The following is a "digest" version of the 2011 Moderator Election Town Hall Chat. The format, as described on Meta Stack Overflow, is one answer to this question for every question asked in the Town Hall, containing all the candidate's answers to that question. This digest will contain the questions and answers from both the first and second town halls.

To view the digest chronologically, please sort the answers by "oldest".

If you have questions or comments about this, please do not answer this question as the answers are designed to be used for the questions from the Town hall itself. Instead, please ask on the parent question or in the Town Hall Discussion Room.

(I would like to say THANK YOU REBECCA CHERNOFF for organizing these town halls!)

This digest is still a work in progress. The Gaming town hall was very busy and somewhat hard to parse. I am still working on compiling everything; check the message at the top of this answer for the current status. If you see any corrections which need to be made to this digest, or if you were a candidate who was unable to attend the town hall and would like your answers included, please @Josh me and let me know! I will make corrections ASAP.

If you were a candidate who was unable to attend one of the two town halls and would like to answer questions from the town hall you were unable to attend please join The Town Hall Chat Room and post your answers there. Then @Josh me and I will include them here.

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Fantastic work putting this together. Thanks, Josh! –  Brant Feb 11 '11 at 21:13
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closed as too localized by jmfsg Feb 17 '11 at 20:30

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

32 Answers

Oak Oak asked in the first town hall: Question (I know it sounds weird but bear with me): rep is usually used to measure how active and contributing someone is. How much reputation do you consider to be enough to specify a user as someone who is a real "user" of gaming, as opposed to someone just asking a question or two when she passes by??


Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: @Oak I don't think there is a number, it's not a measure over time so can't be used as a comparison, there are also more popular tags so if you own a certain game you can get loads of rep really quickly

Ivo Flipse Ivo Flipse answered: @Oak I think rep alone is a poor measure of ones interest in a site. I've got the Electorate badge, even though I don't have enough rep to even edit. I just happen to be active in tags that are either highly populated by awesome users such as @tzenes or in ones that don't attract any answers at all (ipad/android games)

FallenAngelEyes FallenAngelEyes answered: @Oak Mmm, I think that's a difficult question to answer and make a blanket judgment on. I don't think that rep is the only thing that defines a gaming user. Look at @Grace for example: She has less than 5k rep on our site, yet I don't think anyone would argue that she doesn't know her stuff.

FallenAngelEyes FallenAngelEyes continues: @Oak There may be many users out there with a lot of knowledge but there just aren't any questions being asked right now where they can show it. I think one thing that definitely impresses me is when users take the time to come and join us on chat.

Fabian Fabian answered: @Oak I don't think we need to distinguish between "real" users and others, Gaming.SE is also meant for those who want only their one question answered. And reputation is anyways not a good indicator for that, I would say that answering or asking regularky are also good signs for that. Involvement in chat is another indicator.

badp badp answered: @Oak I don't think specifying a number would help anything... I'd look at his contributions.

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StrixVaria StrixVaria asked in the first town hall: Question: For those candidates who are already moderators on other sites (@Ivo, @CRoss, maybe others): How do you plan to balance your time and effort between moderating this site and the other site?


Ivo Flipse Ivo Flipse answered: @StrixVaria As you can see I have been active on Gaming, however I was never able to do much beyond flagging and commenting. With moderating abilities I would be able to visit Gaming more purposefully, like during the Beta without the need of any middle men. Furthermore, due to my lack of abilities I couldn't 'serve' the community as well either.

Ivo Flipse Ivo Flipse continued: @StrixVaria I'm used to having access to moderator flags or having users ask for help (on chat). I wasn't able to do either, which frustrates me a great deal. Since Super User got new moderators, I feel that it will be easier for me to spread my love.

C. Ross C. Ross answered: @StrixVaria RPG has approximately 5 questions a day, and few flags. It doesn't take a lot of moderation time.

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tzenes tzenes asked in the first town hall: Question: what is your experience moderating in a web or real world environment, and how do you think it will translate here?


Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: @tzenes I haven't any experience but I'm always willing to try something, you never know I might be good at it!

Ivo Flipse Ivo Flipse answered: @tzenes I think I've shown on Super User that I can moderate successfully and while being strict, I don't think the community dislikes me for it

FallenAngelEyes FallenAngelEyes answered: @tzenes Regarding qualifications, internet-wise, I have experience as an IRCop on the Stratics network, where I had to exercise judgment in holding people to community standards, kicking/banning, etc.

