« first day (3004 days earlier)      last day (389 days later) » 

10:01 PM
@gnat From the code:
        { "softwareengineering.stackexchange.com", .45 },
        { "workplace.stackexchange.com", .45 },
        { "stackoverflow.com", .8 }
 
poor hamstrung SO :P
 
I know is the penalty referred to because for years we also had { "christianity.stackexchange.com", .45 } which effectively prevented questions from that site. Does it work well enough? Depends on what your goal is. Removing workplace from that code will almost certainly increase the number of questions it has on HNQ lists.
@TravisJ It might have worked when the network was much smaller. But even then, I often felt unheard:
-212
A: Show all of my question/answers to me even if they are deleted

Jeff AtwoodGenerally when things get deleted, it's for a good reason, and we don't want users to be undeleting them -- there's a reason we require 10k rep to "see" deleted items at all, and only moderators can see deletions in a user's profile.

There's no rational reason for disallowing me to see my own deleted answers in my profile. — Adam Rackis Jan 9 '12 at 18:22
 
Ah, the good old "we don't want you mulling over bad things and ensuing drama" argument. Same thing as downvote notifications.
I could never help but get a condescending vibe from these excuses
 
It's not surprising, though. He didn't have enough time in the day to respond to each criticism with detailed reasoned arguments. In 2010.
 
@JonEricson At least there was a solid response that everyone could coalesce around. How many times since the meta split has that same conversation been had? A bunch. What impact does each iteration of that conversation have, especially when there is no official response? A negative one. This is happening in all sorts of different aspects. Also, from looking at the volume SO gets, it sees more questions per day than in the entire history of Software Engineering's meta.
 
10:16 PM
I couldn't keep up with Documentation criticisms. And that was a feature that died because of lack of interest. (And mistakes in development. And maybe not listening to the criticisms, which was overwhelming.)
 
I don't think volume is the issue, duplication is.
Documentations failure was in its structure in my opinion. It was a solid feature, it solved a real problem, and it had good content. It just lacked organization which led to nothing ever being found and thus no interest in creating content.
 
@TravisJ My point is, we couldn't keep up and make the feature. And that feedback was on one meta. Not a lot of duplication either.
There are no silver bullets.
 
@TravisJ My impression is that a lot of stuff that Nick fixes is stuff we're often alerted to via exception logs and other server monitoring tools. The fact that they also pick up meta posts is incidental. I agree with you that there's a lot of discussion lag, but I don't think that's in any way new. Meta discussions have long tended to just sort of stop mid-way without any definitive resolution. And the odds of the whole company switching to having in-depth discussions on meta are ... low.
 
@Jon - Yes, it's true that it was impossible to keep up with fixing the issues with Documentation... it had design flaws. However, the community felt engaged and there was a strong level of trust as a result of that with regards to the Documentation feature itself.
 
If you think SO/network Q&A in general have fewer issues than Documentation did, I have bad news :)
 
10:20 PM
@Adam - I am intimately aware of the issues on metas.
 
@JonEricson I think I wrote about this already at MSE, this appears to penalise on the irrelevant parameter. Even for SO where it appears to do the trick, it acts unnaturally - basically SO questions get a hard push from the list after 7-8 hours. There is a different, dedicated parameter that adds penalty for repeating questions from the same site - if you are interested in more even representation of different sites - this is worth tuning
 
The combined volume is tiny compared to the users qualified to answer. However, the duplication makes it impossible as it amplifies the volume to a degree that the number of qualified users is vastly outnumbered.
 
@TravisJ Heh, I misread what you said. Thought it was "to keep up with meta and fixing the issues with Documentation" for some reason, my bad.
 
@TravisJ also lack of proper guidance/naming, but we digress
also, if the metas are ever joined again we must call it Andúril
it also goes well with the murder theme
 
I liked Docs. I liked the engagement with Docs. It just had some issues that made it hard to be viable. That said, the community trust factor with the team's interactions regarding Docs was very high.
 
