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The following comment I received, got me thinking..

"And half the part of Meta is disproving why feature requests are not necessary. What's the point in having a discussion area for feature requests if all we are going to do is say "Hey good job! You suggested something!" – TheTXI

...if Meta is designed as an "idea" system to help improve the StackOverflow engine, then why such disdain towards new ideas? To almost everything I've suggested, I've got answers like "its not needed" or "we can do without it" or "this feature has been declined in the past". So what are we after? To discuss about problems then do nothing about them? I mean whats the point with assessing something, when you have no power to change or improve it?

Why can't we look at each new idea and think more into the topic? If you think of it, SO itself would have grown from just one little idea.

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Here's the source: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/14559/… –  balpha Aug 22 '09 at 19:30

4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Just because people don't like your ideas doesn't mean that a lot of good ideas haven't come out of Meta. Look through the feature-request tag at all of the status-completed. Look through the bug tag and at all of those status-completed. It's a way for us to voice what we think should change or be the status quo of SOFU, and there's been quite a bit of progress.

However, that doesn't mean that this is kindergarten. You aren't going to get a gold star just for suggesting something. Many suggestions are just not ways that Jeff or this community really want to take the sites (a la Twitter integrations/social networking).

There's always going to be more denials than acceptances. Asi es la vida.

Meta also exists for discussions. "How do I handle this?" or "What should we encourage?" These are important questions for how we treat new members of the community and how we moderate the sites. Since it's crowd-sourced moderation for the most part, having this outlet is really quite important just to make sure everybody's on the same page. Otherwise, you get close and reopen wars on questions.

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That's one part of meta. Another part is to provide an outlet for the "regulars" on the various sites so we don't clutter those sites with meta stuff that's not really part of the purpose the site itself.

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There are many feature requests on meta that have been well received by the community. And many that have been implemented. I believe meta is serving to improve the SO engine. However, that does not mean every feature request will be liked and/or desired by the community.

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It's probably a vetting process. If you get knocked off your horse, get back on. The CEO/VP at my company knock down ideas all the time as a way of testing whether the idea was carefully thought through.

To paraphrase Edison: "I didn't fail 10,000 times [to create a light bulb], I found 10,000 ways that didn't work".

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Kinda reminds me of Jeff's latest blog post: codinghorror.com/blog/archives/001297.html –  balpha Aug 22 '09 at 20:05

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