FallenAngelEyes FallenAngelEyes continued: @tzenes I was the head of community relations for an internet radio station, where I also had to help maintain a chat room as well as write up the station's rules and policies for dealing with the community. Real world wise, I've held managerial/supervisor positions where I had to do task delegation as well as conflict resolution.

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @tzenes I have been appointed on three separate occasions within gaming communities and forums to serve as a moderator in some fashion, though nothing truly noteworthy. Of them, one of them was for the upkeep of an encyclopaedia of information on the forum for in-game items. While they all help, I think the greatest asset is my experience as a pro tem.

C. Ross C. Ross answered: @tzenes I'm a mod on RPG.SE which would obviously translate fairly well to being a mod on Gaming.SE, albeit with a lot less traffic. My real world moderation/leadership experience is a bit harder to apply, but the temperance and patience go a long way, especially in resolving disputes and dealing with problem users.

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tzenes tzenes asked in the first town hall: Question: moderators are often held to much higher standards than regular users, how do you plan to make sure your actions represent the best qualities of GSE?


Fabian Fabian answered: @tzenes Until now, I haven't acted in a way that would be inappropriate for a moderator. So nothing has to change, I would just continue that way.

badp badp answered: @tzenes I have been naughty and I've been pretty open about it, I expect voters to consider it carefully when voting. I don't expect becoming an avatar of law overnight. Certainly, I'll tread more carefully. Somewhat.

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: @tzenes Act how I have previously seen the site work or how people have requested it work, if I'm unsure, play by the book (faq)

Ivo Flipse Ivo Flipse answered: @tzenes Given that I was own of the first to reach 10k on Super User and lead by example when it comes using decent formatting to my own questions and those of others. Furthermore, I won't often let myself be lured into heated discussions, unless it's on Meta where I think this is somewhat more appropriate.

FallenAngelEyes FallenAngelEyes answered: @tzenes I believe leading by example is an effective way to help ensure that the community trusts and respects the moderation team. Not letting myself be drawn into petty arguments, making the effort to properly communicate, and being willing to be flexible yet firm (following the spirit of the law, if not always the letter) are just some of the ways I would plan on holding myself to those standards.

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @tzenes Maintain a professional atmosphere with interactions, continue to understand the engine, and keep track of the community. Basically - know how to behave, know how it all works, and know what people want. But ultimately, be myself - I'm not saying that I am the Community, but as a community we are also individuals.

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tzenes tzenes asked in the first town hall: Question: Much of the GSE community overlaps with the rest of the SE2.0 community, how will you stay up to date on the issues across SE2.0?


Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: @tzenes I'll ask @ChrisF

Fabian Fabian answered: @tzenes I'm visiting Meta regularly, where issues concerning all SE 2.0 sites should be discussed. I'm also using some of the other SE 2.0 sites occasionally and I am committed to 2 other proposals that are nearing completion. So I'm staying in touch with the whole SE 2.0 community.

Ivo Flipse Ivo Flipse answered: @tzenes I think I'm one of the few users who reads a lot of the different SE site meta's. I have 'some' rep on SU, SO, MSO, Gaming, Android and Web Apps and off course I have frequent discussions with new moderators on their respective sites. Which brings me up to date on network-wide issues.

FallenAngelEyes FallenAngelEyes answered: @tzenes I visit Meta.GSE regularly and while I'm not a part of the SO/SU sites, again, this is one of the reasons I feel that moderating as a team is best. You can shore up each others' weaknesses in knowledge. What I wouldn't hear about in The Bridge (which @badp usually keeps up to date with site policy changes) I trust I would hear about from the other moderators.

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @tzenes I spend a lot of time on Meta Stack Overflow, and I also talk spend a lot of time on the general moderator room. And for whatever I miss, there's two users on the Bridge who are on top of even more things. I'm not expecting an issue (and this also covers @GnomeSlice's question just now)

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GnomeSlice GnomeSlice asked in the first town hall: Question: How do you plan to approach unruly users? Because as the site grows, we're bound to attract some less desirable users.


badp badp answered: @GnomeSlice Comment first, if that doesn't work bring the matter on chat where we lynch, er, mob, er, discuss the problem with the user. I'd rather not pollute the comment area with meta stuff. If that still doesn't work mods can send private messages (even if you don't register your email) and eventually suspend. Oh well.

Fabian Fabian answered: @GnomeSlice The first step is always to tell the user what they are doing wrong. For incorrectible repeat offenders (and spammers, obviously) timed suspensions are appropriate.

