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.
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.
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:
- Their observation of user participation during the early beta period, both on main and meta;
- 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.