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Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 129 Stack Exchange communities.

There have been many, many discussions about how some aspects of the Stack Overflow engine don't really translate perfectly in Meta—so, what does rep mean here; why is my question being downvoted; etc.

This question is not intended to re-hash any of that, but rather to ask whether there really are rumors—and more importantly whether they're true—of meta being re-designed, as speculated in this answer

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meta meta meta meta –  jadarnel27 Feb 14 '12 at 20:22
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Not sure whether to flag as not constructive, or not constructive. –  casperOne Feb 14 '12 at 20:38
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I do appreciate the eagerness that you're exhibiting for Meta, and there are valid items in that post. However, we're going on pure speculation here, and that's a bit much, even for Meta, no? –  casperOne Feb 14 '12 at 20:38
    
@casper - certainly not. Kevin, Jeff—basically any member of the team—could come in and say yeah, we're planning some changes, stay tuned; or, nope pure BS. –  Adam Rackis Feb 14 '12 at 20:41
    
@jadarnel27: ... meta meta meta UNICORNS runs around circle Can't catch me! –  animuson Feb 14 '12 at 20:43
    
@AdamRukiz Of course (well, -1 given Jeff's recent announcement), but you've limited the scope of the ability of those to give answers considerably. =) –  casperOne Feb 14 '12 at 20:43
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migrate to Skeptics? :P –  Lorem Ipsum Feb 14 '12 at 20:44
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@casperOne - yes. You're right. The people who can give real answers to this are a very, very small subset of the meta community. But I humbly submit that that doesn't make this any less of an appropriate / interesting question. –  Adam Rackis Feb 14 '12 at 20:45
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How did it elevate to a rumour from dev team? –  random Feb 14 '12 at 20:47
    
@random Wishful thinking? –  casperOne Feb 14 '12 at 20:48
    
@random - it's just a rumor I saw on the linked answer. I suspect a member of the dev team could confirm or deny it quickly. That's all. –  Adam Rackis Feb 14 '12 at 20:48
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The first rule of Meta is you do not talk about Meta. –  Nick Dandoulakis Feb 14 '12 at 20:49
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@random I also hear there are rumours of a Meta overhaul. That's it. :/ I'd say that was just thrown out without any actual rumor behind it? ("actual rumor" is a fun phrase.) –  Matthew Read Feb 14 '12 at 20:50
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I hear they're actually looking into revamping the process they're using to overhaul Meta, but they ran into some trouble with that - they're now having a look at their revamping process to see if they can iron out the kinks in that before moving forward. –  Rob Hruska Feb 14 '12 at 21:16
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@RobHruska So, you mean they are considering looking into revamping the process for considering changing meta, which is a site for (in part) considering changes to main? Pardon me while my head deflates :p –  Andrew Barber Feb 14 '12 at 21:30

2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

There will always be rumors, speculation, fond wishes and hopes...

But we're about problem-solving here, so let's look at the actual problems:

  • Meta sucks for extended discussion

    This is less of an issue now than it used to be. Extended discussion is sometimes necessary, but when your goal is to work through problems and come to an actual consensus, keeping it all together on one page (threaded or otherwise) ends up causing problems since few people will actually bother to read through it all! Fortunately, we have chat now - when it's actually necessary to have a lengthy discussion with someone, this tends to work far better than a traditional forum anyway. Meanwhile, the unsuitability of Meta to discussion helps keep threads on controversial topics under a manageable length.

  • The need for reputation to participate, coupled with the loss of reputation for posting stuff folks disagree with

    This is increasingly a pain-point for folks who come to the site for support - new users tend to encounter the same issues over and over again, and often show up here with predictably negative reactions. At the same time, it actually works fairly well in keeping folks who refuse to read or learn from continually disrupting the site.

    Most of the sites on SE have their own associated Meta sites where reputation is determined by their participation on the main site - this works pretty well for support issues, and we're considering going the same route for such activity on Stack Overflow.

  • Voting is non-intuitive for folks used to how it works on Stack Overflow

    This is mostly a myth. The real story here is that the content being voted on is totally different from what's on SO. When it does align, there's quite a bit of similarity: folks asking how to implement an unsafe, user-unfriendly feature in their software are often met with the very same hostility and down-voting that awaits poor s here.

    The other part to this - one poorly-considered post destroying your ability to participate on the site - is really a problem with the reputation system (above).


As always, if you have specific suggestions for improvement, or ideas on how interaction with the site could be made more effective, post them here as s, and we'll discuss them.

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but... but... but... my precious meta reps! –  badp Feb 14 '12 at 21:52
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Would I be correct in assuming that "Most of the sites on SE have their own associated Meta sites [...] and we're considering going the same route for such activity on Stack Overflow" means we may end up with this being renamed to Meta Stack Exchange and SO getting a "normal", site-specific Meta? –  Matthew Read Feb 14 '12 at 21:54
    
@Matthew: that is an option. This isn't something that's going to be done lightly, or happen quickly though, so it's pretty safe to say that details about if/when/how it will be implemented are still very much undecided. –  Shog9 Feb 14 '12 at 21:56
    
Certainly, I'd expect that. It's definitely an interesting idea. –  Matthew Read Feb 14 '12 at 21:58
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@Shog9 - MSO currently has an interesting / cool / fun / quirky community. I really hope you guys don't break that up for the sake of consistency :-/ –  Adam Rackis Feb 14 '12 at 21:59
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@Adam: I don't care all that much about consistency for its own sake. I see this as being primarily useful for handling support issues specific to SO - tag-renaming, scope wrangling, etc. There absolutely needs to be a site where issues common to the engine and the network (on which SO is still the 800lbs gorilla) can be hashed out. –  Shog9 Feb 14 '12 at 22:03
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@Shog - hmm, maybe a "child site" - or whatever it's called? A meta equivalent to facebook.stackoverflow.com—a subset of current meta for SO-specific stuff ?? Just spit-balling ... –  Adam Rackis Feb 14 '12 at 22:05
    
Your second bullet point could be mediated if there was a way for someone to undo the damage. As it stands today, it seems as if we've handed this control over to Colossus. –  Robert Harvey Feb 14 '12 at 22:18
    
Eh... That work-around, even if it was more accessible, is still a big bleeding indicator of a problem with the system. @Rob –  Shog9 Feb 14 '12 at 22:23
    
Ah. See, you have more faith in machines than I do. I don't trust them as far as I can throw them (an odd attitude to have, I know, considering that I'm a software developer). –  Robert Harvey Feb 14 '12 at 22:25
    
Still waiting on that robot butler. –  Shog9 Feb 14 '12 at 22:26
    
@robert one downvoted post, by definition, cannot prevent you from participating. We always drop the lowest voted post in that calculation, and always have. Everyone has a bad day. Some people just seem to have a lot more bad days than everyone else.. –  Jeff Atwood Feb 22 '12 at 2:52

Yes. Meta is going to be shut down and we're going to conduct all future meta business in Lounge<c++>.

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Part of me wants to mark this as the accepted answer –  Adam Rackis Feb 14 '12 at 21:30
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This is the only answer. –  casperOne Feb 14 '12 at 21:32

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