I've made my fair share of controversial suggestions (one was a stupid joke) on meta regarding features of the site that have been around for a while unchanged, as I'm sure a great deal of users have.
One thing I've noticed on Meta is that a lot of feature requests that suggest changes to a feature that's existed for a while (or even a feature that's never existed despite multiple feature requests) are almost always declined.
One of the most prominent requests (that comes up time and time again) is forcing the user to leave a comment when downvoting. The reason for declining this is that the downvote is meant to be anonymous and that's how it's worked for the history of the site. Plus, we already encourage them with an orange popup that is never shown for users above 2000 rep anyways.
What frustrates me is that every time it's brought up, it's shot down. Absolutely no consideration is ever given. It's never revisited with new perspective to see if it would ever be relevant. I mean, it's never even tested on meta (where everything gets tested before shipment). How can content be legitimately shaped for success when most users downvote and leave it at that? Downvotes are obviously very discouraging for users, both new and old.
- Can we have the ability to retract a close vote before it closes?
- Show all of my question/answers to me even if they are deleted
- Allow an edit to notify downvoters: "I think I've fixed the issue now - please check"
- Any way to send a personal message to another user?
- This is one feature request that suggests a feature that doesn't yet exist, but has already been declined before. (And it was declined again, the primary reasoning being that it's been declined before).
These are all extremely useful suggestions which are denied pretty much because either it conflicts with the way something's worked since the site launched or there is an alternative to it (never taking into account how long it takes to make the alternative possible).
The weirdest thing is this: the suggestions are usually received extremely well by the community, but never implemented. For a site that is supposed to be community-driven, I'd think much heavier consideration would be taken towards suggestions that the community says they would like.
So I'd simply like to know if we're just wasting our time with these kinds of suggestions. Will any suggestions that modify existing features that have gone unchanged for a while ever actually be considered?
I just wonder if people (admins, specifically) really are open to beneficial changes in the system, and willing to put away the fact that they've grown accustomed to one way.