First, I want to thank all the site regulars; the community wouldn't exist without you.
I was appointed pro-tem moderator about 2.5 years ago now. At the time, I wanted to "lead the charge" on closing what I had felt were low-quality questions. I think most people reading this will know what I'm talking about: open-ended design questions, homework questions, questions without diagrams or supporting information, questions that could be solved by looking up the error messages, etc.
Fairly soon after, there was a Meta post here asking if we should be so quick to close questions. Hauptmech brought up some great points about some poorly asked questions that had received some great answers in the past and had then stated
I'm asking if it might be better for the moderators to let the community self regulate a bit more before they step in. To let questions that look a bit unclear or too much like opinion or shopping questions, have a chance to improve before they get put on hold.
I took the advice to heart and have been trying to hold back on anything I thought could be ambiguous. I try now to leave messages to the OP asking for clarification, etc., and then leave the feedback for a few days before coming back to close the question.
Lately, my personal work schedule has been busy enough that I can't be around as much as I'd like. I still check the page daily, but I don't have time to comb through all the questions.
This is where I need you.
I've noticed, lately especially, that questions seem to be getting downvoted. Everyone's doing a great job leaving the OP feedback, but sometimes close votes aren't being cast with (or instead of) the down votes.
If I pop in for a few minutes, I have a moderator queue that will show me a list of the questions that have received downvotes. This helps me tremendously by paring the entire site down to just the problem questions - then I can go through that short list and help moderate.
As it stands, with just downvotes, it's hard to see which questions are in need of moderation. I worry that this makes it easier for me to fail to spot problem questions, which can lead to broken windows, encouraging more users to ask poor questions.
Additionally, when I do find a question that needs to be closed, it looks like I'm the only person closing the question if nobody else has cast a vote. While this is true, I would appreciate "community backup" by demonstrating that we as a community feel a particular question is off-topic.
Again, everyone's doing a great job now leaving reasons why a question may be closed, or how it could be improved, etc., but please remember to also cast a close vote if you can. This gets the question in the moderator queue and helps us, as a community, present a united front when a question is closed.