, to see whether it is better to write as though you are talking to an undergraduate, high school student or primary school student.)

So, I want to step aside and let people with ideas lead.

  • We are in a different stage. We are graduated. We have a community. I'm aware that different sorts of leaders are required at different stages, so it makes sense to let some new talent in.

  • I am almost at 20K rep. At that point, you become a "trusted user". Mods have more powers than trusted users, but not by much. I can continue to do almost everything I do now, but without taking any of the flak! If you want me to be mod, go find one of my old answers that you like an upvote it, until I get to 20K. (If you see any you don't like, of course you should downvote them. It is the only way I will learn.)

  • In an ideal world, the regular users would take on most of the roles the moderators currently do: welcoming new users, closing questions, editing salvageable ones, asking for references, discovering duplicates, handling flags and suggested edits. None of that requires a blue diamond. The trend is definitely heading that way - I am very appreciative when I find people have beaten me to it. I hope to lead by example there.

So, in summary: Still happy. Still hanging around, until I get distracted, and I am not yet. Still expect to see my comments on your questions.

* With the current candidate list, at least one existing mod must be re-elected. I suspect that if only one mod was re-elected, there would be a longer settling-in period for the new mods. It took me weeks of watching the others before I was comfortable to make many decisions myself, but I am sure it would be fine in the long term.


I almost entirely stopped spending time on skeptics after I started working for a startup, which is the primary reason why I turned down the offer of being a pro-tempore moderator before.

Besides that I've been in the admin position many times before, and know that the downsides of being an administrator are far outweighs the benefits, it's thankless and very often incredibly frustrating job that has to be done by someone.

Admins in their somewhat official capacity is expected to behave better than all of the people that go on overzealous, angry crusades, always being this level-headed person and when non-mods perceive you've made the slightest error in judgement they latch on to it like it's the end of the world. Politics is fun, being a politician; not so much.

So I think I prefer to just flag things and have none of the responsibility or burden, my job gives me plenty of that already. :)


No worry, I'm far away of nominating myself.

Maybe some users don't want to nominate themselfes, but wouldn't resist if nominted by somebody else? I'd like to suggest Konrad Rudolph for a moderator position, but I don't know whether he would accept it.

  • I would love to see Konrad Rudolph run!
    – Sam I Am
    Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 4:52
  • What do you say, @KonradRudolph?
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 14:26
  • @Oddthinking: I would suggest Konrad Rudolph - not at-KonradRudolph (we both had the spelling wrong: olph/olf). Or is there a notification process for question bodies? Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 15:04
  • I edited to correct your spelling - then I thought he should be notified, and added the 'at'. Then wondered if notification worked in question bodies - I don't know - so I added the comment.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 23:53
  • 2
    I never heard that notifications would work in questions, where the person to notify ins't engaged. Would be a fine spamming opportunity. Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 23:56
  • 1
    Just so you know – notification did not work. Neither in the question nor in the comments. Commented May 2, 2012 at 12:10
  • 1
    That's why we should all have flaky Google alerts for our names.
    – Alain
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 18:06

My reason: this is the first I’ve heard about nomination being underway, and I only found this thread by accident because I have a (very flaky!) Google alert for searches with my name.

Which probably shows how badly suited I’m for moderation: apparently I didn’t look into meta for weeks. Oh, and the “moderation event” link on the main site is … tiny.

But yeah, why not?

(But where is DVK? Hendy?)


I was seriously considering it, as I have been a mod on Security since it began, and I think I have a reasonable approach to keeping contributions polite and focused, but to be honest you guys are already doing a damn good job.

I'd be happy with each of the four of you continuing with your blue diamonds

  • I've been listening to some lectures about Game Theory, on @bororr0's recommendation. If I have understood it right, I need to go and make a deal with the other candidates: we pledge to do a lousy job if you don't self-nominate...
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 14:24
  • Right then. I will, but if some idiot votes me in and you get lumbered with a rock God with an infosec fetish as a mod it's your fault.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 16:01
  • @RoryAlsop pffft... We already have a rock God... We'll survive a second ;-)
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Apr 28, 2012 at 0:18
  • Heh- HTTP://www.YouTube.com/Metaltechtheband - you tell me :)
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Apr 28, 2012 at 15:02
  • 1
    @RoryAlsop heh, I am a fan already... See some of my stuff here: youtube.com/results?search_query=powersymphony
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Apr 28, 2012 at 19:08

I've spent my whole life sticking it to the man. If I do this, I'll be the man. I don't think I can be the man. (Jack O'Neill)

I haven't been active in Meta at all and my participation on the main site has also been slacking in the last couple of months. I'm actually surprised that, reputation wise, I'm still amongst the Top10 users.

As a moderator one has to lead by example, which would mean I'd have to step up my game. But currently I'm lacking the time to do that.


I'm barely active on Skeptics anymore (for reasons I'd rather not discuss), and I'm moderator of a different site which would compete for my time.


To all-users-with-more-than-300-rep-who-care-about-our-community

Hey, that is me as well, it seems. :)

your key reason for NOT running in this election

My reasons are simple: too much of real life (family, work, hobbies) to be able to dedicate any more time to this site then I currently do (which is not much anyway).


A lot of the time I spent on this website is spent with taking contrarian positions. I think that would conflict with the role of being a moderator.

In addition I'm not spending that much time on the site anymore anyway.


In all honesty, I thought that my low rep here precluded me from nominating. Obvs didnt read properly.

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