July 2018 Newsletter I

2018-07-09 by . 0 comments

Please set up a confirmed email address in the system.

We’d like to be able to reach out to you for important things, and we need to make sure that we have a working e-mail address on file for you that you check with regular frequency.

To check how you have this set and update it if necessary, go to yoursite.stackexchange.com/users/edit/current and check the email configuration.

We like to stay out of people’s email inboxes and try to reach moderators through in-site means. Primarily this means we try to reach out via chat, or use the Moderator Inbox Announcement system to point at the newsletter or a meta post. Generally, if an email is being sent out, it’s something of urgency that requires a response from the moderator, such as:

  • Our annual “Stack Exchange Gives Back” charity drive, where you choose charities where we donate in your name,
  • Our annual moderator engagement survey (explained below),
  • Arranging elections and confirming moderator active headcounts on the site.

If it’s not something that requires a direct response, it would be something Earth-shattering important that we absolutely need you to know about as soon as possible. An example of this would be an account with moderator access showing signs of being possibly compromised.

Please don’t forget to take a few moments and make sure you’ve got a valid email that you actually check at least semi-faithfully on file.

The first annual moderator engagement survey launches soon!

We’re starting a yearly tradition by sending out a short engagement survey to all moderators that’s quite similar to the survey that we send to all of our employees. The survey helps us understand the following things:

  • How much personal satisfaction you get from your role as a moderator,
  • How supported you feel by us (the company),
  • How supported you feel by your community,
  • How supported you feel by other moderators,
  • Free-form input where you can express things that we probably wouldn’t know to deliberately ask for,
  • An option to have someone from the company get in touch with you (email, phone, carrier pigeon, whatever works for you).

The survey is completely optional and anonymous; aggregate data that is not free-form in nature will be made public in a way that doesn’t identify individuals.

There will be a place for you to include a link to your profile so that we can collect more context around your responses, but it’s in no way required, and not including it won’t make your responses less useful to us.

We’d like to give folks a week to make sure their email addresses on file are current (see above!!), and then we’ll send links to participate in the survey privately.

The first Code of Conduct RFC is open.

In case you didn’t see it, we’ve published our first draft of our new code of conduct for public commentary. This is, as the post says, just the first draft of something a bit more substantial than our current “Be nice” policy.

Our expectation is, when finished, the code of conduct will allow moderators to remove hurtful comments that harm the image of their communities without as much arguing over whether something was technically rude or not. One of our major goals is to set people’s expectations that the intent of the document should be observed, without rule-lawyering parades presenting toxic behavior as acceptable or encouraged.

While the code of conduct will apply to all contributions on the sites, the major problems we’re trying to solve most often manifest in comments. While it might seem tempting to solve this issue by feature changes that simply give comments less visibility, we feel that it’s better to eliminate hurtful things than hide them. A snarky comment left unmoderated for 2+ years could be the single thing that deters a potentially great contributor from engaging on your site, and solid codes of conduct help folks feel safe about joining a new community.

As we post follow-up drafts following the incorporation of feedback both from meta and UX research interviews, we’ll make a mention of it in this (now bi-weekly) newsletter, just so you don’t miss them. If you have feedback you’d like to express privately, you can email Tim Post directly at tpost@stackoverflow.com.

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