a guest May 3rd, 2019 973 Never
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  2. five,  four,  three,  two,  one running.  We have a lift.  Hello,  everyone.  And welcome Teo The minute I met a petting zoo Episode number two I believe it's episode number two.  It could be any episode you want by the time you listen to this,  but we'LL say it's too for the purposes of this show.  My name's Abby a k a.  Hair boat here on the stack overflow stock exchange sites in here with John and Juan as a Zoe were last time.  Let's all ah,  maybe go around and introduce ourselves again for the folks at home who maybe don't know how amazing and wonderful you guys are.
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  5. Starting with the one Hi.  What's up?
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  8. Hey,  somebody was won him.  I'm one of the community managers here.  I am not John,  but I am on in case anybody is wondering.  And yeah,  I'm gonna be here in our SEC our second episode,  John.  Conversely,  I am John and not one you know how in like,  Spanish class you were all supposed to like Wow,  I know you had to do this one,  but I had to come up with my Spanish name and it was always one and I was like,  I don't want to be one.  I just want to go,  John.
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  11. I don't want to be one either.  Now,
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  14. maybe you could be done.
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  17. I convince people that I was Jonatan.  Oh,  right.  That's what it should be on it there.  Right?  I love
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  20. that.  Um,  I'm having As I said,  I am neither John nor one.  When I was in French class,  in middle school,  I had to pick a French name and I went with Emily because that was my sister's name is Emily.  And there's a French version of that.  There is no French version of Abby or Abigail,  as far as I know.  Although my my nickname my mom used to call me as a kid at bay,  which is the French word for B like a like bumble bee because I used Teo used to talk about and be really annoying.  And also it sounded like my name.  So,  um,  I was ah,  as a bumble bee,  and she could tell meto to buzz off.  Maybe that was,
  22. 2:11 spk_0
  23. um So you can call me Abby or obey or Emily or hey,  you or buzz off or whatever.  If you like.  Speaking of ah bumble bees and buzzing off.  We're gonna talk about moderation today.  OK,  let's think where I'm going with Maybe,  um so as everyone listening to this probably knows,  definitely knows,  you probably are a moderator If you're listening to this Honestly,  our audience is fairly limited.  We rely on our on our moderators throughout the network.  Teo,  keep things moving,  keep things running,  keep things clean and civil,  but also just ah,  um keep the community's kind of tightly knitted and working together really well.  So we wanted to take a little bit of time today to talk about moderators.  Moderation.  What do they do?  What should they do?  What they need from us?  What do we do for them?  Etcetera?  So I guess the first thing we gotta do is define our terms,  right?  That's where you start.  And so starting by actors Dictionary says Webster's Dictionary defines a moderator as ah,
  25. 3:07 spk_0
  26. So we will start with the non dictionary definition of moderator.  Just kind of What?  What?  What is Ahmad here at Stock Exchange?  Stack overflow.  What do they do?  What?  What?  What is moderation been like through the ages and Ah yeah,  What have you guys observed starting with John because
  28. 3:21 spk_1
  29. So,  yeah.  So when When the site first started,  One of the things that it was built on is the idea that,  you know,  everyone is working together to produce this content.  And ah ah,  lot of the traditional roles of of moderators went to other people in the community.  So,  like on a lot of places,  you can't edit other people's posts,  but a moderator can.  And around here,  anybody can.  It it,  um Well,  you could at least suggest an edit for a post.  And so there were a lot of things that were intended to be done by by regular users.  But then you kind of,  you know,
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  32. there were There's always exceptional cases,  right?  So you're okay fixing a type of way.  You don't need to be super specialized to do that.  But what if you have someone who is constantly trying,  Tio,  you know,  sell their product sort of sneakily within an answer.  How do you deal with that person or,  you know,  just sort of exceptional situations that are beyond the capacity of,  you know?  Most people in the community needs someone with a little bit more specialization So that was,  I think,  the original idea of of moderators.  They would be used to calm exception handlers where we call him exception handlers because,
  34. 4:36 spk_1
