25
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Ok, no points for guessing why last year's slipped, but we'd like to get back to doing this.

We, the elected moderators, wanted to take a minute to check in and see how the community feels things are going on the site.

This community check-in has been done for the last three years (ignoring 2020), and it was very helpful. As such, we'd like to share our thoughts and also get your feedback on what is going well and what we could improve. The process is modeled heavily on previous years', but for everyone's benefit:

How this specific Q&A is run so that we get good value out of it

One clear premise per answer

  1. We'll post some of the things we've done/observations we have/things we think still need improvement. Please share your thoughts as well! Make sure to note whether you think the thing you're writing about is an improvement, a problem, or some mix of the two (one person might see the same change as bad that you see as good, or vice versa)...

  2. Post only one kind of thing per answer, so that when people upvote/downvote based on whether they agree or not, it's more clearly actionable. If you write an essay about 4 different things, it's not going to be clear what part(s) people agree or disagree with and thus it becomes difficult to act on that feedback. You can, of course, contribute multiple answers.

  3. Upvote or downvote the answers based on your agreement with whether you see that thing happening and whether you concur with the answer's premise (that it's good or it's a problem). (In other words, if someone says "We get too many new users and I hate them," you would upvote if you agree, and downvote if either you don't think we get too many new users or if you don't hate them.)

No long comment threads

  1. If you disagree with an answer, post your own answer; don't argue in comments. If you post more than one comment on an answer, you should consider whether having that discussion in a comment thread here is useful at all. We're interested in overall community sentiment as shown by votes, not so much that one person is so irritated they post 10 comments.

  2. This post isn't the place to workshop solutions - if a particular problem gets a lot of votes, we should open a new meta question to do justice to that issue. Solutions hidden in a comment thread on one of these answers can not be clearly vetted and voted on, so they will tend to remain undone.

As usual, the Code of Conduct, which we’d still like to summarize as Be Nice, applies to meta as well as the main site.

You may strongly disagree with other users or with the mods or whoever, but we trust that you can find ways to express what you like or don't like without being hostile or insulting to others. Focus on actions, rather than characterizing people.

While we may have thoughts on things to bring up, in the interest of actually getting this started they're not gonna be here right away (read: we didn't want to delay this further in order to get those written). Hopefully others have noticed them too, and can beat us to it as well as bring up things we haven't picked up on.

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19 Answers 19

30
\$\begingroup\$

We seem to be closing questions we wouldn’t have before, for reasons we wouldn’t have closed a question for before

It seems to me that a lot of questions that would, in the past, have been deemed fine—and would likely have received perfectly-fine answers—are getting closed.

Specifically, more often than in the past, I see comments claiming that votes to close have been cast due to minor violations of some policy or another, rather than substantive issues with the question that prevent it from being answered well within the site’s format. Often, when I see such questions, I see nothing in the question that prevents it from being answered, and such comments both don’t point me in the direction of something that I should consider, and also give me the impression that the closure was incorrect.

Even if there are also substantive issues with the question that mean it should be closed, such comments make it more difficult to review the question for serious issues and make it harder to moderate the site.

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5
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The data supports the hypothesis that overall percentage of questions being closed is trending up. I can provide a graph if you like. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 9 at 14:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wonder if Meta posts when such situations arise would be helpful. Or if there's some way to turn these observations into a Meta post that is more general than asking about one particular instance and more specific than the answer here \$\endgroup\$ Apr 9 at 15:13
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov What actually might interest me more is numbers on how many questions are closed, and then re-opened without additional input from the OP. Can you query something like “questions closed and then re-opened without any edits or comments from the OP in between”? There will be false positives, but a lot of such questions probably fall in the category I’m describing, and may often be questions that shouldn’t have been closed to begin with. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Apr 9 at 17:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll see what I can do. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 9 at 17:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov did you ever find more on this? \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    May 4 at 20:18
29
\$\begingroup\$

We have become D&D (-ish) SE

Right now, of the 50 latest questions, only two are not about D&D or D&D clones (D&D 5e and 3.5e, PF 1e & 2e). That is 96% D&Dish.

It's been that way in the past but I think we all hoped it would be a hype phase after launch. But it's way past launch now.

For me that's sad because there are so many other systems out there and reading questions about them is sometimes the way that I get interested.

It seems the effect is maybe self-reinforcing. Good answers attract more questions of that kind. A Catch-22.

I don't know how to solve it, but I see this kind of one-sided eco-system as a problem.

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3
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In the interest of keeping things neat, the comment thread has been moved to chat. Let's use the space there for any further refinement, workshopping of approach and other discussion on the subject. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Apr 17 at 18:21
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ To be fair, most RPG circles IRL have the same issue, it's easy to get D&D of some flavor going, much harder for some other systems. \$\endgroup\$
    – aslum
    May 5 at 13:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ May I suggest that you can assist in solving it by posting questions about other systems yourself? Even questions you already know the answer to (you can answer them too if you like). \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Jun 3 at 5:44
24
\$\begingroup\$

The Don't Guess the System policy is still an issue.

The don't guess policy discussion has gone to ground after resurfacing in spring of 2020 but I think it continues to be a divisive issue behind the scenes (how can a topic with that kind of answer, comment, and view load not be?) and opinion may be shifting.

The last major update to that meta, in April of 2020, stated that the highest rated answer indicated that the policy should not be reverted. Since that April update, an answer expressing the opposite opinion has moved into first place, though only barely.

While the "maintain the policy" crowd had more answers (4 to 2 by my count) and won the early voting on the issue in that latest question, it seems to me that a great many "change the policy" people simply decided it wasn't worth their while to write an answer, voted their opinion, and moved on. Or perhaps I'm projecting.

In light of the fact that about 9 out of 10 questions on the RPGSE are about D&D and nearly 43% are about D&D's 5th edition specifically, I foresee this continuing to be an issue until such time 6th edition is released...and then we'll probably have the same discussion again.

