# 2011 Moderator Election

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

• patient and fair
• shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
• open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

1. Nomination
2. Primary
3. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!

## 8 Candidates

I’m another of the pro tem moderators. Apart from that I’m just an average LaTeX user who is still struggling with the basics (as evidenced by my questions to answers ratio).

I’m using LaTeX for almost every document format and am also trying my hand at some package programming.

My moderation is very straightforward: intervene as little as possible; after all, this website is explicitly community driven. In the time since the creation of this website this has worked quite well. But I’m absolutely open to suggestions on how the moderation style can be improved.

Konrad's package is the coolest self-answering of an SO question I've ever seen: stackoverflow.com/questions/1966425/… –  Charles Stewart Feb 21 '11 at 19:38
-

My name is Seamus and I'm a TeXaholic. It feels good to finally admit it. My lowest point was spending a long time modifying the code of a .tex file with the express intention of having the exact same output but with neater code instead of actually writing the damn paper.

I have less experience of TeX and friends than do most of the other nominees, but I have been a member of tex.sx since the private beta and a member of StackExchange before that. (So have most of the other nominees, though).

I am a PhD. student in philosophy. My first experience with LaTeX was during my undergraduate degree when I wrote an essay on the history of the concept of continuity for a history of mathematics module. I've written everything in LaTeX more or less ever since.

I use the memoir document class, biblatex, beamer, tikz and emacs/auctex. These are things I feel I can answer questions on (although I usually don't know the answers).

As well as my contribution to this site, I write on a group blog for TeX in the humanities (PhilTeX) and I maintain a page on my website where I have a couple of TeX goodies.

Outside of TeX, my hobbies include reading science fiction, photography, juggling and supporting Manchester City Football Club.

I ask more questions (and write fewer answers) than the majority of the other nominees. I've earned the "Nice Question" badge 10 times. In fact, if "percentage of reputation from questions" is your metric for choosing who to vote for, I'm your man. (Actually, Martin Tapankov beats me...).

My platform is that tag wikis need sorting out, and that apart from that, the site more or less runs itself. We should try and encourage new members to stick around. The thorny issue of duplicates is something I'm meaning to think more about and read the meta discussions of.

I'm off to answer the Questions for Moderator Nominees on Meta. See also this nominee statistics page.

-

I'm Stefan. On our {TeX} site, I served as a moderator pro tempore, helping to have a good start. Now I would like to join the election and volunteer as a candidate for a moderator position.

Besides TeX, I like travelling, photography, mathematics and IT, especially networking and programming. I'm a lucky guy, living how I like it: I studied mathematics, then I worked as IT Admin and Communication Officer onboard of cruise ships. More than 10 years I travelled on sea around the world for two cruise companies. Some of the photos, which I made during these voyages, I put on twentyknots.com.

Working with a ships crew is great. I'll continue even if I mainly stay ashore now. Since January I'm employed as a Network & IT Security Engineer at a cruise company, supporting also our onboard IT & Communication in terms of networking as well as being involved in building new ships.

I'm a friend of Open Source, Linux user and of course TeX admirer. Now we are back on the TeX subject. I'm using LaTeX since I started with maths at the university. As maths student I joined the German Matheplanet, a great math forum with more than 22.000 registered users today. It's been my first forum experience. There I received some LaTeX and moderation awards and served as contact person of it's LaTeX workgroup. I supported LaTeX on several further math forums as well as on other platforms such as goLaTeX.de and several Unix/Linux and Mac forums, occasionally. I've been moderating on LaTeX-Community.org, at the moment not very active there. I omitted links, but you could easily check out more than 10.000 ealier posts by me. I'm sure each one is friendly and constructive, so I can frankly uncover my history, traceable by search engines or the links to such forums here. Though I read in the Usenet since its beginnings, I did not write on c.t.t. - the group shows professional competence but isn't familiar for me.

I'm writing a blog about TeX and friends, http://texblog.net. When I write about news in the TeX world, they also go to the news corner of some TeX related web forums. It's nice to read comments and surprising backlinks.

