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2011 Moderator Election

nomination began
Sep 13, 2011 at 20:00
election began
Sep 21, 2011 at 20:00
election ended
Sep 29, 2011 at 20:00

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!

I've been highly active on this site since the very first days of the private beta, and been to the site every single day since then. (That's right, 313 days, 313 consecutive, since November 11, 2010 ;-) ). I don't always have time to do a lot of writing, but I check in at least once a day to try to catch any obviously bad or malicious posts, flags, and whatnot.

Within a few months I was appointed moderator pro tem, as one of the highest ranking users at the time (currently ranked at no.3). While I'm not on the site full-time, I do stop in at least daily, in case there is an urgent need of a moderator to clean something up. Even during pressured periods, such as project deadline, where I dont have as much time to read and write on the site, I make sure to check for flags, suggested edits, taggage, close votes, migrations, etc. Heck, I even logged on during my vacation on the beach... :$

In general, though, I believe the community should be mostly self-moderating - and the chief responsibility of the "diamond-mods" are to encourage and guide the rest of the community to do just that, with the occasional fine-grained mod-hammer if needed.
I think I've done a pretty good job with the encouraging - this can be seen in number of comments, more than twice as much as anybody else (well, most of them constructive :) ). As far as guidance goes - I believe in guiding by example, and well, I have edited and retagged more than 5 times more than anybody else.

As I said, I see my job as moderator (besides the occasional cleanup) as getting everybody else to do the right thing - though for the most part, most of the community pretty much does it anyway... And I like relying on my community peers to help with keeping the site in a good way.

As for the occasional cleanup - I'm in UTC+2 (and in the summer, +3), so I can usually pop onto the site earlier than most others. I don't hesitate to mod-hammer the obviously faulty ones (I'm the biggest closer), and try to get a consensus (or at least a second opinion) where it's a bit more ambiguous (or outside my level of understanding).

Btw, the above applies equally to Meta, the "town hall" of our community.

A bit about myself...
I have been active in the security field for just under a decade, focusing most often on the application security side of things (having been a programmer before, and now again). I like looking at how to make security efforts more efficient (but still effective), leading to things like secure coding, training, SDL, and high-level security engineering in general.
I enjoy publicising this site, and it complements my activities as a Board Member on the IL chapter of OWASP.... and, I recently talked StackExchange,Inc into sponsoring OWASP and becoming a member. In fact, at the recent OWASPIL conference, I was talking up the site a lot...!

One more thing...
A good moderator cannot help but make some mistakes, and as a great man once said: "If you're not offending anybody, you're doing it wrong". Of course we all try hard not to, but this still happens at times...

More importantly, in my opinion, is how one responds to disputes. I've been in my share of them (one might say I've used up my share of mistakes, so I'm safe from now on :D), but I've always diffused the, often tense, situation with respect and, if needed, firmness. As referrenced by one of the other nominees, I've helped turn one such dispute into one of the best contributors on this site.

I am proud of all I've done here, and by extension proud of the site and community as a whole.
This is what I want to continue doing.

My Motivation

I really like IT-Security Stack Exchange for it's friendly and highly qualified community.

In the past there was Usenet with highly qualified people. And some security forums on the web with more friendly people.

But Stack Exchange managed to bring both qualities together. I greatly enjoy hanging around here and I want to help keeping IT-Security a nice place.

About my contribution:

I joined IT Security shortly after the start of public beta. Before the end of the beta phase, I temporary earned access to the moderation tools.

Quite often I edit questions to make them easier to read or even worthy to keep. I think the ability to edit and improve questions of new users is something that plays an important role in the development of the community. Unlike Usenet we don't tell new people to get lost, just because they are not perfect. But we help them to settle in. (Unless the question is off-topic, but even in this case we point them to the correct Stack Exchange site.)

About me

I am from Germany in West Europe. So I get up when Americans go to sleep. ;-)

Security wise my main focus lies in the areas of business web applications, databases and online games. But I like to look further and see the whole picture.

