I know that moderators on beta sites are appointed by the SE CMs. What I don't know is when that occurs or what milestones must be reached before it does.

I had assumed that it occurred pretty soon after the site entered public Beta... which is supported by the info from this blog post:

That's why I am in the process of identifying and organizing a team of provisional Moderators from within each community (about three per site, starting about seven days into the public Beta). This is a temporary, short-term appointment. Moderators Pro Tem focus and expedite the essential needs of each new site. By the end of Beta, the community will be better suited to hold their own elections.

So, I understand that we're not in public beta yet... and that's fine... but I've also heard that over on 3D printing they're in their public beta as of February 1st and they still don't have mods three months later on. While another site more recently in public beta already does.

So, my question is, is the content of the blog post linked above (from 2010) still correct and, if so, what are any extenuating circumstances that would delay appointment of mods.

Also, part of that post says to create a meta topic to discuss recommendations for who should be on the pro-tem moderator candidate list:

If your meta site does not have a post to nominate Moderators, start one now! Pro Tem appointments will begin about two weeks after the site is created. The more guidance we receive, the more informed our choice.

Is this actually still good advice? Doesn't this clash somewhat with the "we don't let beta sites pick their own mods" mantra or is this less formal method within acceptable behavior for a beta site?

  • At WW we had a meta for self nominations. Private Beta started on 03/17. The nominations meta started on the 23rd. Went public beta on the 30th. ProTerm mods were announced 04/13. I think a large part of it would be when the community mods get time. Would be nice for one of them to chime in here to let us know how best to proceed. I think it is best case by case and they would have a good idea as to a timeline.
    – Matt
    Apr 30, 2016 at 0:48
  • 1
    I'd be surprised and disappointed if a nomination thread was discouraged -- it isn't a full election, but it is a resource for the CM's to get a picture of who's even interested (not to mention qualified, and engaged in the site). It saves them time, if nothing else :)
    – Erica
    Apr 30, 2016 at 14:40

3 Answers 3


Ideally Moderators are elected by the community, but until this site reaches a critical mass to hold an election, we will be appointing some provisional Moderators to fill that role.

As we approach the end of the private beta (about three weeks after launch), I will post a nomination thread to start the search for members who are deeply engaged in the community’s development; members who:

  • Have a reasonably high reputation score to indicate active, consistent participation.
  • Show an interest in their meta’s community-building activities.
  • Lead by example, showing patience and respect for their fellow community members in everything they write.
  • Exhibit those intangible traits discussed in "A Theory of Moderation"

Depending on the turnaround time and responses from the candidates, the provisional moderators should be appointed soon after that.


Well both the sites I've helped through private beta had nominations fairly early on, and both had quite a bit of activity in the private beta showing they would be needing site modes to keep things moving along.

I suspect that early next week we could probably start our own "Who wants to be a pro-tem mod?" here in meta.

If the question is obvious they will see it and check out those interested. And when they find us ready they will contact those they feel a good fit. Though I think they also take into account the votes from the community. If you are a great mod on 3 sites but everyone here downvotes you, you're not likely to add this one to your list.

  • It's also worth noting that this is not an election. Just because you have the most votes does not mean that you will be a moderator for the site. In the case of the site where I moderate, there were certainly candidates with most votes, and I was a "controversial" candidate (+16/-8) as I'm looking now... But this blue person has a diamond.
    – Zizouz212
    May 1, 2016 at 17:02

I'm told (by someone who you'd hope would know what he's talking about) that this is the process:

  • We have a couple of weeks of private beta with no moderators; the CMs moderate and administrate the site.
  • We start a nominations post here on meta. People who are interested in the post can volunteer; anyone can nominate anyone, though they don't have to accept.
  • Early in public beta (~1-2 months into the site's whole lifetime), the CMs contact the volunteers they judge most suited to the role.
  • Those who accept the role are installed as moderators.
  • 1
    That guy? Nah, he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about ;-) :-P May 21, 2016 at 17:11

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