Ivo Flipse Ivo Flipse answered: @GnomeSlice Unless Gaming truly attracts completely different types of users, I'm not afraid that this will happen so frequently. Our system is very 'hostile' towards negative users, so they will be noted quickly and not get any support from fellow users. Other than that, I will often suspend him if other measures have proven unsuccessful and rather suspend such a user incorrectly than letting him wreck havoc on the site

FallenAngelEyes FallenAngelEyes answered: @GnomeSlice Regarding unruly users, communication is the key. I believe that in moderation, you should work first from the basis of good intentions from both sides. If a user has proven, after several attempts at compromise from both sides, that their intention is harmful to the site, then I think the team will have to make a judgment call on whether or not that user is a proper fit and should be allowed to stick around.

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: @GnomeSlice The site works on trust and participation if a user is being unruly he will usually be ignored and may change their ways or leave

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @GnomeSlice Always believe in good faith unless the first posts are explicitly not (downright advertisements or hatespeech). The first step is to always try to walk with the user and seek a better resolution - sometimes by public intervention, other times by private contact. I haven't doled out a single suspension outside of spam users, and ideally it'll continue that way.

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GnomeSlice GnomeSlice asked in the second town hall: @Prospective Mods: What do you play to do about all of those damn questions with Starcraft2: in the title?


Grace Note Grace Note answered: @GnomeSlice We don't get those, we get StarCraft2: with no space, haha~ But to seriously speak - it should be removed. All of my thought on this is elaborated in a recent Meta posting

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: @GnomeSlice I don't know what the community thinks about them. Personally, I'm fine with it but if we decide against the [Game name]: [Question] format, I'll edit them out.

Juan Manuel Juan Manuel answered: @GnomeSlice IMO is that that information should be in tags, so I'd like to see them removed

badp badp answered: @GnomeSlice I'd have to look at what Grace and Juan and Oak tried about it and going from there

C. Ross C. Ross answered: @GnomeSlice Assuming you mean [GameName:], and not the page title feature that was added recently, I would like to see those removed. The latter we have no control over, but I'd like to see it removed as well.

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GnomeSlice GnomeSlice asked in the second town hall: @ProbablyNotMods: What's your plan of action if you need to make a call on a topic, and there is dissention among mods?


C. Ross C. Ross answered: @GnomeSlice You have to work it out to a consensus that all the mods can at least live with. You learn what really matters, and sometimes when you disagree you stuff it for the good of the site.

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @GnomeSlice There is no "Goto >:3" plan of action. Sometimes it means you need to work it out between the moderators as fast as possible, other times you need to stash the goods in a corner until things are cleared up.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: @GnomeSlice Since the mods would have the final word on any policy, it would have to be worked out until all of them come to a consensus.

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LessPop_MoreFizz LessPop_MoreFizz asked in the second town hall: Continuing with the 'problem question categories' thread, our track record with [Tech Support] (or whatever you want to retag it is, looking at you @badp) is, quite frankly, terrible. Do you think we can improve it? If so how? Or for that matter, if you think we can't, or perhaps shouldn't, should we punt on these and begin to consider them Off-Topic?


badp badp answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz As I said, Q&A&Q&A&Q&A&Q&A&Q&A isn't Q&A. Now let me take a peek at the AskUbuntu meta for a second.

badp badp continued: AskUbuntu seems to accept them, and probably has many more than we do. Thus I must assume SE can actually do Q&A&Q&A&Q&A&Q&A&Q&A, it's just us not being good at them.

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz It's not going to be easy, if at all possible, to improve these. This is mostly because gamers aren't really the best people to solve tech support. We're the people who have the questions.

Grace Note Grace Note continued: As best, the majority response from us will be "Me too!", which doesn't lead to a lot of solving. There are simply better channels for it. As mentioned in the past, we have at previous metrics had 0% success rate in solving any tech support question with the exception of self-answers which we had no part in.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz I think [tech-support] is fine here, but the ones that are more general (not specifically gaming related) should be migrated to Super User.

C. Ross C. Ross answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz I think we should keep [tech-support]. While we haven't answered nearly as many as we have pure gaming questions, we have accepted answers on about half, and multiple answers on more. I disagree with @GraceNote about gamers not being the best at answering those questions. Not the most motivated perhaps, but most help desk types I know, don't know much about graphics cards and versions of Direct X. We are our own best resource.

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TrickyM66 TrickyM66 asked in the second town hall: I have but one question. How much time will be devoted to the gaming.se as the new Mod?


Grace Note Grace Note answered: @TrickyM66 Pretty much my standard time here, which is roughly throughout the EST day. I observe the site itself during the day and also monitor the chat room invisibly.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: @TrickyM66 I'll be just as active as I have been, if not more. Which is...quite a lot.