10:24 PM
@gnat Years ago I suggested (somewhere) a hard limit of the number of questions each site has in the HNQ list at any one time. 2 is probably plenty. I think the penalty idea is misguided (substitute a stronger term, if you like) at best. But the solution is to argue for that, not argue with what's in the code.
 
@TravisJ Do you mean "trust factor" as in trust that someone from the team would respond?
 
@JonEricson hard limit 2 would work too, I agree
...you'd have to deal with click counters in the company though. They would cry "limit like this will leave us without 10K clicks a day from Workplace and Code Golf, how dare you!"
 
@AdamLear That's a good question, "what defines a community trust factor"? It has several facets in my opinion. The main one being that there is some sort of a response somewhere to a major issue raised by the community, obviously minor issues may not get a response but if they often get a comment that is good. The following one would be that sometimes, something actually happens in relation to an issue the community raised. This keeps the community engaged, and feeling like they are included.
 
@gnat Who? I've never heard anyone not on the community team talk about HNQ clicks. And we are mostly thinking about the sorts of issues you often bring up. The feature remains untouched almost entirely because its of no import outside of the CM team.
 
@TravisJ This is interesting to me because I agree with your thoughts there overall, but I have a very different impression of how it went down with Documentation. In particular, I thought the trust factor was fairly low because while we (eventually, mostly Jon) would respond... the majority of what we had to say would be strongly disliked and the primary tone of our interactions with the community was fairly negative.
 
10:33 PM
@AdamLear There was certainly disagreement on direction, but there was a very strong open dialogue. It is just the dialogue that matters for trust, there doesn't need to be agreement.
 
I was so glad Meta SO rep is no longer a thing.
 
@TravisJ I think we eventually hit the point where for some folks it was no longer a dialog because, from their perspective, nothing they said was being heard.
Then again, there's not much to do when what's being said is "y'all suck and this is hot garbage, fire the whole team and fix search instead", but hey. :)
 
15
A: Ease up on the Hot Network Question Randomness

Jeremy TThis is a recent change which resulted in a 30% increase in engagement. All of this engagement came from repeated clicks. Currently, the hot questions list is basically a list of 100 or so questions from the whole network. All we are doing is randomizing the list of 100 before we pull some off t...

 
@AdamLear There were some aspects of Documentation that were so ingrained in its development, that they could not be easily refactored... yet, it was desperately required. Even though it seemed there was a desire to refactor, finding the direction was clearly an issue and some users just constantly harped on the same point. While that may not be a good back and forth dialogue, I do think they felt heard.
 
@TravisJ I felt much of the dialogue was barely restrained disdain. I often avoided looking at comments so that I could brace myself for them. Hard to feel like it was two-way communication. (And I'm sure users felt much the same about how we treated them.)
 
10:37 PM
@JonEricson It is never easy to have a discussion about something which is going south.
Prior to the problems, the Docs discussions were very positive.
 
I think a lot of the Docs discussions would have been a lot better had SE treated the userbase as those who would ultimately make the feature valuable instead of people they had to convince that Docs was good as implemented
 
Eh, we had a different vision that we tried to bring folks along with us on. It ultimately didn't work out, but it wasn't out of a fundamental disrespect for our users or anything.
 
@AdamLear can confirm
 
Imagine for a second, if Docs had launched on every exchange though, and what the meta discussion would have been like for that. It would have been impossible to handle.
That is the current situation we find ourselves in, in my opinion, with meta posts on important topics.
 
at first responses ranged from "woo" to "meh" and "do we need this?". Apathic cynicism came gradually with each seemingly community-ignored iteration
At least that's how it seemed to me
 
10:44 PM
@ElysianFields I'm pretty sure Kevin was clear from the beginning that failure was an option. Nobody thought it was perfect (or good) as implemented. It was a work in progress. But by day one of launch, we'd already heard from may people that Docs was destroying SO.
@AndrasDeak We listened to some community feedback, surely.
 
