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In addition to replacing UserVoice, would it also be a good idea to replace the blog itself with Meta? Given WordPress' recent flakiness, I think that a more stable replacement is in order. The idea isn't as crazy as it sounds - a blog moderator tag could prevent people from posting their own stuff in the blog, and locking the post would prevent people from being able to edit it. All that's needed is a few custom pages styled similar to the existing blog but generated from the content on Meta instead of the WordPress database.

Granted, there are downsides - this could put some additional load on the database, and another mechanism would be needed to report outages (I recommend Twitter), but on the whole I think that the discussion capabilities of Meta completely outclass what WordPress offers now, not to mention the fact that the discussion can happen in a single place, as opposed to fragmented across the two sites.

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At first I thought, "What? that's crazy!" but after thinking about it for 30 seconds, you may be on to something. I'm just thinking about the number of times I've wanted to upvote (or downvote) somebody else's blog post or comment. –  Greg Hewgill Aug 28 '09 at 1:27
    
@Greg: Yeah, that prompted my thinking too. Also the lack of Markdown, etc makes commenting on the blog second-rate to the SO engine. –  Kyle Cronin Aug 28 '09 at 1:28
    
You could always convince Jeff to use this: wordpress.org/extend/plugins/vote-it-up –  John Fouhy Aug 28 '09 at 1:46
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Yah I often want to upvote comments on the blog... plus there's some spam on the blog as well. When I saw that I couldn't help but thinking, "If this post were on MSO, that spam would not still be here!" –  kanamekun Aug 28 '09 at 1:47
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But if the blog is meta, then where would we lament the blog being down when the blog is down? Twitter doesn't really offer... that is, Twitter seems better suited for... Twitter sucks. –  Shog9 Aug 28 '09 at 2:09
    
@Shog9: That's what the #stackoverflow channel is for ;-) –  Kyle Cronin Aug 28 '09 at 2:11
    
Are you proposing using the engine? In favour of that model more. –  random Sep 25 '09 at 6:20

10 Answers 10

It's not a bad idea, but I think it has some downsides

  • too many eggs in one basket

  • meta is already stretched as a semi-discussion site, stretching it into a blog feels a bit like kitchen-sink-itis

  • would be additional coding work specific to meta

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To address your concerns (in reverse order) - if the moderator tag/locked post works, then you wouldn't need to have any Meta-specific code in SO itself - just have a small script connect to the Meta DB and generate the pages. Also, the primary reason for moving the blog is not the entries themselves, but the discussion, and I think that's right at home here. Finally, I do concede that there is a bit of an eggs-in-basket issue here, especially when dealing with the possibility of downtime, but as I mentioned a Twitter account could work just as well to explain extended outages as the blog does –  Kyle Cronin Aug 28 '09 at 1:47
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If they're all your own eggs, I don't see anything wrong with putting them in the same basket. –  Greg Hewgill Aug 28 '09 at 1:50
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On further reflection, I think the "eggs" analogy broke down somewhere. –  Greg Hewgill Aug 28 '09 at 2:21
    
@Greg: It still can work - "I don't see anything wrong with putting all your eggs in the same basket, as long as it's your own basket" –  Kyle Cronin Aug 28 '09 at 3:45

No.

Not everybody can be bothered to keep up with MSO. blog.stackoverflow.com is a better outlet for Jeff's propaganda because it is

  • almost always on topic, and almost never repetative
  • posts are 100% official
  • has a much higher signal-to-noise ration than MSO
  • lower volume of posts, which suits the vast majority of folks.
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I think perhaps "replace the blog with Meta" might have thrown you off - I still think blog.stackoverflow.com should exist, but I think that the content and discussion should be fed from Meta. That way it's pretty much the same way it is now, until you go to comment. –  Kyle Cronin Aug 28 '09 at 9:26

Interesting proposal. There are definate pros and cons to this idea. One nice benefit would be that there is not another place to go for information on new features/ideas/changes to the site and it gives a much better format for discussion about said features/ideas/changes than the blog.