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3
21
\$\begingroup\$

Our community is continuing to struggle with the terms "policy" and "guideline."

We have different community members with incongruent definitions of these terms, and these terms and their application is an ongoing source of conflict between these groups of people.

\$\endgroup\$
1
  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ And lots of assumptions from each group about what the other group is assuming. \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Apr 7 at 16:06
20
\$\begingroup\$

Meta continues to increase in toxicity

This is a follow-up to my other answer, but I'm watching other answers come in and the reactions within comments and it feels like I need to add this.

We are not treating each other well. We are treating Meta as a place to rant and try to push opinions onto others. It isn't healthy. And it is getting worse.

I'm not sure if it's toxicity from main interactions coming to meta or from meta to main.

But either way, the toxicity with which we deal with each other needs to be addressed somehow. We're all taking things personally rather than through the lens of are we trying to help people and are we succeeding (without making assumptions about what it takes to succeed.)

\$\endgroup\$
3
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't usually poke around on Meta (silly attempt to inject humor goes here), but is this really a recent trend? I look at Meta much less often than I do the main site but it seems to me there's been emotional debates on Meta since I've been a member. You know, in my super long tenure compared to the venerable NautArch.... \$\endgroup\$
    – Rykara
    Apr 8 at 23:37
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Some of the toxicity we're running into likely comes built in to Meta itself. When the Stack needed a place for meta talk in '09, the Q&A system was used for that because it was available. But our Q&A wasn't built for community management. It was built to get answers. It pits people against each other competitively, and discourages and de-emphasizes conversation, the opposite of what meta needs. RPG.SE has mostly done fine but I think some of our current issues are exacerbated by Meta's Q&A system working as designed. We're having to work against the grain as we work thru our current issues. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29 at 10:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Agreed. This is the reason I have not openend up a discussion in meta several times. It can be toxic and I thought "Shall I, in the name of knowledge and purposeful discussion?" and then thought "No, too many egos". Besides, no-one seem to be reading long enough to really listen to a propsed argument and think it through". I know this is not always the case, but it has been my experience of it. Less ego; more Lego. \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Apr 30 at 8:37
20
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Not following D&D questions makes it difficult to be in the loop on site consensus

The way I see it, the community mind is composed of conversations. Those conversations happen in chat, on meta, and in mainsite comments. It's through these conversations we collaboratively evolve an understanding of how to operate the site. Most of the evolving discussion occurs in mainsite comments. Big things get brought to meta, but the months of discussion and evolution prior to a meta about a topic occur on mainsite.

Most of that discussion happens on D&D 5e questions. They're about 90% of our activity and contain at least 90% of the ongoing site conversation.

I don't understand or have an interest in D&D 5e, so I don't follow its questions. I can't do much use there, and they don't have much value to me, so there's not much point in me visiting them. But 90% of our site conversation is happening there—and it's conversation I don't see!

Back when I played D&D 4e and it was the latest version of D&D, this wasn't the case. I had a near-encyclopedic knowledge of nearly every site incident and the past and current community consensus on almost any topic. When we moved on toward D&D 5e, I noticed that knowledge declining. When I was a moderator I at least had my attention brought to almost anything significant going on, but I was still aware I wasn't as in the loop as my D&D-playing-and-answering peers. Now none of those things are going on for me.

Right now, I don't get to see our site conversations evolve. I have almost no visibility into where our “don't guess the system” policy discussions are at, or into several issues I see brought up on this meta (e.g. lack of trust, the policy vs guidance discussion). I've only got the visibility I've caught from my activity in chat.

This matters because site curation decisions are nevertheless being made that affect me and the parts of the site I do pay attention to. When meta decisions are made, they are usually made affecting every kind of question from every game, but those meta decisions are predominantly informed by activity in D&D questions.

Not playing D&D 5e myself, I have less influence over those curation decisions, and I'm less informed when site issues arrive at meta. I feel like participation in D&D 5e is an entry ticket without which I am disenfranchised from significant, meaningful engagement and influence in site curation policy, and from affecting the decisions that in turn affect every part of the site including the parts I participate in. I feel this means I and other non-D&D players are further removed from meaningful participation in the ongoing site conversation, leaving it more-than-90% dominated by that D&D 5e entry ticket.

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  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think there's really been much substantial discussion on larger-scale issues happening in mainsite comments, and certainly no broader decisions being made in mainsite comments - to the extent that those conversations are happening, they're mainly happening on meta itself. I think the observation is just that "these issues are still issues", with problems occasionally cropping up in the comments of relevant Q&As but not really extended conversation of any sort happening. In other words: those conversations haven't really moved forward (outside of meta), just sort of stalled. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Apr 11 at 23:04
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ That's my perception, anyway. (An example being "where our “don't guess the system” policy discussions are at" - I think those discussions are pretty much at the same point they were when it last came up on meta, as I don't think there has really been further discussion of it since then.) That said, I see your point about feeling "less informed [on the state of the situation] when site issues arrive at meta". \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Apr 11 at 23:06
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Also, I do think that to the extent that the conversations on broader issues are happening/ongoing, they seem to take place in chat (as one of Akixkisu's answers here notes), rather than necessarily in the comments of any mainsite question. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Apr 11 at 23:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast The perspective I'm coming from is not about decisions being made. While active in D&D 4e, I was one of many users able to make significant updates to how we handle curation simply through leading by example. Those conversations in comments aren't insubstantial—they affect the course of the conversation and what eventually happens on meat. Meanwhile, when they do come to meta, I'm less equipped than my peers to address these topics. When I do engage on these topics I find my peers are across incidents I'd never heard of, or are at a different point in the conversation than I am. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 12 at 10:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Essentially, 90% of the conversation is happening in one room. When Big Decisions(tm) have to be made, they're made on meta in front of all of the community, but how ready do you think the rest of the community will be to have that conversation compared to the people who were in that room? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 12 at 10:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think this is a new phenomenon by any means—I've noticed people outside the D&D scope have had more trouble engaging on site consensus since forever. It's just that this feedback collection is the first one in which I'm neither active in D&D nor a moderator, and I'm super noticing this myself for the first time. I don't know what to do about this exactly, but it's feedback I felt was important to share. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 12 at 10:21
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Granted, I appreciate the update on the state of affairs on meta, including your observations on where the conversation's taking place. (In hindsight, 90% of the conversation isn't happening in one place since some % has to happen in chat and meta.) I've definitely been engaging on these topics in chat because I don't have the mainsite opportunity to engage. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 12 at 10:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Makes sense! Thanks for clarifying. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Apr 12 at 22:25
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That's a valuable perspective, and it seems to echo something that viki posted a meta about (looking for a federalism kind of thing) a few years ago \$\endgroup\$ Apr 20 at 16:38
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ OK, I finally found the question vicky had that is similar to this in terms of user experience. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 20 at 17:49
18
\$\begingroup\$

