It's the last week of September and the weather has finally started to simmer down from the blaze of summer in the concrete jungle I live in where east meets west. But that's not the only change in the air!

We've grown. A lot. The stats are lookin' up. Traffic is trending nicely. The amount of traffic we're collecting from people who have never been on the SE network before is way up.

This is a blessing for us, there are rumors of graduation and it means lots of fresh contributors. It's also a bane in that a higher number of our users have no idea how Stack Exchange works. We're seeing a lot more very low quality answers coming in. Some of these are just drive-bys that we just need to clean up, but others are potential quality contributors that just don't know the ropes.

Somewhat like the doctrine of election, we don't know at first who those are. The only thing to do with them is try to share what's going on. This means explaining the issues and pointing people in the right direction as they walk in the door.

Moderators can't do all this work. Already there is far more content flying through than any one person can reasonably read, understand and act on in a day. We simply do not and cannot read every post and comment that comes through. Even with four of us with different areas of interest, I know stuff is going by that never gets so much as opened by a moderator. Don't assume we're omnipresent!

A lot of you guys know the ropes. Commenting on answers explaining our community guidelines goes a long way to bringing people up to speed. There are a lot of you out there with the reputation to do a lot of moderator tasks as well. You can all flag and many of you can even handle some flags. Many more of you can VTC. Don't assume a moderator will come by and see something and take care of it. If you see something that needs attention, give it that attention. If it could use some further steps, also flag it.

Don't be shy of flagging. We're not going to act instantly on every one. We'll do our best to show good judgment. But if our attention isn't drawn to areas that need it, they will likely go ignored.

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it may be helpful to indicate, for those who haven't found them, what rep level you need to be a quasimod –  warren Sep 26 '12 at 5:09
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@warren: 15 rep is all that is needed to flag. At 500 you can VTC and at 2,000 you can VTD and even handle the most common kinds of flags. –  Caleb Sep 26 '12 at 7:10
    
For the record my previous comment is obsolete as it applied to beta level privs. The current privilege level chart is here. It's still just 15 to flag, but VTC is 3,000 and VTD and handling some community flags is 10k. –  Caleb Jul 2 at 6:54

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I'll echo this for a very important reason.

When we graduate privilege levels change. Close votes will then require 3000 reputation. Delete votes will be partially available at 10k but only fully available at 20k.

We have much fewer 3k (28) reputation users than we currently do 500(139) rep users. And we have very few 10kers (7) and no 20kers (at the time of this writing Affable is at 19.2k so we're close to our first 20k user).

This means the burdens of deletion will fall back to the moderators for a little while (hopefully not too long). Flags make us aware of content that needs to be dealt with in some way (low quality, spam, offensive, just garbage etc).

Note: Flags are not supposed to be used for incorrect answers, this is where down votes and delete votes come into play. Obviously delete votes are more of an option now than when we graduate, but that's a temporary issue

The last thing I want to mention is new the review queue. It's a new tool SEI has put into place so that our users can help with moderator activities (find questions to close, flag/delete, welcome/help new users, etc). This is a great tool for you guys to find questions that need moderator attention.

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