12

In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. Questions collected from an earlier thread have been compiled into this one, which shall now serve as the space for the candidates to provide their answers. Not every question was compiled - as noted, we only selected the top 8 questions as submitted by the community, plus 2 pre-set questions from us.

As a candidate, your job is simple - post an answer to this question, citing each of the questions and then post your answer to each question given in that same answer. For your convenience, I will include all of the questions in quote format with a break in between each, suitable for you to insert your answers. Just copy the whole thing after the first set of three dashes.

Once all the answers have been compiled, this will serve as a transcript for voters to view the thoughts of their candidates, and will be appropriately linked in the Election page.

Good luck to all of the candidates!


1) How would you attract more experts to the site?

2) How would you resolve a dispute between two users?

3) How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

4) How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

5) What would you do to encourage the community to take advantage of chat?

6) How would you improve the voting rate on the site?

7) I belive it was Voltaire that said "With great power comes great responsibility". Hence being a moderator takes a special kind of person that can handle conflicts objectively and unbiased. Have you ever had disputes with other users that resulted in you beeing suspended from SharePoint Stackexchange?

8) What would you do to get new users to become returning contributors at SP.SE?

9) What are your concerns about SharePoint StackExchange that you will be looking into solving once you become a moderator?

10) What kind of time commitment do you plan to make for moderating the site?

  • Only a 50% response rate so far. Doesn't bode well. Would it have been better to do the questionnaire before the 'election' phase? Is it normally done during the 'primary' phase? – Stu Pegg Nov 7 '13 at 10:01
  • @StuartPegg Normally, yes, but when there are fewer than 10 candidates we skip the primary phase and extend the election phase by the length of the primary. So technically this questionnaire is running at the same time as when the primary would be happening. – Adam Lear Nov 7 '13 at 16:49
  • Fair enough. Thanks. – Stu Pegg Nov 7 '13 at 17:18
  • 1
    I just pinged the other nominees in election chat to remind them. – Kit Menke Nov 7 '13 at 19:03
  • @KitMenke Thanks for reminder :) – Muhammad Raja Nov 7 '13 at 20:30
5

1) How would you attract more experts to the site?

Today I see that SP.SE already have a number of experts on the site, but it is essential to get the attention from more experts. Visibility in search engines is a key factor, and the last 12 months SP.SE has ended up higher and higher in ranking. By this, we will be noticed by not only SharePoint practitioners, but also SharePoint Experts. One key factor for attracting experts to SP.SE is to have more advanced questions, allowing more in depth answer. The challenge here is to keep answers at a reasonable length, and still allow experts to answer correctly. Referencing experts own blogs should be encouraged.

2) How would you resolve a dispute between two users?

With the leadership experience from Project Management and Supply Chain Management, I will reason with both parties, trying to understand each other’s objective. When I do, I would have a reasoning on that difference in opinions and encouraged both parties to respect each other’s right to their voice.

3) How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

Giving valuable answers does not give the right to comment in a bad manner. I would have a private discussion with the user and ask him/her to respect other users. If that does not happen, I would address the issue with other moderators and discuss appropriate actions.

4) How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I would reason with the other moderator in the closed forum, and try to understand the reasoning for closure.

5) What would you do to encourage the community to take advantage of chat?

Sometimes users post messages in chat, which pass by without anybody seeing it. I would keep an eye on chat, and keep a conversation going. Especially if there is an upcoming SharePoint event, or a question that renders many answers, it would be interesting to discuss matters further in chat.

6) How would you improve the voting rate on the site?

I would continue to up vote both answers and questions, especially new users posts, to let them know they are visible. I would also try to get users to sign in from their development environment, which is a general problem with our line of business. I believe that would render more votes on the site.

7) I believe it was Voltaire that said, "With great power comes great responsibility". Hence being a moderator takes a special kind of person that can handle conflicts objectively and unbiased. Have you ever had disputes with other users that resulted in you being suspended from SharePoint Stackexchange?

No, never. Not here nor on other *.SE sites.

8) What would you do to get new users to become returning contributors at SP.SE?

