I think that a moderator on an SE site needs to demonstrate two major characteristics: (1) a knowledge of the mechanics of the SE network, and (2) a connection to the particular community which they are tasked with moderating.
I have been a diamond moderator on Math SE for a couple of years. In that time, I've handled nearly 7k flags, sent around 500 moderator messages, have actively engaged with folk in chat, and have otherwise become quite familiar with to tools available to moderators. I have no doubts about my ability to help moderate this community in terms of the technical aspects of moderation.
I will admit that I have been somewhat less active since finishing graduate school and accepting a full-time teaching position, though I have been consistently lurking. Still, I believe that I have a sense of what this community is and wants to be, and I would be honored to serve here.
All of that being said, please don't vote for me—both Sue VanHattum and quid have been doing an excellent job. While I am willing and capable, I am running primarily to ensure that there are enough candidates for a successful election.
- How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?
This is a rather thorny issue, and it is hard to give a general answer because it depends so much on the particulars of a given situation. What kinds of "valuable answers" (or other valuable contributions) is this user providing? How egregious are the flags being raised? Thus each situation in which a user makes good contributions to the site but also finds themself at the center of controversy or discord needs to be handled on its own merits.
However, in order to avoid not answering the question: I am generally of the opinion that the goal of the SE network is to create a resource, and that content is somewhat more important than social interaction—this is a Q&A site, not a social network. I am not afraid to warn or suspend a user who is being disruptive, but I am likely to give a little more leeway to a user who has a track record of high quality contributions.
On the other hand, my experience on Math Educators SE is that it is a pretty low-drama place (I have seen maybe one user who has maybe engaged in some unwanted political digressions, and I am aware of the discussion of unregistered users). I suspect that I would be a little faster to sanction a disruptive user here than I would be on Math SE, as the general mood of this site is more close-knit and sociable.
- How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?
In my experience, this happens very rarely.
When it has happened, the moderators involved have hashed it out in private moderator chat (I think that it is somewhat important for the moderation team to present a united front). If something is truly irreconcilable, I am willing to bow out and let the more passionate moderator make a final decision—this is a Q&A site, and the stakes are pretty low. But, again, I honestly don't anticipate such irreconcilable differences.
Do you believe that it is important for a moderator to be a content expert, and if so, to what extent or level?
For example, should a diamond moderator on Mathematics Educators SE have teaching experience? Should they have teaching experience, and if so, at what level? How about publications in math ed?
How does your experience align to this expectation?
In my opening statement, I asserted that a moderator needs to be in touch with the community that they moderate. This is not the only thing which matters, but I do think that it is important. Part of being in touch with the community is having some content expertise. I do not believe that a moderator needs to be a high-level expert (in the sense that I don't think that on needs an EdD to moderate here), but I do think that a moderator needs to have some baseline content knowledge, which includes classroom teaching experience.
Stating my own bona fides, I formerly held a secondary education teaching credential in the State of Nevada, and taught middle school and high school for a couple of years before going to graduate school. In the 15 years or so since I started my masters program, I have been the instructor-of-record for many courses of all levels at several state universities and at a small, private liberal arts college. I have also put in my hours as a graduate teaching assistant. I am currently a member of the mathematics faculty at a small public community college is an extremely rural part of the American Southwest. This gives me a fairly broad first-hand experience of teaching mathematics.
I have also been involved in a couple of fairly major curriculum design projects (I am most proud of the work that my collaborators and I did on the precalculus curriculum at my doctoral institution, which is now being spun off into a full precalc/calc program which is likely to be adopted by much of the UC system).
I have not published anything in the realm of math education.
- In your opinion, what do moderators do?
In order of importance and frequency:
mediate disputes between users and engage in discussion with users who might be causing disruptions,
confer with other moderators on the site to decide on how to handle general policy issues,
confer with moderator on other sites to keep track of network trolls and to handle posts which might better be asked on another site, and
other duties, as assigned. :D
- A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
Honestly, I don't have strong feelings about this. I do try to be cognizant of the things I say on Math SE, and to firmly establish when I am expressing my own opinion, rather than any kind of site policy or procedure, but I don't think that it is such a big deal.
- In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
Moderators have access to more tools than a 10k or 20k reputation user. I think that the most significant difference between a moderator and a high reputation user is that non-moderators are expected to moderate content, while moderators are expected to moderate users, as well.