It felt like the company pressing forward despite massive community feedback
 
Both these recent issues, the tweet -> blog post from Jay/new CoC, and the tweet -> HNQ thing -- both of these -- were building up on separate exchange metas for months and no one drew a cohesive line between them until after the fact.
 
@JonEricson yup
 
The degree to which you care about community input doesn't really matter, what matters is how the community perceives how well you listen to community input
 
I'm not even saying that's correct, but that's how it felt to me
 
10:47 PM
I didn't pay @AndrasDeak for him to say that line right after my message, either ;-)
 
Jeff Bezos owns a piece of Stack Overflow, eh?
Didn't remember that fact. Bezos was the entire $10M series C and part of the ($40M) series D.
 
This is all hindsight, but, my main beef with docs was that to me the entire time it looked like it was going to be (ab)used as a replacement for already well-written docs. Awarding reputation for contributions all but guaranteed that imo. Then, it of course happened, but it wasn't as easily searchable /usable as official docs were. It just didn't hit the target imo. There's definitely a space there where such a tool could be useful.
 
@ElysianFields That is true. But the community is somewhat . . . changeable. We did what many people asked us to do (a bit late in the game, to be sure) and at least 15 people thought it was a bad idea:
268
Q: Tearing Down the Structure of Documentation

Jon EricsonIf you have told us (or privately thought) Documentation isn't working: You are correct. It isn't. Yet. Since early on in the private beta of Documentation, we’ve used a simple, rigid structure: Tags => Topics => Examples + optional sections At the time, users wondered if this was the right s...

 
what bothered me though is that it seemed like we were saying that all along, and it kept being pushed forward anyway kinda like "Oh, it'll be fine, trust us" and such.
the same thing seemed to happen with the left menu, except it's here to stay anyway
 
@JonEricson I suspect that up to downvote ratio is... much better than most SE related communication in the past 6 months
 
10:50 PM
@KevinB Yeah, I felt kinda steam rolled by the left menu. At least it is collapsible. Now I have two hamburgers.
 
@TravisJ have you figured out a good way to get the /questions link back? iirc that disappeared with the left menu collapse and I've yet to figure out a way to fix that
 
i'd like to actually be able to use the features in the left menu... but the way the SO one is different from the others because of teams... it just irritates me to see it so i blocked the hamburger menu too.
 
56
A: Tearing Down the Structure of Documentation

Elysian FieldsI just wanted to thank you for the difference in approach here. (I don't really have a specific comment on this topic as I've already been far too verbose.. heh) I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.

 
@ElysianFields You want a js snippet for that?
 
@ElysianFields Yes. That's where I'm headed. "SE doesn't listen" is a bit of a self-fulfilled prophecy. Everything we do is evidence we don't care. Even when we do something people agree with, its often too little, too late.
 
10:52 PM
g q takes you to questions
 
257
A: Why is it important to gain "visibility" in the workplace?

Elysian Fields If I can write awesome code, why should I care about having visibility? The work I am doing rocks, then why should I think about standing on the roof top and telling about it. The Lie The important thing to realize is - no one cares about what you do at work. No one cares how great your cod...

 
@KevinB interesting
 
everything I wrote there is 100% relevant to this conversation (if not moreso to this than the original question)
 
g t takes you to tags, g m meta, you don't need the menu
 
@JonEricson I would never worry about +283/-15. This week's drama is the +124/-266 kind on a site where the vast majority of active users probably can't downvote
 
10:57 PM
I'm not of the opinion that SE isn't listening
 
Jon's blog post is good.
 
