Related to the Moderators Pro-Tempore Nomination thread... and more of an observation than a question...

Notwithstanding the need to Encouraging new users through comments and refraining from swift closing/rapid/multiple down-voting it is important that ALL site members (with the pre-requisite reputation) support the working of the site by Editing (rarely Voting Down) poor answers and questions, and Flagging for attention those posts that need it.

The more constructive posts that site users make, the less moderator activity needs to be invoked. So far, we're doing OK :)

We don't need to be moderators to help with the running of the site.

  • Since I'm obviously not making my point very well, vote to close :(
    – Andrew
    Commented Oct 28, 2012 at 15:47
  • 2
    I don't think your point is lacking, Andrew. Rather, we are both building a community around this new Q&A format and learning/developing the best approach for top notch questions. As you say in your post, so far, things are going pretty well but we'll have to keep a good eye on it.
    – GeneJ
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 4:15
  • 3
    Yes, no need to close. This isn't a reason to close. It's still early, and everyone is still trying to figure things out, that's all. As time marches on, people will fall into whatever roles they're comfortable in, whether that be editing, commenting, asking questions, answering, etc... ;)
    – jmort253
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 6:54
  • ok... thanks :)
    – Andrew
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 6:57
  • I just performed a minor edit to try and shift the balance of your question more towards editing and away from downvoting/flagging - I hope you do not mind.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 0:10

3 Answers 3


Andrew, I note that you have not (yet) asked a question on the main site. When you do, I am sure that you will appreciate the sort of tolerance of new posters that is being discussed in Encouraging new users through comments and refraining from swift closing/rapid/multiple down-voting

When people are unsure whether or not to downvote, edit or flag a question, they should consider not only the (highly desirable) aim of ensuring quality in the product but also the need to build a community that will deliver the product we all want.

A little forbearance will go a long way in encouraging new members to stay long enough to make worthwhile contributions.

  • Fuly accept what you are saying - and have added a link to that post in my post too. And don't worry, my Qs on the main site will come when I have something useful to ask (my research is mostly on-hold at the mo for a variety of reasons)
    – Andrew
    Commented Oct 28, 2012 at 13:16

Andrew, are you suggesting that people aren't working to improve questions? Perhaps you could support this with some examples. Otherwise, I'm not sure why you've posted this.

Like @Fortiter, I would prefer to see people working to improve questions that are asked before down-voting them if at all possible. Yes, there are always going to be questions that aren't salvageable, perhaps because they're so far off topic that they don't qualify for the site, or because the questioner isn't willing to work on them with the help of others to improve them. I still believe strongly in helping and encouraging people first whenever possible.

  • 1
    Clearly, I'm not getting my point across, which was to try and encourage support of our fledgling site, and the (soon to be) new moderators. It was posted on the Moderators thread, and Jim suggested it's own thread... and here it is
    – Andrew
    Commented Oct 28, 2012 at 15:46
  • 1
    Yes! ColeValley gets it! If you are a visionary or experienced enough with genealogy to figure out what's behind someone's extremely vague question, and you can fix it, then you're awesome! You've improved the quality of the site and made it so the content doesn't have to get voted down or sympathy upvoted! :) Plus, you've taught a new user how to make their post better, giving them an all around better experience. +1 Editing should always come first.
    – jmort253
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 4:29
  • I do say "Editing" or... in my post :)
    – Andrew
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 6:50
  • I agree wholeheartedly with you and @Fortitier that, particularly while we are in Beta, everything we can do to help improve questions and answers via editing and commenting, will help to build our community.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 0:04

I don't think Andrew was trying to imply that people were slacking. Stack Exchange Q&A sites work a little differently than traditional forums. Most forum posts are just random snapshots of the Internet. They're a specific moment in time, and those posts are forever frozen with all their flaws, vague phrasing, typos, grammatical errors, the mood of the people at the time, and so forth.

On Stack Exchange, unlike the forums, every user can participate in site moderation, through activities such as editing, voting, commenting, voting to close and reopen, editing tag wikis, and participating in reviews.

Additionally, since the public beta, Stack Exchange has seen a lot of new users who are new to Stack Exchange, and who are used to the forums, and who haven't yet learned that they too can participate in these things.

Therefore, I don't think that Andrew's post was targeted at anyone specifically or intended to say there was a significant lack of participation, just that more is better. Remember, these meta posts are public; anyone can read them, even users who don't even have an account on the main site. Therefore, the message may not be targeted at you specifically. ;)

  • 1
    If there were a way to star an answer as an favorite in addition to giving it an upvote, this would earn a star from me.
    – Jan Murphy Mod
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 0:42

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