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I think the reason the site attracts personal questions is because of its name

As humble as possible, I think I have seen a big problem in a site, and make a proposal to fix it. Not so much users interact with the meta post (or only read it silently), but all those speak agree that it is the big problem, they just don't have a consensus about the solution. Including the mods.

Since everyone agrees that this is a big problem, they should work hard to fix it. However it seems like except two mods, the others don't push it. To quote one (this is not a mod):

I too would like to be proven wrong, but I confess that I'm not convinced there's a healthy enough signal:noise ratio for that to truly take hold.

Life is hard, being a mod is harder. I understand that they may have so much things to do in their life, and not have much time for this. But they are mods, and since everyone agree that this is a problem, they should be proactive on this. I have tried to open a chat to float the issue up. Except the two, the others only leave one or two comments and leave.

They still do their jobs in monitoring the site, but IMO they don't care about the issue anymore. I want to encourage them again, but don't know what to do. I think at least they should keep in mind about that.

Should I do that? And how to do it properly? Is not being convinced that the proposal will work can give them the right to ignore it?

Quote taken from Fomite

migrated from meta.stackexchange.com Sep 25 '15 at 14:26

This question came from our discussion, support, and feature requests site for meta-discussion of the Stack Exchange family of Q&A websites.

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    What is it exactly that you see mods as uniquely having the power to do that you would like to pressure them to do? "Be proactive" is a fairly nonspecific request. – Susan Sep 25 '15 at 14:49
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    The wording on this question makes it a bit difficult to fully understand. Can you clarify your first 3 paragraphs? Are you saying that mods should be more pro-active in closing personal medical questions? Because I think that we should really focus on getting more users with VTC privileges so that such questions are community moderated, and doesn't add burden to mods. [not voted yet] – Atl LED Sep 25 '15 at 15:03
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    My point another way: the site currently has 27 users with the ability to vote to close (Rep>500). Is this even close to enough so that the community could handle the problem? How many consistent users are really here? I think having an answering run, or a Q/A campaign (where people post both Q/A on something they are knowledgeable) is about the only we could try to increase that base. – Atl LED Sep 25 '15 at 15:10
  • @Susan "but IMO they don't care about the issue anymore" – Ooker Sep 25 '15 at 15:16
  • @AtlLED really good point, although it's not what I mean to say. I just want them to keep discussing the problem. Which part do you see difficult? – Ooker Sep 25 '15 at 15:19
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    In addition to the grammar errors, you don't actually say whatever the "big problem" is. – Atl LED Sep 25 '15 at 15:24
  • @AtlLED because this is intended to ask in the Meta of SE, not here, so I keep it as general as possible. The problem is linked in the footnote. – Ooker Sep 25 '15 at 15:27
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    That's an awkward way to put it and it belongs here if you're talking about a problem in Health. Can you rewrite it? I'm clearly not the only one with this problem. – Atl LED Sep 25 '15 at 15:49
  • @AtlLED I have make the footnote clearer (but I won't move it to the middle of the text, it's distracting). What else do you see unclear? – Ooker Sep 25 '15 at 15:52
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  • @JohnP yes, I have made my own answer for this. Check it out. – Ooker Sep 25 '15 at 16:10
  • Spurred this question: meta.health.stackexchange.com/questions/435/… – Atl LED Sep 25 '15 at 18:14
  • @Ooker "...all those speak agree that it is the big problem..." I don't agree. I don't think a name change would solve anything. "... they should work hard to fix it." (?) Why "they"? If you care about the site, you could earn more rep and start doing some of the work, it really is that simple. I don't say this to be rude; it's just common sense. But in another comment, you say, "i guess I don't have much time for googling stuff I'll never need." This is a mighty big double-standard. – anongoodnurse Sep 25 '15 at 20:05
  • Even with the edit, I'm not sure I agree with changing the name. People, for the most part, come looking for answers that are meaningful to them. Whether that is for a personal research paper, personal interest, a health matter, it's important to an individual person. Often questions like that can be relevant to more than one person, but the impetus behind the question is nearly always personal. It's like that on every SE site, it's just that health is a much more nebulous subject to get a hold of than a movie or home repair site. Changing the name but keeping the content won't change that. – JohnP Sep 25 '15 at 20:45
  • @anongoodnurse do you want to make a chat room? It's scruffy here. Will answer your queries one by one – Ooker Sep 26 '15 at 0:20
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Well, since I was the one who posted the comment you quoted, I suppose it behooves me to respond.