Juan Manuel Juan Manuel answered: @TrickyM66 I think I will be able to start dedicating it as much time as I did in the beginning shortly, which was a lot (I was having personal problems which didn't allow me to continue with that kind of dedication in the past months)

C. Ross C. Ross answered: @TrickyM66 Roughly the same as now. I'm in and out during most of the EST day, and spend some concentrated time on the weekends. Since I have a new baby in the house, I will also be on at very random hours of the night

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GnomeSlice GnomeSlice asked in the second town hall: @Maybe-Mods: What are your methods for dealing with users who need help with something? How far are you willing to go to help out a user with a problem or question?


Juan Manuel Juan Manuel answered: @GnomeSlice as far as needed to solve the problem as long as everyone treats everyone with respect.

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @GnomeSlice If they're asking a normal question on the site, I go as far as I could to help anyone - if I know the answer, I provide it. If they have a question about the engine, be it through Meta or in comments, I try to address their concern to the best of my knowledge, and research the need if none is found.

C. Ross C. Ross answered: @GnomeSlice A long way. At some point such discussions have to be moved off the public site, but I'll do what it takes, as long as the user isn't trolling and is actually interested in learning

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: @GnomeSlice As far as I can. I'll research it as much as a can, and will form an answer unless there is absolutely no information about the question (or if there's not enough to form a decent answer).

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C. Ross C. Ross asked in the second town hall: @GraceNote and other mods, since many of you want to keep paring down the scope of the site, what do you see as our core scope? What is gaming.SE about, and will never be Off Topic?


Grace Note Grace Note answered: @CRoss There's always been a misconception that Gaming is "All things Gaming". To me, the most core aspect is "Gameplay questions" - things about what happens in games. That isn't everything and I don't wish to say it is, but as far as undeniably on-topic, that's what I'd start with.

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Oak Oak asked in the first town hall: Question: a moderator flag pops up on a question and you are not sure how to deal with it. What steps will you take to reach a verdict? What will be your default action on that flag (i.e. will you prefer to delete the post to maintain site quality or ignore it to not alienate the author and err on the safe side)


Arda Xi Arda Xi answered: @Oak If I'm really unsure and I'm not the only moderator 'on call', I'd prefer to wait to see whether another moderator picks it up. If it's an urgent issue, I'll try chat.

Fabian Fabian answered: @Oak I would discuss it with other moderators if possible. If it is a more general non-critical issue I also might open a meta topic on that. I would not delete content in uncertain cases, I can imagine cases were I would lock a question to gain time to discuss the issue and come to a decision.

FallenAngelEyes FallenAngelEyes continued: @Oak If I myself am unsure how to deal with it, I would consult with the rest of the moderation team as to what steps we should take. The default action would depend on the nature of the question and I can't make a blanket statement saying how I would react.

FallenAngelEyes FallenAngelEyes answered: @Oak I don't usually support full deletion unless it is blatantly against site policy (sexual content, illegality, etc.) because leaving them there at least does give us more ground to stand on when citing examples of what isn't allowed on the site.

Ivo Flipse Ivo Flipse answered: @Oak I would leave a flag for another moderator. In my experience, another will be able to make a decision based on my stance. However, if I'm on chat and it's not regarding abusive behavior or anything regular users can't see or 'should' see, I will simply ask others in chat what they think and act on that

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: @Oak My default action will be to do nothing and try and see the reasons behind the flag, most changes are reversible so can always be disputed after the event

C. Ross C. Ross answered: @Oak When I'm not sure how to address a flag, I discuss it in the site moderator room, and if I feel immediate action is necessary I bring it up in the global moderator room, where helpful moderators are always on standby for your difficult flags.

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @Oak I actually turn to the Bridge, if it's not serious. Of course, there's a 1/3 chance this fails spectacularly and a simple legal check throws the room into a warzone. If it's serious, then I turn either to our Gaming mods or to the Lounge for assistance. If I can't find anyone, I'll weigh the necessity of action on the severity of risk. I use no "default" action.

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tzenes tzenes asked in the second town hall: Question: We have seen a large number of issues where we've seen moderators (and regular users) change their opinions over time. Obviously inconsistencies in policies can lead to misconceptions and other bad things™. How do you plan to handle shifting opinions on crucial issues


Grace Note Grace Note answered: @tzenes Sites evolve, people evolve. Even the whole game-rec issue was about this - many anti-rec users started as pro-rec. And even in spirit, I am actually pro-rec. But for the site to truly prosper, and thus is my answer to your question, I am anti-rec. Site health and consistency is more important than one's own opinion. Always make sure policies are structured to be clear. Figure out what is erroneous and fix it, through various measures.