  35. um,  these air exceptional situations,  unusual situations from the network.  Interesting.  So guys,  I'm coming from a forum background where a moderator does not does not function in the same way as as a moderator functions here in our network that stack overflow and the stock exchange network.  It's a typically what we would do.  Ah,  when when looking at at a moderator,  we were we would look at individuals who they were trustworthy.  Ah b were were almost as a super user,  right?  Somebody who's highly engaged in the community,  someone who has a good reputation amongst their peers,  someone who was contributing someone who was who was definitely ah,  user,  that that brought value to the community.  And when when moderation issues come up,  Ah,  typically what it is,  you know that the removal of spam,
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  38. things being posted that are inappropriate content that is not wanted,  but then also also dealing with with squabbles between between users,  you know,  arguments,  things like that is so you know,  we would we would want to look for individuals that had these kinds of of skill sets to where you know,  they showed passion and they showed integrity.  And they also had,  ah,  level mind and an ability to communicate.  Well,  ah,  at least that's in my mind.  When I think of a moderator,  I think of someone who is definitely an exception handler,  but also someone who is going to put unless,  ah,  degree of skill and and and I don't know,  we'LL call it peopling,  right?  Just met vigils.  Ah,  that's going to help with community.  Grow and be at peace.  Does that Does that sound
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  41. like like like what we're doing here?
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  44. Yeah.  Yeah,  I think so.  John,  I was I was about to ask you how Ah,  if you feel like our current moderation Ah,  procedures or the way that we find moderators are re optimizing for the same thing is what ones describing from from other communities or what do you think you know?
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  47. That's interesting.  We had for many years we had a system where ah,  sites that had been graduated would would run elections.  And,  um and so it's actually other people in the community who are finding the moderators or who are picking among the nominees.  Ah,  and for a long time,  the beta sites,  the sites that hadn't reached graduation yet uh,  communi managers would actually appoint people.  And I think when I was appointing people regularly
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  50. ah,  all those things that one was talking about were things I was definitely looking at,  Um,  especially for a smaller site,  the people interaction and thie,  a sort of leadership stuff.  Ah,  that's probably even more important than being ableto handle a bunch of flags.  So a stack overflow like exception.  Handling is the real big thing because you've got,  you know,  just thousands of flags to turn through.  And on a small site,  you might only get,  you know,  a handful flags in a week.  But you also have,  ah,  community conflict.  And so when when we were running when I was appointing moderators,  that's the sort of the same sort of person that one was talking about.
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  53. I think,
  55. 7:45 spk_0
  56. yeah,  that's that's something I never really considered is so we've We've long known that there's kind of two different theories of moderation.  There's the solely exception handler,  you know,  handling flags and doing things the community can't do.  And then there's this other leadership role this kind of better at people.  Enroll like one has been.  And I had never made the connection until you said that just now that there's different communities have different needs at different points in their life cycles.  So they need often a little bit of flag handling exception handling whatever.  But if they're smaller,  like you're describing when we when we were appointing pro tem moderators,  they need a lot more of that.  Ah ah,  designated leadership.  It's harder for for that kind of activity,  two just bubble up when the activity overall on the site is so much lower and so they need a little boost from us to say,  Hey,  you're thinking in the right direction,  you know,  step up and kind of take a little bit of ownership here,  and that really encourages people to help the site
  58. 8:40 spk_0
  59. coalesce s o.  That's kind of ah distinction that never really made.  That may be the needs change over the course of the Sites life cycle,  and we should think about incorporating that into our process.  Ah one I was gonna I was gonna ask you in your experience with,  you know,  tons of other online communities.  Have you ever encountered elections on any other kind of community and gin or form or anything like that?
