I'm a freshman in all this moderation business, at least as far as Stack Exchange moderation goes. If you look at the date when us pro tempore moderators were selected by the community managers, it has been only 48 days at the time of me writing this since appointment. That's the whole duration of my own experience in moderating any Stack Exchange website. The initial few weeks went fairly well, I dare say, then our ability to manage this website started being contested by my count three times worryingly enough, and with none of them (again, in my view) actually warranted, to prompt me to post this question. I would rather avoid being specific about which occurrences I have in mind, because that is not what I'd like to discuss here, but I have to say all this rather saddens me. And when you've yourself invested a lot of time and effort into making it all work, and for all of us, that comes as even more exhausting.
I will say it here, clear as daylight: All the time while being a moderator, I didn't see a single, not even the slightest indication that any of the other two moderators (@Chris and @PearsonArtPhoto) ever abused their position, or even overstepped the line of good moderation. The same goes also for our wonderful community moderators, with well deserved special mention of @JonEricson and @RobertCartaino, but a few others helped us out on occasion, too. In particular @AnnaLear during the pre-moderator times. I would like to think that the same goes for me as well, but I'll let you be the judge of that.
Where am I coming from? The idea of moderation is well explained in Jeff Atwood's blog post on Theory of Moderation, but I would like to add to it that there is neither "me" nor "i" in "moderator". And that's exactly how I see all of us working here, doing the best we can and dedicating a lot of our own, non-paid time to iron out all the little wrinkles, raise questions in meta to discuss them if needed, and otherwise dedicate ourselves to the cause we're hopefully all purusing here, to hopefully make us all shine, be presentable for those that are yet to join us. All of which the very same idea that we together started this journey on, back from the Area 51 proposal for the majority of us.
We've come a long way so far, all of it in a really short time, well before three months have passed since making it to private beta, then off to a public beta in almost a snap. All indications of the health of this site seem promising, and we're still gaining traction in the wider community of space exploration. I've also personally received a lot of praise of what we're doing here from all kinds of people, of all kinds of background. Yes, I'm actively promoting our cause. And so are other of your moderators. And the Stack Exchange stuff, too. But as our approval ratings are going up looking from the outside, I can't help but think that from the inside, from the very ones that we're together right from the start, exactly the inverse is happening. We're contested, doubts raised of our intentions or actions, and even worse is sometimes implied, albeit mostly indirectly. But the bitter taste is there, and I can't shake it off. I will need you to help me with that.
So here's my question. What do you, as a community member, think us moderators could do better, reassure you more of our intentions and that everything we do is on behalf of the community? Have we not met any of your expectations, or have promised something we're not keeping during the nomination and selection process? Then say it here, add suggestions for our improvement, or just state your request. We'll be glad to consider any suggestions to our betterment, as long as they're reasonable and not intrusive. Please keep it civil however, and discuss our position, not individuals in question. That's nothing any of us signed for anyway, neither you, nor us moderators. But rest assured that nothing of what you'll bring forth as be it a suggestion, or a remark will be held against you. We all have our superiors, and that goes just as well for all us moderators. Community, and that is all of you, comes first. I'm trying to build on some trust here, so let me be the first in trusting you to not abuse this thread.
Thank you ever so kindly!