C. Ross C. Ross answered: @tzenes Keeping the FAQ up to date, making official and up to date faq meta posts, and being consistent in application of the current rules. Removing comments to the contrary where possible, but I won't promise a comment scrubbing every time my opinion shifts.

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GnomeSlice GnomeSlice asked in the second town hall: @YouMightStillBeModsYet!: How do you plan to deal with issues that you strongly feel one way about, but the general community seems to oppose?


Juan Manuel Juan Manuel answered: @GnomeSlice we are part of the community as well as mods, so I'd have to respect it (as long as it isn't generally harmful)

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: @GnomeSlice Since the mods would have the final word on any policy, it would have to be worked out until all of them come to a consensus.

C. Ross C. Ross answered: @GnomeSlice I will openly admit that I if I thought it was destructive to the site, I would overrule the will of the community, provided the other mods were on board. After such a decision was made I would go to some lengths to convince the community of it's necessity.

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @GnomeSlice Juan answers my thought mostly. Even if I feel strongly, I stick with what works. Sometimes that is what the community will think. But when it is harmful, I will make a stand.

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Oak Oak asked in the first town hall: Question: I am considered very liberal regarding what questions I think we should cater for, while Ivo is probably the opposite and he prefers we enforce more narrow restrictions. Both approaches have merits and shortcomings. Where do you think you stand, and why? Are you more "liberal", more "conservative", or in-between?


Arda Xi Arda Xi answered: @Oak I'm quite conservative, I believe liberalism will result in people trying to find the edge further and further until the site turns into a discussion forum.

Ivo Flipse Ivo Flipse answered: @Oak I'm strict in what type of questions we should allow @Oak, not what is actually being asked. I believe there's a difference, because there are enough games in the world to feed this site indefinitely. I'm not restricting anyone from asking Wii questions, but I'd rather not have questions broaden the scope any further and also think it's not needed for the success of the site (just look at GameFAQs)

FallenAngelEyes FallenAngelEyes answered: @Oak I believe I would lie in the more liberal camp, as I've discussed with you before that I feel passive knowledge is also valuable to the site and should be rewarded. However, I'm willing to be flexible if the majority of the site feels that certain categories of question/answers are not beneficial. Will I be disappointed about it? Sure, but I don't like perpetuating conflict when it's harmful to site health.

Fabian Fabian answered: @Oak I'm somewhere in the middle, slightly on the conservative side. I am firmly against game recommendation questions, but I currently see no harm in Identify this game questions. Independent of my personal thought on those issues I'm open to revisit them if the conditions change and some types of questions become problematic.

badp badp answered: @Oak We should try and accomodate them if possible. If it can't be done it can't be done. If it can be done, it probably should.

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: @Oak the site is meant to help people and can be altered to accommodate for the users (after discussion)

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @Oak It's a bit obvious which side I fall on, isn't it? ♪ There is a lot of information that is valuable to people, but for the Stack Exchange system itself to work we can only handle certain types. So to that end, I am conservative towards what works with the system.

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Oak Oak asked in the first town hall: Question: what actions do you plan on taking to maintain the site quality other than acting on moderator flags?


Arda Xi Arda Xi answered: @Oak Editing and retagging questions where necessary, usually unintrusive. Salvaging bad questions for what is answerable, and making them attractive.

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: @Oak checking questions for things that are not yet flagged or should be and participating in meta and chats

Ivo Flipse Ivo Flipse answered: @Oak Lead by example, by using consistent, nice formatting (though a lot of users do this very well too) throughout my own posts. Then by editing other users posts to make them look better, especially with new users so they get familiar with how we would want their questions or answer to look like. Also leaving comments to ask them to elaborate on things if the Q/A is too short

FallenAngelEyes FallenAngelEyes answered: @Oak Editing questions (if necessary) to cleanup spelling/grammar or otherwise help improve the readability and comprehension, making sure that questions I ask or answers I provide are up to the levels of quality that the site commands, and doing my best to maintain an open channel with the community and its desires.

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @Oak Tag maintenance. The scale of the system demands that someone needs to be on top of these. I've honestly been a bit too lax on this in recent times, especially since launch, but I will probably pick up on this again.

Grace Note Grace Note followed up with: While I do also stay on top of grammar edits and stuff, I know a lot of the editors are a bit more on top of it

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Also, here is the "bonus question" by Grace Note:

Grace Note Grace Note asked in the second town hall: Oh, man, I forgot to ask my own question, "What would your theme song be if you were in a video game".