  61. 9:02 spk_1
  62. Yeah.  This is something that is that is Mohr more uncommon,  at least with the experience that I've had more.  So because the the placement of moderators in that position was one that that an administrator would do a community manager.  And so,  depending on depending on the kind of community,  the structure would be administrator,  at least within the system,  the back into the back end system.  You have administrators,  you have moderators.  You'd have super users.  Ah,  you have regular users.  And then you could designate a bunch of different categories of users like you could have Ah,  certain part of your sight that only certain people can access.  Like if you had a marketplace right,  you would do verification.  All those people that have filled out the application I've been verified would get that that permission to enter that specific part of the site and so giving permissions was a big deal.  And so the administrator,  which could be the community manager ah,  it in my experience would appoint the moderators.  They would be the ones to place the the individuals in that position because you're you're talking about working within a team.  And so it isn't just,  you know,  clean up.  Do do you know,  do spam removal or,  you know,  send people there passwords or Sentamu Noel anchors it involved a bit more interacting with the community.  It involved talking with them and,  ah,  sharing a vision.  It involved getting them to buy in into a direction that the community was going to be moving into it involved discussing any features that they wanted.
  64. 10:33 spk_1
  65. There was there was a sense of a team within the within the administration,  if you will.  And so here at Sac Overflow,  one of the one of the things I had to really get accustomed to is that elections are a big thing and they're important.  I see the value of it here,  totally see it,  but also that the way that we work between and maybe it's a topical weakened we can discuss in the future.  What is the responsibility of a CM toe?  A moderator Because we talk a lot about the responsibility of a moderator,  at least,  is this one of the topics were doing.  But internally we discuss a lot about what a moderator should do.  But what are what are some of the things that that the CM's are responsible to the moderators for?  And so here it seems like the moderators really are.  They're brought up from the community,  which I think it's great.  They're they're they're pure reviewed,  their peers elected.
  67. 11:22 spk_1
  68. They know the system.  But really what they're doing is they are handling exception.  Case is very,  very few I've yet to see Ah a a kn increase of of a of a team like environment to where the community manager will sit with the moderators and discussed the vision of the site will discuss the direction the future,  you know,  plans,  things like that and granted,  just so everybody knows there's only a handful of community managers as compared to the number of moderator.  So it is.  It's physically impossible.  And then,  with the changes that have gone on within the company immediately is it makes it really hard is that that is not that we don't want to.  I just I'd like to see that shift
  70. 12:06 spk_1
  71. a little bit.  So from my experience as your question Abby is Election was something that was done.  Not very frequently.  Mainly ah,  moderators were appointed by the administrator or the community manager.  So,  guy John,  I was thinking they're this's something I hadn't thought of.  But when I was a user and a moderate or on a small site,  we did sometimes have those discussions where we would sit down with a AA community manager and say,  Listen,  is this is where our site is this where we wanted to go.
  73. 12:39 spk_1
  74. We even had a full psych evaluation process that we would try to do.  Ah,  we have what,  one hundred and seventy something sites now?  And,  ah,  we haven't grown our community mus fast as we've grown ourselves s o I definitely see that as something I'd liketo ah,  improve on it is have ah,  you know,  for asking our moderators to be leaders on their site like,  let's help them be be leaders on the site in the various ways that we can,
  76. 13:13 spk_1
  77. um,  you know,  and not just focus on,  you know,  how many flags can you handle this month or whatever?  Yeah,  and get to go back to go back and he had a point that you made John.  I think,  I think,  depending on the life cycle,  as we mentioned,  depending on where the community is,  whether you appoint or elect,  I think it's crucial when the community as young as we know,  if the community's young still trying to figure out who they are.  Ah,  what the main topics they're going to be.  What's accepted,  what's not.  Ah,  it's,  I think I think it's important have,  ah,  community manager appoint Ah,  moderator.  There's there's more communication there about what's expected,  and then once a community gets going like we do in the life cycle of the sites,  we allow the community to select from among their from among their peers.  But I think even through all of that,  we are looking for individuals and those that are moderators on our sites.  We like to believe,  and to think that they're individuals that are that are definitely invested in the communities.  They have a lot to share their knowledge,  is there?  I I would like to see us increase in in our in our communication.  Whether I know communication is is increasing now,  it's not like it hasn't been there in a sonic Moderators aren't saying,  Hey,  we really need these features are way.  What about this?  We know that there they are,  in fact,  asking when I say increase I mean more.  I'd like to see the community management team engage more with them with again the caveat that because there's so few of us,  it's it's It's a lot of work to go through each eat each and every side.