There might be a lack of trust within the community

I'm worried about the community in that our pursuit for curatorial agreement is herding us into corners rather than bringing us together.

Each time an issue comes up regarding something that has multiple camps it seems that each camp is only interested in presenting their opinion. Much like elsewhere on the internet, the desire for bridging, compromise, and agreement is less important than being right.

And we have lots of views here about what is right.

Rather than trying to convince others that you are right (or telling other that they are wrong), why don't we start with the basic idea that the vast majority are here and acting in good faith.

We are all trying to curate this stack to the best of our abilities with the beliefs we have to do so. Those beliefs are going to be different, but I think we need to realize that there is also a difference between perceived problems and actual problems. Our primary focus should be on actual problems: when an action by a user causes a real and clear issue that needs to be discussed.

If there isn't an actual problem, then maybe we should just let it slide. THe majority of actions here still require more than one user, so if a group of users believe something is helpful, and another disagrees - that's okay. The system is working as normal. If we start complaining about how others are performing their curatorial duties and try to change them because we believe they should be doing something else, then I think that creates divide on the stack where there doesn't need to be one.

It's creating multiple issues like the guessing of system, or question closures, etc. What one person believes is helpful another person believes is wrong. And again, that's okay! What one person does really shouldn't be an issue. And if lots of folks are doing it and we're not seeing harm, then it's likely okay (although lack of visible harm doesn't mean there isn't harm.)

We need to get to a point where we can trust each other. And that if a group overrides another group, that is also okay. And we just need to let it go as the community making a decision that is different from our own.

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18
\$\begingroup\$

People are exclaiming that we are becoming D&D.se when D&D has been our main activity for many years.

This is an issue because it obscures the D&D focus as a recent development when we have had the D&D focus for many years. When we approach this issue, we want to do so from an honest standpoint. People are hasty to project a trend when the percentage change has been stable during the last three years. The recent slight increase could be due to several reasons, such as being stricter about tagging questions correctly.

This image, the image displayes four colums. first year, second total questions, third D&D related tags, fourth percentage. It has twelfe rows. First row: year: 2010 total: 948 D&D: 496, %: 52,32%. Second row: year: 2011 total: 1328 D&D: 726, %: 54,67%. Third row: year: 2012 total: 1653 D&D: 1006, %: 60,86%. Fourth row: year: 2013 total: 2224 D&D: 1376, %: 61,87%. Fifth row: year: 2014 total: 4217 D&D: 2973, %: 70,50%. Sixth row: year: 2015 total: 4358 D&D: 3360, %: 77,10%. Seventh row: year: 2016 total: 4500 D&D: 3648, %: 81,07%. Eighth row: year: 2017 total: 5665 D&D: 4812, %: 84,94%. Nineth row: year: 2018 total: 6257 D&D: 5537, %: 88,49%. Tenth row: year: 2019 total: 6248 D&D: 5507, %: 88,14%. Eleventh row: year: 2020 total: 4628 D&D: 4114, %: 88,89%. Twelfth row: year: 2021 total: 1029 D&D: 939, %: 91,25%.

This image created by a query by Miniman on the seventh of April 2021 displays the percentage of questions that use D&D tags and their related franchises, it includes all editions of D&D, Pathfinder, and Starfinder.

We should not be too hasty in attributing the recent percentage increase of questions with those tags as a surging trend when we do no understand the circumstances well enough. We have had this D&D focus for quite some time, and we should not view it as a recent development.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener I believe that BESW made a good argument here and here. I adjusted the language to be less abrasive. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Apr 11 at 16:19
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you, that is enormously appreciated. I'm cleaning up my comments. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 11 at 16:57
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ So going from 50% to 90% over 10 years isn’t a change in focus? \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Apr 16 at 18:44
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk Going from 50% to 88%, of course, is a tremendous change in focus from 2010 to 2017. In the comment above, I linked a few suggestions as to why this change took place back then, outlined by BESW - of course, also not a complete picture. A stable hovering around 88% during 2018-2020 is not a change in site focus, and the data from 2021 only takes in the first quarter of the year. That we already focused on D&D 2017 community-check-in has been our perspective - it is not a recent development. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Apr 16 at 23:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk I made an observation to doppel a few years ago (when doppel was a mod) in response to a "we are growing" comment that "the release of D&D 5e and its sustained success was a likely prime mover in that "increased traffic" metric. I suspect that this remains true. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 20 at 13:20
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ In 2010 roughly 50% of all questions were NON-D&D - thats ~450, in 2020 roughly 11% of all questions were NON-D&D - that is also about 450. It is just that the other systems do not increase in popularity (played 15+y D&D, not for 10+y, playing DSA for last 15y ongoing, hopped into earthdawn, cyberpunk, paranoia, and others for short times) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 22 at 12:32
15
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RPG.SE is enforcing the use of gender neutral pronouns (they/them) in Q&As despite a clear consensus position that all pronouns are neutral.

Our guidance on pronoun use in Q&As is quite clear, and this highest scoring answer is sitting at +42/-5:

All pronouns are neutral and should be enforced as such.

