-10
$\begingroup$

Recently Math Stack Exchange created the Math Mods' Office with the following room description:

For informal chat with the site moderators about moderation, spam, troublesome users and other issues you need ♦ input on.

Would you like to see such an office on MathOverflow?

$\endgroup$
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Sounds like a lot of unnecessary work for the mods. $\endgroup$ – Andy Putman Jun 15 '15 at 2:53
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ Let me give a little advice: next time you mean to be helpful and have a project which involves work and input from the moderators, don't just take the liberty of getting it started -- ask the moderators first. You can do so by sending an email to the address moderators@mathoverflow.net. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Jun 15 '15 at 11:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ In case it might be somewhat relevant for this discussion, I will add link to discussion on meta.math.SE which preceded creation of the mentioned room. I will also point out that MO has a chat room called MO editors' lounge. Several experienced users visit this room often. I remember seeing also François G. Dorais in this room. Maybe other moderators check that room, too, if they see that there's some activity in it. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jun 16 '15 at 11:04
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Thanks; that is helpful for setting context. However, I don't think MO has the type of problem you brought up which warrants the creation of a special chat room. We have flags, meta, and a moderator email which I believe work well for us, and speaking purely for myself I'd really rather not have to deal with chat. (I occasionally need to deal with an SE moderators' chat room called the Teachers' Lounge, if for example I am pinged by another SE moderator, but the place is waaaay too chatty for my taste, and when there I'm all business and get in and out as fast as possible.) $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Jun 16 '15 at 12:17
16
$\begingroup$

I'm not interested. I've got enough going on as it is; I really don't want to feel obliged to deal with 'informal (chit-)chat'. I took a quick look at the M.SE. chat room and quite a lot of it seems to be the usual meandering and idle conversations. I would feel free to ignore an analogous chat room here and any attendant fluff if I weren't a moderator. But now you want me to have to tune into this?!

More importantly: what of substance would be accomplished there that couldn't be accomplished through the means we already have (MO meta, flagging, and moderator email)? Many issues having to do with spam and troublesome users require care and sensitive and discreet handling, involving actions that are best handled privately.

Furthermore, I think this post is going about it wrong: this is something that you should really ask the mods about beforehand. Putting this up for public discussion puts us mods on the spot, and I don't like that one little bit. (Let me clarify that last sentence. I believe that an "MO Mods' Office" chat room, being somewhat of an imposition on the time, energy, and attention of the moderators, is not something to be imposed on the moderators by popular demand through a public discussion -- it absolutely has to come on offer from the moderators themselves.)

Added later: Someone I know on the SE Team also points out that while other SE sites may have such chat rooms (which by the way are initiated by moderators, not random users -- as it had been in this case as I comment below before I asked the user to take it down), it's probably not a great idea because it makes it way too easy for stuff to get lost.

Added still later: Partly in response to Asaf's comment, let me more prominently display the MO moderator email address, in case people feel the need for a private chat with the moderators that doesn't fit conveniently in a flag message and isn't really fit for public consumption at meta. It's

moderators@mathoverflow.net

I like to think we respond to emails in a fairly timely fashion. Asaf and quid (to name just two) have been known to take advantage of this option and I hope it works well for them. But it's not an option for people who just want to "shoot the bull" (where 'bull' is short for something) -- we're just not that kind of moderator team, I guess. (Sometimes people have been known to reach just me as well -- I think my email address is not hard to discover -- but I think the address above should mostly suffice.)