That quote is entirely about the content of the questions and answers and has nothing to do with moderation. What exactly are you suggesting the mods be pressured to "do" exactly? Sit around making up thought provoking questions, and insightful answers? How could they possibly be expected to do that on a topic as broad as "health"? Would that not just end up being weird performance art, rather than an actual functional site?

The mods are not content providers, nor should they be. If this sites "big problem" is indeed that there is a lot of noise in terms of low quality, hit and run, "Does this look infected to you?" type questions, it's on the community.

  • "sit around...": i don't mean that they should only do that (oh, I did say it, sorry, my brain fart). I only mean that they should keep in mind about this, since at least they agree that it has a problem. From my knowledge, they have completely abandoned it, that's what I'm worry. "A lot of noise...": some say yes (the last paragraph) – Ooker Sep 25 '15 at 15:40
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    "I only mean that they should keep in mind about this" What evidence do you have that they aren't doing this? Or is this question more of a press conference to air your concerns? – Fomite Sep 25 '15 at 15:59
  • Honestly I can't be sure. That's why I use "IMO" – Ooker Sep 25 '15 at 16:08
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I'm not a user nor a lurker, so am not familiar with the site.

I saw this from MSE and thought I'd stick my nose in respond from a new user/neutral perspective.

You don't outline any problems in your question other than the moderators should do "something". So I (as I'm sure others users will be) am not sure what it is you feel they should do, and so have no ideas nor arguments either way as to whether they should do "that" or not.

The only actual issue I can take from you question is:

How to make more pressure on the mods?

Pressure to do what? If you mean generate more content, then that's their choice as standard users of this site and without obligation, just like you and everyone else.

If you mean duties they are obligated to do as a moderator, then you will have to be clear on what the problems are which need resolving.


Clueless outsider

Maybe because I'm not familiar with the site that there is some "inside" known problem around here. However, that doesn't make it ok for your question to be vague, as this makes it difficult to develop useful discussions and viable suggestions to be proposed.

There will also be lurkers, and users with regular activity on other Stack Exchange sites who are clued up on the general structure of the sites who could perhaps chip in and suggest things, such as something which worked on another site, etc. They cannot help unless the problem is outlined clearly.

I did see some meaty discussions loosely linked from this question about "not enough content" and "need more moderators". Neither of which are moderator duties.

If the issue is "poor content/inaccurate voting, etc", then you need to realise the responsibility to keep the site clean and moderated on a basic level is mostly on community (non-moderators). So that would invalidate this question being about moderators (tho I'm still unsure what your question is about).


This site

Is quite new, and is obviously trying to gather a bit of motion, and because of that I cannot see why there is any moderator issue yet, not until there is a lot more and regular content being posted, reviewed, etc, which requires moderator intervention.

To make the site work and generate more content, and more and returning users, the general community (you, not moderators) need to be really friendly, welcome people, comment and answer best you can and as quickly as you can. Vote where appropriate as much as possible, and generally put a lot of effort in to make the site grow.

This has nothing to do with requirements from moderators either, and until this happens, I cannot see what moderator issue there would be (again, without you being more specific).


I'd honestly stick around and help out, but I know nothing about medical things whatsoever.