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  80. You know,  one thing that occurs to me is I listen,  you guys talk about this is how much we've been able to achieve at this scale because we've figured out lots of ways to automate automate a lot of the work that community managers of other styles of community might have to do.  I'm not just moderation,  you know.  Ah,  um,  we do have a lot of literal automation for moderation,  you know,  cleaning up,  Ah,  voting vote fraud and finding spam and stuff like that.  There are a lot of robots that do that work for us,  but also automation in terms of,  you know,  elections are an automated process for for finding the people who are moderators were going to do those exceptions and also the whole reputation system that gives people access to other tools.  Other privileges.  You know,  we don't have a concept of,  you know,  a super user or special access or whatever,  like like you were describing on other sites.  One but we have.  We have privileges we have.  If you hit this level,  you know,  you can see this thes stats or used these tools or whatever on DH.  That's a direct function of your reputation,  which is an
  82. 15:37 spk_1
  83. automated yeah,  and those that those things are so beautiful and they work so well.  I'm very fortunate to be working within a platform that allows those things to happen,  because now it's not just the moderator who's going to get paying.  That said,  Hey,  this person said this or they posted their phone number by accident or their credit card number of their home address.  Can you going to remove it?  And nobody can go in and edit a question except for the moderator.  And again,  there are always going to be the minority.  So it's great that we have those privileges.  I think that's that's a fantastic feature way offer.
  85. 16:06 spk_0
  86. It's definitely what's enabled us to scale to have as many sites is.  We haven't have the sites that we have that are very active to let them be as active as they are.  But I think the cost of that is what you guys are describing.  There's a little bit less interaction between the community team.  Obviously,  it's very small,  and there's a scale issue there.  But we have.  We rely on our users,  obviously,  and these automation processes to get get this stuff done that needs to get done,  which is great.  And it's wonderful that it happens but also were less connected.  And we've,  over the years kind of drifted a little further away from the communities.  That's one reason why we're doing this.  Podcast is too toe put some human speech,  you know,  facial recognition or voice recognition or whatever back in the in the mix here so that we can be more connected and get to know each other a little bit better.  Or least,  you know,  this is one way you guys get to know us a little better,  but we'd love for it to go the other way to
  88. 16:58 spk_0
  89. um,  John Regan is it was
  91. 17:00 spk_1
  92. about to say may be in future episodes,  we could interview moderators who that's a great to do.
  94. 17:07 spk_0
  95. This is a call for a ah,  you know,  request for proposals.  If you'd like to be interviewed on this podcast,  you can call one eight hundred like way.  Do not have a phone number set up.  This's a very low budget broadcast.  Wave.  A government.  It's left.  I'd love to know if either of you have any thoughts about you know,  we talked a little bit about how you would like to see the relationship between moderators and community managers evolve a little bit.  We'd love to see some more communication.  What are some other ways you'd like to see?  Moderation at Stock exchange evolved.  What's kind of what do you feel like is the future of moderation here.