I work in the security team and as software developer at HIS GmbH. HIS develops business software for universities and is market leader in Germany. In my spare time I do open source development, mostly in the Arianne project.

As a game master in the Stendhal online game I have some experience in calming down angry players.

Please feel free to ask me questions in the comment section.

I came in about a month later than our first users and have ramped up a little more slowly. For the past several months I've been a regular blog contributor, a presence in the site's chat room, and working hard to promote our online community to the world at large including peppering of links on other sites when related and harassing DEFCON speakers with Security.SE T-shirts.

I try to go around providing answers where there aren't any or more can be clarified, reminding folks to be nice to the new guy, and trying to keep the place friendly to folks at every level.

I think I personally would benefit in my promotion efforts from a bit more information about how the the site is being viewed (minor mod bonus), and the site would benefit from an active user in a different timezone than Rory. Vote for Rory first ;)

Otherwise, I'm just another guy who wishes to serve a turn if you want me.

My motivation

Security is my main field of work and therefore I would like to help guide its community on StackExchange. I may not be the oldest member of IT Security stack, but I am willing to give my best to support it as my dedication to the site shows it (I reach the top page of users and also gets the "half-first" deputy badge [wink Scott ;) ]).

My main concerns for stack are the promotion of the community, keeping the place on a high level of content and keeping up the good vibes. I regularly tweet blog posts and questions/answers on my own twitter (you can get the link on my profile). I also try to keep those questions in good forms by edits so that they call to people interest (usually we see poor titles, or poor content). At last, I show up in the chat room as often as possible, to share with the community, ask when there is borderline questions and also to talk about .

StackExchange contribution

I started my experience with StackExchange (SE) on StakcOverflow (SO). After a few month, trying to do my best, I also switch to SuperUser and ServerFault. Here I discover how different the different sites were. This lead me to a better understanding of the community.

Therefore I moved also to Meta StackOverflow (MSO) since I was willing to contribute to the improvement of the community. I discovered that I was better at meta things, since there I helped a lot of people, ask some questions, posted some improvements and bug reports that were useful. And most important I discovered Area51 and all the propositions in there.

That's how I heard about IT Security. And I joined it some month before graduation. Being a fan of chat (was hanging around the Tavern on Meta) I joined the DMZ here and meet a lot of people (most of them are running for moderators too, good luck).

Here a little overview of my accounts.

Security main

Security meta


Almost 3k of reputation on MSO, French L&U and IT Security, I also earn the Deputy badge on many SE sites (SO, MSO, Security) and have access to moderator tools on the beta French language and usage.

About me

Well my profile description say it all:

Master of Science in Information Technology, I am currently a Ph.D candidate working in industrial context.

My main field of qualification and research is the Information Security.

My current topic of research includes photography watermarking, authentication schemes, geolocation security assessment and ISO27001 compliance.

Last words

I would like to make a tribune of this last section, to thank all the StackExchange team, which made great job by running all our communities and gave us those really great tools. I would like now to give my best back by contributing in moderation.

I wish also good luck to all nominates here I mostly know. You are great fellow stackers and I know that no matter what happens in this election, IT Security site will earn good moderators.

I have been a pro-tem moderator since the early public beta days, and feel I generally take a fair stance on dealing with infractions, off-topic questions and arguments - trying to defuse where possible.

I not only tend to my mod duties, but do my best to publicise the good things this community does (through the blog, twitter, emails, telling contacts about the site etc) and try to bring in more professionals to help strengthen the community further.

In Sec.SE I have 13k and across the Stack Exchange network I have around 30k in rep - which means I kind of know my way around, but I am still happy for the community to keep me right.

My perspective on security stems from over 15 years in the industry, from my beginnings coming from the Unix network and sysadmin space, through penetration testing and code review, past policies, standards and governance and now I seem to find myself in a position where I espouse holistic improvement across the entire information security space.

The Security Stack Exchange community is an aspect of my security community activities, dovetailing well with being president of ISACA Scotland and chairman of the Institute of Information Security Professionals in Scotland.

A vote for me keeps me doing what I have been doing since the end of 2010.