When tex.stackexchange.com appeared, I came here as well. I felt I wanted to support this new TeX site. Very quickly I liked it much here, I came here so often that my activity on LaTeX webforums has reduced - even more significantly when I began moderating here.

What has changed for me when I became a moderator?

• Besides the TeX subject, the site itself became important to me. From the moment on I became mod pro tem, I've been active on the meta site.
• To support quality questions, I voted up many questions which I value as clear, well written, focused.
• To support quality answers I read many answers and vote up valuable contributions. Voting not only marks quality--the reputation produced gives moderation abilities to valuable community members.
• I tried to increase the standard by my answers, often including minimal examples and illustrating screenshots of the answers. Small PNGs aren't so important for storage or bandwidth any more but are convenient. I wish I would see more screenshots.
• As many of us, I feel responsible for the atmosphere in our community. My intention can be seen here on meta. So I comment very friendly and keep welcoming users even if they make small mistakes because of not yet knowing the site's way. I'm glad if I see comments pointing out misunderstandings which are very friendly.
• Behind the scenes I'm doing some tidying, such as creating synonyms, merging tags, doing meaningful editing such as in poorly formatted questions and adding tag wikis. Janitorial tasks are a matter of course.
• As a moderator I aim to be a good example of a user of our community. Further I promote our site on my blog, in web forums where our answers could help, and right now I am announcing and explaining our {TeX} site in my upcoming book, the LaTeX Beginner's Guide which is expected to appear in March, published by Packt.

If I can continue as a moderator, I would go further along this way. It's been a great time here and I'm looking forward to the next years.

Not totally relevant, but the RSS feed for texblog.net doesn't work... –  Seamus Feb 21 '11 at 16:01
-

I humbly nominate myself as a candidate for TeX SE moderator.

I have been using TeX for nearly 20 years (holy \$&@!! did I just write that?) and LaTeX for a slightly shorter time period. I use beamer and pgf nearly every day for my instructional materials, which you can find on my slideshare page. I have no packages or classes on CTAN but I have several projects which could eventually make their way there. Since I stumbled upon this site a few months ago I've been happy to contribute but also learned a great deal from the great young TeX developers in this community.

As a moderator I will do my best to perform the requisite janitorial tasks diligently. I will also strive to improve site content by coaching good questions and good answers; that is, suggesting and occasionally making edits that would improve their readability, findability, or usability in the future.

Tag wikis have been mentioned as fertile ground for improvement, and I agree. I will encourage those who are frequent answerers within those categories to write informative wiki pages on what the tags describe.

-

My name is Thomas Titz, my username at tex.stackexchange is lockstep, and I'd like to serve as a community moderator.

A condensed version of my user profile and candidate statistics: I answer a lot of questions (and ask some), do a lot of minor cleanup work and haven't been too active at the meta site until now. (I do read those meta posts, though.) What may not be obvious, but relevant for your voting decision: I'm versed in the basic aspects of LaTeX, but have no intimate knowledge of the underlying TeX language.

I'm active at tex.stackexchange because I deem the Stack Overflow model superior to "classic" newsgroups and discussion forums. That is, I appreciate good answers not being buried deep down in lengthy threads and duplicate questions being the exception rather than the norm. (They still need to be dealt with; see below.) As a medium-term goal for the site, I'd like to see a large number of quality questions/answers (both reputation-generating and community wiki) that rival the ones of the UK TeX FAQ.

If I'm elected as a community moderator, it goes without saying that I'll internalize the Stack Overflow moderation philosophy: act as human exception handler and have confidence in the site's ability to self-regulate. (Small point: In case of arguable duplicate questions, I'll only cast a closing vote if four people have already done so.) Besides that, the following topics will be my emphasis of action:

• Tags: I believe that the problem of duplicate questions can partly be dealt with by means of the tagging system -- if existing quality questions/answers are easier to find for new users, duplicates are less likely to arise. I will suggest refinements to the set of defined tags as well as constantly monitor the tags of individual questions.

