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Is there no mechanism to suggest other community members for nomination?

If I remember correctly, last election there was some mechanism in place to suggest community members other than ourselves who we thought had the right stuff for moderation. I can't seem to find any appropriate place to do so this election cycle; am I just missing it, misremembering the last election, or was this intentionally changed?


EDIT: In response to Asaf's comment that the mechanism last cycle was informal, consider this post the new informal mechanism — if there are any community members you believe have the right stuff to moderate MathOverflow in the coming years, post your suggestions here!

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    $\begingroup$ There was nothing official. It was merely a discussion on meta. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Sep 20 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila Ah, thank you; I'll edit accordingly. $\endgroup$
    – Alec Rhea
    Sep 20 at 18:14
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps it is worth mentioning that similar posts were made in 2021 and in 2013. $\endgroup$ Sep 20 at 18:39
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know who to nominate, but I am a little concerned that there are only two candidates, so I hope there are some more nominations... $\endgroup$ Sep 21 at 17:27
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    $\begingroup$ @SamHopkins If you want to nominate someone, a good first guess is to look at the results of the previous election and consider the runner-ups. $\endgroup$ Sep 21 at 17:44
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    $\begingroup$ And now it looks like we only have one candidate... $\endgroup$ Sep 22 at 21:55
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila I apologize if this is not the right place to post this comment/question, but in elections with only one candidate it has sometimes been the practice to introduce a "dummy" candidate with a name such as "RON" for "re-open nominations". Is this something that might be considered in this case? $\endgroup$
    – Yemon Choi
    Sep 24 at 13:56
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    $\begingroup$ @YemonChoi: I don't remember the protocol exactly, but if my memory serves me right, if there is only one nomination the election is canceled anyway (and may be rescheduled). I'll find out, but it's the weekend, so I'm guessing we'll all find out together come Monday. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Sep 24 at 15:56
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    $\begingroup$ From the FAQ on Meta SE, if at the end of the nomination period "the number of nominees is less than or equal to the number of moderator slots, the nomination period will be extended by seven days, and if there are still not enough nominees to make the election competitive, the election will be cancelled entirely." $\endgroup$ Sep 24 at 16:30

2 Answers 2

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Noah Schweber would make an excellent MO moderator.

He is a top-notch mathematician who regularly contributes to the site, his interactions with other users are consistently helpful and patient, and he has a good understanding of the impartial space between friendliness and dismissiveness that constitutes a moderators nirvana.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the nomination! Unfortunately, I don't have the time at the moment to devote to being a moderator. I'll definitely consider running in the future, though. $\endgroup$ Sep 26 at 14:41
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This is not a nomination but it's about nominations.

I think it would've been preferable if the current moderating team had tried to recruit some credible candidates before deciding (seemingly all of a sudden, as the historical schedule of MO elections is very erratic) to have a new election. There are some obvious problems with announcing an election but not having enough qualified people to run.

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    $\begingroup$ Previous times it looked like there weren’t many candidates at first, and then several decided to run near the end. $\endgroup$ Sep 22 at 23:28
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, I think that most tenured people are overwhelmed by administrative duties, so they're waiting and hoping that someone else volunteers. My guess is that you'll get some people at the last minute (but just the be clear, not me!). $\endgroup$ Sep 23 at 2:32
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    $\begingroup$ All of a sudden? We announced that a month ago to give people time to reflect. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Sep 23 at 4:18
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila: fair enough, but again if you look at the historical pattern of elections at MO, one month is a very short time frame. Also, echoing something said in the comments above, for folks who operate on an "academic timeframe," one month can be not very much time to decide whether to take on a big additional commitment. $\endgroup$ Sep 23 at 14:04
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    $\begingroup$ @SamHopkins Well -- how big or how small an additional commitment being a moderator on MO is, is largely up to the moderator themselve. But as I understand, it is in the interest of the community that moderators can regularly devote a non-negligible amount of time to their duties. -- And people for whom one month notice is sufficient are probably more likely to be able to do this than people for whom one month notice is insufficient to make the decision to run and to write their nomination. $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Sep 24 at 8:19
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    $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl Given the self-selection mechanism you describe, isn't there a risk of "The best lack all conviction while the worst / are full of passionate intensity" $\endgroup$
    – Yemon Choi
    Sep 24 at 13:57
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    $\begingroup$ @YemonChoi Yes, that risk is there -- but I fear that risk would also not be eliminated by announcing an election much longer in advance. $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Sep 24 at 20:09
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    $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl: In the previous election, noises that there should be such an election came from members of the community (myself included) many months before the election was scheduled. And, it had been almost 10 years from the previous election. Maybe at present there is little enthusiasm for an election, given that changes happened quite recently? $\endgroup$
    – Lucia
    Sep 25 at 0:04
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    $\begingroup$ Well, my impression is that recently there is a lack of enthusiasm for MO in general, regardless of the election. $\endgroup$ Sep 25 at 9:39
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    $\begingroup$ @FrancescoPolizzi Interesting, what gives you that impression? $\endgroup$
    – Alec Rhea
    Sep 25 at 18:28
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    $\begingroup$ @AlecRhea: I am not sure, but it seems to me that there is less participation than in the past, and people seem to have less fun than before. But it is just a feeling, and I might be wrong. $\endgroup$ Sep 25 at 22:00

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