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2016 Moderator Election

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!


This election ended Apr 5 '16 at 20:00.

The results of this election can be viewed online via OpaVote. Anyone may download the election data. Voters have access to pre-built OpenSTV software to audit the results; all others may use this source distribution


2,414 voters were eligible, 770 visited the site during the election, 709 visited the election page, and 307 voted

I am nominating myself for the following reasons:

  • In order to have a primary phase (without my nomination it's only 10 candidates).
  • To know my candidate score.
  • To be on the top of the list before Mark Mayo, Relaxed & JoErNanO.

What I can contribute as a moderator:

  • I have a very thick skin, it's not easy to piss me off.
  • I am unbiased, I love everybody the same except Mark Mayo whom I like more than the rest but I don't think he'll be a problem.
  • I visit SE Travel everyday.
  • A late comer ! It doesn't look you've been very active (flags/reviews/votes), how can we know you'll participate more if elected ? Best of luck – blackbird Mar 28 '16 at 18:13
  • @blackbird57 unless you have a crystal ball you can't, you'll have to have faith in me :D C'mon I have been called the most dedicated troll on SE. I disagree with the troll part but I would be the most dedicated moderator. – Ulkoma Mar 28 '16 at 18:17

I'm nominating myself, to see what my candidate score is...ok I jest ;)

I am however, a previous mod who took a break, and a current mod on expats.SE. I hope to create a bond between Expats and Travel.

I've been on since the first beta week in 2010. I love travel, and have accessed Travel.SE from at least 20 countries. I've met several of the top users on this site in person, and feel like part of a community, rather than just a name on a site.

Stats: I've answered over 1630 questions on the site. I've 'impacted' over 6 mill people, have >1,500 helpful flags, and have cast over 11,000 votes.

And...I have two Travel.SE tshirts, two mugs, stickers, and of course, the Travel.SE towel ;)

To know how I'd moderate:

I'm in Sydney - while I previously moderated from Asia and Vancouver.

I look forward to a 4th mod to help the present ones, and to continue to grow this site not just as a Q/A site, but as a real community, meeting people in person as we all enjoy the thing we come here for - travel.

  • Earlier you gave up being a moderator, and now you nominate only halfway the nomination phase. Can you convince me that you nominating yourself was not a isolated brainfart, which might make you quit as a moderator in a few months time? – Bernhard Mar 25 '16 at 9:00
  • Please interpret my comment as if it was read with an extremely friendly voice, as that was my intention, altough it may look otherwise :) – Bernhard Mar 25 '16 at 12:00
  • @Bernhard I did it for a year and a half initially, so that's fairly easy. I then was travelling for a couple of months around North America during the last elections and decided I couldn't be certain I'd have time then, which I didn't - I was also moving to Australia after that trip. Turns out after time I probably could have - heck, I'm still a mod on expats after 744 days in beta (2 years). I don't generally just 'quit' things. I also wanted a chance to be a regular user for a while and just focus on answering questions. I did that, and now want to help with the direction again. – Mark Mayo Mar 26 '16 at 5:17
  • @Bernhard totally valid question, of course :) – Mark Mayo Mar 26 '16 at 5:17

I have been a travel.SE user for some time. I did not plan to stick around, yet I am still answering questions when I can.

I believe in a hands-off moderation style. I think the platform offers many tools for regular users to take care of the site themselves. There are exceptions requiring swift action, like the spam waves we see from time to time, but for the most part content issues can be dealt with in the open, using the voting system.

I have also been a Wikipedia editor and administrator for many years and perhaps because of this I believe in editing questions and answers aggressively. I also have a tendency to comment a lot. If I become a moderator, I expect that I will need to be a bit more careful with those two things.

  • You have also participated regularly in various unofficial 'competitions' which has elevated your esteem amongst other long-term members. And the rest is evident from you very impressive candidate score. All the very best for a strong campaign! – Gayot Fow Mar 24 '16 at 5:20

Long term extensive traveler and a fairly early member of travel.stackexchange.com, I'm more interested in questions related to locations around the globe as opposed to the many visa/passport/Shengen questions that have more recently taken a much more prominent position.

I would hope to be able to facilitate going somewhat more back to what I think should be the roots of this community, travel advice related to locations around the world.