I personally think that nobody should be harassed, or be in the red for guessing wrong on how someone wants to be called, and this should extend to RPG.SE. no pronoun should have a negative connotation, whether being misused or otherwise.

Unless otherwise stated, all questions are gender agnostic.

This means that 'he/him', 'they/their', and 'she/her' pronouns are correct, and none of them are incorrect. Good answers simply maintain continuity, and don't switch to refer to the same people. The answer may decide to change pronouns if the answerer wishes, but there is no correct gender. An answer should never be wrong because the gender is 'incorrect', because no gender option is incorrect. If the OP puts in the post that this is a gender-issue, then correct pronouns should be used.

The next highest scoring answer (+38/-4) echoes a similar sentiment. The third highest scoring answer (+28/-1) echoes a similar sentiment.

Despite this guidance, community curation frequently sees suggested edits consisting solely of “corrected to inclusive pronouns” approved. And I don’t mean an edit that substantially improves the post while changing pronouns along the way; I mean suggested edits that change as little as a single pronoun and nothing else.

By approving these suggested edits, RPG.SE is enforcing the use of gender neutral pronouns, despite a clear position that all pronouns are gender neutral and should be enforced as such.

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    \$\begingroup\$ My personal preference would be to see the site use a healthy mix of he, she, or they, for the simple matter that women experience a barrier to inclusion in our hobby, and using "she" frequently in our posts is a minimum-effort gesture that's a small reminder that women are here and belong in the hobby too. Entirely they/them loses that information and that opportunity. Meanwhile if the querent uses he/him or she/her prononus, answers using that as well is good, and there's no meaningful improvement gained by going to they/them. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 12 at 10:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ The most recent example of this that I saw was a demand from @GregMartin on the highwayman question. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 24 at 22:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Was that in a comment? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 24 at 23:38
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov yes, and I flagged it. The mods removed it I think, but another user responded to it (I chose not to) in order to offer that commenter a clue. I was quite taken aback that someone demand that I change how I wrote my own question about my own character, and for once I just bit my lip and moved on. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 24 at 23:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Interestingly, we haven’t had one in the suggested edit queue since I posted this answer. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 24 at 23:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would be interested from hearing from the downvoters here; is it because you disagree that this is happening, or that you disagree with me when I say it shouldn’t be happening? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 24 at 23:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Back to our regularly scheduled programming. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 26 at 18:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "despite a clear position that all pronouns are gender neutral and should be enforced as such" I'm afraid that position clashes with the current global SE policy and a local policy saying the opposite will not go over well. I have been a vocal critic of the global policy, but it is what it is. \$\endgroup\$
    – nvoigt
    Apr 29 at 16:42
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @nvoigt I'm not seeing how that position I cited clashes with the network wide position, though I'm not sure comments is the best place for that discussion. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29 at 18:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @nvoigt Found the place for that discussion - we already have a meta post about exactly that question: Does our standing policy on pronoun gender conflict with the SE's recent changes to the Code of Conduct? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29 at 18:12
11
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There is lack of consensus on what should be done about old, off topic questions.

There are currently 80+ open questions tagged (though if you go through them, some of them are on topic despite the tag). There is a diverse range of opinions on what should be done about them. I have seen it expressed that they should just be left alone until they are bumped to the front page, it has been suggested that closing them if you happen to come across them is appropriate, and it has been proposed that we go on a closure spree and knock the rest of them out. Each of these sentiments seems to have the support of multiple active community members.

I'll keep this one as an observation unless someone specifically requests data. I obviously have my own thoughts on this, and have done some work to consolidate meta guidance on this topic, but I will reserve it for when or if this topic gets its own post.

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1
  • \$\begingroup\$ This changed, there is not a single one remaining. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Aug 17 at 13:04
10
\$\begingroup\$

Meta seems less active

It was my perception that activity levels on meta generally seemed to be down.

Thank you you to Thomas Markov for producing the following graphs that add a bit of meat to my hypothesis:

enter image description here

enter image description here

25k rep users can view meta site analytics here.

There are likely a number of different reasons for the reduction in meta activity, and they're not necessarily bad. This post is simply intended as a conversation starter (if anyone wants to pick it up).

This hypothesis is further substantiated by the ratio of views and visits between Main and Meta:

enter image description here

The Main-to-Meta ratio of views and visits seems to be steadily increasing. Traffic on main has started rebounding, but that rebound on Main is not reflected in Meta traffic. Main traffic growth is significantly outpacing Meta since the first of the year.

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7
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    \$\begingroup\$ Notably, 22% of meta questions from October through March were mine. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 7 at 18:53
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I wonder how well those trends track with mainsite trends--it's my impression that main saw a pretty marked decrease in activity through 2020, as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Apr 7 at 22:52
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 I’ll do that stats on that tomorrow. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 7 at 23:25
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Mainsite activity and traffic overall has also been on the same linear decline through January 2020 through til now. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 8 at 11:22
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener Main traffic is trending up since the first of the year, yet Meta traffic continues trending down. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 8 at 19:00
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Might this "less active" status be an artifact of the toxicity that @NautArch discusses in his answer? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 20 at 13:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast A connection seems likely to me, yes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tiggerous
    Apr 21 at 19:37
10
\$\begingroup\$

Bounties offered is trending upward.

Here is a graph of the number of bounties per month for the last 12 months:

enter image description here

I see this as a good thing. The bounty system is being used to target content that otherwise would not receive due attention and to reward good answers.

