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This question came up in chat yesterday evening, but I think it would be good to have it down here.

Could I ask the current pro tem moderators to describe how long they spend on their moderating duties, and on what exactly moderating involves.

Moderators on other SE sites should feel free to comment too, but please make sure you make it clear that you are commenting on experience on another site. I imagine size and audience makes a difference to how much time moderating takes (the gaming site gets a heck of a lot more spam, for instance).

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I'm broadly in agreement with Joseph's answer, but I think there's a little more to add.

I think that there are two parts to a moderator's role here. There's the "up front" side of moderating, which involves keeping an eye on the main site, welcoming new users, sorting out duplicates and non-answers. As Joseph says, this doesn't add much time to someone already active on the site. The only significant addition is the responsibility to check the site regularly.

The other side is the stuff like sorting out the tags and the tag-wikis. These are things that don't usually need immediate work, but it would be nice to get done and I think that moderators should regard themselves as the ones who do this if no-one else does. Again, for someone already doing this sort of thing (in so far as is possible, there are a few things only the mods can do) then there may not be a huge addition of time.

So all in all, for an active member of the community then I wouldn't say that there was a huge addition in time spent, but that there is an addition of responsibility (obviously!).

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As one of the pro tem team, I find that there is not a lot of work to do in moderating per se. There are only a small number of flagged posts each day, and so it does not require a lot of effort to look through them.

On the other hand, I think that the moderators do need to be active members of the community, which means voting, editing, answering and so on. That doesn't require moderator privileges but does take some time. However, I'd say that all of the people I'd imagine as potential candidates are already doing those things. So the additional load for being a moderator should be pretty small.

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