  • From what I understand moderation isn't necessarily about answering more questions, what do you feel you could contribute to moderation that's currently lacking ? – blackbird Mar 23 '16 at 18:46
  • I have been thinking we need to be bringing in about 140 - 150 new questions every day and this will put the visa questions into a less conspicuous ratio. I hope you can come up with some great ideas and run a strong campaign for moderator! – Gayot Fow Mar 23 '16 at 19:17
  • As @GayotFow says, the only real solution is to get more and more diverse questions onto the site. The visa questions will remain, there's obviously a 'market' for them, but when offset with enough questions about destinations, they won't effectively take over the site. And, the longer visa questions feature prominently, the less likely it will be for us to make a change that I think is important, even necessary. tbh, to achieve this, the emphasis probably needs to be more on marketing than moderation, and perhaps on lowering the threshold for inclusion (of users, not content). – MastaBaba Mar 24 '16 at 13:37
  • I'm interested in that, all I seem to do is close duplicate visa questions lately. But how do you propose to attract new, more diverse questions ? – blackbird Mar 25 '16 at 13:16
  • @blackbird57 Besides promotion and marketing, I suspect a boost could also be had from making adjustments to the visuals and functionalities of the site. I'm personally a strong supporter of the no-frills look and feel of travel.se, but it's not the kind of format that is easily associated with the fun of travel. Compare travel.se with trippy.com and you will understand the more general appeal of that site. (Also, they have what I think is a cool feature, where locations mentioned in posts are automatically put on a map.) – MastaBaba Mar 25 '16 at 16:39

Hi, I am Miroslav, Bulgarian living in Germany. I love road trips and panorama views. I have been Travel.SE member for almost 4 years and in this time I have done a lot of reviews and tried to help to the moderation of the site with all privileges that I have so far. I am pretty satisfied with the current moderator team and I hope that I will do my job also that good.

  • Good to see you here. Best of luck. – JoErNanO Mar 23 '16 at 19:32
  • Айде наш'те! Great that you stepped up to the challenge. Best of luck! – mindcorrosive Mar 23 '16 at 20:00

About Me

I have been around Travel.SE for more than a year. During this time I became a trusted user, posted many answers, a few questions, and reached some 627k people doing so. I have edited over 850 posts, raised hundreds of helpful flags, completed thousands of review tasks, and distributed a fair share of reputation by voting over 5000 times. I'm also an active Meta and chat user, and have interacted closely with the existing moderators.

I love travelling, although I've slowed down over the past couple of years, and have been trying to pass on my knowledge and experience to others by contributing to this site. Indeed, I like to think of myself as a tips-and-tricks guy.

My Objectives

The reason I spend so much time on Travel.SE is that by participating here I'm always learning something new. My goal as a moderator is to make sure this site stays this way for all its users. Maintaining high quality standards is paramount to achieve this goal. As a moderator I'll ensure that site rules are adhered to by all including myself. I'll also strive to judiciously and promptly clean up low quality content.

My time zone is UTC+1.

  • I feel stupid now, I always though you were a mod because you are very patient and fair. I wish you all the best, you are the perfect candidate. – Ulkoma Mar 22 '16 at 15:06
  • Is there anything you want to change or improve? It sounds like you really like the way TSE is, which is great, but surely things aren't perfect. – Esoteric Screen Name Mar 22 '16 at 19:09
  • It is great to see your nomination and I am sure you could strengthen the current team! But would you like to add some fresh and new ideas to TSE? Where would you like to lead this community in the next years: growth of (active) members, topics, style, ...? Do you see any problems as of now and if so, how would you like to tackle those? – mts Mar 22 '16 at 23:51
  • @mts "Leading" is not really in the job description. – Michael Hampton Mar 23 '16 at 1:36
  • @MichaelHampton fair point, feel free to read as "where do you see this community..." or to just ignore. – mts Mar 23 '16 at 1:37
  • good luck, mate :) – Dirty-flow Mar 23 '16 at 9:00
  • @EsotericScreenName Personally I don't think that electing new moderators is the way to push for changes. I think that anyone, mod or not, can suggest changes and improvements, and these have to be discussed with the community on Meta. I have had ideas for the site, and have always posted them on Meta. IMHO Travel simply needs an extra pair of hands on the mod team, since the site has grown considerably and due to the nature of the site our users, including our mods, might be travelling every now and then. You know what? We even discussed this on Meta. :) – JoErNanO Mar 23 '16 at 14:48
  • That's a very impressive candidate score 39/40, it's clear you have spent significant time doing badgeware to have accrued almost all the other candidates combined. All the very best for good luck! – Gayot Fow Mar 23 '16 at 19:12
  • JoErNanO is a name I've heard mentioned in a good light multiple times while I've been a moderator; I haven't had any personal dealings but I'm sure JoEr would step up admirably. – ArtOfCode Mar 23 '16 at 23:51
  • I always admired how you, Mark Mayo, and many others answer questions and continue conversations and maintain the friendliness everywhere. Good luck mate. – Ayesh K Mar 27 '16 at 11:59

