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Now that we've graduated out of Beta, there will be an election some time in 2022 or 2023. We had an election very recently about 1.5 years ago (this may not seem recent to some people, since many organizations in this world have annual elections, but on SE elections happen early in Beta, then at graduation, at which point the winners become permanent moderators except if they step down or they get removed). Therefore it might be a good idea for us to ask for our election to take place in the later end of the cycle (for example in 2023). I say this not only because the last election was quite recent by SE standards, but also because:

  • The current team appears to have done their job with an extraordinary lack of complaints against them, and with our site making such good progress and having such good momentum right now, it doesn't seem like the right time for drastic changes just yet,
  • We are the newest site out of all 58 sites that just graduated (most of them having lived in Beta for several hundred percent longer than us), so we are still accumulating our user base and may have a lot more good candidates in the future. In the below list of users from #6 to #16 in rep for 2021, we have new users like wzkchem5 and PBH who were not ranked at all in 2020 and two users who have moved up +208 and +240 since 2020 (these and many other excellent new users, were not even here yet when the first election took place, which is one of the unfortunate things about the fact that Beta elections are always held very early in the site's lifetime, when the userbase might not reflect the eventual site population):

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In 2022 and 2023 we will have more new users, and will have an even better idea of who the best emerging (or previously existing) candidates are.

  • Now that we've graduated, I'm planning to advertise this site quite a lot in a large number of places, and in much bigger ways than before. We'll see a jump in users, especially senior academics/professors, in 2022. This may even change the dynamics of the site a bit. In 2023, we'll be in a better position to make our first "permanent appointments".

As always, I'd appreciate other people's feedback on this idea too!

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Do the current moderators want to continue on in their roles? Are they happy with the workload (current and expected) If both these questions are answered in the affirmative, I agree that there's no need to rush an election given that the moderator team appears to be doing a great job. Shooting for an election in 2023 makes sense, but I'm not sure committing entirely to that timetable is the best idea. I suggest the plan can be reassessed halfway through 2022, or if the moderation workload changes substantially due to influx of new users.

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    $\begingroup$ Good points all around! $\endgroup$ Dec 19, 2021 at 19:17
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    $\begingroup$ I can only speak for myself, but my answer to both questions would be yes: I'm fine continuing in the role and the workload seems like it will remain fairly small in the near term. For our current level of traffic, we probably don't really need 3 mods, but its great to have multiple opinions for certain flags and to have mods available in a few different timezones. I think it will be a little bit before the site reaches the capacity where it really needs 3 mods. $\endgroup$
    – Tyberius Mod
    Dec 20, 2021 at 5:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Tyberius You mention twice that you think we don't need 3 mods, but where was it asked whether or not we need 3 mods? Every site starts with an election for 3 diamond mod positions, and this is the standard for the smallest sites. I don't think the option of having fewer than 3 mods is "on the table" except maybe in highly exceptional/unideal circumstances. I'm also starting to think things would be a lot better here with 4 diamond mods. $\endgroup$ Mar 20 at 23:41
  • $\begingroup$ @NikeDattani my point was not to say that we should cut back the number of moderators, but that, in terms of the workload, I feel like 3 is likely more than enough for the foreseeable future. To give some perspective, I have handled every virtually every flag since January. A lot of that is just that I happen to have the site open most of the time, but I think even on my own I have responded to things in a pretty timely manner, so 3 mods would be plenty to cover the few flags and edits that come through. $\endgroup$
    – Tyberius Mod
    Mar 21 at 0:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Tyberius For that reason we should probably have a 4th person introduced to the mod team so that we don't have 100% of the flags handled by one person (as you say). I can see benefits of fruitful discussions between diamond moderators who have access to information that other users do not have: these discussions can be very illuminating and help make even better decisions together rather than alone. Also I appreciate 100% the handling of the flags here, but I do think that having someone handling them from another time zone, even if an hour away, would add value. Sometimes you might get busy. $\endgroup$ Mar 21 at 0:37

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