Out of deference to those who do not enjoy reading long posts on the site I tried to keep my responses as succinct as possible. If anyone would like further clarification to any of my answers please feel free to comment below.
- For a small site like ours, often it is difficult for 5 members to visit the close vote review queues in a reasonable period of time. As a moderator your close vote is binding. So, voting to close will close the question regardless of how the community at large has received the question. Many people think that closing questions is harsh and should only be used in the most extreme cases. Others think that closing questions that meet the closing guidelines is one of the main methods to keep question quality high. So this question centers on discussing how you will use your moderator close vote powers and how you have recently used the powers you currently have. Please discuss your views on this. Points that should be addressed include: How do you expect you will use the moderator close vote power? Will you visit the close vote queue regularly and vote to close those questions that need closing? How many close votes have you done in the last year? How many close vote reviews have you done in the last year? Do you consider closing a question unwelcoming?
I fully support removing posts from the site through the use of close votes. For posts that blatantly display a lack of refined effort, clarity, or do not follow the guidelines for asking thoughtful questions, I believe immediate closure is appropriate. I also believe however, that users that make questions of salvageable quality should be encouraged to make edits and improvements or be put on hold (see my recent Meta comment about this). Overall, I would continue to vote to close posts which clearly stand out as unacceptable, but would leave others open to encourage improvement or to the discretion of democratic vote from other reviewers.
Since this question seemed to place an emphasis on a quantitative component to this answer, I did the following calculations on my recent voting history for convenience:
7% were Leave Open votes
30% were Skip Post votes
63% were Close votes
Ultimately, most questions that populate the close queue arrived for a legitimate reason. So I don't see these statistics changing that much with moderator privileges, however, perhaps less closure votes.
- One of the most important responsibilities of a moderator is being on the site regularly. Moderators are expected to visit the site regularly and go to the moderator queues and then maybe also the review queues. How often do you visit DataScience or other StackExchange sites during a day or week?
I visit the Stack Exchange Data Science site frequently. Generally, at least once a day but sometimes up to three times a day. I also visit Stack Overflow as well just less frequently. I believe that being active as a moderator is critical to helping resolve issues promptly and keeping the site clean. My current streak is 23 consecutive visits (I am trying to get the fanatic badge).
- Effective moderation requires a desire to generate high quality content. One aspect of quality content is clear grammar and formatting. To that end, editing is an important activity. Please discuss how you approach the task of content editing. Some things to consider: How many edits have you done on the site (or on other SE sites) in the last year or two? How many suggested edits have you reviewed on the site (or on other SE sites) in the last year or two?
As my comment explains above, to me, editing is more defined and less of a grey area. Either a question is exemplary in its spelling, phrasing, and clarity or not. Overall, I enjoy editing posts. In the last quarter, I edited 34 posts (I think this is a fairly significant number relative to the size of our site and frequency of new questions asked). I would edit more posts with immediate edit privilege.
- 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?
While thoughtful answers prove invaluable to the success of our site, they should not come at the expense of our basic Code of Conduct. Ultimately, everyone represents the site - especially those with high reputation. In this case, I would talk to the user privately to try to resolve the issue or at least discuss it in a preliminary attempt to resolve the issue amicably. If displays of rudeness or repeated flagging persisted, I would suggest enacting a temporary ban to further convey the importance of respectful behavior.
- How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?
Ultimately, the moderators of a Stack Exchange forum all share unique expertise related to their respective forum. If a moderator decided to close a post that I disagreed with, I would respect their decision to do so. I would however, seek clarification as to why it was closed so that I could make any necessary edits or understand why the particular question was closed. Ultimately, moderators should trust the judgment of their peers but sometimes mistakes can happen.
- There are many moderating activities that the someone who is not a Diamond Moderator can do such as voting, editing, flagging, and visiting the reviews queues. Visiting the reviews queues is the activity farthest removing from visiting the site simply to ask or answer questions. In the last year or two, how active have you been in the review queues? How do you see yourself fostering a helpful community of people with review queue privileges (who aren't mods)?
Since gaining access to the review queues, I have been very active in them. Most frequently, I review posts in the close votes queue and the first post queue as these are often the most pressing to address in a timely manner. I also occasionally frequent the open vote queue and the late post queue, although admittedly, less than the other two. If there are any users which seem like they may be interested in participating in review tasks I would actively encourage them to explore them. Users who recently cross the reputation eligibility thresholds may also not be familiar with their access to the review sections; therefore, I would make sure to let them know about this feature.
- What's the most helpful post/answer you've seen on this site? What makes it stand out as an exemplary post/answer?
It is difficult to pick a definitive favorite for a post/answer on this site however, two that stood out to me were the following:
This recent question by Brian. I like this question because it is clearly very well thought out. It also adds an explanatory preface, acknowledges current progress, and clearly states the question. Further, it asks for working code examples and benchmarks which could be useful to future readers.
I also like the top answer here because it has very clear visualizations. Sometimes answers can be best expressed in pictures, animations, or formulas rather than always in text format. To me, answers which utilize each when appropriate greatly enhance their overall effectiveness.
- How do you ensure a community welcoming to new users while preventing a high number of low-quality questions?
The best way to preserve a well maintained and welcoming community is to help new users learn how to craft high quality questions while simultaneously filtering out low quality questions. I believe that leaving comments like "welcome to Stack Exchange Data Science, please consider adding more content to help better explain your question" can be helpful for new users; but, for questions which are not appropriate for the site, even coming from a new user, they should be removed. This answer shares some similarity to Question 1.
- What role do you see moderation playing in differentiating this site from stackexchange sites like stackoverflow, ai.stackexchange or crossvalidated and what guidelines are you following to achieve it?
While this site is similar in structure to other sites like Stack Overflow, Stack Exchange Data Science is unique in that it is much less developed. As a result, I believe that moderation for our site in particular, should be centered around fostering the growth and development of a community focused on generating exceptionally high quality content. Overall, this should be its largest distinguishing factor. I am not an expert on the specific protocol for Cross Validated, but to me, its has always seemed to be more focused on mathematical and statistical explanations to particular machine learning topics rather than broader conceptual explanations. Additionally, just from browsing its top tags, in comparison, it seems to place a greater emphasis on the use of regression based techniques and models.
- In your opinion, what do moderators do?
Moderators uphold basic organization of a site in addition to mediating conflict. They should also act as leaders on the site. Beyond the tasks outlined in the elections post, moderators also work to maintain administrative aspects of the site such as review queues and cleanliness. They also act to be community leaders and ultimately lead by example.