Saint, I'm sorry, but I don't really think those are relevant or valid points.
We're not "picking on newbies." In fact, Pweb is one of the most open sites I've come across. Yes, it can be intimidating for someone new, just because there's so much history here. But that history is what makes us who we are; we've spent years making this place our home. Once you get past the initial nervousness, Pweb can be (and is) very open to new members. But, with embracing new people into that community, we're also very aware of the direction our community is going. Like I said, we've spent years shaping it, forging relationships, and making memories. So, while we're generally welcoming of new people, we're not as welcoming of one of those new people trying to tear down everything we've worked hard to create. Do you see where I'm going with this?
As far as the other bit, he's certainly allowed his opinions. He can disagree with the way things are run. But, this is a privately owned and operated website. Our moderators are volunteers, all of whom are well-respected. We might not always agree with their decisions, but we do recognize that decisions do need to be made and that they will be fair-minded in their decision making processes. And, if we do have a problem with a decision, we feel we can approach them with our thoughts and that we'll be listened to. We may not always convince them, but they'll hear us out.
The thing is, though, that we don't know him. Of the mods that currently roam the site on a regular basis (Ollie, Ali, and Jan), not one was a moderator when I originally signed up. For many, it's the same -- and for many more, it is especially true of Ali and Jan. So, these aren't people that we always here, always moderating. They're people who have taken the time to invest in our community and we've recognized their investment. We know them. The problem with making any new member a moderator is simple: they don't know the community the way older members do.
I really want to write more about this, but I've got a 2,000 word story due tomorrow morning and I haven't even started it. However, here are my responses to his original points:
1. If it takes a position of power for you to feel like you're valuable to the community, maybe we're not the right place to call Home. Moderators should be chosen because they are such a great asset to the community, not vice versa.
2. Believe it or not, being online constantly isn't a requirement of the job. We are such a slow-paced community (see Hatrack for a contrast) that 24/7 availability of moderators isn't really necessary.
3. While that's a great quality for a moderator to have, he has rarely, if ever -- in my opinion -- appeared as such. Moreover, there are many others whom are both respected and trusted that possess this trait and have demonstrated such.
4. The problem with not being "afraid to piss someone off" is that, while sometimes an admirable trait, it doesn't really account of the complexity of working relationships between and among the members. Being willing to follow through with a decision despite what people may think is nice, but not when it is to the detriment of the community.
5. Empathy is great, as is experience, but maybe if you've been in the same kinds of positions as people who are harming the community, maybe this isn't where you want to be.
6. Nobody really knows what they can do until they do it. I'm a firm believer in that idea. People always say what they would do in a given situation, but truth be told, it's only a guess -- sometimes an educated guess, but a guess nonetheless. Either way, if he's content with thinking he could do it (and do it well), then the discussion seems to be over.
7. I just don't buy this as an asset. The decisions of the moderators, believe it or not, are mostly agreed upon by the members. To be quite honest, it's usually a member that brings an issue to their attention for review. And, when we don't agree with them, we discuss it. I don't think throwing a wrench into a machine that seems to have been working quite well for years is a postive move for the community.
8. It's been said before, but I'll repeat it: knowing of people isn't the same as knowing them. While it may sound mean, the fact of the matter is that he simply hasn't invested the time necessary to develop the kinds of relationships with everyone that other people have. Moreover, even if it were true, he'd be far from alone in the department of both knowing members and being known amongst members. There are certainly several more-qualified members who can also make that claim.
9. Believe it or not, the divide exists. But, not as you may think its seen. It has nothing to do with a joindate and everything to do with being a positive part of the community and basically knowing how it operates.
10. Most of us love this place. If we didn't, we wouldn't spend the hours, days, weeks, months, and years that we have investing in it.