• Tag wikis: Refining the tag set also means defining what a tag is (and isn't) about. I will add/revise wiki entries in the subject areas I'm knowledgeable, and be a pain in the neck of the top users of other tag areas to take care of "their" wikis.

If I'm not elected, I will still be around at the site cleaning up posts and answering questions about biblatex. ;-)

Shouldn't the last sentence be “... and telling people that they should use biblatex”? ;-) (by the way, you managed to convince me, to switch to it). –  Caramdir Feb 17 '11 at 20:53
@lockstep: You said "I'll only cast a closing vote if four people have already done so", whereas I guess you mean three people (as the fourth vote would have closed anyway). (This is broadly the current pro tem policy, by the way.) –  Joseph Wright Feb 17 '11 at 22:01
@Joseph: There are many instances of closed questions where a moderator provided the fourth vote. But the latest closed question shows that it takes (at least) five non-moderator votes to close. –  lockstep Feb 17 '11 at 22:38
@lockstep: Perhaps the SO rules have changed, then. It certainly used to be four votes. –  Joseph Wright Feb 19 '11 at 12:32
Would be useful to know, as it affects what the mods can vote to close, of course! –  Joseph Wright Feb 19 '11 at 12:33
Ah, I see that this has changed in the FAQ: I shall bear that in mind for the future. –  Joseph Wright Feb 19 '11 at 12:34
-

my name is Martin Scharrer and I like to candidate as community moderator.

Allow me to introduce myself: I'm from Bavaria, Germany but lived the last several years in Limerick, Ireland for my Ph.D. studies. My profession is electronic engineering with the specializations both to digital communication technologies and power electronics. One of my biggest passions is software programming. I'm a heavy LaTeX user and developer of several LaTeX packages like svn-multi and tikz-timing. Please also visit my user page and the official election statistic page for more details. Don't miss the questions for moderator nominees thread on meta.

I first came into contact with LaTeX during my undergraduate studies. A not-to-small report about a project done by the student research group I was part of had to be converted from HTML (it was original published in smaller parts on the projects website) to a PDF on request of our supervisor. One of my fellow students then told me he did that "very simply using 'LaTeX'" which he just learned to use for this purpose. I was immediately impressed by the neat look of the document and the automatically produced table of contents.

This lead me to use LaTeX for my final project report and then for my master's thesis. After struggling with the typical beginner issues like "why is this figure not place exactly here" or "which package to use to include images" (there were a lot of online resources talking about epsfig and others) I discovered that there is even more to LaTeX. Things could not just be modified using \setlength and \renewcommand but could be really programmed. After learning a lot from reading the code from existing packages and finally read The TeXBook which introduced me to the deeper features of TeX.

When I started to use Subversion for the revision-control of me LaTeX and other code I ran into the need to include its keywords into documents. Their dollar separators made the content be set in math-mode. Knowing about the power of \def and its parameter list and starting to code some macros to handle that better. After discovering that using these per-file keywords in a multi-source-file document is not very useful I implemented support for this and so my first package, svn-multi was born. Several others followed over the years. For my PhD thesis I required timing diagrams and so started to program tikz-timing. It uses the great TikZ package, which was itself created by its author for his PhD thesis :-)

I really like the format and concept of tex.sx. The voting system gives good feedback and the badges are some nice, little encouragements. Questions can be linked with others and are most of the time much more direct then in mailing lists. Not that tex.sx would be a danger to comp.text.tex. Google seems to hold tex.sx in high regard and so common or special questions can be found easily. Unfortunately I missed the beta stage of tex.sx completely. Due to the high workload required by my PhD studies last year I stopped checking c.t.t and SO regularly and must have missed the announcement. Otherwise I would have been happy to participate extensively. The great experiences I made here on tex.sx made me started my own SX proposal for Trac, a web front-end for Subversion with ticket and wiki system.

As elected community moderator I like to address the following points:

• Since I received the privilege to do posts edits I used it a great deal to fix the code formatting of new users and do other changes. This is something I will continue as moderator. The correct format is important to me because I think its increases readability of the posts and therefore the whole usefulness of this site. This isn't limited to code blocks but for example also covers right spelling and capitalization, especially of the title. As non-native English speaker I'm not perfect here as well and I also don't want to overemphasize it.