My idea to keep new users on the site circles around what we already got but do not use as much. New users often run into trouble since their question seldom is unique, and it is closed for various reasons. This is hard for new users and a bit excluding. I would do my best to keep a friendly tone, and help new users in comments on their own answer, where they can interact. I would also help them by editing their question to show how a good question looks like here. In addition, I would continue to up vote new users question, to get them to get a taste of how the rep system works

9) What are your concerns about SharePoint StackExchange that you will be looking into solving once you become a moderator?

The two main issues are (1) the new users does not return and (2) that the community does not up vote questions and answers. New users’ issue, I have answered in the previous question, but the low votes is another issue. I would encourage users to sign in on their development machines (if they has not already), and hopefully draw further attention to the issue on Meta.

10) What kind of time commitment do you plan to make for moderating the site?

I plan to continue to use around five hours a week on SP.SE, but in another role. I will have less focus on answering questions and greater focus on moderation.

4

1) How would you attract more experts to the site?

I do not think it is as much about attracting them to the site, as it is about getting them to contribute and come back on a regular basis. I do think that SP StackExchange has a great reputation in the developer community already. So it is not as much about spreading the word about the site, as it is about spreading the word about what it means to you to have a great reputation here. Basically clarify the positive sides of being a top contributor.

2) How would you resolve a dispute between two users?

Here the chat is a great tool. Invite them both to a chat room, let them clear the air while trying to steer the conversation to be as constructive as possible. Many times a dispute is a good way to realize that people see things in different ways, but that the main goal for all in this community is the same (to be kick-ass good SharePointers)

3) How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

This sounds like a situation where a private chat, clarifying the basic ground rules of the site, would go a long way. I have a feeling that most of these situation rises due to lack of understanding of these rules from new users, but when they have gained some reputation they will have to learned what this community is all about!

4) How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

It somewhat depends on the uniqueness of the question. If it is a question that has been asked in similar variants multiple times before, it is not much to argue about. But, if it is a unique question, clearly in the scope of SharePoint Stackexchange, I would take a chat with the moderator in question to see if we could agree on reopening / undeleting the post.

5) What would you do to encourage the community to take advantage of chat?

The chat has both good and bad sides. That bad being that the answers and good tips that comes out of a chat is not available to other members. But I do recognize the need for chat when discussions grow large. What I would do is to also try to use the chat more in situations where a user has asked a way to broad or unclear question, to try to sort out the real problem and clarify the question.

6) How would you improve the voting rate on the site?

Voting really must increase on SP.SE. It is one of the biggest objectives of becoming a good contributor, to build great reputation! This has turned in to a bad circle at SP.SE I think, since you need to have a bigger base of active members to get more upvotes, and you need more upvotes to get more active members!

What we need to do is to clarify what you gain by being a good contributor, and that it is not dangerous to upvote a question or an answer. I mean, even if the answer later turns out to be wrong, it may still have given some good input or good thoughts! Another part is to welcome the new users better, to make them feel more as a valuable part of the community from day one! (See question 8)

7) I believe it was Voltaire that said "With great power comes great responsibility". Hence being a moderator takes a special kind of person that can handle conflicts objectively and unbiased. Have you ever had disputes with other users that resulted in you being suspended from SharePoint Stackexchange?

No I am afraid I haven’t. Surely I have been in minor disputes about some edits, or some close vote on a question, but nothing big. You just have to be the bigger member and know when the fight is not worth fighting! Instead I try to be constructive in my feedback, referencing to the FAQ to state my case.

8) What would you do to get new users to become returning contributors at SP.SE?

I think a nice warm welcome in form of a comment on their first question or answer comes a long way. You want them to feel like a part of the community from day one! Trying to avoid to nitpick about the format of the first posts I think will help them to feel more welcome as well. Once they gain some reputation we can help them to learn the rules, and clean up their first posts.

9) What are your concerns about SharePoint StackExchange that you will be looking into solving once you become a moderator?

The voting rate is way too low. Around here you are happy to get a single upvote on your answers! Sometimes you even get your answer accepted, but still no upvotes. It seems that this has been somewhat of an ongoing trend, older posts tends to have a lot more votes that post from the last year or so (surely this has to do with the fact that they are older as well, but I do not think that is the whole truth).