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ My cheesed-off reaction to this proposal is partly explained by this earlier post, for those who can see it: meta.mathoverflow.net/questions/2304/… $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Jun 15 '15 at 3:11
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If this has already been requested and declined, maybe undelete the original request so people can point to it as a duplicate. (Might also prevent users from requesting it again.) $\endgroup$ – user642796 Jun 15 '15 at 5:29
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @ArthurFischer It's not quite a duplicate. The user had created a MO Mods' Office chat room and announced that as a fait accompli, saying "feel free to use it". If you or others still want to have that post undeleted, I suppose it could be done. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Jun 15 '15 at 11:27
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I agree that the way it was propose is not good. But if you read more of the transcript I think you might change your opinion that it is only chit-chat. (The recent days are not really representative.) The one on Mathematics is quite low volume and the sigbal-to-noise ratio not too bad (for a chat-room). $\endgroup$ – user9072 Jun 15 '15 at 13:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @quid I didn't say 'only' chit-chat, did I? What I saw, which perhaps was not representative of the room as a whole, is that there was plenty of chatter. I really prefer not to have to be involved with such a thing; besides, I don't think it fits well with our trying to have a somewhat more professionally minded forum here. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Jun 15 '15 at 14:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @quid: I guess this is partially my fault. But for what it's worth, there's a collective moderators email for MO which works perhaps even better in my eyes. I agree that sometimes it feels overly formal and detached, but I'd much rather have a list of emails of the MSE mods (which I sorta kinda have), and if I knew that I'd get a very quick response, I'd probably use that rather than the chat. So in this aspect there's really no need to have this chatroom for MO mods. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 15 '15 at 15:10
  • $\begingroup$ I can corroborate your suspicions, that I had excellent feedback when it comes to the moderators email, and I think that the division of "flag, email, meta" is spot on. Probably better than "flag, chat, meta". $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 15 '15 at 21:54
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Asaf thanks for assuming your share of the responsibility :-) But then it was I that asked you first about onions and then about Hebrew. Anyway, at the end of the day I do not see a particular need for this room on MO either. However, the reasons for this (for which there are several, in part added by later edits) could have been presented in a non-dismissive way. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Jun 15 '15 at 22:33
  • $\begingroup$ @quid: I never shy away from an opportunity for off topic. Probably the most consistent negative feedback I get as a teacher (although, not entirely my fault; when I ask if everything is clear or are there any questions, and no one replies I tend to ask again, and then just to check if there are people in the class, ask if they have questions regarding some TV show or a movie or whisky related questions, and sometimes... we digress). $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 15 '15 at 22:36
  • $\begingroup$ Thankyou for your input. $\endgroup$ – skullpetrol Jul 6 '15 at 8:04
4
$\begingroup$

Hell no.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Is seems of some (limited) use on Mathematics and did not do any harm, as far as I can tell. It is not quite clear why you just dismiss the idea. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Jun 15 '15 at 13:11
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @quid I don't plan to have a long back-and-forth about this, but since you look like you want to defend the idea, maybe you could explain what purpose this would really serve that can't be handled by flags and meta (and moderator email). $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Jun 15 '15 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ I took the liberty to comment out the filler text. The character limit does not care whether the text is within a HTML comment or not. $\endgroup$ – Joonas Ilmavirta Jun 15 '15 at 16:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I’m not sure whether it applies to the character limit in particular, but most of these content filters can be bypassed by re-editing the post within the 5-minute grace period. $\endgroup$ – Emil Jeřábek supports Monica Jun 15 '15 at 16:27
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ @ToddTrimble the main point of my comment was to indirectly point out that "Hell no" is not what I would consider a professional way to reply to a suggestion (even if one thinks the suggestion is not good). $\endgroup$ – user9072 Jun 15 '15 at 22:35
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @quid I believe my answer displayed a level of thought and consideration commensurate with that in the original question, not to mention the deleted entry to which Todd Trimble has referred in his own answer $\endgroup$ – Yemon Choi Jun 15 '15 at 23:00
  • $\begingroup$ Moreover, as someone who "self-deleted" from MSE in extreme frustration with the way discussions there seemed to go, and who has watched at least one deleted/banned user employ that chatroom to harangue other users or mods... no thanks $\endgroup$ – Yemon Choi Jun 15 '15 at 23:02
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ re first: I find it disappointing that you consider this as sufficient. re second: The line of argument seems quite incoherent. (If you want I can explain in detail why.) $\endgroup$ – user9072 Jun 16 '15 at 10:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .