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If you're new around here, chances are you might not even know who I am. I'm Alex, and I'm a (soon to be ex-) moderator on this site. At first I was a user just like you, enthusiastic about the site, then I became a moderator pro tempore, and then I was elected.

It's no secret that I haven't been active much in the last year or so. This is for a multitude of personal reasons, none of which have to do with the site or the community itself. I had been considering formally resigning as a PPCG moderator for quite some time, but I held out hope for a while that I'd be able to dedicate more time to the site in the future, so I held off. A couple months ago I finally decided to contact a Stack Exchange community manager and request to resign. The CM asked if I could wait until the next moderator election, at which point the baton could be formally passed.

Now here we are. We have two incredible new moderators joining our other fantastic folks. The reason why we have two slots for moderators is because one of them is replacing me. It hasn't happened quite yet, but sometime soon the little diamond next to my name will disappear.

I'm not dying or anything, you'll probably still see my little bird avatar pop up from time to time to post an answer in Julia. But the moderation will now rest solely in the very capable hands of the new and existing mods. I'm quite confident that the new mod team will be able to serve the community better than I ever have.

I'm immensely grateful for the fun and support this community has given me over the years. PPCG is a very unique place full of incredibly smart and talented people, and I'm honored to have had the opportunity to moderate it.

Now go forth and golf!

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't know whether to upvote or downvote this :-( \$\endgroup\$ – Luis Mendo Feb 21 '18 at 22:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ I tried writing an answer, but couldn't think of the best thing to say, but I do have this: I joined after you 'went dark' and so never really knew you as a mod. However as I read about the history of PPCG more and more (I cannot tell you how many forgotten chat transcripts I've read), I came to realise just how active you were, and I think that you stepping down as a mod is a great shame. I really hope you keep golfing and stay active here (come join us back in TNB when you can!) \$\endgroup\$ – caird coinheringaahing Feb 21 '18 at 23:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your time as a moderator! I unfortunately don't know that much because I became active after you became less active but from what I know you've been a great moderator and I'm sure the community would agree with me that it's a shame and we're sad to see you step down. We will definitely miss you as a moderator and we hope you will still be able to find more time to be in this community in the future! \$\endgroup\$ – HyperNeutrino Feb 21 '18 at 23:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ I knew it was going to happen one day, but this is still particularly sad – We all appreciate your time and effort, and thank you for the contributions you've made to PPCG, both as a user and as a moderator. Farewell, @AlexA.! \$\endgroup\$ – Mr. Xcoder Feb 22 '18 at 12:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Everyone's talking about me like I'm dying or something. The only difference is that I won't have a diamond. \$\endgroup\$ – Alex A. Feb 22 '18 at 20:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not that I don't appreciate all of the kind words ;) \$\endgroup\$ – Alex A. Feb 22 '18 at 20:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm just so glad this isn't what the title led me to believe... that this site was ditching moderation alltogether! \$\endgroup\$ – NH. Feb 23 '18 at 19:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ > Now go forth and golf \$\endgroup\$ – Geeky I Feb 24 '18 at 12:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow, I didn't know you were the "Community Manager for the Julia Language Project" \$\endgroup\$ – Geeky I Feb 24 '18 at 12:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've removed your diamond. Happy trails! \$\endgroup\$ – Jon Ericson Feb 26 '18 at 19:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JonEricson You actually removed half the diamond. :P \$\endgroup\$ – Erik the Outgolfer Feb 27 '18 at 10:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EriktheOutgolfer: Wow. That's not a mistake I've made before. Thanks for letting me know. (And fixed.) \$\endgroup\$ – Jon Ericson Feb 27 '18 at 17:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ You were always lovely to everyone. I'm glad you'll still be around from time to time \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Mar 3 '18 at 22:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ You, of course, picked the best bird to represent yourself too. \$\endgroup\$ – Draco18s Mar 8 '18 at 0:59
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It's been an absolute pleasure to moderate PPCG at your side. Whether I needed a second opinion on some moderation issue, help with some Julia code, or just a sympathetic ear, you've been there for me countless times.

While I understand your reasons to retire, I selfishly wish you would come back full-time. All of us who have been fortunate enough to know you will forever feel your absence.

Farewell, Alex A. ♦!

     Magman

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    \$\begingroup\$ Brb, creating a sockpuppet army to vote this to a gold badge. \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Feb 21 '18 at 23:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hm where have I seen this image before? \$\endgroup\$ – Luis Mendo Feb 23 '18 at 23:07
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When I first joined the site, I was quickly drawn in by the extremely friendly community. I distinctly remember Alex frequently being in chat, having a good time with the other chat users, but not hesitating to speak up when someone crossed a line somewhere. That has stuck with me as the ideal that all community members, and especially moderators, should live up to: friendly, helpful, but firm when enforcing rules.

I wasn't always the friendly penguin that I am now. I used to be rude and abrasive, though not intentionally. Seeing the moderators, especially Alex, lead by example helped me become a nicer, friendlier, more postively-contributing member of the community.

I'm sad to see Alex go, though I completely understand the reasons. Life has a way of catching up to you - it's funny like that. I only hope that I can be half the moderator and the positive influence that Alex has been these past few years.

Fly free, fellow bird.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I couldn't be more pleased with this exchange of birds. \$\endgroup\$ – Alex A. Feb 22 '18 at 1:56
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I remember the very first time I used SE chat, the first person to ever say anything to me was a friendly welcome by a bird avatar. I slowly started to use chat more and more often, and I had lots of good conversations with Alex. Which is one of the reasons I started using chat so much. And after becoming completely addicted to talking with my new friends in TNB, I also became addicted to using PPCG.

Now almost 3 years later, I'm transitioning into replacing you. (Or Mego is replacing you, I'm not sure which one of us it's supposed to be :P) It's a bittersweet moment. You were a very friendly, fun, and welcoming user in chat, and largely one of the reasons I have a diamond next to my name now. You have done a lot for this little corner of the internet where a bunch of nerds get together to write horrible code for fun. I hope that I will be able to live up to the excellent example you have set not just as a moderator, but also as a regular user in main and on chat.

I hope I speak for everyone when I say that I wish you well, and I hope that the next time you come back to visit us, you'll see a happy, healthy, and growing community. :)

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    \$\begingroup\$ My little DJ's all grown up \$\endgroup\$ – Alex A. Feb 21 '18 at 23:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think Mego's replacing Alex; birds regularly take over from one another :) \$\endgroup\$ – caird coinheringaahing Feb 21 '18 at 23:27

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