A big part in this is to get people to be returning contributors! The more active members, the more votes, is my vision!

10) What kind of time commitment do you plan to make for moderating the site?

Already today I spend about 1-3 hours a day on SP.SE, this is really the most time I can put in and still manage to do a good job outside of the cyberspace! With that said, I think it is plenty enough with this kind of time commitment since I will have time to go over all new posts, and plenty more besides that :)

3

EDITED.

1) How would you attract more experts to the site?

I would reach out to Microsoft. As far as the MVP earned award is concerned, it for being active on the respective community. Why not SharePoint Stack Exchange? That can be an enticing plea for more experts on the site. Also, there is a lack of communication between users. I would try to make chat more of a go-to casual encounter for visitors and members alike. Also, I would like to add that I think there are plenty of experts on the site, but as long as the community grows with knowledge, experts can be born here and grow out of their novice shell.

2) How would you resolve a dispute between two users?

Depending on the offenses made I would either ban them both for an extended period of time, or talk to them individually. In a fair fight, it would be have to be an equal punishment, but I can not make that call unless I know what happened and what started the dispute. Chances are some user may have broken or bent the rules. It's worth noting that stern, fair action is usually the best action to take with situations like this. Again, depends on what happened.

3) How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

The community may have individuals like that, the way to handle them is to talk with them directly. I would rather everyone play by the rules. If the flags are genuine and legit, more power to him/her. If the arguments in the comments are attacking, then I would intervene. Rules clearly state to show respect.

4) How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I may talk with the moderator on why/how. Maybe there is an aspect of the question that I didn't see. If closed multiple questions for multiple reasons that I disagree with, that may be something for the other moderators to discuss. I don't plan on distancing myself from the other moderators negatively. We should all be on the same page and working together to make the place better. A simple argument isn't worth it.

5) What would you do to encourage the community to take advantage of chat?

I would schedule weekly get-togethers in chat. Encouraging great discussions on upcoming events, software, technology, etc. Why should chat be limited to questions and answers? Let's try to get more people to get on chat regularly! We can create more rooms that can categorize the topics that users want to chat about. Also, I think there should be an IRC channel or something (was an old SE project back in the day) that will take the web browser chat into a client-based application. I could reach out to the other mods about that.

6) How would you improve the voting rate on the site?

There is not a lot of rewards for voting. There may me a feature that can be implemented that will "review" great or robust questions based on an algorithm similar but antonymous of the Low Quality Posts review. With more users will blossom more voting. I would focus on bringing more people here.

7) I believe it was Voltaire that said "With great power comes great responsibility". Hence being a moderator takes a special kind of person that can handle conflicts objectively and unbiased. Have you ever had disputes with other users that resulted in you being suspended from SharePoint StackExchange?

Never. Everyone is here for the enjoyment of exchanging information about SharePoint.

8) What would you do to get new users to become returning contributors at SP.SE?

Associated with question 1, but also I may look into doing rewards for top users. There may be some rewards outside of StackExchange that can be applied for involving themselves and contributing to this growing and strong community. As of now, SharePoint has a very low percentage (compared to other SE networks) of answered questions, sitting at 68%. We need to encourage good answers, or encourage better more specific questions. Sometimes questions aren't as easy as yes/no answers, but I think it's also due to a lack of interest because of the little community interaction. We need to change that.

9) What are your concerns about SharePoint StackExchange that you will be looking into solving once you become a moderator?

For starters: structure, chat, and expert attention. There are several issues that I won't be tackling alone, but rather looking about getting with the other moderators to help look at our options. Moderation is about team-effort and with everyone onboard, it can grow faster and stronger. Another concern is the low number of answered questions. Maybe some users come here and expect an answer, and when it's not answered, they will go elsewhere.

10) What kind of time commitment do you plan to make for moderating the site?

4-5 times a week.

1

1) How would you attract more experts to the site?

I already promote SPSE in my blog, User Group sessions and Twitter. Whenever I am discussing something with SharePoint folks, I make it a point to bring up SPSE. This way I let them know about the forum as well as tell them that the next time they have a question, they could post it here and it discuss it with a wide range of people.

