I am Roland Taylor, your friendly (?) neighborhood fellow Ask Ubuntu user. I can't say I'm active on Meta, because I spend most of my time (when on the site) looking for questions answer/edit, especially in cases where someone needs a patient guiding hand. Sometimes I have (and still do) go out of my way to find solutions (I have learned from this) to tougher problems, and I believe that this should be one of the properties of any leader.
Anyway, I'm not here to exemplify my qualities as an "answerer of questions". If you are reading this, you are probably wondering about (and thus seeking to learn) what I can bring to the table as a moderator.
Well, I will try to list my (better) attributes that would be useful as a leader:
Far more than a virtue, patience is a practice. I am not always patient, because of course, I am human. However, I have learned from my experience as a moderator on an online computer game (yes, I learned from a computer game), that when your patience is tested, the best thing to do is walk away.
A bit of a term of my own making (I guess), this is one property that I value most. I believe any leader should be able to switch context at the drop of hat, especially in large scale situations. In my experience (I once ran a few social networks on the Ning platform with varying success and currently run a community of gamers; in other words, highly varied people), I have found that one must be able to adapt quickly to personalities and situations, learning how to make everyone feel comfortable, while remaining true to your core values.
As a moderator, I would use this ability to keep the peace where need be, as I already do in other places.
A Strong Will
Yes, I said "A Strong Will". Most people see those who are "strong willed" as being difficult and stubborn, but that is mostly because people who fit the stereotype are often inflexible in other areas. To me, my strong will is an asset for leadership. When it comes time to stand my ground, I'll do just that, whether in defense of a decision made with the consultation of other moderators, or in the case of defending the rights of a user against other moderators ;).
A Sense of Humour
Yes, a good moderator should be able to fall out of their chair on cue. Okay, well, maybe not, on cue... but when the time is right, a leader should be able to put the "why so serious" face aside, and spread cheer and good will - without losing grip of reality at the same time of course.
Some who know me would argue, that maybe I take this part of my personality a bit too far. However, those who know me well enough would testify, my Social Flexibility rules over my sense of humour with a strong arm.
To sum it all up, I believe in leadership that is modeled after two principal entities that I have learned from (bear with me here):
In this case I'm referring to his form of leadership: calm and patient guidance, coupled with a firm reprimand when needed, and a never wavering stance on core values, while relegating a large amount of power to those being led. In the case of this site, I believe this method of leadership would be useful.
The community and I are one. In other words, if I am a moderator - my interests are the community's interests and the community's interests are mine. However, when needed, I will transcend the bounds of the general community for the good of the community, though not to seek my own benefit.
Prepare for a biology lesson :). I remember sometime in my teen years watching horses on a documentary and learning quite a bit about leadership. The stallion leads from behind, in other words, he drives the group forward, but he does so without getting in the way. Essentially, the mares carry the sway, with their own delegation of authority (think, 10k+ and 20k+ users here, like I currently am) among the "harem". The stallion's authority is only exercised when:
- Disputes arise
- Undesirable outside forces attempt to cause trouble
- It is time to move in a new direction
I know that must have been, an interesting - combination of examples, but I hope you have seen where I get my inspiration in leadership from. I hope to make use of (and improve upon) those if elected as a moderator, and to remain open to correction and reproof from the community should I slip up. If I am not elected, I'll just continue doing what I already do: answering, editing, and closing questions, and looking out for those who need a helping hand.
My Role As A Moderator (With focus on Ask Ubuntu)
I have been asked often, "What would you gain from becoming a moderator that you don't already have as a 20k+ user?"
To be quite honest, I don't really think I would gain anything more than a little notoriety and a ♦ next to my name, at least if referring to things that pump the ego. What I'm looking for as a moderator is not power to wield an axe, but rather power to help more than I can right now. For example, I get slightly perturbed by the inability to convert wayward answers into comments, or stop a spammer in their tracks, or part a fight, rare as those may be.
As a moderator, I would not longer have to wait in such cases for a solution, or pass on the work to someone else, but I could jump right in and right the wrongs that I come across, taking into consideration the advice of those who've gone before me and those who I serve.
Another area I hope to put a more concentrated effort into, is in helping users who are not native-english speakers. I already seek to do so when I can by editing questions, but as a moderator I would seek any other ways in which I could help them (though, to be fair, I will still seek ways to do so even as a normal user).
Overall, my goal is to make the site a better place, and of course, a cleaner place.
To me, being a moderator is not a political office, even if the process of becoming one feels similar. I hold current moderators to no higher standard (as a user) than I would for any other user - except that they have a responsibility to use their powers as required of them.
Q & A from the community:
I wonder what is your vision more concretely for Ask Ubuntu? You write
about leadership and about keeping peace but what are concrete
examples of issues you see that you would like to focus on as a
moderator? – N.N.
My vision for AskUbuntu is to make the site the best - within it's boundaries - place to get answers to your Ubuntu questions. My method for doing that would be:
(Whether a moderator or not):
- Provide good answers as usual.
- Ensure that hard work is rewarded (vote and share).
- Protect questions from spammers and pointless comments.
- Guide users with helpful feedback and instructions where needed.
- Edit questions and tag wikis (something which I have not done as actively in very recent times but will be back to in the coming months).
- Flag questions that need attention or respond to flags (as a 10k+ user I can confirm or contest flags).
(As a moderator):
- Migrate out of place questions to the right place.
- Merge tags/questions where needed.
- Quickly dispatch advertisements in answers (hey come buy my fancy handbags, they're made of soy leather - and the like).
- Turn comments into questions when that is required.
- Put users in time out for repeatedly breaking the rules.
- Part fights (yes they do happen) and stomp out unfriendly users.
Jesus would forgive anyone. how about you? – UAdapter
To this I would say: "Be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove." - This is the instruction to His disciples (I'm one), and it works well whether you are one or not. What I mean by this is, most of the time I will be "forgiving" of offenses and infractions, with a warning to avoid doing it again. However, wisdom dictates in this context that I cannot always "forgive" wayward behaviour. In such cases, my foot will be down... for good. To quote another saying of Jesus here (not verbatim) "whoever's sins you forgive are forgiven, and whoever's sins you retain are retained".
P.S. I will not use my moderator status to attack users who personally attack me or my friends or even a love interest.
I have signed the Ubuntu Code of Conduct and I try to live by similar principles to those in the Leadership Code of Conduct.
For more about me as a person, see here: http://about.me/rolandixor
You will find I don't try to hide who I am on the internet, because I believe if someone is to be trusted, they should be known for who they are.
P.S. Please leave feedback if I should improve this post before the time runs out :)!