1. 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?
For flags, personally I would deal with them as any other flag. The only thing I see that need be considered is the validity of the flag.
As for arguments; in comments or discussions, that would need to be handled differently. I am a firm believer in staying impartial - any one can be right or wrong. If the problem is resolved, the comments/discussion should be handled as per normal - removed if they do not add anything to the post(s), or tidied up/left if they do.
The best way that I believe problematic users should be handled is to treat them as people (because they are, just like the rest of us), and help them understand that this site is run by users, for the users. The best way that I have experienced this to be handled is just to talk to them - invite them to discuss their issues, and help them understand the best way to move forward.
2. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn't have been?
I would attempt to discuss it with them, to gain their understanding as to why they closed it, and then present my case, in order to gain and give a proper understanding as to what should be done. If I cannot discuss it with them for whatever reason, I would then ask others for their beliefs on the subject.
I personally always endeavor to make decisions based on logic, rather than based on my feelings or emotions. There will be situations where I may not agree with something, but if I believe that the decision is a good one or the right one, based on the logic of the decision making, then that's what I go with; and vice versa.
3. What practices at RPGSE do you see working particularly poorly, possibly hampering high-quality Q&A or harming community?
The only issue I currently see is time differences. The majority of the site users are based in Europe or the US, meaning that there is a large gap where the majority of the moderators and high-rep users are off-line, meaning that some big issues take time to be dealt with - flags, problem users, etc not being dealt with for long periods of time each day.
Unfortunately, at this point the only solution I see is a moderator from the Asia-Pacific region being elected; pending that, some serious automated changes to the SE system.
4. What practices at RPGSE do you see working particularly well to create high-quality Q&A and/or healthy community?
Promotion of the "Be Nice" policy, and support of the community.
RPG.SE has the advantage of not being as big as some other sites, where it is less about the community and more about simply maintaining that quality; while being big enough to have a community of people to talk to, and help focus on the users, and direct them on how they can improve - how to ask good questions and give good answers, help them understand the site functionality, and are always welcoming to new users.
5. Being a moderator is a customer service/public relations job for which there is little to no extrinsic motivation. You will invest hours of your free time dealing with the worst the internet has to offer, and we expect you to do it with a patient demeanor and a smile. What is your motivation for candidacy, or in short - why do you want this job?
I am inspired by those that have already taken on the job, and I have been a member of the SE community for many years now. After all these years, I have seen the work that the Moderators have done, and I want to give back to the community that I give such high regard.
As an Australian, I can't say that I would be dealing with things to the same degree that all other mods do on a regular basis - I would be the "Asia Pacific", to fill in the gap when other mods would/should otherwise be sleeping or spending time doing other jobs, but I do still feel that contribution would make a difference, and I do aim to contribute to the same level that all other mods do, and have done.
6. What's your view on whether and how moderators represent sites to the broader SE community and to the company?
When I first joined the SE community, it was actually over on StackOverflow. After a while, I expanded to Arqade, the RPG.se, SF&F, and eventually more as the need arose. In truth, my personal interaction(s) with moderators were never all that significant.
As a "seasoned" SE user, my view has been broadened a bit. The role of moderator has a demand defined by the user-base, and for some sites, that is simply more than can be handled. Additionally, the user base is a collective of individuals most of the time. So from both perspectives, it often comes across as "one vs the many".
In this way, the role of Moderator is never an easy one - on one hand, they have to uphold the quality of the site, and on the other, they have to be seen as "helpful" in doing so; which is never usually the case from the perspective of the "many". The truth is, for the most part Mods are doing the best they can, as they are volunteers, and people too.
7. Our site has struggled in the past with moderators overriding community voices, which made this feel like a moderator-driven site more than a community-driven site. Suppose you had a course of action or policy you felt strongly the site should adopt, but you were not sure the community would be supportive: how would you handle it? How would you handle that situation if the community vocally, strongly objects?
I have dealt with users wanting to change the system or suggest a new policy in the past, and as a community member I have contributed to point out what the pros and cons of the ideas.
From the opposite perspective, it would be important to give the community the chance to voice their opinions. If that opinion is strongly against the idea, then that opinion has its own validity.
As I have stated above, I endeavor to make my decisions based on the logic and facts of the situation, not based on how I feel. The community is the main contributor to the site, and therefore should be considered with its appropriate validity.
8. We have a problem here, occasionally, when a new user will ask a question that doesn't quite fit our format, and thus gets put on hold very quickly. This often leads to the new user feeling unfairly targeted and leaving the stack soon after. As a mod, what would you do to help improve these new users' questions while still encouraging them to stay on the site?
The way I usually handle this is to welcome the user to the site, and give advice on the specifics of their question that could/should be improved. The addition of the "new user" tag has also greatly improved this - originally they were simply "low-rep" users and would get thrown in with other users that have not asked/answered many questions, have already asked/answered questions that were usually poor quality, etc.
Unfortunately, some platforms (the mobile app, for example) still don't show this. So as a Mod, I would endeavor to remove any potentially negative comments that might enforce this negative interaction, and even aim to add my own comments. The Diamond does carry weight, and should not be abused - but this would be one of the few ways I would "use" the position to bring weight to encourage new users.
9. A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
I feel that everything I have said in the past will come under revision, which is fair. Things I say from here on out will also be scrutinized, but I simply see that as an opportunity to learn.
10. Becoming a new moderator can be daunting, but is also a big opportunity. What are you worried or fearful about in your transition to becoming a moderator, and is there anything you're looking forward to? Is there anything we can do to help support you in those areas should you be elected as a new moderator?
As a new mod, I have no experience beyond what I have seen on the site. I do have some anxiety that some decisions I make might not necessarily be the best ones, and I will likely make some mistakes. But I am a strong believer in the SE community, especially the RPG.SE community to help me learn, and improve over time.