GnomeSlice GnomeSlice answered: Actually, the correct answer was "The Buck Bumble Theme"

C. Ross C. Ross answered: @GraceNote Ravel's Bolero

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I foolishly decided not to include these in the original digest, and was rightfully repremanded by LessPop_MoreFizz. So, here are the two questions I excluded:


LessPop_MoreFizz LessPop_MoreFizz asked in the second town hall: How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?


Grace Note Grace Note answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz 3

Juan Manuel Juan Manuel answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz exactly 598


LessPop_MoreFizz LessPop_MoreFizz asked in the second town hall: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?


GnomeSlice GnomeSlice answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz Vote to close.

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz 3

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz Depends on whether or not he's full from the Tootsie Roll Pop or not.

(and my own answer, just for good measure...)

Josh Josh answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz a woodchuck would chuck all he could if a woodchuck could chuck wood. The question is: how much ground would a groundhog hog if a groundhog could hog ground!

badp badp answers: ZOT!

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LessPop_MoreFizz LessPop_MoreFizz asked in the second town hall: Corollary to @gnomes question: How do you plan to deal with issues where it's largely irrelevant how you feel, but when the community consensus seems to run counter to, for instance, broader SE policy/admin directives?


Juan Manuel Juan Manuel answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz It wouldn't matter because jeff would come and delete all who oppose him

C. Ross C. Ross answered: @GnomeSlice I will openly admit that I if I thought it was destructive to the site, I would overrule the will of the community, provided the other mods were on board. After such a decision was made I would go to some lengths to convince the community of it's necessity.

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz If it boils down to it, the most important thing is to explain why it is harmful to the site or opposed to general policy as proposed by @tzenes. Sometimes this will come in hand with a foregone conclusion, other times it may be somewhat possible for a saving grace. But the important thing is not just to get the harmful stuff out as quickly as possible, but to also explain so that people understand.

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LessPop_MoreFizz LessPop_MoreFizz asked in the first town hall: Platform Tags: what are they for, why/when do we need to use them, if at all?


badp badp answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz I liked the idea for, say, wholesale ignoring of questions for games on platforms I don't own. That's not really that useful and breaks things down with multiplatform games. That said, we need more tagging, not less of it.

Arda Xi Arda Xi answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz They are mostly for clarification purposes, like certain Fallout-3 questions have PC-specific workarounds which would only apply with the pc tag, for example.

Fabian Fabian answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz Some aspects of a game are platform-specific, it is certainly useful to tag questions that only apply to one platform of a multi-platform game with them.

FallenAngelEyes FallenAngelEyes answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz I think they're definitely useful for platform specific questions/issues, as well as for users who prefer to sort question visibility via tags.

Ivo Flipse Ivo Flipse answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz I suck at tagging, but I would say that platform tags are only useful when the question applies to platform specific problems. Furthermore it's useful for users to filter questions based on their interest. But need them? Not really

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz They should be used for console specific question (only apply to a certain console's version)

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz Platform exclusive only, would be the way that would work in-engine. Being able to filter on it for tag preferences would be keen, but it is not feasible due to the tag limit and the breadth of cross-platform. So unless that gets changes, I think it's too idealistic to try and leverage the system through tags. Maybe with tag sets and tag wikis, but not on the questions.


I am not sure if I got all the answers to that question. If I missed any, please let me know and I will correct it!

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LessPop_MoreFizz LessPop_MoreFizz asked in the second town hall: What do you think of the State of Tagging as a whole on Gaming.SE? If you had infinite time/energy to go through the site and retag everything, what would you improve?


C. Ross C. Ross answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz I think tagging is overall good. I would get rid of a few tags I don't see as being useful, such as tips and `theory, but otherwise it wouldn't change much.

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz As I mentioned in one of my earlier responses, one of the things I do when I'm not handling mod flags is organize tags. Figure out what works, what is being ambiguous, figure out what needs to be used more, start trollopping about the questions to see what needs to get tagged...

Grace Note Grace Note continued: Mostly, my first goal would be a lot of cleanup with the non-game-name tags, and especially boot out [how-to] and [strategy], which are feeling less and less helpful as they increase in usage.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz I'd add console tags, as I feel tags are used to organize and sort. Say, for example, somebody was an expert at PS3 questions. If some of the questions about PS3s aren't the PS3 tags, the user may miss those questions. To finally answer the question, I would put a console tag on every question that it would make sense on.

Kevin Y Kevin Y continued: In fact, I think console tags should be mandatory (or be a special tag set), but that wouldn't work if the question wasn't console specific. (Can't think of a case right not, but I'm sure there is one).