\$\endgroup\$
3
  • \$\begingroup\$ You don't think it's a sign of frustration at not finding good answers by searching/asking? \$\endgroup\$
    – Nagora
    May 16 at 10:50
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Nagora Given that numerous recent bounties are a direct result of Crawford's tweets no longer being considered official rulings which made previously correct answers incorrect and that numerous recent bounties were to reward an existing answer, I at least do not think it is a sign of frustration. Furthermore, search results coming up with nothing probably wouldn't incentivize bounties in the first place since bounties are for after you found the question, not when you cannot even find it \$\endgroup\$ May 16 at 16:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nagora Eh, there is something of a problem indicated by questions about less popular systems going unanswered, but bountying those questions is the best immediately available solution to that problem. It doesn’t address the root cause, but it does invite people to engage with questions they might not otherwise engage in, which is a good thing. \$\endgroup\$ May 16 at 18:06
10
\$\begingroup\$

What makes me grind my teeth: the received 'voice'

It is my observation that we are becoming too proscriptive in how we act on the site, and it's actively hurting how we interact with newer users. (thanks @illustro for that bit of word smithing).

  1. I have watched the new user frustration aspect increase.

    This is quite hard to quantify. We had a meta not long ago asking about the tone - which is received tone - of responses to questions, closures, and such. One of the nouns used had to be edited to keep the question open. That's but one example. It's not the only meta or inquiry that has come up asking why this community has a high barrier to entry. That tone is directly related to this continuing community attitude problem:

  2. The "I need a rule for this" attitude has increased, both in how Q&A's are handled, and in "but we have a rule for that" discussions on meta. This isn't a new issue, it's a running sore. Between various times in the chat, and meta posts, I've made sufficient input on this before. You all will either accept my observations or you will not.

Those related community problems create frowning face over the past year.

Actionable suggestions

As regards new users, remember that while good Q&A are the purpose of this site, the users matter. Received tone can be tricky to guess, as you don't know who is on the other end of the web, but if you type your comment as though you are speaking to someone sitting across from you, the tone may be received more warmly. It's worth the effort, and can also be applied to the attempt to emphasize rules / policy: best practices and guidelines are how to frame it, in a community of volunteers.

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  • 12
    \$\begingroup\$ -1 "One clear premise per answer" \$\endgroup\$ Apr 7 at 21:48
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ This answer fails to follow the basic instructions of the question: “Post only one kind of thing per answer, so that when people upvote/downvote based on whether they agree or not, it's more clearly actionable. If you write an essay about 4 different things, it's not going to be clear what part(s) people agree or disagree with and thus it becomes difficult to act on that feedback. You can, of course, contribute multiple answers.” \$\endgroup\$ Apr 7 at 23:27
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I've removed part of this answer as we'd rather focus on issues not people. I appreciate your sentiment, but would like to take this opportunity remind everyone to be respectful in how they express themselves. Lets focus on making thing better rather than pointing fingers. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin Mod
    Apr 8 at 6:40
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @linksassin Somebody needed to speak up about that, and I figured I may as well. I would appreciate a private message from any member of the mod team on that topic. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 8 at 11:00
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ It's obviously fine to down vote any response as your conscience dictates but why have three users felt the need to post comments stating basically identical reasoning (even if differently expressed) for down voting? Down-voting the post and up-voting the first comment (if that's what you want to do) feels like it should be enough. These unnecessary comments feel like an outworking or Korvin's second and third points. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tiggerous
    Apr 9 at 9:24
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Can you split this up into a couple answers? I agree with some and don't know enough about others, so I'd prefer providing an opinion on them unintentionally. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 12 at 20:32
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Pyrotechnical If I thought it were worth splitting into multiple answers, I'd have done so. Given the response I got, I am not sure if it is worth doing that at this point. But maybe it is. Let me think on that. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 12 at 23:47
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I would encourage you to do so, and I'm one of the people that upvoted it anyway. You will otherwise never know if most of those downvotes are format-stickler downvotes who otherwise mostly agree with you, or not. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novak
    Apr 15 at 20:53
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Novak Thanks, I place great value on your judgment. Two answers then, one for the happy and one for the sad? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15 at 21:34
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ No, I really think you have to break them out individually, as many as you think warrant individual attention-- just because those four things make you grind your teeth doesn't mean everyone will experience the same all-or-nothing response. But that's what a single up- or down-vote would imply, and that's what makes a single vote dubious to the point of worthless. No one knows which of those items the vote applies to. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novak
    Apr 15 at 21:39
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @Novak OK, that will take some time, I'll need to do it 'all at once' - Thanks, my friend, for the good advice. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15 at 21:39
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Novak Broke it into to two answers \$\endgroup\$ Apr 20 at 13:04
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ My reading of this is "I think we are becoming too proscriptive in how we act on the site, and it's actively hurting how we interact with newer users" (and making the site more unwelcoming). Is that a fair interpretation of the revised answer? (I'd also suggest that you make this as a new post, as opposed to an edit to an existing post that received many downvotes, a good number of which were due to the inclusion of two separate topics in a single answer) \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Apr 20 at 13:25
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Illustro I thought about doing that, but decided not to. But maybe I should have. I'll cogitate on that, get back to you. But I think you received most of my thought on this pretty well. Title Edited. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 20 at 13:25
9
\$\begingroup\$

We continue to get into too many long arguments in the comment section.

Extended discussion, especially when opposing arguments, is better suited to a chat environment, and we should propose to move things to chat sooner than later.

