Shog9 asked: After all these years, there's still a bit of (usually light-hearted) culture-warring between dedicated Apple users and fans of other brands. As a moderator, you'll occasionally find yourself interacting with users from other sites with different attitudes and cultures - how would you handle this?
Moshe answered: Politely. People talk about how fast technology evolves, but they're usually talking about why they aren't buying the latest and greatest. People who still talk about "Macs being for artsy types" are using Pentium III logic. They forget that the same logic of evolution applies to these arguments. Hence, ignore. If that's impossible, politely coerce the conversation in a different direction.
bmike answered: I have a simple method for filtering criticism. When someone is attacking a product, or software or things - that's valid discussion and I do welcome most any opinion - especially if the person stays engaged and discusses things rather than dumping and leaving.
bmike continued: When they attack a person, then it's time to step in as a moderator and warn or edit or delete. Disagreements are great and often needed to learn or make a point. I love passion as long as there is respect.
Wheat Williams answered: Somebody coined the term "platform agnostic" but I don't like that term because it implies that you don't really believe strongly in any platform. I describe myself as "platform-pantheistic". Whatever your needs are, on Windows or Mac, I will help you. I use both every day equally. I am equally knowledgeable, trained and skilled on both platforms. You can diminish the rivalry by acknowledging that each one has its uses and strengths.
Wheat Williams continued: I've been a Mac professional for 24 years, and a Windows professional for more than 14 years, but I don't like metrics.
Daniel answered: If it's light hearted and on topic, so be it. Rants aren't questions or answers, though. I've flagged quite a few of them, and if there isn't any q or a content to salvage, really there isn't anything to do but delete them gently. But specifics of strengths or weaknesses of software or hardware, when relevant to the question, can be helpful. Flamewars have no place here.
bmike noted: I just want to say that I've seen both @stuffe (who can't be here) and @daniel handle exactly the case that @shog9 asks about with great tact using the tools they have as users.
bmike continued: Commenting in a positive light, editing when needed (suggested edits that I was able to see and approve) as well as asking for clarification in chat when they saw something amiss on the site.
Daniel responded: Which is why I think a lot of these questions aren't really moderator questions, per se. @bmike has been doing most of these things, in spades, for a long time. I try to. It's what makes a good user. And yes, it's even more important for a moderator.
Shog9 responded: Something I think... hope... that you'll find if you are elected is that most of what a moderator has to do is stuff that other users could do as well (albeit perhaps with greater difficulty). SE is designed to be user-moderated... ;-)
Daniel responded: Exactly!!!
bmike added: I should have mentioned @JasonSalaz for being a user that works as a moderator since he was doing that before I even logged into this site for the first time. I always assumed he was a moderator by the guidance / advice in chat he has given me since day one.
jmlumpkin responded: even if I don't become a moderator, I'm going to really try to do more of this than I am already doing. Seeing you come along and set an amazing example has made me want to do more.
Moshe added: The other candidates bring up a valid point - it depends on the content and the direction of the remark(s) in question.
Jason Salaz answered: In chat, we've been cross-site friendly for some time. We have a resident Ask Ubuntu user (and mod hopeful!) who frequents the room, and on more than one occasion someone has come in to pre-screen a question with us. Even just today a user came in to ask if a Eudora/Rosetta Snow Leopard question was out of scope. Chat has been spirited, and more importantly, civil.
Jason Salaz continued: On the site, it depends on the extent of the 'war'. Really culture warring questions are the same as any other, the quality of the question determines it's survivability. I've seen a few questions about using $x android phone under Mac OS X, and to the best of my knowledge they've gone just fine, because the question was of more than acceptable quality, or was edited to be after some comments/discussion.
jmlumpkin answered: I have been a Mac user for almost 16 years, and a Windows developer for the last 6. Even though I prefer Macs (and Apple in general), I always consider them tools. You use the best tool for the job. If the user has a valid discussion, I like to work through that, and I have very good understanding of many platforms.
stuffe answered: I have spent my entire working life baiting users of other computing infrastructures in a light hearted way. Unix guys hate windows. Windows guys hate Apple. Everyone hates Mainframes. It's part of the fabric of identity to be able to have a bit of fun. They key to me, is that you can't really take part unless you know both sides of the story. And as per my candidacy bio, I have used more OS's than I have fingers and toes, in the last year alone!
stuffe continued: In short, it's not an Issue for me. Mac OS X isn't even my favourite OS, I'm not precious about it, there is good and bad in every OS, some things in Windows I love, some things in OS X I hate, I can even find things to like about Ubuntu although I am largely anti-Linux given that my professional life includes 13 years of "proper" Unix like Solaris and HPUX etc.
- bmike asked: So we can get into it (friendly of course) between AIX (my OS of deepest professional use) and those other ones you mention?