  97. 17:43 spk_1
  98. I think for me Ah,  we have had this concept of ur once you're moderately,  you're always a moderator and it's not been easy for people to a sort of slip out of the job.  And,  um,  we've done a few things in the past,  like giving the opportunity to take it vacation like there's a There's a feature for I'm not going to be at the site for a while.  Um,  but I'd really like to see more ways that we can give people the freedom to say I no longer am interested monitoring the site,  and they can just do that.  And,  you know,  you can always contact us now,  but it's sort of a like,  um all right,  well,  you contact us,  and then we're going to set up an election.  Can you wait until we're done with the election?  All that sort of thing And it be nice if we could
  100. 18:31 spk_1
  101. put some more structure around,  Just,  you know,  I'm I'm done.  This is the phase of my life,  and I'm I'm no longer interested in and being a moderator.  Yeah,  I think it's a human things pretty good.  You know,  right?  It's just yeah,  we go
  103. 18:47 spk_0
  104. through phases,  we go through.  You know,  I'm still interested in engaged in this community,  but I have less time or,  you know,  I want to focus on asking and answering questions instead of moderating or whatever.  It's a natural part of being a member of a community if your relationship with,  um you know,  a person or a community,  or yourself for your family or whatever,  if that relationship isn't evolving over time than you know.  That's that's stagnation.  That's kind of a problem.  And we've We've been at this for ten years on,  So everyone's relationship should be changing and evolving.  And if that means stepping back for moderation,  great.  If that means you want to become a moderate or get more involved.  Great.  But we need to have that flexibility to allow people to
  106. 19:24 spk_0
  107. to grow and change and have their interests evolved,  just like just like in any other community or any other type of activity.  What about you?  On what do you see?  What you want to see in the
  109. 19:33 spk_1
  110. future?  I would I would like to see the role of the moderator expand to one of a ninja Bijou A ll.  Who is who is was living who is a living example of what a good member to be.  So not just somebody who's competent in the technical,  in the technical aspects of moderation,  but also someone who is who's worthy of emulation.  So to speak,  somebody who you can who you can follow someone that you can trust.  Someone that that that that is,  you know,  an evangelist for our site.  someone that can I can guide new member someone that is,  you know,  a breath of fresh air,  somebody who can inspire others And who is so ah,  affectionate about the community that it just it just,  you know,  everybody gets,  you know,  he's contagious or she's contagious.  Everybody,  everybody has the same feeling because this individual is moderating.  So more than just,  you know,  the ins and outs of,  you know,  removing,  cleaning,  fixing,  ah,  editing all that.  But also somebody who is who is really,  you know,  engaged in a level to where they're able to bring and inspire others to.  To participate more to to,  you know,  to write more,  head it more to answer more too.  You know all that,
  112. 20:42 spk_1
  113. that I'd like to see the role of a moderator expand to that to those meta aspects to
  115. 20:46 spk_0
  116. a little bit of ah mascot.  Almost or ah,  a person could rally around and inspiring somebody
  118. 20:51 spk_1
  119. look up too.  Sure.  Yeah,  sure.  That's really beautiful.  Mature.
  121. 20:55 spk_0
  122. Well,  on that note And speaking of moderators,  John,  do we have a sponsor for this week?
  124. 21:00 spk_1
  125. Yeah,  I did get a sponsorship request right at the Yeah,  just in the last minute here and AA sponsor is is very important on the site already.  But I would just want Oh ah,  no.  They want to raise their visibility a little bit and remind people about who they are.  And this is the moderator Diamond.  Ah,  everybody aerator on every site has a little diamond next to their name.  And it's there to remind you that this is the person you know,  perhaps to look up to us,  as one was talking about.  We've got a lot of great people who already have diamonds next to their name,  and and so we want toe,
  127. 21:37 spk_1
  128. um,  show that they have that commitment by putting a little simple Dexter name.  Ah,  And then the diamond also can sometimes signify employees.  And you know,  that can get confusing because you've got moderate its employees.  But ah,  but the diamond shows that even our employees our employees are on,  you know,  they're not some super high level person.  B Aeon moderators.  In fact,  a lot of our employees have diamonds and don't do any moderation at all.  They just have it there so they can,  um,  take care of a few things on the site.  So we were sponsored by the diamond Little Diamonds.  Next,  the moderator name.
  130. 22:17 spk_0
  131. It's like we always say,  diamonds are a model,
  133. 22:20 spk_1
  134. huh?  Ah ee.  Two of the spot cast for that
  136. 22:30 spk_0
  137. happened.  Yes,  I thought of it immediately.  No,  I actually I thought we were talking and I had to refrain from from bursting it out until you were on that note With that incredible joke that everyone loves and made nobody grown.  I think we should call it.  It's It's been a wonderful twenty two,  twenty two and a half minutes twenty three.  By the time I'm done talking,  dude,  Jules Outro you've gone and wasted another twenty two minutes of your life listening Teo Meta petting zoo podcast.  Thanks for hanging out with us and we will talk,  Tio.
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