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Spanish Language's second moderator election has come to a close (since there weren't enough candidates, it skipped the voting phase), and the two new moderators are:

Glorfindel wimi

They'll be joining the existing crew shortly—please thank them for volunteering, and share your assistance and advice with them as they learn the ropes!

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    -1. This process was flawed. For this case, manually appointing pro tem moderators would have worked way better and would have been provided better legitimacy. Oct 20 '20 at 7:25
  • @fedorqui'SOstopharming' I think SE has abandoned manual appointment. Even for new sites, the first inaugural mods will be determined with a pro-tempore election now.
    – Andrew T.
    Oct 20 '20 at 8:21
  • @AndrewT. I know. But also note that some other exceptions/variations to the process were done. Oct 20 '20 at 8:23
  • @fedorqui'SOstopharming' .... The other variations have been to just skip the full election entirely and have a standard beta election. No option is "CMs pick people". And if no one is willing to stand in an election, why do you think we'd have more luck getting people to say yes when a CM chases them down?
    – Catija StaffMod
    Oct 20 '20 at 12:55
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    @Catija There used to be a method (manual apointing) that had its drawbacks. Now you have another one, to hopefully improve the system on both ends: CMs and community. In this case, there was a big investment of resources (election planning, questionnaire) to end up with a (to me) flawed result because someone with no link with the site got a very powerful tool (the ♦) without any power of the community to avoid it. For this, I say that the previous system would have worked better. Good luck to you all. Oct 20 '20 at 13:05
  • I see your points, @fedorqui'SOstopharming', but unfortunately the previous process (manually picking) was way too time-consuming, and not particularly effective. Furthermore, while I recognize your concern surrounding members with not a lot of participation getting the diamond: I think we can both agree that that is definitely preferable over the alternative (which is no mods at all and the site potentially facing closure), no?
    – JNat StaffMod
    Oct 20 '20 at 13:13
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    @JNat There was always the potential to, you know, fix the issues with Stack Exchange at large and have experienced members like myself volunteer (and I've a feeling that under the same conditions fedorqui might have thrown in his hat as well). But you know, someone with 3-digit reputation is clearly preferable to users who are still in the top 5 by reputation even after a year of effectively no activity on the site. Oct 22 '20 at 21:05
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Congratulations to the newly appointed moderators and to the preexisting one, which now will have some help.

Thus said, and since this question has the tag (so I assume that this post could/should be more than just an announcement), I want to express my dissatisfaction about how the election process proceeded and specially how it ended. I think I shared a little bit here and there in a couple comments, which may get harder to find over time, so I'll bring my thoughts here.

I can't help thinking that instead of addressing the root cause of users not being engaged (in Meta in general, in the election process in particular) we just took a shortcut to check all the checkboxes that needed to be checked for this process in particular and claimed victory. The election came to a close, we have enough mods and everything seems to be as it was supposed to be. But I think that how you get to the results matters.

I wanted also to comment on one of JNat's response comments to Fedorqui's own comments about the election process:

[...] while I recognize your concern surrounding members with not a lot of participation getting the diamond: I think we can both agree that that is definitely preferable over the alternative (which is no mods at all and the site potentially facing closure), no?

I disagree with the reasoning behind that statement, because I have heard it (a lot) before in the stack, in the way of

"The site needs to graduate and then we'll have more visits, more (high quality) questions, more participation, etc."

which leads me to believe that there is a big difference in what we community users perceive to be a cause and what we perceive to be a consequence in this stack in particular.

Also, I don't think the stack would dissapear for a failed election (things would continue as they are), based on these comments on the election process and our previous question about this specific situation.

I think that we are assigning moderators as a way of making (inviting? forcing?) a few users do the work that we would like regular users to do (not exclusively but mainly, engaging the community).

It seems that we don't have that many users interested in discussing in Meta the problems of the stack (and low participation/engagement is perceived as the main issue/challenge for this stack for all the candidates, according to their responses to the questionnaire). Nevertheless we shrug our shoulders when the election process ends up funny and move on.

We don't talk about why the low engagement for the election. We just appoint mods and... What? Hope that they will brainstorm something to engage the community?

Maybe it's just me, but my concern is not just that we are putting the cart before the horse. We might be doing things that prevent us from seeing and acting upon these problems and that might help the apathy, disengagement and dissatisfaction that now reigns among this community.

Not a good recipe for the long run.

