Thank you all for this opportunity.
TL;DR: so long, and thanks for all the flags.
I will soon be stepping down as a moderator on RPGSE. (Effective shortly after the conclusion of the 2020 election.)
It has been my honor and privilege to serve as moderator for the past three years. And I'd like to thank you all--the site's users--for allowing me this opportunity; for trusting me with the tools of moderation; for pointing me toward concerns you had with comments, posts, users, and practices; for questioning me when you thought I'd acted badly; and for providing me with thousands of good examples through your comments, your posts, your edits, your chat messages, and your votes.
Thank you to Bryant, C.Ross, mxyzplk, RSConley, Pat Ludwig, Ace Calhoon, Brian Ballsun-Stanton, Wax Eagle, and SevenSidedDie: through the years you-all nurtured and guided this site into one of the internet's finest sources of information about RPGs, and into one of the Network's finest examples of many practices working very well.
Thank you to Rubiksmoose and V2Blast: I've always believed that even if I moderated well, I wasn't the only person who could do so, and watching you step forward has confirmed my faith in the stackizenry to continuously surface people of discretion, compassion, and dedication.
Thank you to the chatizenry, especially BESW, Korvin, Miniman, Shalvenay, and Trogdor: through the years you've been my near-daily companions. You've kept me distracted from annoying work-tasks, you've educated me on all the chat-topics (including sometimes-games and apparently-birds), you've kept me company in tough times, and you've listened to me blow off steam. You even tolerated my perm.
And above all: thank you to doppelgreener. (I know you're uncomfortable with praise, so I'll keep it short.) Occasional users have certainly benefited from your copious editing and gracious commentary Regular users are well aware of the quality thinking and wordsmithing you put into even the most trivial-seeming of meta answers. But well over 99% of stackizens will never know--until now!--your vast competence with the (overly-wrought) tools of moderation at our disposal; your faithful representation of users' interests to SE staff; your courage to argue against other (site and network) moderators and your seeking to find the right in another's arguments; and your firm, kind, and principled treatment of even the most vexing users. I've learned too much from you over the years to properly thank you in words--I don't word nearly as good as you--so I hope you'll let me take you to dinner next time I'm in your neck of the woods. (When I promise I'll carve out more than just half an hour!)
Why run in the first place?
If you've gotten this far I'm going to abuse your patience and tell the True story of why I ran for moderator. (All the things I said when running were true. I believe this story to be the True reason, though I'm not sure when I realized it.)
A year or so into my time on the site I was just starting to get comfortable. I'd shaken off the painful stings of my first few bad questions, I'd answered a lot of straightforward 5e questions, I'd broken the ice in chat with Miniman, my mainsite rival. And I'd started leaving occasional, helpful comments.
One day I left a "I've edited to add some paragraph breaks and make your question a little more readable, feel free to roll back blah blah" comment on a new user's post.
"FUUUUUUUUUCK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!" came the comment back.
As I sat, startled, hands shaking, I saw three things happen quickly:
- "You don't get to treat anyone that way. Goodbye." -SevenSidedDie
- The username disappear, replaced by userNNNNN.
- The post get deleted right under me.
SSD was a stranger to me at the time, but hoo-boy did I feel supported by him.
Years later the opportunity came to step forward and, perhaps, support others in similarly-vulnerable spots. I only hope, looking back, that I've lived up to that ^^ standard.
Then why resign?
No particular reason. Things are good in RPG-land, I feel confident I could continue doing good in the role, and I feel the support of my fellow moderators and of the staff.
I do, however, believe in term limits for moderators. I believe there are plenty of other stackizens who could also serve the site as well--if not better--as moderator. I believe in giving more users the chance to do so. I believe in broadening the set of perspectives that go into moderating the site. I believe in stepping away before burning out, and I believe in the constancy of change.
But there is only one moderator upon whom I can enforce a term limit: me. So now, at the end of three years, I retire.
(By site rules I can simply ask SE for the diamond back at any time. But I won't do that. You can hold me to it: if ever the opportunity and desire line up for me to step forward again, I'll run anew. Sheep's honor.)
Happy gaming, and be kind to each other, friends.
[Update, Nov 2021: I should have explained why I don't believe in asking for reinstatement. It's sorta the same reason that I do believe in term limits. The site changes over time: its userbase, its best practices, its needs. The voters of yesteryear get to determine moderators for a time. But I don't think they should get to determine moderators for all time. To ask for reinstatement is, in my mind, to say "a while back voters thought I was a good choice, and that's probably good enough now." Frankly, that doesn't strike me as wise.]