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8
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Sometimes I feel like that automatically move to chat button is too hard to get to. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 8 at 12:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ This problem crops up from time to time, and I think I am seeing the same thing that you are seeing. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 8 at 23:19
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ We have asked and asked and asked for a way to manually move things to chat sooner than the automatic option, and SE has declined. So this is simply a software problem: manually-created chat rooms don’t capture the context of the existing comments and so are a non-solution, and bugging diamond moderators for it doesn’t seem worthwhile, so the only way to accomplish the creation of a chat discussion of issues is by having a lengthy discussion in the comment section. I see this purely as a reflection of an unfortunate software design choice, rather than a community issue. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Apr 9 at 14:23
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ In other words: this happens because there is simply no better alternative available. Every available alternative is even worse than simply accepting the longer-than-they-should-be comment discussions. This does not mean that every long comment discussion should happen, or that there isn’t a problem here. My point is only that “we have long comment discussions” isn’t necessarily a problem per se, in a vacuum, since there can be “good” (better than any alternative) reasons to have one. And that makes it very murky to determine what’s acceptable and what isn’t. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Apr 9 at 14:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ I remember having this issue when I was more unfamiliar with the site: I looked and looked and looked for a way to move the conversation to chat and couldn't find one; What I did try didn't work as I thought it would. I hadn't realised that the only way to preserve the comments was wait for an automatic transfer. I gave up and continued commenting. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Apr 10 at 16:35
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ As a general reminder, users can always flag comments for moderator attention to suggest that they be moved to chat, if a long conversation has popped up in the comments and the site hasn't automatically suggested the conversation be moved to chat. (I think the site will auto-flag a post if there are more than 20 comments on it, but it'll only suggest creating a chat room if there's an extended back-and-forth between 2 users - and the resulting chat room would only include the comments of those 2 users.) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Apr 11 at 23:53
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think the mod team's attention is spread so thin that "bugging diamond moderators" is a problem here, unless extended conversations in comments are happening on every single mainsite post (which would be a problem anyway). \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Apr 11 at 23:54
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Things that get "moved to chat" become essentially invisible, especially to new-ish users who are unfamiliar with the system. Maybe it would be used more (and used better) if the discussion was displayed right next to the relevant Question / Answer / Comments, like in a scrolling window. \$\endgroup\$
    – gto
    May 6 at 20:28
8
\$\begingroup\$

We continue to discuss meta posts in the main chat rooms.

A growing number of users prefer the environment of the main chat rooms to discuss meta to participating in the meta posts. Sometimes workshopped ideas arrive on meta, but a lot of the results of the discussions stays in the chat.

This is an observation of how things are, or as the format says: "observations we have." It is neither an improvement or a problem, but remarkable.

Upvote or downvote the answers based on your agreement with whether you see that thing happening and whether you concur with the answer's premise

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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This meets the criteria for an answer here. It is a statement of a thing that is happening. That isn't what I am saying. What I am saying is that since this answer doesn't portray it either as a good or bad thing, what are we meant to do with that information? If you instead portray it as a good thing and receive upvotes, we know it is a thing we should continue doing. If you portray it as a bad thing, and it gets upvoted, then it is something we should address. In its current form it isn't particularly helpful in guiding our actions moving forward. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin Mod
    Apr 8 at 23:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not all things worth taking note of come along with a prescription. This process repeatedly happening is something that we should be aware of as a state of how things are. I believe this is information that is valuable in the future. It is the kind of information that is sorely lacking from most of the check-ins. It is an insight into how the community does things in this period. A part of the context that informs others about the ways we interact in the ways we do. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Apr 9 at 10:53
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Making this about a prescriptive "ought we" is not helpful - it is harmful. The process distracts us from the contextualisation and would create clear lines of a conflict where there is none. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Apr 9 at 10:53
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Interesting. Is this used more for individual question merits/edits/VTC, or bigger ""policy"" issues, would you say? (I never go into chat bc I find it hard to catch up on/follow) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 10 at 4:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MissMisinformation all of those :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Apr 10 at 11:03
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Related: the role of chat at RPGSE. While that meta post was largely focused on how chat-consensus can effectively obscure the reasons for mainsite activity, there's no reason that doesn't extend to meta, too. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Apr 10 at 14:10
4
\$\begingroup\$

What makes me happy as I visit RPGSE?

(This was broken off from the other at the request of a few users)

  1. I see a lot of community moderation activity with lots of different names.
    That's good. While this sometimes can lead to a help pile (thanks, @nitsua60)

  2. I've seen some new users arrive with good questions, and respond well to and get good answers.

The above observation is based on a year's worth of an active User's Experience, A User who likes this site and who, in the main, likes the people who come here and participate.

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6
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Is there a particular point you're trying to make by ignoring the requested format for answers here? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 20 at 13:10
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov The question is "how is the community doing" and this is my answer, on the positive side. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 20 at 13:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast: I think what Thomas means is that your post doesn't have "One clear premise per answer" - it brings up two separate matters, even if both are things you think are good. (As the question post says: "Post only one kind of thing per answer, so that when people upvote/downvote based on whether they agree or not, it's more clearly actionable. If you write an essay about 4 different things, it's not going to be clear what part(s) people agree or disagree with and thus it becomes difficult to act on that feedback. You can, of course, contribute multiple answers.") \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Apr 20 at 21:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ In other words, you shouldn't have just two answers, one for "here are things I've observed that I think are good" and another for "here are things I've observed that I think are bad" - rather, each of your main points should be posted as a separate answer. That way, people can vote accordingly on whether they agree with each of your observations/opinions, rather than having to agree/disagree with your answer as a whole - bringing up multiple distinct points in a single answer makes it hard to interpret the voting on that answer (and hard to decide how to vote on the answer). \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Apr 20 at 21:21
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast not worth the effort, and akixkisu covered some of what I had to say in their post, so I am not wasting time with replicating that. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 20 at 21:33
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough! :) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Apr 20 at 22:20
3
\$\begingroup\$

There are too many first-time posts by members that do not get a Welcome message.

Though I have seen plenty of Welcome to SE messages in the comments of first-time posts, I have noticed that there are still quite a few that do not have one.

I see this as a collective "responsibility". I would suggest it is important that we get this right as a community (especially the moderators and long-time or active members) - and that we keep getting it right.

I think that in the long-term not providing a Welcome message damages the wealth of experience and knowledge that members could bring to the stack because it puts people off from contributing. This is anecdotal from friends who love RPGs and use RPG SE for answers, but got a very negative response when writing a firt post. Basically, they posted one answer and never bothered again. It's a shame.

When I see a first time post being pulled apart, criticised and voted down lots of times without so much as a simple "Hi" or Welcome message, it makes my skin crawl.

I view this as a problem that requires a collective on-going improvement.

It may help to have a way of monitoring every so often how many first-time posts are getting a Welcome message.