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I'd be ok with this if it weren't for the wiki aspect of the SO stack. Blogs need ownership. I suppose the question could be locked, but then only moderators could blog.

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So lock the question (blog post) so no one could edit it or add answers but they could still comment. I realize that isn't how locking currently works, but I think it would be doable. –  EBGreen Aug 28 '09 at 1:46
    
@EBGreen: I suspect that any response to the blog entry itself can be put in an answer, so it's not really necessary to modify how locking works. –  Kyle Cronin Aug 28 '09 at 1:55

This would be great. More and more when I am reading blog posts, I wish to upvote comments or the post itself. This is the one aspect of most sites that I miss the most. Using meta would finally allow me to upvote commenters as appropriate.

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I love this idea, in fact I liked it so much I implemented this on my community tracker, but its a lot harder that it sounds ...

  • Blogs look different to SO and family sites, so you need a custom template and custom template capabilities.
  • You need to store an extra date on posts and hack in an extra ordering (cause there is a distinction between data_created and date_published)
  • Anonymous comments are very hard to support (in conjunction with normal commenting)
  • You need better categorization, you dont want people looking for your blog by clicking the blog tag.

Overall implementing something like this would be a major piece of work, and I guess, why fix it if it is not broken.

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Like Greg I initially thought this was a daft idea. But I don't think this is as crazy as it sounds.

I'd maybe prefer to see it on it's own sub domain though so that the blog posts don't get lost in the meta-discussion.

It's an interesting idea.

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Yeah - I suggest having blog.stackoverflow.com appear much as it does now, but fed by content from Meta instead of WordPress. –  Kyle Cronin Aug 28 '09 at 1:37

Probably a better option would be to have "meta" on the blog.

Like have a subset of the stackoverflow platform for comments and add them to the blog it self ( and not bringing the blog here )

Of course, this a long term additional/different project.

Seems like SO model is permeating and asking to be applied to other aspects of our web experience?

Or we are just too addicted???? :-S

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I rethought it and I still don't like it. It sounds like cluttering to me. Sometimes it is good to separate things. Like Meta and SO. I'm used to switch between several browser tabs and windows, so I don't care, if the blog is in a separate one. Probably I would open one extra tab for the blog tag as I now have one open for the blog.

The blog has its own podcast section, what I appreciate. I do not want to look for the podcasts in a tag, where all the questions about the podcasts reside also.

Yes, upvoting comments on the blog would be fun, but don't penetrate your vein too often with that needle ;)

And I don't use Twitter!

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Well to find blog posts that are the podcasts, you would look under blog+podcasts - since blog would be a moderator tag (and since moderators would know not to add it to non-blog questions) anything you see would be a podcast entry on the official blog. Finally, you don't have to use Twitter personally for it to be effective for extended downtime notifications - on the "offline" pages for each of the sites it could link to the Twitter account, in which the most recent messages would be displayed top to bottom on the page. –  Kyle Cronin Aug 28 '09 at 9:32
    
Hey, Kyle, instead of clicking a link, I have to combine two tags? I'm a programmer, I'm lazy! But a good point nevertheless. Still it would be clutter. –  Ladybug Killer Aug 28 '09 at 9:43
    
@John: I would expect that there would be a link to the two-tag search on the page, saving you from having to create the URL yourself. –  Kyle Cronin Aug 28 '09 at 9:45

I think you're taking the SO engine to seriously.

There's nothing wrong with the blog approach. If you think an idea posted there deserves more attention or discussion, just post it here. The Blog exists because not everything has to be discussed and voted.

Simplifying everything as a SO engine just because it's really good just complicates everything in the long run IMHO. Sounds to me you're trying to use SO engine as a silver-bullet to everything that is "driven" by a community, and I don't think this is the best approach.

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