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  • I see your main concern is that appointing mods does not solve the cause of the low engagement problem. That is true, but how do you suggest to address the cause? The low engagement problem was already brought up on Meta in March, but it did not help much... Does this answer mean that you would have liked SE to do something else, or that you would have liked our community to do something else?
    – wimi Mod
    Oct 20 '20 at 21:38
  • While seeing all this process and reading this thoughtful, useful (as always) answer, a sentence from a Catalan book came to me: "L'operació ha anat bé, però la madona és morta" ("The surgery was a success, but the patient is now dead"). Oct 21 '20 at 5:42
  • @wimi Yes, I would have liked both SE and our community to do something else. Seeing how many people participated to elaborate the candidate's questionnaire, that we had to prolong the election to see if we could have more/enough candidates, etc. I think that we could had at least talked about the issue and/or review it's outcome afterwards. I'm quite active in Main and Meta, but by the time I saw there was a third candidate he was already a mod. And it wouldn't have mattered if I agreed or disagreed. This outcome leads me to believe that we settle for the low participation.
    – Diego
    Oct 21 '20 at 15:34
  • @wimi I think that CMs just wanted to make sure that mods would be appointed as part of the election (thus my comment about checking checkboxes). Their job is done and they can move forward, leaving these new mods and the community to deal with whichever problems the community has. Needless to say that SE doesn't want to deal with the dissatisfaction coming from some decisions on their end. I think we should had looked for leaders who would have wanted to address certain problems first (and probably been appointed as mod with more legitimacy from the process and support from the community).
    – Diego
    Oct 21 '20 at 15:47
  • @Diego Regarding CMs: I fully agree that the election was run in a way in which the community got zero input, and that could have been done better. I partially agree that the CMs have checkboxes to check, but here I want to point out that Charlie wanted to have colleagues for a long time, so appointing moderators was partially, but not exclusively a checkbox-checking procedure. Changing the rules of an election after the election has started is also questionable, so in an ideal world, the process would have been different from the beginning...
    – wimi Mod
    Oct 21 '20 at 18:17
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    @Diego Regarding community: why don't you start a Meta post (or a chat message) with the discussion you would like us to have? I for sure am willing, as always, to participate in any discussion that needs to be had...
    – wimi Mod
    Oct 21 '20 at 18:19
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    @wimi Yes, ideally participation would have validated the process (at least all candidates). I'm not asking to change the rules post-election. I raised a concern that the process might have not fully accomplished what it intended (finding community leaders and give them better tools to act upon the stack's problems to drive change). I'm not going to create a new question about it, since it seems that only one other person shares my concern and we all already agree about the participation problem. I'll stop going against the flow and I'll let people work on what they think that needs to be done
    – Diego
    Oct 22 '20 at 1:36
  • I understand all the concerns and frustrations brought up in this post and comments. I just want to clarify that the one problem the election was aiming to solve was, as wimi noted above, the fact that Charlie has been the sole moderator since December last year. While elections do sometimes drum up some more community activity and engagement, that's not necessarily a goal of holding an election.
    – JNat StaffMod
    Oct 23 '20 at 10:07
  • And I also recognize that having gotten to a place where the community would have been able to actually vote for their moderators would've been preferable, but the process was transparent and clear since it was announced — there were no showstopping concerns about the process raised before the election started, though.
    – JNat StaffMod
    Oct 23 '20 at 10:08
  • I also think that the attempt to try a full election (which would've been your "graduation" election) is still better than what was our process before we started trying pro-tem elections (read: the CMs simply appointing pro-tems, with very little community input) — which is to say our current process only "skips" the community vote if there is a lack of activity and engagement, at which point we default to the "just appoint" mode.
    – JNat StaffMod
    Oct 23 '20 at 10:10
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Since this question has the tag, I want to express my satisfaction with the election process.

A partner can often completely break the relationship by endlessly "talking about our relationship" instead of just living the relationship.

Couldnt't it be that the low intestest in moderation at this site is just a proof that the site simply does work and, unlike the StackOverflow, the Spanish SE community is generally happy with the site and do not feel any big need for moderators?

Isn't all this fuss about not enough candidates just an artificial pseudo-problem?

OK, we have two more moderators, let's be happy and let's continue with good questions and good answers! So far, I have not felt here the animosity towards newcomers, easily-taken closing questions and all the other maladies the StackOverflow is struggling with. So why bother about the moderation too much? :)

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    It is nice to see that you feel that our community works well and is welcoming. This is of course very important. Hopefully you are not the only one :)
    – wimi Mod
    Oct 24 '20 at 6:52

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