I just wanted to express that I don't like the style of moderation on meta.stackoverflow.com, to the point where it frequently actually gets me quite worked up, which shouldn't happen on an online forum.
Don't get be wrong, stackoverflow.com itself is excellent, and I truly enjoy contributing there. It's only because I love stackoverlow so much that I want to come to meta.stackoverflow and contribute here.
I have served as community administrator for a large online tech community of over 3 million members, and I would say that the other tech-related community where my contributions have felt least welcome has been meta.stackoverflow.com (and before that, stackoverflow's uservoice site).
It wouldn't be fair for me to say this without offering details and perhaps some suggestions:
- When refusing someone's suggestion or bug report because it would be too hard to fix or you don't want to take SO in that direction, at least write a personal response outlining why, even if you feel like you're repeating yourself. Don't just close a topic or add the declined or bydesign tag with no further comment on why. When you have spent 20 minutes writing a thoughtful suggestion and you refresh the page 3 minutes later to find it has a declined tag and no explanation, and all this happens before anyone's been able to even have a conversation about it, it feels like the effort you put into contributing hasn't been appreciated.
- Don't close a topic for being an exact duplicate of another if it's not quite the same. It seems commonplace for similar but not really the same topics to be closed for this reason, maybe this is just Jeff's "style" of grouping topics or something, but I find it extremely head-bangingly frustrating to refresh the page 3 minutes later and see my topic has been closed because it's too similar to another one even when I've referenced the other one in my topic and taken the time to explain the differences between them and why it needs a different approach.
- Trust the nomination system a bit more - it's a good model, and works well on other SO sites. It just feels pretty crummy when Jeff insta-closes a topic without needing the otherwise required 5 people to nominate. I think for people to feel appreciated you at least need to give the impression that you value their contribution enough to get a few more people's opinions before you flat-out refuse it. I think if your topic gets nominated by 5 of your peers in order to get closed you are more likely to take the rejection well. I can understand if Jeff doesn't want to go in every direction the community goes, but leaving a topic unresolved while the community discusses it, and only rejecting once that's happened, would go a long way toward letting people feel their contribution is valued.
Lastly, I don't really think using the SO software for meta.stackoverflow.com really works (and I have a funny feeling that simply saying this is going to get this post closed as a duplicate of another). You may have noticed I've used the terms topic, issue and bug interchangeably through this, but not really question and answer. Meta doesn't really fit that question-answer format because it's so much more eg 'discussions', 'bug reports'.
Any I hereby nominate that this question should be closed because it belongs on meta.meta.stackoverflow.com