  • After some more time, I'd be interested to see if this site get's significantly more off topic questions (proportionally) than other sites. As mentioned in other posts, by the very nature of the setup of the site ("Health") we might be biased in that direction. I'm sure some that stats would be interesting one way or the other. – Atl LED Sep 25 '15 at 17:35
  • @AtlLED Such things can be a burden on all new sites until it finds it's feet and decide on what it does and does not allow etc. Also hard is the proportion of content and user activity greatly outweighs the number of users to manage it (low rep etc). Which is why keen users need to be extra keen at the beginning and put a bit more in, until their numbers grow. Even if you get a bad proportion of poor or off-topic questions, with enough effort any number of users can manage it, if keen enough. Then moderator problems may come, but only later on. – James Sep 25 '15 at 17:46
  • Also, meta discussions between you all is crucial to find what content is good, will work, and what is just crap. I'm sure with a good push in the right direction the site will work. It has potential for poor questions, such as internet health diagnosis is impossible, etc, but these things can simply be nipped in the bud at the start and community come together and get them closed (and don't answer them!) – James Sep 25 '15 at 17:48
  • I have stated my wish a couple times: "sit around...": they should keep in mind about this problem, since at least they agree that it is a problem. From my knowledge, they have completely abandoned it, that's what I'm worry. – Ooker Sep 25 '15 at 18:08
  • @Ooker You again use vague terms "this problem" "it is a problem" "abandoned it". What problem, what is "it" and "problem"? I honestly still do not know :) – James Sep 25 '15 at 18:14
  • The problem is on the footnote of my question. I will also edit it. The question was intended for the Meta and at that time I was trying to make it general – Ooker Sep 25 '15 at 18:19
  • Well, I decide to keep it being subtle there, so that we can focus more on the question of the title, instead of discussing about whether the problem is a problem or not. – Ooker Sep 25 '15 at 18:24
  • Your answer is great, but it based mostly on "the vagueness" of my question. Is this clear for you? – Ooker Sep 25 '15 at 18:27
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    @Ooker Being "vague" does not make for an answerable question, so how else could I answer it? If it's aimed at a small group of people who are "in the know" of some "inside" knowledge, you miss out on people not in the know being able to discuss it, such as me. If you want a secret exclusive discussion with a select few members, I suggest going off site. Other than that, I guess I'll mind my own business and go off to a site where I can be involved in discussions (see, ironically you lose potential members by alienating them..) – James Sep 25 '15 at 18:32
  • Ok, to keeping you sticking your nose here, I'll put it to the top. But isn't this a good practice? I avoid to add it in the main part, because it gonna distracting people who don't need it. I add it in the footnote, because who need it will have it. – Ooker Sep 25 '15 at 18:39
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    @Ooker Is it good practice to post an unanswerable vague question? No, never, not even on Meta. If the content from the link destinations mean something, then why isn't the relevant points in your question here with your arguments, observations, etc. Honestly, your question is just "here's some links something should be done". Your edit is absolutely tiny, yet makes your entire question answerable and understandable. Wow. It also makes my answer obsolete, so, will delete it soon. good luck. – James Sep 25 '15 at 18:45
  • I never intend to post an unanswerable question. Just my trying to help people focus more on the content. If it doesn't work, just say it. Come on, I'm starting to like you (and the answer) – Ooker Sep 25 '15 at 18:50
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    "If it doesn't work, just say it." I did, that's the point to most of my answer and comments :) – James Sep 25 '15 at 18:52
  • Let's me rephrase that: if it doesn't work, please show me why it not with concrete rationale. Thanks for your being patient. – Ooker Sep 25 '15 at 18:55
  • Incidentally, I'm a mod here who was involved in the linked chat and meta discussions, and I posted the first comment on this question, What is it exactly that you... would like to pressure [the mods] to do?... I'm pretty sure there was no "inside knowledge" you were missing. (Even after the title revamp, I'm still not sure exactly what is being requested that we do. I agreed with that site name proposal; it simply didn't have enough community support to justify such a big change.) Anyway, thanks very much for stopping by and for your cogent discussion of our "problem", whatever it may be. – Susan Sep 25 '15 at 19:01
2

Atl LED's comments may be the solution for this:

We need more Community Moderation

I think that's the way it is. The problem may never be solved, but its consequences will be kept in limited. The bad questions appears because the site itself doesn't have enough people to help the mods. What the site needs is not more work of the mods, but the time for it to grow.

That's why it is in beta. My problem is wanting to see it grows so bad.

  • For the record, my comment was that we maybe "understaffed" for community moderation given the volume of off topic questions. This volume in turn makes growth of experts less likely, and is probably closer to the issue @fomite was discussing. – Atl LED Sep 25 '15 at 16:23
  • So what's your suggestion? – Ooker Sep 25 '15 at 16:25
  • This was all getting a bit scattered so I just opened another question. – Atl LED Sep 25 '15 at 17:12
  • @AtlLED why not link to it? – Ooker Sep 25 '15 at 18:13

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