I think in the long run it will pay off to encourage more active members and moderators to make sure a Welcome message is posted for all first posts.

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  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not going to downvote, because I generally agree - but this is also something you can fix all by your lonesome. I often put those posts up, but the more others do, the better. If you see it's missing, add it! \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Apr 22 at 15:42
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcoming users is valuable, but seeing it as an obligation the absence of which is a collective failure of the community is taking this exercise far too seriously. This is just a thing some of us started doing because it's nice to do, nothing more or less! We do this when we can, as our energy or context allows. Sometimes it's more appropriate to just dive in to the post. Sometimes the people responding do not have the means right then to both welcome a person and give the feedback they need. Sometimes someone doesn't get a welcome message and that's how it shakes out. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 22 at 16:02
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Let me make it clear also that welcoming a user is not some magical stick that makes people keep contributing. BESW was IIRC the user who started our habit of welcoming folks, and I was one of the ones following the example he set. There was still sometimes not time, energy, and availability to welcome someone. Welcoming a user doesn't inherently offset all the friction they may face nor make them contribute more, and is not even always the most appropriate way to respond to a post. A welcome should absolutely not be seen in such a way that its absence makes your skin crawl. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 22 at 16:09
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I thank you for posting this, I have been seeing the same thing, and while I post some welcome comments, I sometimes on very low quality firsts posts in the review queue do not. Thanks for calling 'us' out, and mea culpa - as a bit of a 'new user' advocate I ought to know better. And I should set a better example. @doppelgreener I think it's helpful to establish an improved tone, overall, but I think your point on "as our energy and context allows" is a good one. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 24 at 23:06
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the responses. I agree that adding a Welcome or not is an individual choice. The point of this is awareness and a healthy community. I think this has a simple collective solution (especially by more seasoned/active members): Copy & Paste. It takes a few seconds. I think richness of knowledge in the stack will continue only by the active involvement and participation of lots of members (not just a few regulars). If we see negative commens or downvoting and no Welcome, let's please just add one. You don't "have to", but if you do "Thanks". \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Apr 30 at 9:16
2
\$\begingroup\$

I feel like we need to do a better job formalizing our policies, whatever they may be.

This is a bit of an extension on Akixkisu's response and Rykara's response. But I noted this awhile ago on a comprehensive list prepared by Medix, which detailed all the times we discussed on the issue of guessing the system.

We have all these discussions and side discussions and additional discussions and so on that I feel like at some point, we need to make a firm decision on the matter and codify it in a way that's traceable. My recommendation is closing a bunch of those old meta posts as duplicates and linking them some sort of overarching [POLICY] post or something. Heck, make it a tag or even a Moderator-Only tag if it needs extra protection.

Quite frankly, I don't really care so much on the matter anymore. I just want to know what we're doing so I can advise people correctly or edit based on my gut correctly.

Right now, it feels like we're setting ourselves up for a 3.5 style failure wherein somebody cites a meta thread which says one thing is policy, they're countered by a meta thread which says a contrary stance is policy, then a third person points out that both of those threads are outdated and here's the real Player's Handbook which was drafted by wizards, is written in True Speech, and is thus devoid of all errors and vagaries!

Sometimes you just gotta make a decision and live with it to see if the fallout is as bad as you expect.

\$\endgroup\$
10
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Is this one not what you're looking for: "What is the “Don’t Guess the System” policy?". It is, quote: "A canonical summary of the current state of the policy". That said, closing older posts and similar actions are certainly possible as well \$\endgroup\$ Apr 12 at 23:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 yes. I didn't know we had that. It would be nice if we could waypoint those other threads back to that post. I know we kind of have some guidelines regarding homebrew review as well. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13 at 2:57
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The post linked by Medix is based on a gross misrepresentation (Majority decided on an outcome, moderators picked a cut-off point that suited them which directly opposed the majority vote after the fact and then made the proposal instead of cutting it off at the current point in time of their policy proposal or waiting for the majority to swing the other direction). \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Apr 13 at 19:43
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu at the risk of starting a debate on this topic, this is kind of my point. When the mods cut things off in Medix's link regarding setting official policy it might've been the votes were at 'keep the policy' versus your post which shows the current majority. If we're setting a policy, then lock all the debate threads on the matter and tie them back to the official policy thread. If we think the issue needs to be revisited, then we start a new meta for current data. Policy shouldn't be changing by what the votes are at on the current debate thread, that can change overnight. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13 at 20:05
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu Over 90 days after the original post, the answer supporting the current state of policy had a score of 31, and the currently highest scoring answer had a score of 25. The post Medix linked defined what the state of policy had already been for many many months, countering confusion caused by more recent changes in the voting distribution of answers from March. Calling it a gross misrepresentation is disingenuous at best. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13 at 20:30
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Pyrotechnical It wasn't so much "We cut the voting and use the scores from this date", rather it was more like "The voting distribution for months after the post was clear and we've been enforcing it that way for many months already". \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13 at 20:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Akix If you have a problem with the way policies are decided upon, post a Meta (asking) about it. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 14 at 3:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 Or post it here as an answer lol \$\endgroup\$ Apr 14 at 7:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pyrotechnical When the mods posted that post, the vote was at "revert the policy," which is the whole point, and they misrepresented a false consensus based on results of a prior time. It was disingenuous at best. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Apr 14 at 10:51
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu I said post an answer here. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 14 at 11:32
-5
\$\begingroup\$

In a unique and untimely action, moderators influenced a discussion and a majority vote by making an during a close voting period on one of, if not the, most contentious topics.

The Re-revisiting the “don't guess the system” policy is the most recent discussion place in a long list of meta-discussion on the topic. Two opposing answers received an unusually high amount of votes for meta as this is one of the most contentious topics. When the answer in favour of reverting our current policy eventually was ahead by one score, moderators proposed the second-highest scoring answer as the former status quo community consensus and future waypoint for discussion in this faq-proposal. Since then, the lead of the answer in favour of reverting our current policy extended and currently stands at a score of 33 (+57 -24) while the second-highest score is 27 (+58 -31) and represents the group that is in favour of keeping the old policy.

