While the site has only been open for a couple of days, although I still think we could discuss when you think we should elect moderators. I think in roughly a week when the dedicated users have had a chance to show their initiative .


The blog posts from Stack Exchange say that

About a week into public beta, we will...

start looking for moderators, etc etc. So, a few days into the public beta someone needs to start a mod nomination post so that when the SE team come searching there are some candidates there for them.

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    I think it's important to note that the SE team will come out to the community. – Zizouz212 Jun 25 '15 at 20:37
  • @Zizouz212 Yes, but we're expected to start the nomination post ourselves. – ArtOfCode Jun 25 '15 at 21:23
  • @ArtOfCode I think what he means is that SE sometimes starts the posts. – HDE 226868 Jun 25 '15 at 21:27
  • @HDE226868 They do? I have to admit I've never seen that happen. – ArtOfCode Jun 25 '15 at 21:27
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    Note that this is not a “mod-election post”, it's a moderator nomination post. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jun 25 '15 at 23:42

Beta sites have appointed moderators, not elected moderators. Moderator elections are only run on established (“graduated”) sites.

The initial moderators for a beta site are appointed by Stack Exchange staff, a few weeks into the public beta. Normally beta sites run a nomination thread, where people can offer their candidacy or nominate other people. Stack Exchange staff is not bound by that thread, they can skip people mentioned on it and select people who weren't mentioned or who didn't have a high score there. The main effect of a nomination is to ensure that the nominee will not be overlooked, without guaranteeing that the nominee will be given priority over other potential candidates.

The right time to start this thread is a week or so into the public beta. Starting a nomination thread a couple of days after the site has started is too early. Potential moderators need to demonstrate the right kind of participation: level-headed, providing guidance, participating on meta, etc. It's pointless to run a nomination thread before people have had time to shine. It's even a little negative because it can cause people to work to look like good moderators, rather than doing what they would be doing for the good of the site.

Starting a nomination thread before the public beta is also discouraging for people who don't discover the site until it goes public, because they never got the word during the Area 51 days, yet do have something to contribute.

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    Excellently put! – Zizouz212 Jun 26 '15 at 0:46

This question indicates a lack of understanding about how the beta process works. Beta sites do not have moderator elections. They have moderators Pro Tempore, whose invitations are chosen by the Community Team based on:

  1. Their observation of user participation during the early beta period, both on main and meta;
  2. Guidance from the community.

That guidance generally comes in the form of a nomination thread just like the one that was recently posted here. This is not an election and staff has no obligation to invite the users whose nominations receive the most votes to be pro tems. Anyone may nominate anybody, including themselves. Users may decline the nomination. Users who were not even nominated, and did not choose to nominate themselves, may be invited to volunteer (as in my own case on Engineering SE). Elections are a much more involved and orderly process that does not occur (to my knowledge, at least) on beta sites.

Now that you know the difference between a nomination thread, which offers guidance to the community team about who might be interested, who definitely is not interested and a general picture of public opinion (don't read too much into it), and an actual election, read When should Moderator Pro Tempore nominations start? on MSE:

Use your best judgement; there is no set rule for this.

The private beta is usually only around a week long, so most sites start the nomination thread at the end of that or early into public beta. This works out fairly well since that gives the users on the site a few days to get a feel for things and decide whether or not to nominate themselves or someone else.

We usually come in about a week or so into public beta to start looking for volunteers.

I think it's ridiculous to close a perfectly on-topic meta thread just because some users think it's come too early. It's not uncommon at all for these "7 Essential Questions" posts to show up pretty much immediately after beta launch. There is not going to be such a volume of activity that, in a few days or a week, we won't be able to make perfectly good use of the existing Q&A. In fact, it's reasonable to expect that a reasonably steady trickle of answers as users nominate themselves and others will keep it bumped near the top for that time. So I am voting to reopen the nomination thread.

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    I'll explain my downvote, at the least. I think it is actually pointless to have a thread so early. Why should people answer? Why should others vote on the answers? ~48 hours have passed, and that's not much to go on when thinking about nominees. This isn't an election, I know, but community support for nominees is generally a good measure of whether or not the user in question is a good moderator, because the voting is based on observations by the users of the users. – HDE 226868 Jun 25 '15 at 21:11
  • Let me answer your rhetorical questions with some of my own: Why do you care? Why should I? What possible harm is done by the date stamp on the question? It is a necessary question to have. If it's too early to answer, then don't answer. If it's too early to vote, then don't vote. Others may disagree; let them. – Air Jun 25 '15 at 21:28
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    There will be many people who vote on nominations based on the behavior of a user up tot his point, or up to tomorrow, or the next day. But at any given time, a user could stop participating as much. Asking it a week in minimizes that possibility because users have shown a commitment. The problem with those votes is that unless the user edits the post, they cannot be taken back. That's what I'm concerned about. – HDE 226868 Jun 25 '15 at 21:30
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    It is not your responsibility to manage other users' voting habits. If you feel that strongly then by all means, leave a comment reminding people they may not be able to easily retract a vote. You can also flag the question for CW conversion, since nominees are supposed to be able to edit posts to indicate if they accept a nomination, and that generally requires CW status at this point. – Air Jun 25 '15 at 21:37
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    Regarding the last point, self nomination is often the case; I've seen threads where 90% of nominees are self-nominated (that stat isn't hyperbole, believe it or not). Getting off from my pseudo-tangent, there's no harm per se in the post being there, but there's no reason for it to be there. Why invite nominations at this point? If we leave it open, that is an implied invitation to post. Besides, why do you care enough to vote to reopen? Please don't take this the wrong way, by the way; I'm trying to argue a point, not be malicious, and I know the same is true for you. – HDE 226868 Jun 25 '15 at 21:43
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    I care about the closure because micromanaging meta is harmful. Rationalizing some vague discomfort about timing into an off-topic close vote cannot be allowed to become a trend. At best it's navel-gazing and at worst it's vote manipulation (FGITW affects Meta, too). – Air Jun 25 '15 at 21:54
  • "Vague discomfort" is not a good summary of it; I think that it's quite clear what would happen. "Vote manipulation" is a bit of an offensive name, and inaccurate. – HDE 226868 Jun 25 '15 at 22:00
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    Yes, vote manipulation is very offensive. Hopefully it's not what motivated any of the CVs here. You cannot possibly know that for a fact, though. – Air Jun 25 '15 at 22:10
  • I can't know that for a fact, true, but I think that, judging from the comments, there were other reasons, which I hope you read. – HDE 226868 Jun 25 '15 at 22:12
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    Having a moderator nomination thread too early is somewhat harmful. I don't like seeing it before the public beta, it's exclusionary to people who didn't participate in the private beta. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jun 25 '15 at 23:41
  • @Giles That is the best argument I've heard so far against asking the question very early. I suppose I dodged the question of what my actual opinion is about the best time to post the question (spoiler: I upvoted your answer), but that's only because the cat is very much out of the bag and it seems moot. – Air Jun 26 '15 at 1:57

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