About myself

I've been a Travel.SE member for over 2 years now, made 400+ edits, posted 500+ comments, reviewed 300+ posts, cast 400+ closure and reopen votes, reached ~175k people. I have a pretty good grip on what makes a good Travel.SE question and answer, as well as what direction the community is heading.

Time-zone availability

I live in Prague, Czech Republic and would be available during 08:00-23:00 UTC time.

Main goal as moderator

I think the community moderation is perfect as it is, so I'm not looking to do anything else other than reduce the workload of the current team.

I like helping other people with reasonable queries and with moderation I'd have more tools to remove the unreasonable queries as well :)

  • Surely there has to be something you'd like to improve ? – blackbird Mar 22 '16 at 13:26
  • @blackbird57 there's tons of grunt work to be done: old duplicates, tag merging, tag unmerging, wiki edits, contests, etc. The current mods are doing fine, they just need a bit more help. – JonathanReez Mar 22 '16 at 15:11
  • It's great to see you're involvement and willingness to help; and similarly it's great to learn you are satisfied with the site in its current state. All the very best! – Gayot Fow Mar 23 '16 at 19:10

Hi all,

I believe that this is a really nice place to quench travel hungry people even if they are not travelling as often as they wanted.

I am a programmer and I have travelled extensively with various means and under various circumstances. I believe in kindness and most of all, respect.

I would like to be a moderator, because this will make me spend more time here, I feel that people in this portal understand me and I understand them!

Thanks and safe travels!

  • What do you think you can contribute to the moderation on this site ? – blackbird Mar 22 '16 at 13:31
  • I know that travel knowledge is not the most important point when moderating a travel forum but I do know about the kinds of people travelling. I have met, discussed and made friends of all sorts all over the world - partly what I want to contribute here too. – Pixie Mar 22 '16 at 13:35
  • I suggest you spend more time here first and then put yourself up for election as a moderator. Don't you think it would be rather strange if somebody you hardly knew came to your village and said, "Hi! I think you should vote for me as chief of your village. That will encourage me to spend more time with you."? – David Richerby Mar 22 '16 at 15:31
  • I do not see the fact of being a moderator as being the chief to a village. As a matter of fact, I do not like chiefs in general. It is because of tools like these that we need less chiefs in our lives... What I really like is to facilitate, share and enjoy the experience given and taken from both new and old members of the forum. – Pixie Mar 22 '16 at 16:11
  • @DavidRicherby Meanwhile in Switzerland, this village mayor was refused residency for many years – gerrit Mar 22 '16 at 18:17
  • I think it's wonderful to throw your hat into the ring because it would make you visit the site more often, but what if it backfires and has the opposite effect? I do hope you have given thought to all the various outcomes and at this point I'm glad I got to read more about you and want to wish you all the very best. – Gayot Fow Mar 23 '16 at 19:21

Do I have as much reputation as some of the other candidates? Maybe not.

However, I have experience in moderation and I believe that in many ways a fresh perspective can be helpful.

In my role as moderator on the Law Beta site, I am reasonably active. Moderators on Beta sites take on a slightly different role to those on graduated sites, but the principle that moderators are human exception handlers remains the same. Looking at some of the current issues raised on Travel Meta, I confidently say that my flag handling is accurate, generally uncontroversial, and prompt.

What can I bring to Travel? Well, since my breakout answer a little over three years ago, my contributions have been infrequent, but generally of a high quality.

If elected, I will work closely with the community to uphold existing norms while being open to potential improvements. I realise that I need to put in the time getting to know the community and I'll do so regardless of the outcome.