A few things about this are additionally remarkable:

  1. After an unannounced, and to the onlooker arbitrary, voting period of 3 months, the moderators decided to announce that the voting failed to achieve a consensus and that the moderators thus would enforce the old policy.

  2. After the proclaimed voting period, the keeping the old policy answer was in the lead at several points in time. At none of these opportune points in time did the moderators decide to go ahead with the faq-proposal.

  3. The faq-proposal claims that we should use it as a waypoint for discussion moving forward that clarifies the moderators understanding and enforcement of the policy. Instead of leaving it as a moderator statement on the topic, they decided to make it into an . That it is a proposal would mean that if the faq-proposal is successful, it would be a codified part of our .

  4. Our , see FAQ Index for Role-playing Games Stack Exchange lists our most dominant guidelines. If a meta post is part of our , it gains or has a high degree of authority. To place such a controversial policy in the , when the concurrent discussion leans towards the answer in favour of reverting our current policy is an untimely influence when it directly opposes the majority vote of a concurrent community discussion.

This usage of moderator authority is worrisome, even when it comes from a desire of helping us by clarifying moderator actions and enforcement. A mere statement that explains current moderator actions and enforcement that would have deliberately put forward that we currently lack a community consensus on this topic would have been good, but this untimely change was wrong.

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16
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think a timeline of sorts would help with clarity here. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 14 at 13:26
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ This sentence misconstrues actions, at best: "When the answer in favour of reverting our current policy eventually was ahead by one score, moderators proposed the second-highest scoring answer as the former status quo community consensus and future waypoint for discussion in this faq-proposal." Yes, that is when they posted the FAQ-proposal but that is not when they updated the re-revisit stating "As the community failed to achieve a consensus to change the status quo, we will continue to enforce the policy as we have in the past." \$\endgroup\$ Apr 14 at 13:27
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ What I'm saying is that what actually matters is when they made the decision about what policy would be enforced, not when they worded together an explanation of that policy. Presumably after much discussion and refinements, they did word together the explanation of the policy that we now have, but by that time the policy had already been enacted \$\endgroup\$ Apr 14 at 13:28
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I mean, anybody can make anything an FAQ-proposal, and I don't think that tag carries much weight on its own. We even had an entire post specifically for FAQ-proposals getting added onto the FAQ. Related questions: "What's the actual process around [faq-proposal]s?" and "FAQ Proposal Index for Role-playing Games Stack Exchange". It's certainly not a very defined process, so I can definitely see what you're saying here \$\endgroup\$ Apr 14 at 13:32
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 they decided to go the wrong way about a good thing, and that it is the wrong way has consequences. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Apr 14 at 13:34
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ From that faq-proposal: "A post to be edited/updated as or if the policy changes over time" - That post reflected the current policy at time of posting. The reason we created it was because there were conflicting views of which posts actually formed part of the current policy and the policy was split over multiple meta posts which was confusing for users. That post is intended to change over time as the policy changes, without us having to update the FAQ list, but merely update that answer. Also should the community decide to revert the policy it is very easy to simply remove the FAQ tag. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin Mod
    Apr 14 at 23:44
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ Also, the FAQ tag does not add any authority to a post. It is simply indicating that it is a FAQ. The curated list is there to help users get up to speed on topics they may not know about. The FAQ proposal you refer to does exactly that. If a new user comes to the site and sees arguments about guessing the system and wonders what is going on. They can start at the post to understand how things are, then read the revisits with an understanding of what people are arguing for/or against. Without that base understanding the revisit discussion is confusing. That was the purpose of the post \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin Mod
    Apr 14 at 23:48
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't want to, and haven't experienced enough to, get into this too deeply. But I actually did wonder about this in my passing-by. I remember seeing "revert" be the higher-voted answer, but then later on the "keep" was the policy that was posted. I don't have a horse in this race, really, but it did seem strange. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Apr 15 at 3:33
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @linksassin Just regarding the FAQ tag adding authority: I think it is fair to say that being FAQ lends some appearance of an official seal of approval, and I don't think it's by accident. It's there to guide people toward the Definitive Edition on a topic, so to speak. I don't think we can make it not look like that, but it is something the community can use with care for its benefit. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15 at 17:33
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Akixkisu: Have you been reading KRyan's back catalogue from our old RAW-tag flame war days? Have not seen this kind of anti-mod sentiment for a while. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15 at 21:35
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener My perspective is that the FAQ tag is recognition that a post is widely accepted to be the best post on a topic. Rather than the tag making the post widely accepted. It is there to increase visibility/findability of valuable information, not to make information valuable by adding the tag. That's what I meant when I say it doesn't add authority. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin Mod
    Apr 16 at 4:15
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu Please avoid (mis)using that kind of bludgeon. It isn't helping anyone. If you have concerns about the comment thread going too long, you can point that out respectfully and we use the appropriate tools. There's a lot of judgement that goes into what is appropriate response and what is long discussion (and in general, the line for meta is a lot longer). \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Apr 16 at 13:33
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ As for what this answer is actually about; I think there is a full discussion to be had about these events, but this is not a useful starting perspective for it. Specifically the unprecedented event is lingering votes changeing the top score on a policy-type meta. That's happened twice and both relating to DGtS. The only reason I haven't started that meta is that I'm not exactly sure how would be best way, I'll welcome someone else to give it a shot if they have a good idea of how, but otherwise I think we'll leave workshopping of it to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Apr 16 at 13:40
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil or, we could stop picking at that scab .. but you knew I'd say that, I suspect. 😁 \$\endgroup\$ Apr 16 at 18:06
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ The dismissal of stated concerns and the combative continuation of excuses suggests that the issue is more encompassing. Once you start that meta-discussion, I encourage you to do so from a perspective that doesn't trivialise criticism about failure in meta processes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Apr 17 at 12:35

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