• More tag wikis should be created and existing ones should be extended if necessary. I already proposed several if them and will do so in the future, but will also encourage other users to do so.

• Spam and other unwanted posts like hate speeches were never a real problem so far. Should the issue even appear I will rigorous act against it. The many spam posts on c.t.t. are already enough.

• In the case of duplicated questions I'm divided. On the one hand real duplicates should be closed quickly and the user should be friendly directed to the already answered question. On the other hand, if a question is just very close, an almost duplicate which describes a specific issues or scenario better then the, maybe more general, existing question it should stay and only linked. This is especially true for specific common beginner issues. One good example are the tilde related questions. There is the general question how to typeset it correctly, then the specific issue of a tilde in an hyperlink and finally a related bug in moderncv. They all are good questions in their own right and should stay. Hyperlinks have more in common with verbatim text and therefore the text format macros of the tilde are not the full answer to this issue. Also many new users will not make the connection of from the recursive error in \homepage of moderncv to the underlying \href.

• An idea which popped into my mind several times while seeing some bad user code on this side is to create more community wiki pages which describe some common errors and best practices. Maybe an own small version of LaTeX tabu and some small How To's. These pages make then excellent link targets from other questions. Google favors this site and therefore these pages will be found quickly by people which looking for it. In my opinion the community wiki format gives an excellent platform for these kind of shared posts. As moderator I like to encourage the creation and maintenance of these pages.

I like a lot your final idea of having some “How (Not) To” pages for common issues. We can of course make them just like any other post with Question/Answers, this is for example the idea I had for the minimal example faq, but I think we could make them better/more organized. –  Juan A. Navarro Feb 19 '11 at 10:29
W.r.t. best practices: IIUC, only moderators can tag as FAQ and edit such meta questions, and edit the root FAQ page. So this idea is very relevant to the elections. –  Charles Stewart Feb 19 '11 at 16:40
-

Choosing moderators for {TeX} should in many ways be an easy task. The community has been pretty calm from the earliest days of the site in private beta, and so the number of things which actually need moderator attention has been quite low. On the other hand, that provides us with a challenge: enthusing potential candidates to actually put themselves forward! (In the terms of A Theory of Moderation, most of the work is at the 'janitor' end of the scale.)

As one of the pro tem moderators, I hope that I've been doing what does need to happen here on {TeX}. I could say a lot about how I've been working for the community, but the beauty of the StackExchange model is that you can look at the data for yourself. The excellent election statistics site will show you a great comparison of the candidates, or you can look at the data dump system to see what I've been up to (my user ID is 73). (The later has a certain 'time lag' as the data is moved from the live site to the data dump.) You might want to read my profile to get another view, or perhaps look a little wider by reading my blog. Many of you might have come across me in other places, such as c.t.t or the LaTeX Community, where I hope I'm also helpful.

What I can offer as a moderator is 'more of the same': moderation when really necessary, taking time over decisions and thinking about them on a community basis. Most of time, I'm just an active member of the community, answering questions, voting and editing when it seems appropriate. I'm happy to use the moderator tools when it's necessary, which I hope will continue to be sparingly.

-

Since I'm of the opinion that one shouldn't vote based on pre-election speeches, and since I've been around for a long enough time that there should be plenty of material speaking about me on the site, I'll save you the usual talk of how much I care for TeX.SX.

For your convenience: my profile on the main site and on meta. You can of course also try to gather information directly from the database (my user ID is 83 if you need it for queries) and use the excellent candidate statistics page.

Some things my profile doesn't tell you: my name is Clemens Koppensteiner; I'm a graduate student in mathematics; I live near Chicago, though I am a citizen of Austria (thus English isn't my native language); my main use of (La)TeX is writing mathematical documents (and illustrating them).

For anything else you'd like to know, please ask in a comment or in the questions thread on meta.

-