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Here are two tasks that mods on most SE sites perform, but unfortunately not on Econ.SE:

1. Move lengthy discussions in comments to chat

For better or worse, the default position of SE is to move lengthy comment chains to chat: see e.g. this Meta discussion.

This has not been done at all and we regularly have chains with 20+ comments.

2. Protect questions

Sometimes some questions start appearing on Hot Network Questions and attract low-quality questions. This is what the Protect function is for.

I assume mods always have access to this function? (If not, I am mistaken and please ignore me here.)

I'm not sure how but with this recent question, it was only after some time (and after 9 answers had been written) that the "Protect" function appeared to me and I was able to activate it. It would probably have been better if a mod could have Protected the question earlier. (Indeed, I flagged the question asking a mod to protect it, but this was not done.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi Kenny. Sorry for the delay in dealing with the flags. I do see them. For me personally, I do not check the flag queue on a regular schedule (certainly not close to daily now like when I first became moderator). I'll move the comment threads in question.. $\endgroup$
    – Kitsune Cavalry Mod
    Jun 6, 2020 at 15:08

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We usually get a pretty high number of flags everyday with regard to just closing questions already closed and users posting non-answers as answers on questions. That means even though I personally regularly check the flags whenever I have a chance I found most flags aren't urgent or I get a specific notification regarding fairly unimportant stuff.

This means though you are 100% right the ability to respond in a timely manner is not always met due to other real life responsibilities or interests.

So the issue here is really a matter of speed which Im not sure there is much to change other than having more posts like this to bring the matter to our attention quicker.

With regard to the 20+ comments on questions its complicated. I think mods need to be able to distinguish between chatter and useful discussion. This distinction could be subjective so whats seen as useful to some is useless to others. Its hard sometimes to make a call.

Im open to a practical solution regarding timing of moderation. One of the main issues is that I have no other communication with my fellow mods other than on this site so its difficult.

Other than flagging and meta posts Im not sure what else could be done. Maybe utilize a separate site like discord for moderator/ econse chats? Im not sure if there would be an interest then.

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  • $\begingroup$ Many other SE sites have far more traffic and their mods seem to do a much more consistent job. For example, even though Skeptics has just two mods and far more traffic, lengthy comment threads are always quickly moved to chat and highly viewed questions are quickly protected. Of course, being a mod is difficult, time consuming, and not exactly rewarding. But I think those who've chosen to take on the job should try to do the job well and if not, relinquish the position. One of the three mods (Ubiquitous) last wrote a Q, A, or comment on this site on 01 Oct 2019. Should he/she really be a mod? $\endgroup$
    – user18
    Jun 7, 2020 at 4:13
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    $\begingroup$ @KennyLJ thats a fair criticism. I think I do an ok job. A political question that I cant really answer regarding another mod as I have seen them view questions and it appears he/she is still viewing content on the site. $\endgroup$
    – EconJohn Mod
    Jun 7, 2020 at 4:24
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    $\begingroup$ @KennyLJ Every market has their own constraints; almost no one wanted this "job" the last time elections rolled around. Literally only me and EconJohn accepted a nomination, despite a lot of other regulars being nominated. The labor pool here seems to be much more constrained than on other SEs. Skeptics is a lot more active and will thus have a better labor pool to draw from. Ultimately the position is not a "job" but volunteer work. $\endgroup$
    – Kitsune Cavalry Mod
    Jun 7, 2020 at 15:15
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    $\begingroup$ All of that said: 1.) I am slow. 2.) having the regular members of this stack centralized on like Discord would be useful to me as a behavioral nudge (I don't know if ppl would prefer this though), 3.) if you would like to be a moderator, I can definitely inquire about that/we can hold another referendum if members of the community find it appropriate. $\endgroup$
    – Kitsune Cavalry Mod
    Jun 7, 2020 at 15:17
  • $\begingroup$ @KitsuneCavalry should I go through with the discord site? $\endgroup$
    – EconJohn Mod
    Jun 7, 2020 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ @EconJohn Knock yourself out. $\endgroup$
    – Kitsune Cavalry Mod
    Jun 7, 2020 at 16:00
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    $\begingroup$ @KitsuneCavalry Tis a thankless job but we <3 you mods!!! $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Jun 7, 2020 at 21:16
  • $\begingroup$ @KitsuneCavalry: Sure I'll be a mod. $\endgroup$
    – user18
    Jun 8, 2020 at 0:28
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    $\begingroup$ I pop in and out of this SE to look at questions about interest rates and markets. It’s safe to say that there are a ton of questions in my area of interest since the crisis hit. Most are people who are bewildered about government spending/QE, and want to chat about it. Hence, comment chains explode. I find that I am writing variants of “this website is not a chat room” in most of those questions. Other than having some guidelines for this area posted, I don’t see what can be done, other than being patient. $\endgroup$ Jun 12, 2020 at 12:32
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    $\begingroup$ Addendum: a lot of the general questions are being closed (as they should be). However, I generally try to put a comment in explaining the problem with the question, since it may not be clear to new users why questions are downvoted/closed. $\endgroup$ Jun 12, 2020 at 12:39
  • $\begingroup$ I think those points are fair enough Brian. As an additional comment, I can't say very much, but I don't think another mod election can happen any time soon, due to some constraints. We'll see though what happens. $\endgroup$
    – Kitsune Cavalry Mod
    Jun 18, 2020 at 3:07

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