This is a bit long, but I'd really like to be a moderator. Here goes:
Candidates, is there anything you would like to add to your nomination post about why you would make a good moderator or how you would handle certain issues on the site?
Experience leading teams, taking responsibilities, and delivering on promises:
In my college years, I volunteered in several clubs and societies. I was the captain of the university basketball team, president of the economics club, and general secretary of the indoor games club (to name a few). I was responsible for managing different teams, organizing various club events, preparing and approving budgets, and keeping people from clawing each others faces off.
My way or the highway:
On the basketball court, my leadership was challenged a few times. We sorted things out like they used to do in the old days: 1 on 1. Beat me and I'll step down as the captain. Never beaten. I was putting in three times as much time in basketball as any other player on the team (team practice, training on my own, playing pickups, playing 1 on 1 with strangers, running, lifting, watching hours and hours of basketball videos on YouTube, etc.).
I was the best player in the team. But what I wasn't, was a good leader. I didn't see people's potential; I only saw what they could do in the present. This led me to kicking out a lot of people who I thought wasn't good enough. I used to get upset and angry when people used to be late to practice, when they gave anything less than 100%. "Why the hell are you on your phone with your girlfriend now, wtf? This is why your jumpshot sucks! Get serious or leave." What I thought was people's respect – was actually fear. I had failed them. Basketball had become a duty; it was no longer fun for them, and neither was it for me. I was bitter and unhappy all the time. I was angry that my teammates were not giving 120%; that they were not working as hard as me. To me it was like war against the other universities. I wanted to win. But I lost focus of the big picture – be a leader who inspires people to play the game of basketball. In my final year of college, I decided that it was time I let someone else lead the team. I stepped down.
A different approach, a calm mind, and lots of smile:
With a lot more free time, my friends and I started helping out the younger folks in the department with their economics homework and tests. People noticed how I started listening to other people more and started understanding their point of view. One thing led to another, and my teachers and peers elected me as president of the economics club. This time it was different. That constant battle mode was gone. I didn't care about being president – I cared about these people being together, supporting one another, and having a good time. They actually respected me and were really fond of me. Every time they saw me, they called out my name with a big bright smile. I let them brainstorm on what kind of events they wanted to organize, and I only stepped in when dealing with the authorities (finance and procurement, department chair, chancellor, etc.). I saw these people grow - they started thinking critically, their grades improved, and they cared deeply about the econ team. And nothing else really mattered to me.
Connecting all this to why I'd be a good ELL moderator:
You're probably thinking how is all this in any way related to becoming a mod here.
I'd be a good moderator because I have been in positions of responsibility. I am accountable, I follow through on my commitments, and I care about helping people. I wasn't always a good leader, which means I know how not to lead. Being caring and understanding goes a long way – and that is how you get people to become more involved in the community and to actually care about the community. That is what I want for ELL.
I've also learnt to value asking people for their perspectives, and consulting with the team to develop more comprehensive and effective approaches to dealing with problems. That is what Golden State Warriors taught me too: Strength in Numbers!
My experiences in dealing with university authority (and getting my clubs what they needed at the time) will be useful when I'd have to communicate with the Stack Exchange team or Community Moderators regarding ELL matters.
I have over 10 years of tutoring experience (including 4 years in Canada at the post graduate level where I taught classes of 30-40 students – many of whom did not speak English as their first language). This means that I understand the mind of a non-native speaker and how to effectively communicate with them. I will also be patient in handling the close-votes.
Did you rank yourself as your first choice for moderator on your own ballot? Why or why not?
Yes, I ranked myself as my first choice because every vote counts, and I'd like to become a moderator. I have been a member for over 3 years, and I know the site very well. I have had plenty of conversations with different moderators here in ELL (and in MA SE too) who have in many ways shared with me what it is like to be a moderator and what one needs to be a moderator. I know I've got it.
Fellow candidates, how do you feel about flagged comments (not posts)? As they are only viewable to moderators, do you ever think of them or label them as snitching?
Flagging irrelevant or rude comments is a good thing. It helps keep the community clean and removes content that may otherwise be distracting. No, I don't consider this as snitching.
There are many prolific answerers who answer questions that are clearly off-topic and close-worthy. ... How are you going to handle such answerers? Note that many of such answerers have made excellent contributions to the community over the years. What actions will you take to discourage answerers from answering clearly off-topic questions? Will their reputation points and them being native speakers affect what actions you'd take?
Just to be clear, I am talking about answering questions that are clearly off-topic (as per the help center guidelines) and can be answered by a simple google search.
As a moderator, one of my duties would be to help maintain the quality of our site and ensure that all posts are beneficial to our community (as has been mentioned in the help center). At the same time, I'd have to ensure that non-native speakers like me get the help that they need and that they feel welcomed here.
I think instead of answering off-topic questions (which encourages users to repeat the behavior) we should help askers understand how they can improve their posts and ask better questions (no typos, more context, their own take on it, and some research if possible). Similarly, we should inform answerers of the relevant Meta posts (linked in the question above) and the help center guidelines on what questions are off-topic. The last thing I'd want for ELL is for it to become like Quora or Reddit.
But I don't want to do this unilaterally. I'd urge the other moderators that they too post comments (linking the Meta posts) under answers that answer off-topic questions. I think if all moderators helped communicate this to the answerers, we would quickly see results. I believe that if we can (1) guide askers on how to ask good questions and (2) ask answerers to not encourage bad questions by answering off-topic questions, we can indeed maintain good standards in the community.