CHAOS is now working on a weekly web series highlighting the diverse and interesting content found on the Stack Exchange network. The series, entitled "The Question in Conference Room B," will spotlight one question from our many sites that is either fun, quirky, delightfully interesting, or any combination of those three traits. The series will pair the question with a guest, usually a comedian, person of note, mini-celebrity or a Stack employee, to create an entertaining 3-7 minute experience. Episodes will most likely debut every Tuesday, and the first episode is live now. You can subscribe to the StackHQ YouTube channel to stay up to date with episodes.

If you have any suggestions for questions you would like to be featured, please leave them as answers below.

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    As long as the content is better than this, we're good: youtube.com/watch?v=mbfbzKquYYI
    – casperOne
    Mar 27, 2012 at 15:09
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    There are going to be lots of questions that people think fit into your "fun, quirky, [or] delightfully interesting" categories that other people feel strongly are not a good fit for the Stack Exchange network. As strongly as people have argued to delete the old "fun" and "quirky" questions on Stack Overflow because they're now off-topic, why in the world would you want to create a video series that highlights those types of questions and goes even further in promoting them than simply leaving them on the site? Mar 27, 2012 at 16:30
  • @TheEstablishment The first episode is about a question that has 73 upvotes, and an accepted answer with 72 upvotes. I think it's safe to assume that that fun question has been deemed a "good fit" for the Cooking site. Your comment seems to assume that "fun" and "quirky" automatically means "off-topic." That may be the case on Stack Overflow, but not on the wider SE network. We are looking for questions that are popular and will prove interesting to discuss. Mar 27, 2012 at 16:38
  • 2
    Next up, actually trying out the accepted answer
    – random
    Mar 27, 2012 at 16:52
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    This one always makes me laugh. 150 up-votes: How can I tell if a corpse is safe to eat? Mar 27, 2012 at 17:03
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    Maybe try to elaborate a bit on why that question is worth 5 minutes of conversation? Even if they get Bob & Tom into the closet for that show, I'm not sure laughter will fill the time... @ire
    – Shog9
    Mar 27, 2012 at 17:28
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    Yes, that's primarily because the other sites haven't reached the same level of critical mass that Stack Overflow has. It's only become a problem more recently. Most of those questions were just fine on SO back in '08 and '09, and people were promoting them and encouraging others to ask them. My point is primarily that I'm skeptical of the criteria you're using to judge questions. I haven't watched the YouTube video, as I'm not in a place where that would be appropriate, but just because you've found one question that works out doesn't mean that the standards you're setting are good ones. Mar 27, 2012 at 17:39
  • @TheEstablishment FYI the post they picked for the first episode is the Seasoned Advice question "Is it possible to cook a whole fish in a dishwasher?" For that matter, you may be interested in Individual community preferences vs. SE network policy: who wins?
    – Pops
    Mar 27, 2012 at 18:54
  • @Pop: Wow, that's a better example of a bad example than I thought. Based solely on the title, I'd seriously question whether that question is actually on topic for a Cooking Q&A site. In particular, because it has absolutely nothing to do with cooking. No one cooks in a dishwasher. At best, it's a joke question that a bunch of people found funny, and one or two people gave halfway decent answers to it. Ironically, the exact same question gets asked regularly on Yahoo! Answers. Mar 28, 2012 at 3:48
  • Will there be a new episode this week?
    – Pops
    Apr 5, 2012 at 20:22
  • @PopularDemand Hopefully, the AvX promotion on SciFi.SE has taken over my work load, but now that it's launched I have more time to get these episodes finished. Apr 5, 2012 at 20:27

2 Answers 2


I just watched the first episode, and I don't... grok... this. Who is your target audience? Established users? New users? Prospective users? What effect are you trying to achieve by producing these? Getting people to try new sites? Attracting investors? Increasing SE's name overall recognition?

Specific to the first episode: when I saw that the guest was a comedian, I expected the episode to be humorous. It was kind of a letdown that it ended up being so dry/straightforward. (The student TV station at my college did a show on cooking a fish in a clothes dryer, by the way. I'm pretty sure the test fish got eaten, and as far as I know, nobody got sick afterwards.)

I'd also like to second The Establishment's comment. Great questions attract lots of upvotes, but not all questions with high scores are great questions. I think one of the lessons of early Stack Overflow is that communities will often pile upvotes on "fun and quirky" questions that are welcome despite not being great on-topic examples.

I'm not in the camp that says all those questions should be killed with fire, but I do think that they might not be the very best candidates for these videos. A TQiCRB question might be the first — or even only — question a non-user ever sees from a given site. It would be natural for that person to assume that it's exactly the kind of question the site contains and/or wants.

  • 2
    I would like to subscribe to your student TV station's YouTube channel.
    – Shog9
    Mar 27, 2012 at 17:24
  • I just checked, and that episode is old enough that it's not on their YouTube channel.
    – Pops
    Mar 27, 2012 at 17:39

I'd like to suggest one of my personal favorites:

How do I find Waldo with Mathematica?

Using code/math/awesomeness to automatically find Waldo.

  • Awesome, I'll make sure that one is on our Trello board! Thanks for the suggestion.
    – Katey HW
    Mar 27, 2012 at 15:37

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