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Bootstrapping: who can speak for a community?


Our initial communities will almost certainly be groups of users from SE communities. A mature community should choose its own moderators and those are the people who can speak for the community when requesting things from the instance admins, but what should we do initially, before things are that far along?

For the Writing community, current and recent SE moderators were among the users coming here so we took the expedient approach: if you were a mod on Writing.SE, you could be a mod on the QPixel Writing site for the asking. That works if mods are among the initial users.

What should we do if that's not the case?

There aren't a lot of moderator powers on Qpixel right now (close/reopen, delete, see flags), and there's not a lot of per-site customization available (as far as I know). The stakes are currently low, but I'm asking this question now because having an answer before we have a live case seems like a way to reduce drama. The answer could still be "we'll wing it", but this is a chance to discuss it before we open for business.

So: should SE mods automatically be "pro-tem" mods? And who should be if a community doesn't have any imported mods?

Why should this post be closed?


I'd go a step back and ask, do we need "pro-tem" mods? We're still a small community, more like a "private beta", we can start calling in mods as the demand increases. Bhargav Rao 5 months ago

@Bhargav maybe just to handle the few flags that will be raised? (Writing has had flags, though maybe not a two-digit number of them.) Monica Cellio 5 months ago

1 answer

  • SE moderators as automatic "pro-tem" moderators.

Absolutely. While the specifics will be different, particularly the available tools, the principles of moderation will be largely the same here as on SE.

  • High-rep Users

When there are no (or not enough) SE moderators willing to be moderators in Codidact, the next best thing is to choose high-rep users from the SE site. For example, I have > 22k rep on DIY SE and, more importantly, I am # 17 all-time and # 4 for 2019 (lower this year because I have deliberately cut back my participation on SE). I have no moderation experience but I know the community. (Of course, DIY may not be interested in moving, but that's a separate issue.)

  • Moderators from other Communities

The last choice would be moderators from other communities who are willing to help. That will probably work best when the subject matter is similar or related (e.g., Writing to Worldbuilding or Superuser to Unix & Linux).


I'd agree with most of it but maybe not with "next best thing is to choose high-rep users". Sadly reputation score alone wont guarantee that person is capable of handling moderation tasks but of course rep score can be used to find potentially active candidates and also most probably reveal some public history around actions taken. Rep score could be useful but should not be primary metric. Sampo Sarrala 4 months ago

As Sampo Sarrala said, reputation score (as a single number) alone doesn't really mean much. SE tied a lot of things to reputation; I think Codidact can do better. Reputation score really just means you've posted content others in the community have thought was useful. While that's worth rewarding in its own right, it doesn't necessarily make you a good moderator. aCVn 2 months ago