Time to get started on The 7 Essential Questions of Every Beta. So, what should our moderators be like? See this question for more info on moderators. Here's a quote from the answer:

Shortly after the public beta starts (1-2 weeks, generally), the Community team chooses 3 pro tem moderators. They're selected (versus elected) based on a number of factors, one of which is community input from a "Who should the moderators be?" meta post—assuming one exists.

See this question for the nomination of moderators. This question is for discussion about the desired characteristics of moderators.

  • @Rebecca When you changed the title, were you aware of this question? That other question is the reason that the titles were written as they were. Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 17:48
  • @MichaelMcGowan, uhh no I was not. The title does not correctly reflect this question at all then and could use an edit beyond simply removing tags from the title. Do you agree? Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 18:51
  • @Rebecca Perhaps as a result of being asked too early, this question has become something more along the lines of "What characteristics should moderators have," but I don't think that was the original intent. That other question was asked to get more to the point about specific nominations. It was a coincidence that the way he chose to name this question ended up with a tag in the title. Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 19:13
  • @MichaelMcGowan your suggested title is kind of what I was thinking. But I leave it to y'all. Rollback or edit or whatever. (: Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 19:15
  • Michael is right, the answers don't reflect the original intent of my question, which is why the other question was created. It's OK for me to change the title of this one now to something that corresponds better to the answers. I'll change it to Michael's suggestion.
    – D.H.
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 19:18

5 Answers 5


I would like to nominate David Schwartz. Most of his opinions on moderation topics match mine and his network profile shows some experience with stackexchange like sites. So I would guess that he's familiar with the rules of stackexchange.

A few words to the future moderators: IMHO Moderation should be focused on duplicate-closing, tagging and housekeeping. Every question that is beneficial for the bitcoin/crypto-currency community should be allowed. I'd like to start with only a few rules and then add new if they are really needed to avoid questions that drift apart to far away from the bitcoin/crypto-currency discussion.

  • Thanks. I'd love to help moderate the site. I don't have all that much experience with SE, but I have a lot of administrative experience. (I am perhaps better known under the nickname 'JoelKatz'.) Commented Sep 10, 2011 at 18:07
  • Yes, David seems like a great candidate. Make your vote in the nomination thread: meta.bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/108/…
    – D.H.
    Commented Sep 10, 2011 at 18:56

We should keep in mind that the moderators aren't necessarily here to be experts on the topic, but rather to determine what is and is not within the scope of the site, what constitutes spam or abuse, etc. That's not to say that we should promote someone with zero knowledge of bitcoin, you need to know a fair amount just to understand the scope at all, but much like hiring an IT manager we need a blend of management ability AND technical skill.

To that end, I'd take a known trusted member of the bitcoin community with no previous StackExchange experience over someone with a 5-digit StackOverflow score any day. A high score might tell us they know the system, but it's much easier to teach a good mod how to work the system than to teach a good programmer how to be a mod.

Also since I'm a shameless self-promoter, let me take this opportunity to shamelessly self-promote: PICK ME PICK ME!!!


I think we should try to have moderators that are both experienced StackExchange users and experienced Bitcoin users. Such people aren't too hard to find, so we shouldn't need to compromise too much on one or the other. Not to say that I'm necessarily against having a particular moderator that is less experienced with either Bitcoin or SE, just that experience with both is ideal.

  • 2
    The only thing I'd change about your statement is I'd replace "StackExchange users" with "moderators" - it's not so important to me where a person has been a mod before. SE is a pretty straightforward system that takes very little time to learn, whereas actual moderation skills are not so easily won. Commented Sep 1, 2011 at 19:39

I agree with David Perry's answer. Also time commitment is an important element, and a general community policy to make the rules of moderation clear both for users and moderators.

I'd like to put my name up as well. I have been on the forms for a while. I know a good deal about bitcoin both technologically and philosophically. I am somewhat less experienced with stackexchange as a moderator, but have been a user for a long time for software development reference.

I believe I can help keep the discussion focused. I believe in having an open community where both pro and con arguments are addressed, and moderators work primarily to reduce spamming and duplication. That being said my technical understanding gives me the ability to tell when a discussion is a legitimate concern or just noise. Naturally I would follow the guidelines of the community.

Thank you for your consideration ;)


I actually disagree with the above, and prefer sharper moderation at first, and then loosen it up over time if it is working. It is much easier to moderate less over time, then it is to switch gears into moderating more content after very lax expectations have been set. Having to wade through a bunch of crappy questions everyday seems the surest path to driving our most interesting commenters away. There are many other places for bitcoin discussion and even Q&A....

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