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First, no disrespect meant to our current moderators. C.Ross and Brian are not as active as they once were on the site, but when they are here they are still extremely helpful. Mxyzplk is/has-been doing a lot of the work by himself and should be lauded for the time investment he is/has made in RPG.SE. That said, I think he can get overworked, and that the site could only benefit from having more mods that were active.

Our site traffic has grown a lot. If you look here you can see the dramatic increase compared to 2013 let alone the huge growth in comparison to 2012 and earlier. Another way to look at things is that at the end of the beta RPG.SE had:

  • 3.4 Questions per day
  • 408 Avid Users (150 rep or higher)
  • 2725 Total users
  • 1667 Visits per day

With 5 Pro-Tempore Moderators

Today RPG.SE's statistics are:

  • 12 Questions per day
  • 1189 Avid Users
  • 8.3k Users
  • 8.7k visits per day

With only 3 moderators.

As a higher-rep user, I try to take as many review actions as I can to assist. That said, I still feel the addition of new moderators could help to spread the load.

I feel that the huge increase in RPG.SE's growth mandates that we up the number of Moderators. Should we have an election to add to their ranks?

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    \$\begingroup\$ (and, beside the point, >99.5% of questions answered, aww yeah) \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Apr 7 '14 at 22:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yep saw that as well, but didn't think it pertinent but was definitely a point of pride. \$\endgroup\$ – Joshua Aslan Smith Apr 7 '14 at 22:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've been moderating two sites for quite a while, but Money just held their election and I wasn't in it, so I should have more time to help on the site. \$\endgroup\$ – C. Ross Apr 8 '14 at 12:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, where are you seeing us failing? Is there something we're not catching? \$\endgroup\$ – C. Ross Apr 8 '14 at 12:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @C.Ross I think the only failing (if it can even be called that) is that it sometimes seems like mxy is the only one around making meta pronouncements (which can be a problem because he can be abrasive). Personally I'm of the mind that new mods from time to time are a good thing and not a knock on the current mods. It's been nearly 2 years, I'm not sure why there would be resistance to a call for an election. \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Apr 9 '14 at 11:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @waxeagle I don't think there's resistance to an election per-se, but if people think we need more moderators, it's natural for the current ones to ask if that belief is because people think moderator stuff isn't getting done. \$\endgroup\$ – Tridus Apr 9 '14 at 22:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @waxeagle I am far from convinced that a personal dislike of the way one mod out of three sometimes carries themselves is reasonable justification for calling for more mods. It sets a very dangerous precedent and feels a little disingenuous. \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Apr 10 '14 at 12:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JonathanHobbs I wish SQA had those kinds of numbers. We had a drive to push it up, and managed to get it from 89 to 92% and it was a hellalot of work!! \$\endgroup\$ – corsiKa Apr 17 '14 at 0:04
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We have only three diamond mods here on RPG.SE, @BrianBallsunStanton, @CRoss, and myself, but we have a lot of moderators - you, the rest of the community. As long as everyone understands that it's their job to help moderate the site as well, and understand the abilities they get along with their rep, I think we have enough manpower - if one of us calls for help in mod chat the others come to their rescue.

The way the site works takes care of most items automatically, as long as people use close votes, flags, delete votes, edit privs, are responsible about not having discussions in comments, etc. The main thing we have to intervene in nowadays that requires the diamond is primarily comment war deletion. A lot of the other things we do are because we can't get 5 close votes on a bad question, for example, even with all these users... More users and higher rep users actually should cause us to require less diamond moderation, as you all become empowered to help out yourselves! If everyone sees it as their job to do all that as well, then we're kinda superfluous. Edit that comment into that post... Crack down on spurious comments... Engage in meta...

In fact, as I write this I see that Brian was active 1 hour ago and CRoss 4 hours ago, and for the month Brian and I are neck and neck on all the mod activity stats. I think a lot of the perception is that we tend to be 'quiet' about our interventions. I tend to be the voice of the mods on issues for a couple reasons.

One, none of us are all that fond of site chat. In fact, we tend to see it as contravening the otherwise helpful and democratic paradigm of the site - see The role of chat at RPG Stack Exchange for details on that. As a result, you don't "see" any of us hovering about in chat even when we are active on the site. You see us talk in comments or meta, but that's off the radar of a lot of casual site users.

