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This proposal had announcements deleted with the following comment:

Announcements are not for comments: Please ask questions in the discussion section.

But the stuff that was deleted was not a question (for example, "This site is a duplicate of Culture Exchange"). My question is, where should we put statements if they are not allowed in announcements? And what exactly is an "announcement"?

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Seems quite deceptive to me that they look almost exactly like the comments that we all know and love on the rest of the SE network. The name has changed to "announcements", but it's far from immediately clear why the function should change as well. Apparently I don't spend nearly enough time on Area 51 to know how to use that site... –  Cody Gray Jul 19 '11 at 13:43
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@Cody They originally were comments, but the problem was that comments are useful for discussion of the post in question (like how Stack Exchange "comments on answers" parallel Area 51 "comments on suggested questions"), the parallel breaks on proposals because discussion about the proposal itself is better suited to the more robust system offered by Area 51 Discussion. There's usually just too much to say on a proposal that the limits of comment functionality would be stifling and difficult to follow. –  Grace Note Jul 19 '11 at 13:46
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2 Answers 2

That's what the Area 51 Discussion Zone is for.

Area 51 participants were using comments to ask about the proposals. Even a statement as simple as "This is a duplicate," elicited a response which, more often than not, launched into an all-out discussion. Comments do not work well for that purpose.

So, we created a dedicated Discussion Zone for Area 51 proposals to help users work through the issues of developing and launching the proposals. That largely negated the need to use "comments" to ask questions or start a dialog about issues related to the proposal.

However, there were a few limited cases where comments announcements proved useful — A brief note from the proposal author why the proposal was created; a clarification why a proposal was closed… that sort of thing. Most users will never have a need to post an "Announcement." Use the Discussion Zone.

<comments removed> Announcements are not intended for comments or questions. For questions, please use "create new discussion" below. Thanks.

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"Most users will never have a need to post an 'Announcement.'" Then the UI is seriously broken. That section is about the most inviting place to post a short comment on the entire page, and as I mentioned in a comment to the original question, looks suspiciously like the regular comment feature on all of the other SE sites. Sounds to me like this needs to be rethought. You can't blame the users for not being able to figure this out (and it definitely sounds like that's what you've done here and in the comment in question). At a minimum, some explanatory text should be added to the page. –  Cody Gray Jul 20 '11 at 0:25
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It depends, what exactly is the nature of your "statement"? For example, if it was "This is not a duplicate", you would create a discussion to note that it is not a duplicate. The same would go if you were originally petitioning to identify a proposal as a duplicate, you would likewise post that as a new discussion on the Area 51 Discussion for that proposal.

The point of "Announcements" is mostly just one-time, important news, updates, or clarifications on that proposal. For anything else, especially if it involves any sort of desire for feedback or will involve more than one person, then you probably will want to open that up on Area 51 Discussion.

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My statement desired no feedback and was not asking for it. –  DJClayworth Jul 19 '11 at 13:57
    
Can you specify what your statement was? –  Grace Note Jul 19 '11 at 13:58
    
"This proposal is a duplicate". –  DJClayworth Jul 19 '11 at 13:58
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@DJClayworth Then that's really a topic for discussion. If you're not interested in partaking in the discussion of a proposal being a duplicate, then you don't have to continue it, but it remains that the subject of proposals being duplicates is a matter for discussions. –  Grace Note Jul 19 '11 at 13:59
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