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GnomeSlice GnomeSlice asked in the second town hall: @TheThreeModsToRuleThemAll: What if the greater S.E. policy changes (via update or feature add, or other) in some way that negatively impacts our particular site? Do you stand up for us?


Juan Manuel Juan Manuel answered: @GnomeSlice this won't happen though, Jeff is also the owner of these sites, they will never do something to hurt them

Juan Manuel Juan Manuel clarified: @GnomeSlice to answer your question: I'd express my opinion against something harmful to the site

C. Ross C. Ross answered: @GnomeSlice As much as possible. There is a limit to what you do, since this is SOIS's business after all. If the offense was egregious (which I can't imagine), I would lead the charge of taking our CC data to another site.

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @GnomeSlice I'm not afraid to bark at the Team if I think something is highly dangerous to our site. But even then, I also happen to usually understand the motives behind their choices.

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tzenes tzenes asked in the second town hall: Question: There have been a number of discussion of topics to include new users (ITG, Redstone Golf, Tournaments, etc), what do you think the roles are of these "getting to know you" questions/events going forward? How can we both be inclusive while remaining on topic for GSE?


C. Ross C. Ross answered: @tzenes I don't think we should allow questions just to be inclusive. Lets face it, it's a site about video games, who doesn't have a video game question now and then? I think we greet new users warmly, and make sure they get good responses from the community, and go about running the site as well as we can.

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @tzenes Some things are too problematic and host too much of a scale problem. Other things, not simply in theory but in practice, don't have as much of a problem. It's easier to make a blanket call of "No", but I think that based on our own ability to handle some stuff, it is feasible to handle some degree. Work not just on existing trends, but on what the prediction is. Solve it before it becoems a problem, but only when it is turning into a problem.

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GnomeSlice GnomeSlice asked in the second town hall: @YouGuysAreGonnaBeMods: If you are elected as a mod, what will your first order of business be?


Grace Note Grace Note answered: @GnomeSlice Edit my profile to say that I'm an elected moderator on Gaming and thus if I make any strange sounding remarks in Meta Stack Overflow that one should take into account that I do in fact wield a diamond.

C. Ross C. Ross answered: @GnomeSlice Talk to the other mods and achieve alignment, whatever that means.

Juan Manuel Juan Manuel answered: @GnomeSlice oh come on, I totally answered that!

Juan Manuel Juan Manuel continued: "when I get elected, as my first act with this new authority, I will create a Grand Army of the Republic to counter the increasing threats of the Separatists. muahahahahaha"

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Shaun Shaun asked in the first town hall: Question: Given a policy that is being discussed with supporters equally split on both sides of the policy, how would you approach mediating the discussion with a goal of reaching a decision rather than continuing with an non-finalized or ambiguous directive?


badp badp answered: @Shaun Make a decision first and have it be challenged on meta, as I explained already. (It was asked on Meta.)

Arda Xi Arda Xi answered: @Shaun Assuming that the discussion at hand is at meta, I would see if a real-time medium like chat would help to flow both parties to a common mean.

Fabian Fabian answered: @Shaun I would discuss the issue with my fellow moderators on the merits of the presented arguments and make a decision. You have now the opportunity to elect the moderators that you trust to decide those issues. That does not mean I don't value the community input, but I don't think important policy issues should be decided by pure popularity.

FallenAngelEyes FallenAngelEyes answered: @Shaun In regards to these 50/50 splits, I would discuss with the moderation team. Now that we're electing moderators, the fact that you were elected means that the community trusts your judgment and trusts you to represent the desires of the community. If we have an issue that ends up game-rec worthy in scope (I hope this doesn't happen), it's only harmful to the site to let it drag out like game-rec did.

FallenAngelEyes FallenAngelEyes continued: @Shaun For the sake of the health of the site, the moderators may have to make a decision that a chunk of the userbase will not agree with. However, I feel that this is healthier for the site than to let it drag out in ambiguity and leave us without a firm policy to moderate by.

Ivo Flipse Ivo Flipse answered: @Shaun When two parties can't decide, you need an 'objective' third party to help draw a line. In my experience, it has helped tremendously to have fellow moderators from other sites help judge and pitch in on Meta discussions.

Ivo Flipse Ivo Flipse continued: @Shaun I also believe that while we're a community driven site, there are some decisions that will be made from an executive level, because 'we as a network' want to have a unified image. An example of this is where Jeff came in and banned any further website questions on Super User. A lot of users might disagree, but sometimes such decisions have to be taken.

