Today the paperwork caught up with reality, and Simon officially relinquished his diamond. For me it is a sad occasion. Fortunately, I know Simon is not really going anywhere, and he'll still be just as vibrant without the diamond!
This is an opportunity though to briefly reflect on the recent history and health of the site, the mod team status, and it is an especially good time to look to the future.
tl;dr - the site is healthy, stable, the mods have spare capacity in mod duties, there could be more growth, but there's no metrics to support an election.
In general, the site has been stable for the past 12 months, and in fact, the past few years.
It is probably a good idea to contextualize that graph by tracking back... 7 years (350 weeks)....
At face value, the site is stable, healthy, and continuing to add value to the community as a whole.
Looking at the different sub-communities based on languages, we can see that the top tags are working at different paces.... the following chart measures the number of unanswered questions in the top 15 tags, and traces that over time... an increasing line means that questions are being asked faster than they are answered (a popular language with few reviewers?). If you know some python gurus, there's an opportunity in there somewhere:
Mod team update
We have had opportunities in the past few weeks to reflect on our commitments to the site, ourselves, and each other. Most of us have, in the past few months, had periods where we've been pulled away from the site to meet demands placed on us by work, home, or other personal reasons. Some more than others, but in general we all agree that the site demands from a moderator perspective are well covered by the team even when we are down to a skeleton crew.
It is clear that as moderators we each focus on slightly different aspects of the site, whether it is flag processing, comment cleaning, title editing, tagging, meta, etc. Some mods (not me) clearly spend more time than others performing "duties", but there is still more mod capacity than needed to keep on top of things.
To give some insight on the mod workload, flag-processing is the easiest thing to track, and in the past quarter, there have been 1.2k flags with an average handling time of 0 days 1 hours 32 minutes .... but that number is skewed a bit by not-an-answer flags which we often post notices on the answer, and leave the post open in the review queues to sort out in the community .... (avoiding mod-hammer deletes). For perspective, of the 1.2k flags, only about half were actually handled by the mods - the rest were handled by the community (spam posts, not-an-answer, low-quality, etc. Also, we have a few automated tools from some users that identify and they then flag comments that are auto-deleted - comments with "thanks", etc. that are flagged as obsolete)
Communication with users in direct conversations (typically for suspensions, warnings, or other serious or legal matters) has been about .... 1 every few weeks.
Meta is time-consuming for mods - reading, investigating, responding to meta posts probably takes at least as much time as flag handling. Even with just a few questions a week, Meta can be hard work ;-)
In our assessment, in consultation with the stack exchange staff, the needs of the site are not exceeding the capacity of the mod team (even without Simon), and there is no metric which clearly indicates that another mod needs to join the team.
Further, none of us indicated that we intend to join Simon in mod-retirement, so there is no reason to call for an election.
In my estimation Code Review is stable, but that may not be the best thing - the site should be growing, and flourishing.
I look forward to when we can claim, with authority, that 4 mods are not able to manage the site demands, and we NEED an election to get more help!
This growth will need to come from the community, though. We have seen this before with the Zombie wars, and again with the graduation battles, that the community has to mobilize, with the mods to support the community on the way.
One of my favourite StackExchage Data Explorer queies (SEDE) is my Site Badge Rankings computation - it takes all the StackExchange sites, and then ranks them according to a dozen or so "special" badges - where the badges are a measure of community participation. It then scores each site according to their ranking.... and then summarizes those scores in to a single score that allows us to compare sites with each other. The criteria are things like "the number of Sportsmanship", "Legendary", or "Strunk & White" badges.
CodeReview ranks as 20 of 174. Here are the top-20 community-participation sites in Stack Exchange (side note, 5 of the other top-20 sites have 4-or-fewer moderators):
StackOverflow 1 Math 2 Tex 3 SuperUser 4 Ubuntu 5 Unix 6 Meta 7 StackOverflow.Ru 8 ServerFault 9 English 10 Physics 10 Scifi 12 StackOverflow.Br 13 Electronics 14 Gaming 15 Stats 16 Mathoverflow 17 Mathematica 18 Rpg 19 Codereview 20
My challenge to the community as a whole is to engage with the site... answer questions, ask them, edit them. Stick around! Be the change! (I tried to look up where that quote originated, but failed....)