Also, I have aggressively promote SPSE in my company and have already got couple of great experts on board.

2) How would you resolve a dispute between two users?

The best approach according to me is to understand both sides of the argument and then make the two users understand each other's point.

I think the ultimate goal of any SPSE user is to gain and share SP knowledge. I will make both of them realize this and attempt to solve the dispute as calmly as possible.

3) How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

I would contact the person in private and let him know that he has really made a great contribution to the community by answering a lot of questions. I would also understand his point of view of why his answers/comments tend to generate arguments or flags.

Lastly, I will make him realize the fact that his contribution to the forum might be overshadowed if he continues in the same way.

4) How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I would contact the other mod and try to get clarity on the issue of why the question should/shouldn't be closed. I am sure an amicable solution can be reached by this method.

5) What would you do to encourage the community to take advantage of chat?

Chat is a great place to discuss questions which cannot be easily answered in a traditional Q/A format. So whenever I see a discussion happening in the comments section, I would point the concerned users to take advantage of the chat functionality.

6) How would you improve the voting rate on the site?

Yes the voting rate on SPSE is low compared to other SE sites. I believe that is because SharePoint is too vast a field and users on this site are relatively fewer. So not every person knows enough about a particular question to vote up or down and tends to skip the voting.

I think promoting SPSE to get more users on board and increasing the quality of questions and answers (to make current users aware of more areas in SharePoint) are great ways to increase voting rate.

7) I belive it was Voltaire that said "With great power comes great responsibility". Hence being a moderator takes a special kind of person that can handle conflicts objectively and unbiased. Have you ever had disputes with other users that resulted in you being suspended from SharePoint Stackexchange?

Nope. Never.

8) What would you do to get new users to become returning contributors at SP.SE?

I think most questions by new users do not adhere to the required format while posting new questions. This is clearly visible in the "First Question/Answer by New User" section in the review.

I already do and will continue to help out new users by pointing them to the right direction and let them know how to properly ask questions on SPSE. I believe this will gradually increase their confidence and get them to post more and more.

Again, I think maintaining the quality of questions and answers is essential here. By this, people will find that they can come to SPSE to not only get their questions answered, but also to gain knowledge from other questions.

9) What are your concerns about SharePoint StackExchange that you will be looking into solving once you become a moderator?

  1. Maintaining quality of Questions and Answers.
  2. Helping new users get acquainted with the site.
  3. Reducing Spam/Non-Answers etc.

10) What kind of time commitment do you plan to make for moderating the site?

I spend daily 1-2 hours on the site already which I think should be enough for answering questions as well as performing moderator tasks.

0

1) How would you attract more experts to the site?

There is a large community out there that can help, including quite a few MCMs and MVPs on Twitter. Posing StackExchange links there could significantly help bring in traffic from knowledgeable sources. In addition, cross-linking with MSDN/TechNet threads where StackExchange has the answer is something I have been doing, where appropriate.

2) How would you resolve a dispute between two users?

Fortunately this is often a very rare occurrence both here and at MSDN/TechNet, however when I have had to moderate these types of issues at MSDN/TechNet, it has to be public. In light of that, asking both users to follow the site guidelines and perhaps take some time before coming back to respond (if responding is appropriate at all) is the route I've generally taken.

3) How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

I would let them know that their responses, while valuable and helpful, may not be in a style that the community accepts, and offer guidance to how their valuable contributions would also be accepted by the community. Often times this just means re-wording or 'toning' the answer down.

4) How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I would discuss this issue with the moderator as to why s/he closed the question. If the reason to close the thread was appropriate, that's fine, but if the justification doesn't fit, let them know that the question does follow the guidelines/serve a purpose at StackExchange and re-open the question.

5) What would you do to encourage the community to take advantage of chat?

Chat is great for one-off, quick questions. The challenge is to get respondents in the chat who can provide value to those who need a quick and short answer.

6) How would you improve the voting rate on the site?

By bringing more attention to this site, bringing in the appropriate people to answer questions. As always, encourage people asking questions to mark their answer appropriately (via comments, if required).

