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I'll admit that I'm not an overly frequent user of Ask Patents, but as someone who does pop on from time to time, I see quite a few straight-up bad questions.

As I understand it, AP is currently modded by CMs, and that doesn't seem like the best use of their time to me. I'd like to suggest the appointment of one or two pro-tem moderators to help handle the flags and bad posts on here. I can't imagine it could possibly lead to more work by CMs, and maybe it could help clean up the silly questions that can sometimes deter users from the site.

I know there isn't much of a consistent user-base here, but it sounds like there are a couple experienced users from other sites who'd gladly volunteer.

Would it be feasible or acceptable to appoint a few? I know Ask Patents is different in a number of ways, including that it didn't go through Area 51. But I don't see that as a reason to avoid some user-driven moderation.

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Yes, I have been considering starting "nomination thread", but there are very few people who visit this site regularly enough to become an effective moderator. I guess it can't hurt to start taking names and gauging general interest. I've been working behind the scenes trying to normalize this site to become more like the other "community-run" sites in our network, but it may be awhile until we have a community engaged enough to be that self-sustaining.

Ask Patents was started as a special project with a single-minded purpose to help find Prior Art on US Patents or Applications. Unfortunately, that also means this site gets a lot of drive-by traffic, but doesn't have enough broad appeal for people to return and help build the site.

I'd like to change that.

By re-focusing our efforts on a broader range of questions, we can make this site much more appealing to the experts who live and breathe this stuff — a much more valuable resource for the subject of patent protections and the patent process.

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