I just fear that they're trusting data more so than users... which likely is for the better good anyway
 
@SomethingBadHappened yeah, I read it until the optimism line, I'll have to finish tomorrow when I can read it properly
 
@AndrasDeak iirc @gnat did some research recently and pointed out how heavily downvoted much of the new SE content has been too, which was interesting to me
 
I only have anecdata of that sort, but it confirms gnat's research ;)
 
10:59 PM
I am off until Monday. I may or may not respond to pings, and reserve the right to lurk at random :P
 
see you
@KevinB a lot of things were eventually changed, but a lot of things never were. My memory is hazy on the details but I clearly remember the relief when the rep issue was fixed (nerfed), but as I remember we never got any actual guidance to what SOD should really be. It was called Docs and it seemed like Examples and in both languages I'm active in there's great official documentation, so we were lost as to what we should do with the project. And the confusion was palpable in the content.
 
@ElysianFields Interesting. I kinda think we didn't/don't have an exposure problem. People did know what we were doing. I didn't think we had an image problem at the time, but maybe we did.
I did feel we should have been quicker to test with real users, however. Meta feedback tended to be more abstract.
 
With docs to me it felt like a "if we build it, they will come" kind of scenario rather than they didn't listen to us.
there wasn't a lot of data that they could have used to build docs anyway
it was an entirely new thing
you can't possibly foresee all of the problems that will occur with something like that
 
And it seems my memory of missing guidance was present on the linked meta post. I guess I could go search Nicol's meta posts to piece together the puzzle again ;)
@KevinB but there wasn't even a clear scope
at least we kept searching and couldn't find one
 
I think that was intended
 
11:04 PM
@JonEricson I'm unsure anyone who hasn't worked for SE has any idea how and in what ways SE handles/deals with meta feedback or uses it to drive their decisions. And maybe even people who work for SE don't know
 
or, at least that's what i gathered from it back then, been a while since i've revisited those meta posts
 
Letting the hivemind figure out what it is. Yeah, that's what it felt like. "It was fine"
 
@KevinB the answers on the intro post were pretty prescient though meta.stackoverflow.com/q/303865/1048539
 
basically, each thing is different and needs a different kind of documentation
if you scope it too narrowly you'll end up with a product that works well for A, but not B
 
With the risk of becoming too meta, I don't think we were told "there's no scope, figure it out yourselves" either. That alone would've helped I guess. Not sure, as I said the memory is hazy
 
11:05 PM
@AndrasDeak no, the trick with MSE is every passer-by with bonus rep can downvote. I quess that explains -266...
40
A: Change rep required to downvote on MSE

Shog9As of right now, this is done: the "vote down" privilege is awarded at 100 reputation here on Meta Stack Exchange. This should allow folks with the association bonus - or those who earn 100 reputation by participation here - to downvote questions as much as they wish (particularly important for...

 
@ElysianFields How do you mean? We've got plenty of answers on meta that demonstrate. Or are you talking about the triage of meta questions we do or don't address?
 
@gnat Oh, I may have been <125 before that was changed...
thanks, I wasn't aware of that change
yup, I went above the downvote rep limit in August, change came in October
 
@JonEricson I suspect there would be an inverse relationship in how strongly people think SE uses user/meta feedback to drive decisions and total SE reputation
 
I find this post amusing now:
360
Q: Warlords of Documentation: Your Quest(ions Answered)

Kevin MontroseA couple of weeks ago we came to meta with a proposed expansion of Stack Overflow: Documentation. The response has been very encouraging: 2,400+ upvotes and even more signups for the beta. You guys also asked a ton of questions. Some of them we were already kicking around internally, but weren’t...

 
how so?
 
11:09 PM
> How do we prevent pointless Documentation?
This came in two forms: concerns about preventing ghost towns, and “duplicate the existing documentation just to get rep”-behaviors.

We’ll accomplish both by having a pretty tight “someone actually requested this” -> “it was useful to someone” loop, and making sure reputation incentives are aligned with that loop. It will not be possible to earn rep just for posting or editing Documentation Topics or Examples.
for example
 
meh, implementation details
 
considering that thing that will not be possible is exactly what happened
lol
 
This also reminds me of a team internally that is... a pain to work with and even within the past few hours someone said they felt that team wasn't really taking their concerns seriously
That team in my interactions consistently laments not getting user feedback
 
I guess I brought the whole "disassemble the problems with Documentation" on myself. :-(
 
But when they get it, it is not acted upon or respected - which means that team gets no feedback anymore because people have consistently written them off
 
11:14 PM
@ElysianFields So, um, this is exactly the opposite problem we (SE) have, no? Maybe that's coming, but we aren't close to there yet.
 