7) I belive it was Voltaire that said "With great power comes great responsibility". Hence being a moderator takes a special kind of person that can handle conflicts objectively and unbiased. Have you ever had disputes with other users that resulted in you beeing suspended from SharePoint Stackexchange?

I've never been suspended from StackExchange, although I have had comments 'moderated' because they did not fit the style and format of StackExchange.

8) What would you do to get new users to become returning contributors at SP.SE?

By communicating with them that this is a place that can offer valuable answers to their questions, as well as being kind and courtious to those asking questions. In addition, I think it is important to make sure those asking questions, when their question doesn't make sense, or doesn't drive at a specific topic, are directed in a manner that is more helpful to them. For example, a question of "How do I create an event receiver?" is fairly broad and generic. I would ask them to provide some of their end goals, what stage of the process they're currently at, and so forth. By walking people through the process, you find that they become appreciative of the help, thus return to the site.

9) What are your concerns about SharePoint StackExchange that you will be looking into solving once you become a moderator?

My greatest concern is the lack of question to answerer expertise. There seems to be a misalignment between the questions asked and the type of individual that visits here and provides answers. I'd be looking to attract the right type of people that have answers to SharePoint StackExchange.

10) What kind of time commitment do you plan to make for moderating the site?

I'm largely able to be available during US time for a good portion of most days, as I currently do with TechNet/MSDN moderation duties.

0

1) How would you attract more experts to the site?

I am part of different communities including SharePoint-Community, StackOverFlow, LinkedIn (+1500) connections, Facebook, I am connected with thousands of SharePoint experts already.

As a moderator I will promote SE as I know tens of people asking me questions related to SP I would ask them to ask a question on SE, I will also invite people in my network to join SE Chat to keep it going.

It's about building a community not about marketing a site.

2) How would you resolve a dispute between two users?

Been there, Done that.

Keep it simple, find the cause of dispute, look at the site rules book, whoever is wrong(could be both) give them punishment accordingly as suggested by site rules book (mostly they get block for a limited time.)

3) How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

Doesn't matter how right are you at things, but if you do something wrong then you will have to pay for it. If arguments are way too often and damaging site's reputation, after discussing with other moderator(s). First step would be a warning and next step will be based on reaction.

4) How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I will cast a re-open vote as a user (if possible) otherwise I won't going to just reopen it as it's the matter of opinion. We do have experts who go through closed questions and if they feel like re-opening them, they will cast a re-open vote.

5) What would you do to encourage the community to take advantage of chat?

Chat is there for a open discussion not for asking big questions, of course you can encourage other people to join you, but you need to have skills to keep a convo going. I have been visiting C# and JavaScript room since last 3 years and know them all stuff someone need to know how to keep a chat room populated ;)

Trust me it's not all that hard at all.

There's a bot created by a user in JavaScript chat room which can be developed and added to SE, I remember it attracted hell loads of users and helped them building a strong community.

6) How would you improve the voting rate on the site?

I vote a lot myself on posts, we need to motivate people to understand the importance of rewarding. How can you motivate community ? off-course through chat discussions unless you know them in personal.

7) I belive it was Voltaire that said "With great power comes great responsibility". Hence being a moderator takes a special kind of person that can handle conflicts objectively and unbiased. Have you ever had disputes with other users that resulted in you being suspended from SharePoint Stackexchange?

Yes, Did had few issues with a community members and almost everyone knows about it, however it was solved like a year a go :-). I been a good boy other then that and I know my responsibility as a moderator would be to stay honest and follow rules like everyone else.

8) What would you do to get new users to become returning contributors at SP.SE?

Be nice to them and they will come back. Your answers need to be accurate as immature posts put new users off.

9) What are your concerns about SharePoint StackExchange that you will be looking into solving once you become a moderator?

Building a sharepoint community at SE Stronger then ever. Been Talkative and encouraging community members. We need to add something like "Real Rewards" for community members e.g. different companies give out books or conference tickets etc.

10) What kind of time commitment do you plan to make for moderating the site?

I am almost always on SE, in morning, afternoon, evening and then at night. You will find me here all of the times, I visit SE more then google :D ! it;s not a lie

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