Two, I've got the thickest skin. It's not really easy to have the same four or so usual characters scream about how you are an awful person and abusive mod and every time you take (or don't take) an action on the site. Every mod deals with that in different ways. I tend to be the kind of person who takes the action and lays it out there and can deal with it when people attack me, so I tend to step up and take the public communication more, and that's fine. The other mods are involved and we discuss all the major policy statements and whatnot ahead of time, and ask for another set of eyes on things that get contentious, but we prefer to let the already engaged mod do the talking, to avoid the "Mom said no, I'll ask Dad" syndrome. Unified front.

I wouldn't mind more mods, but I am guessing there's sites much larger than ours getting along fine with three, so I wouldn't say it's really needed. In the last month between all three of us we've only done 80 edits, 20 or so answer closes and 20 or so post deletes, which is only a little more than one activity per mod per day (though we've done more like 500 comment deletes, which is a PITA, we wish people would abide by the comment guidance).

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    \$\begingroup\$ I completely agree with this. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 7 '14 at 23:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ A while back I saw a post of Brian's which pointed me to "bad" comments of mine, and generally got me more mindful of comments. Are the diamond mods still having to do PITA-levels of comment-deletion? If so, is there any way to put a "delete-this-comment" (x) on the User Profile -> Activity -> All Actions -> Comments page? \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Jan 5 '16 at 4:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ That sounds like a separate meta question... \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Jan 5 '16 at 12:40
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To me, the question of "more mods" would boil down to this question:

Is there a problem with diamond moderator intervention not happening quickly enough due to overwork?

All three of them have responded in one way or another here, and they seem to believe the answer is no. Having been a frequent visitor for a while, I also haven't seen that problem.

Is there a case where something has sat around for an extended period of time with a problem that high rep users (like us) couldn't fix on our own with edits or close votes? mxyzplk mentioned the only one I can think of: comment wars. And honestly, I'm an offender on that too. It's something we all need to be aware of. Generally speaking we can help those by not doing them, and if we see another user doing them, gently intervene to remind people that it should be taken to chat.

Given that, as a user, I don't see a need for more moderators. There isn't a problem on the site right now that increasing the number is going to solve.

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    \$\begingroup\$ And, for the record, our average flag handling time is 41 minutes. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 10 '14 at 6:51
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As per some of the comments on the question itself, it seems there is a suggestion that some people might be supporting this idea due to a dislike with the way one of the moderators sometimes operates. If this is the case and this is the main reason this idea is being supported, I believe it is misguided and would set a dangerous precedent.

There are existing systems in place to handle situations where users are unhappy with the way a moderator does their job. Expanding the number of moderators as a way of 'watering down' the behaviour of the mod in question just attempts to side-step proper processes.

As a final comment, I want to stress that I am not suggesting for one second that the original questioner is motivated in this way, only that it appears some of the supporters of the idea might be.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If there's people who want different moderators, that's a different question than wanting more moderators. \$\endgroup\$ – Tridus Apr 10 '14 at 14:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tridus exactly \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Apr 10 '14 at 14:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think we need more mods right now, but I actually disagree with your statement. If one thinks moderation is biased or doesn't represent the community well, then adding more moderators is a sensible way to address that issue — more people in moderator roles means more opportunity to have the full spectrum of the community's opinions represented among the mod team. (One should be up-front about that being the reason, though.) \$\endgroup\$ – Alex P Apr 10 '14 at 20:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ The proper process would be great if it was set up in such a way as to actually be usable. It is not. \$\endgroup\$ – Lord_Gareth Apr 10 '14 at 22:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Lord_Gareth If you believe that to be an issue, that probably warrants its own discussion. Or, its own answer on this one to explain how more moderators would help. Also if the perception is that process doesn't work, it's probably worth also addressing that. \$\endgroup\$ – Tridus Apr 11 '14 at 12:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AlexP adding more moderators to compensate for a poor performing moderator is not a sensible action. (Disclaimer, I see no evidence of poor moderator performance.) The diamond moderators do nothing more than execute the policies determined by the community. If a policy doesn't represent the community's interests, then it should be brought to light in meta and a consensus reached. That's a different problem than a moderator failing to uphold consensual policies. \$\endgroup\$ – corsiKa Apr 17 '14 at 0:10

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