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Congratulations! You've met the participation and engagement expectations for an active private beta site, and will be moving into public beta on 21 April!

While the gap between announcing that a site has cleared the private beta stage and it moving into public beta is usually not this long, we feel that this ongoing discussion about changing the site's scope (and potentially its name) would benefit from being resolved before we make the site public — if the community lands on a decision to change the site's name, doing so after the site's indexed by search engines could negatively impact SEO, for instance, which is something we'd like to avoid. So between now and the 21st, we'd like to see an active discussion on that post, and the community to land on a consensus.

In the extension notice, we gave y'all some recommendations of the type of activity we'd usually like to see happen in private betas — and we were pleased to see you excelling on some of the activities there, such as inviting fellow experts to the site and doing a lot more voting. While we would like to have seen a bit more discussion on Meta surrounding the site's scope, we understand that not all sites have a perfectly defined scope upon ending their private beta phase, and think the discussion surrounding the site's name is a good starting point to get that conversation going.

As we’re getting ready to wrap up the private beta for Substrate Stack Exchange, that means it’s time to start thinking about what comes next: the election to choose your first pro-tem moderators.

What does it take to be a Moderator?

Prior to 2018, pro-tem moderators were picked by staff, and the Community Management team would look for users who:

  • Have a reasonably high reputation score to indicate active, consistent participation.
  • Show an interest in their meta’s community-building activities.
  • Lead by example, showing patience and respect for their fellow community members in everything they write.
  • Exhibit those intangible traits discussed in A Theory of Moderation.
  • Have an eye for content that should be flagged, closed or removed and act on that within the expectations of the community and Stack Exchange generally.

Electing your moderators

In 2018, however, we started experimenting with hosting elections for beta sites to choose their pro-tem moderators, in addition to the community-elected moderators in sites not in Beta, in the rest of the network. The process is mostly the same, but if you’re interested in the full details, see the announcement on Meta Stack Exchange.

In accordance with that, I’m here today to announce this site’s first pro-tem election and invite users interested in nominating to state their intention to do so here. Additionally, if you feel someone would be a good fit as a moderator on this site, feel free to use an answer to this question to support them and encourage them to run.

We understand that many of the site's top users are somehow associated with Parity, the company developing Substrate. We have no issues with having representation from the company on the site in general, and on the moderation team in particular — however, we'd like to highlight that ideally, the moderation team should be composed of a variety of individuals, including those not affiliated with Parity, to avoid conflicts of interest. The pool of nominees that the community can choose from will hopefully bring a good mix of skills to the table: folks who are experienced in the SE network, folks are who good subject-matter experts, folks who are skilled at community building, etc.

The timeline:

  • Starting on 25 April, users can nominate themselves on the election page. Users can also ask questions on meta for potential moderators to answer. (Use the and tags.)

  • On 2 May, if there are 4 or more candidates, we'll run an election. If not, I'll extend the nomination period for a week. If, at the end of that extension period there are still less than 4 candidates, I'll simply appoint the candidates. (There's a small chance we'll need to remove a nomination.)

  • If there is an election, I'll announce the results on meta on 10 May (or 17 May, if we need to extend the nomination period).

NOTE:

  • This is not an official election nomination thread. It’s just a space to get some conversation about potential nominees going and a notion of who would be willing to step up, so you don't have to put up your whole election nomination here.

If you have any questions about the process, please stick them in an answer here.

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  • 6
    I promised to post our assessment today at the latest, so I kinda backed myself into this corner, but it is late Friday night for me right now so please bear with me for any questions asked over the weekend — I'll address all of 'em on Monday! ^_^
    – JNat StaffMod
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 19:49
  • 5
    Really appreciate you sticking to your deadline and also for approving the Q&A site. It's already proving more valuable than previous channels for polkadot/substrate related questions. Have a good weekend.
    – forgetso
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 20:08
  • 4
    Wow. To quote the movie Casablanca: "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship" 🥂
    – wigy
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 21:07
  • 3
    ❤️ you want the moderators to be decentralised and not all from one company. This is music to our ears. Thank you so much for giving the community this opportunity and for all your help behind the scenes.
    – Squirrel
    Commented Apr 9, 2022 at 9:41
  • "we'd like to see an active discussion on that post, and the community to land on a consensus" How do we determine when consensus has been reached? can we do a final community poll?
    – Shawn Tabrizi Mod
    Commented Apr 20, 2022 at 3:14
  • And how many moderators should we elect in this first round?
    – Shawn Tabrizi Mod
    Commented Apr 20, 2022 at 3:29
  • 1
    @ShawnTabrizi The default is always three. :) We increase the team size only if necessary.
    – Catija
    Commented Apr 20, 2022 at 3:42
  • 2
    Given the existing answers and their scores, @ShawnTabrizi, I think y'all reached a consensus — I'll be posting to Meta tomorrow with next steps, and moved the date we're flippin' y'all to public beta to tomorrow too to account for that too; apologies for the slight delay and any inconvenience.
    – JNat StaffMod
    Commented Apr 20, 2022 at 22:36
  • Followup post: Site renaming, and next steps for defining target audience and scope
    – V2Blast
    Commented Apr 22, 2022 at 18:58

1 Answer 1

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I will certainly hope to run for the Moderator Elections for the upcoming public release of this StackExchange.

I would like to propose a few more names to run as moderators based on their experience fostering other similar communities in the past, and their knowledge of Substrate / Polkadot.

  • Afri (Not Parity): Afri is a well known community leader who has plenty of experience building out the successful Ethereum StackExchange community. He is an active member of multiple StackExchange platforms, and I think has a good understanding of the Polkadot ecosystem from an "outside of core development" point of view.

  • Jaco (Partially Parity): There is no one who understands the [javascript] related tags better than Jaco, and he has already shown huge initiative to help grow this community and get correct answers into the hands of people with questions. He exists with one foot into Parity, and one foot outside, and as such, as a unique perspective which he can use to moderate and foster this community.

  • Gav (Parity): As the founder and creator of the majority of code surrounding Polkadot and Substrate, Gav has the unique ability to give context about decisions and direction of the development around these SDKs. The existence of these products in the world are on the back of his own vision for community development and growth, and as such, he is a clear candidate to help foster this community forward as well.

  • Bryan (Not Parity): Bryan is almost certainly the most active external contributor to the Substrate and Polkadot ecosystem. He has developed and lead the Acala Parachain team, and as such, has a unique perspective to questions related to parachain development, which even Parity engineers may not have. He is also an extremely active contributor to other StackExchange platforms, showing he would certainly be an active community leader here too.

Depending on how many moderators we want in the first round of elections, I could continue to expand this list, but these are my top candidates for this first round.

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  • Seconded. As long as they have the time to commit to it, I think they are all outstanding candidates.
    – Squirrel
    Commented Apr 20, 2022 at 9:36
  • Thank you for mentioning me. I'm happy to assist as a community member but my low reputation does not allow me to participate in elections. And that's probably fine. You already have good nominations.
    – q9f
    Commented Apr 26, 2022 at 14:27

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