Oh, i was one of those 15 people
 
@JonEricson just as my internal team constantly has new devs to interact with (like the engineer I chatted with today), MSE will always have people who are newer or more engaged
 
@JonEricson sorry, didn't mean to rag on you :(
 
I remember the downvotes on that post because the first response was a downvote . . . 2 minutes after I posted. Speedreader, I'm sure.
 
I suspect plenty of previously contributing users have written meta as a viable path forward for feedback off (or even more meaningfully, SE caring at all about user feedback)
 
11:16 PM
I guess it started out as Cynicism Anonymous :P
 
@ElysianFields Ah. Now I understand the inverse relationship.
@AndrasDeak I'll live. ;-) (Thanks for the apology. It's appreciated.)
 
I used to have tons of MSE engagement. Now, I rarely post there and more or less only read it when there's a featured post
I never bother with suggestions anymore, I have made many of them prior to 2017
 
> Should Stack Overflow be eventually open-sourced? Joel is concerned that open sourcing the code would interfere with the hosted product Stack Exchange that Fog Creek is building out right now. I [Jeff] don’t see a conflict between these two audiences; one has infinite time and no money, and the other wants a turnkey, “it just works” solution for a reasonable price.
 
@SomethingBadHappened I need to catch up on the transcript buuuuut I am not sure what problem that solves
 
It wouldn't solve any problem at this point.
Errrr, well, I guess it could. We have lots of motivated users who would be willing to submit PRs for things like mod tools. But it would be such an expensive thing to do.
 
11:23 PM
Well short of disgruntled users having an easier way to start their own SO with blackjack and. .....
 
I'm just thinking about some of the major decisions of the company since the beginning.
 
@SomethingBadHappened well assuming you can dovetail that with how development goes
 
welp, good night
 
Their $6M series A on May 4, 2010 when the site was ~2.5 years old is big one.
 
You would probably know that better than me. I still got my nose on the glass outside :p
 
11:26 PM
My opinions were mostly the same before my stint.
Once you try to Go Big with lots of investment you can't take the Wikipedia path later on.
 
Well, I don't think that was on the cards at any point
 
In a different universe, maybe Stack Overflow remained a few sites operated by a small team that could be sustained by donations and ads.
 
And merch
 
but maybe you're right and that could never have happened given Joel
(of course, nothing could have happened without Joel, so, it is what it is)
 
@SomethingBadHappened well that depends on the marginal cost of each additional site
 
11:31 PM
Sure
 
And maybe uncharitably I do think a lot of the current issues are basically from bad management bets
 
What Jeff proposed there is basically what he successfully did later with Discourse.
(That doesn't mean it would necessarily have worked out as well in Stack Overfow's case, but it's evidence in favour.)
 
True but discourse felt literally like Jeff basically trying to go 180 from everything at all on SE
 
@JourneymanGeek The management needed to make some Big bets that could grow the audience/traffic.
But the things that I prioritize as a user are very different.
 
@SomethingBadHappened and some of those majorly failed
 
11:36 PM
You're right.
Heh. I always loved Chat and wished they had invested more in that as a product, and that turned out to be a very profitable market that they weren't in.
But that's a little off-mission too. It's hard to come up with Big ideas that are on-mission.
 
looking left
looking right
going to sleep
 
Well a few things they tried we're off mission
It's a bit late for chat as a product
 
Chat is "nice to have" bonus feature of SE, never was important part. They can't possibly make it into a product.
 
@ShadowWizard ehh. Slack was basically part of a failed MMORPG
So it's plausible if things went differently
 

« first day (3004 days earlier)      last day (389 days later) »