A bit about me:

  • I live in Sydney (I believe this would help with the distribution of moderators across timezones)
  • I've travelled in Asia, Europe, and North America
  • My favourite invention is the sleeping mask
  • So you've not been (very) active on Travel. How would becoming a moderator change that? – CMaster Mar 22 '16 at 9:05
  • Thanks, I was hoping someone would ask because I literally could not fit any more into my nomination. I believe that moderators should at least be frequent readers of, if not participants on, their sites because the site effectively belongs to its users, and moderators merely steward it for those users. For example, on Law, I have voted on approximately 1/3 of the posts. Also, I like travel, so I'll be more active around here anyway, but being a moderator would (for lack of a better word) oblige me to do so. – jamessug Mar 22 '16 at 9:11
  • If you like the site and are committed to it, show us that through your actions. A promise of "Hey, I'm hardly here at all but if you make me come here I will do" doesn't sound like it's worth a whole lot. Why should we vote for somebody who will be here out of a feeling of obligation (which will surely fade) rather than somebody who already wants to visit the site? – David Richerby Mar 22 '16 at 15:35
  • @David, I of course understand that for many people, lack of activity on this site will be a dealbreaker, and of course that's entirely their prerogative to vote for someone who is here more often. However, I feel that I set myself apart from other candidates in that, in addition to being a moderator on Law, I spend quite some time on Meta Stack Exchange, even if my contributions are sparse - I generally try to consume as much content as possible, and intervene where I feel I have something of value to contribute. It's not always the case that high rep users make the best mods. – jamessug Mar 22 '16 at 20:23
  • Hi! Since admittedly you are not very active on TSE (flagging, editing, voting), are you reading the flow of questions we get? Do you have an overview over what type of Qs and As we already have? Could you find a duplicate for most UK visa questions? It would be great to have you more active on TSE but for strengthening your nomination I would love to see more what ties and contributions you have already with TSE. – mts Mar 22 '16 at 23:36
  • @mts Thanks for that - these are important considerations, and I didn't throw my hat in without considering them, though I did run out of room in my nomination. For a little more backstory: before I joined Travel SE I'd read it. A lot. Of course, this isn't something that I can show because, well, I hadn't created an account there, and in fact prior to that I wasn't very active on SE sites in general - this was only the third network account I'd created, and I'd been lurking around for a long time before that, and unfortunately, I've been lurking a reasonable amount since then. ... – jamessug Mar 23 '16 at 7:20
  • @mts ... I know that I'm a relative newcomer to the site, but there are things that I can offer, as I've had real experience using the actual moderator tools on Law. I have insight into when and how this should apply in general, and seen how it is applied on TSE. Could I find a duplicate for most UK visa questions? I would say most likely I could, but if what you mean is "do I have in the back of my head a list of UK visa questions that are often the target of duplicate closures?" then no, I don't. ... – jamessug Mar 23 '16 at 7:22
  • @mts ... As for the ties and contributions, you'll see that my primary contributions are those made in relation to travel-related finance/banking questions or travel questions relating to Sydney and Australia, being the areas that I have the strongest and . Could I have done more since I joined? Almost certainly. As I've previously mentioned, it is completely understandable that it would be a dealbreaker for some users, and I accept that as an evaluation of my contributions, as well as others' - even if it's not something that disqualifies me itself, stronger candidates may present themselves. – jamessug Mar 23 '16 at 7:26
  • Finally, @mts, and in general, as a postscript: You'll see me ramping up my participation on TSE - there's no question about it. But I feel it would be disingenuous to try to do so merely to earn the badges considered in the candidate score, and in fact if I did, I believe it would be a good sign that I wouldn't be fit to hold the position. So, again- regardless of the outcome, hope I'll see all of you around sometime :) – jamessug Mar 23 '16 at 7:33
  • I'm glad you have thrown your hat into the ring as it will help make the nominees more diverse and I hope many voters will reflect on your performance as a moderator in other SO sites. All the very best of luck for a strong campaign! – Gayot Fow Mar 23 '16 at 19:24
  • In my dealings with jim/jamessug in his Law post, I've always found him to be knowledgeable, helpful and personable. I can't speak of his travel knowledge, but he would make a solid moderator. – ArtOfCode Mar 23 '16 at 23:48

I would like too nominate myself as I believe I have been very understanding and helpful to fellow members during my stay in this stack exchange site. I always believe that discussion, understanding and kindness is the way forward. Of course i understand that I am quite a newbie, but still, I would be willing to take this chance to help with this community.

Why do I happen to have lower rep?