My Motivation

I have found that in any field, community involvement makes everyone better. Communities allow us to learn from one another, to make use of resources we might not otherwise have had, and to build pride in your work. This is especially hard in a field where maintaining operational secrecy is often a job requirement.

I am completely open about the fact that I lucked into the field. As a teaching assistant I happened to have a student whose day job was Information Security, so when a position opened up I got a call. Most of us aren’t that lucky, and breaking into the field can be hard. I want up-and-comers to have a better shot. Providing this as an open forum, and encouraging a community that people want to join supports that goal.

About my contribution

I have been an active member of the StackExchange network for quite a while, joining ServerFault during public beta. I was an active member of that community, and jumped in feet first to Security.SE as soon as I discovered that it was available. I wanted to see this as a site that I would be proud to have my name be seen on by my peers. I see this site as a professional endeavour, and as such, I want the professionalism to be evident. I have attempted to put this desire into practice through edits and appropriate tagging. The best examples of that work is the fact that I tied with M’vey as the first user to earn the Deputy badge, for submitting helpful tags, and am (as of 2011-09-24 01:27Z) the 3rd most prolific editor.

I also maintain an active presence in chat where I am active during the UTC-5 waking hours. To me, this is where the real relationships are formed and the feelings of community are strongest. While I consider the main site an incredible resource for professional development, I find the chat room an excellent place to both get to know professionals from around the world and have some brilliant conversations that, while professionally important, are unsuited to the one-sided approach of a Q/A site.

About Me

I am on the East Coast of the United States, which puts me online during the traditional high traffic points of other professional SE sites. That also positions me to be online during different hours than the majority of the other candidates.

I am an Information Security Analyst at a medium-to-large public university where I focus on technical topics such as: vulnerability assessments, network monitoring, forensics, systems hardening, and incident response. My expertise is often brought in when the work involves Unix/Linux systems, intrusion/detection, physical access controls, and code review. Previously, my life and work experience focused on systems administration and networks.

These days my primary hobby revolves around a local table-top RPG group I play with. I am primarily a player but with part-time DM duties. In another life, i.e. before grad school, I was also an avid backpacker and rock climber. While I haven’t done either one of those activities in more than 7 years, I still pretend to identify as a recovering backpacker and think wistfully to the time when my toddler is old enough strap up and go walking.

Based on my experience here, I think a good moderator

  1. is around a lot on the various areas of the site (questions, meta, chat, blog, etc)
  2. is patient, has a thick skin and can work effectively with people with thin skins and/or different perspectives
  3. works to improve the quality of the site by finding duplicate questions, etc.

I think I've done that well, and would like to continue to do so with the benefit of access to all the mod tools.

I've been an active participant on IT Security since the week after the short initial private phase ended, and have been on the site 272 out of 293 days since I joined. I've been active with questions and answers, in meta, on the blog, in chat, editing tags, doing copy-editing, etc.

I've served as a moderator in other communities (both online and in person) many times, and I'm proud of having helped resolve at least one dispute here that brought a disaffected person back on board to become a great contributor.

And I've helped find, document and merge many duplicate questions, improving the site quality and reducing wasted effort keeping multiple questions accurate and up-to-date, which is particularly important on a security site. I try to be inclusive - to welcome new and unusual viewpoints and try to find the useful question lurking inside what others sometimes see as an "bad" question. Effective security requires this sort of openness and curiosity about unusual perspectives.

I've been on many times when there has been an obviously duplicate question, but since a moderator wasn't around, we weren't able to deal with it in a timely way. Being a moderator would allow me to merge or close these questions more quickly. But note that if there is some doubt about the question, I'm happy to wait for consensus to develop, or find other ways to work with the author to make it a helpful contribution.

I've been around the industry for a long time. I read the original (and still excellent) Morris paper on password hashing back when it was written in 1978. I've worked at Bell Labs and Internet2 in the security arena and was an organizer of the IDtrust R&D Symposium for 10 years. It's great fun to stay on my toes and keep learning and contributing via a Q&A site and work with such a great set of contributors. Thanks!

This election is over.