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: @Shaun Get a group of people (mod + high rep users) to make a binding decision, they will usually know what's best. If the higher users are arguing just mods

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @Shaun Shift the tone from deliberation to decision-making. My current plot goes as follows: Work with the moderators to narrow down the possible options to what is functional, and propose the filtered options to see if anyone can provide a stronger analysis for those options, and draw the decision from there. No straw polls, no simply quantitative schemes.

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LessPop_MoreFizz LessPop_MoreFizz asked in the second town hall: For those of you running that feel [Identify This Game] has a place at Gaming.se: Why?, what value do you feel it contributes to the site, and to the internet as a whole? Specifically, what do you think is the benefit to these questions beyond the fact that you don't see them as harmful. For those that don't feel it has a place, how would you propose to... prod the community in that direction?


badp badp answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz It was one of the questions on the meta thread.

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz I feel that it only has a place in so much as Code Golf or Hidden Features had a place on Stack Overflow.

Grace Note Grace Note followed up with: I'll take them over those two or any of the other myriad junk questions we could get. Would it be nice to be rid of them? Possibly.

GnomeSlice GnomeSlice answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz What's wrong with them? This is a Q&A site. Those are objective Q's that we can provide A's to.

C. Ross C. Ross answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz I don't like cutting scope for no reason. Sort of a Laissez Faire theory of moderation. I also feel, as @badp said, that they improve the quality of the information on the internet.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: @LessPop_MoreFizz I feel they're fine, but some of them are a little vague. However, I guess the community would decide if it's [not a real question - ambiguous or vague ] or not?

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Ivo Flipse Ivo Flipse asked in the first town hall: Why do you think you'll be a better mod than the others? (this better @Oak)

Ivo Flipse Ivo Flipse asked in the first town hall: I still want to know from each mod why they think themselves better than the others. Else, why bother nominating? So why should I vote for you and not somebody else?


badp badp answered: @IvoFlipse Because I'm not also moderating a site with 121 new questions per day. :)

FallenAngelEyes FallenAngelEyes answered: @IvoFlipse My decision to run for election as a moderator has less to do with thinking that I'm better than other people who may or may not run and more to do with the fact that I believe my qualifications would make me a competent candidate.

FallenAngelEyes FallenAngelEyes continued: @IvoFlipse I'm not a single person running for election. I'm running to be part of a team, and I look forward to working with that team for the best of the community. As a team, you can shore up each others' weaknesses, enhance each others strengths, and help charge the motherships lazers.

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: @IvoFlipse Who says I think I am better that all the others (: All i think is that I'm at least as good as the majority and I thought "Hey, why not!"

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @IvoFlipse A different perspective, mostly. I can't argue for skills necessarily - I do have a volume of expertise, experience in the system, and knowledge of how Stack Exchange works. But I can't say that the other candidates lack that. What I can say that I know is different, is my perspective on issues. Even if we fight on the same side, we still see it differently.

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Mana Mana asked in the second town hall: Question~: Say that a user with high reputation on the site, respected and adored by the community, grows power-hungry and begins abusing their superpowers in a harmful way. How would you deal with this situation?


C. Ross C. Ross answered: @Mana Sadly this happens to some extent. I would message them, communicate what's acceptable, and what's not, and revert the damages. If they continue, you don't have any choice but to put them in the box of shame, because a high rep user can cause lots of damage to a site.

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @Mana Contact the user and try to work it out. Always talk first. Always try to reach a resolution. Always try to understand both sides of the story. The ideal scenario is not necessarily to get the person to understand our side, but to simply end the conflict and abuse. Keep the prize in mind - a safe and happy community.

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GnomeSlice GnomeSlice asked in the second town hall: @HooooooBoyYouGuysHaveGotYourWorkCutOutForYouNow,Haven'tYou?: How flexible will you guys be with possibly trying to have more mods elected if our site grows beyond all projections? More concisely, how would you deal with a rapidly expanding userbase?


C. Ross C. Ross answered: > I see the growth of the site as both a good thing, and a risk that has to be managed. As we gain popularity, and have lots of new people who don't know the culture dropping in it will be more important to maintain standards and communicate our culture to the next virtual generation. We communicate that culture in several ways. A clear FAQ. Comments explaining why moderator action was taken. Consistency in enforcing community expectations, and holding active, consistent users to the same standards.

C. Ross C. Ross continued: @GnomeSlice As for more mods, I'm all for it.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: @GnomeSlice I'd be all for having more mods elected if the current mods are unable to handle the userbase.

Grace Note Grace Note answered: @GnomeSlice Rapid nudge mechanics to ideally push for new electees. I actually expected 4 slots but I supposed that due to our own poor conversion rates we don't actually need 4.

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