Me having a lower reputation is more due to the fact that few questions have been asked about places that I have traveled to, than being inactive. I have answered most questions that have been asked about my native country, even older questions.

Does lower rep mean less experience in moderation?

Not really. I have a good knowledge on editing, flagging posts and also commenting. Of course, there will be more to learn, and I will need to devote more time on Travel.SE.

So I have 0/40 and I think I am the perfect moderator?

Absolutely not. I understand I can improve i several areas such as voting. I vote very regularly on stack-overflow and I just need to bring this habit to Travel.SE. I probably need to answer more general travel questions as well, as well as moderating posts.

  • Hi! Could you elaborate more, it is difficult for me to get a picture of you. You have not been very active yet in editing, flagging and voting, so why do you want to have extended powers if you don't use the ones you have? What and how would you contribute to the moderation team? Would you be able to find the right tags for a wrongly classified new question? – mts Mar 22 '16 at 23:40
  • @mts I have updated my nomination so that it answers your concerns. One more thing on your other concern of "how could I contribute to the team?", I have traveled extensively in my native country and less so around the world, and I am sure I can use my travelling knowledge inside my country to answer and moderate questions that have been asked about it. Since the team would need people from different localities, and because I am willing to take the responsibility as a moderator, I believe I would fit in as a contributing member. This is apart from the reasons given in the edited nomination. – toing_toing Mar 23 '16 at 2:56
  • Thanks, that looks much better to me! But are you following ALL questions on TSE? Do you know the tags that are in use? Would you be able to find a duplicate for a UK visa question? – mts Mar 23 '16 at 3:07
  • I do follow ALL questions in TSE, but only answer those I have expertise in. When I become a moderator, i will make sure that all questions that should be flagged will be flagged with appropriate labels (e.g.: duplicate). I have a decent idea of the tags in use, especially country and city wise tags. To find a duplicate for UK visa question, I would probably search by uk tag and any other visa specific tag in the question and search for duplicates. Again I would have to regularly follow questions to know this has previously been asked. Hope this is agreeable with you. – toing_toing Mar 23 '16 at 13:24
  • One more thing I want to do, irrespective of whether being a moderator works out or not, is to promote TSE as a QA site for people working in diverse fields; at the moment I have felt that this is mostly used by IT professionals for their travel problems. Hopefully we can change that. – toing_toing Mar 23 '16 at 13:29
  • I wasn't aware that you had joined. Please accept my best wishes for good luck in this event – Gayot Fow Mar 23 '16 at 19:08
  • It's wonderful that someone so new to the site wants to get involved and help out, perhaps some fresh personae can bring a fresh view into the public expectations for the role. Campaign hard and show your commitment so people can get to know you better. And please accept my wishes for good luck! – Gayot Fow Mar 23 '16 at 19:27
  • @GayotFow I will certainly try my best to convince my aspiration. There certainly will be a learning curve, but I'm pretty sure it would be manageable. Thanks for the wishes! – toing_toing Mar 23 '16 at 21:03
  • Now benchmarking your candidate score at 0,0,0,0 (Wed eve). Let's see where it is tomorrow and how well you made out. – Gayot Fow Mar 23 '16 at 21:13
  • You've only been on the site for two months and you've not given us much to evaluate in that time. A lot of being a moderator is about keeping the site working in the way the community expects. How have you managed to find out what the community is looking for in such a short time without, for example, having access to the review queues on this or even any other Stack Exchange site? – David Richerby Mar 26 '16 at 19:51

I nominate myself. I fancy becoming a moderator!

  • Don't you think you should tell us more than just your wish to become a moderator? – Ulkoma Mar 22 '16 at 7:29
  • @Ulkoma, if people don't like any other candidates, they can protest vote for me! – cnst Mar 22 '16 at 17:18
  • So you are the protest vote?! Anything else that would make your application stand out? I see you have not cast a single helpful flag on TSE. – mts Mar 22 '16 at 23:43
  • @mts, my nomination was the first, e.g., the oldest nomination in this election cycle. – cnst Mar 23 '16 at 1:19
  • In your two years on the site you are already on the verge of becoming an established user! What an enviable track record. Plus I can see you have done some badgeware. Regardless of the outcome I hope that your enthusiasm for the site continues to grow! – Gayot Fow Mar 23 '16 at 19:31
  • @GayotFow, thank you, I appreciate your support! :-) – cnst Mar 23 '16 at 21:51

This election is complete.