If meta is to discuss the community outside of the community, then why Q and A?

Wouldn't http://www.discourse.org/ be better?

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    Meta was launched nearly 4 years ago, while Discourse was launched... what, 4 months ago? – Bill the Lizard May 11 '13 at 0:17
  • Discussion is made up of questions and answers... Given the ear-to-mouth ratio most of us have, answers are usually more valuable than questions. – nickhar May 11 '13 at 0:27
  • "Given the ear-to-mouth ratio most of us have, answers are usually more valuable than questions." -- This gets to a larger point I want to make. You all (or we if you will) have a serious community problem that I think is a philosophical one. – plntxt May 11 '13 at 0:29
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    I think the Q/A format is actually quite good for meta discussions. Of course, attaching the whole reputation system to it is a little weird, since with the way meta voting works reputation a lot more meaningless. But hey, it doesn't really hurt so I don't see a problem with just using the same engine (i.e. as it currently is). – Ben Lee May 11 '13 at 0:37
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    Who says Meta is (just) for discussing the community outside of the community? What about bug reports, support and feature requests? Discussion is just one aspect of Meta. – yannis May 11 '13 at 0:44
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    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. – jmort253 May 11 '13 at 0:49
  • @yannis I didn't say "just" but the Q and A uber all doesn't exactly fit every scenario. – plntxt May 11 '13 at 0:49
  • @BilltheLizard so if not discourse, then why not another forum or format. I think it even says on the SO faq that open ended questions that lend themselves to "discussion" are nor allowed. – plntxt May 11 '13 at 0:54
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    @Jim You didn't say "just", but you did ignore all other aspects of Meta in your question. Do you think discourse or some other format would work for all aspects of Meta? – yannis May 11 '13 at 0:55
  • Are all the down votes on this question proof enough that it doesn't work for discussion? I had an idea I wanted to discuss, and people don't like the idea so they down vote, but is the question actually bad? I don't see why it is, but maybe I'm missing something. – plntxt May 11 '13 at 2:21
  • @Jim You're missing that meta, while in the same format as other stack sites, doesn't operate the same way. Upvotes/downvotes are for agreement/disagreement here for one. The others differences are listed in the FAQ. – ɥʇǝS May 11 '13 at 3:10
  • In the far distant past, the location for meta jiberjabber UserVoice. Switching to our own dogfood was actually a good thing for all that the engine is not particularly well adapted for some of the stuff we want to do. – dmckee May 11 '13 at 3:40
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    sniff, its smells like advertising. – Jeremy Thompson May 11 '13 at 3:51

When all you have is a hammer...

Plus, Meta isn't just discussion. It's discussion + bug reports + support requests + waffles + feature requests. At least some of that is pretty well-suited for a Q&A site, and what isn't can be kinda shoehorned in without too much trouble.

Discourse looks promising... For discussion. But integrating it would be kind of a hassle, and would do very little to improve the situation for all of the other purposes Meta exists to serve.

  • 2
    "discussion + bug reports + support requests + waffles + feature requests" + unicorns – Ben Lee May 11 '13 at 4:20
  • "discussion + bug reports + support requests" -- it doesn't work well for any of these, now does it? A regular bug tracker plus a ticket system plus a discussion platform would work a lot better. A pain to integrate, but well. – Raphael Dec 29 '16 at 10:38
  • Of course, @Raphael. In a world with infinite time and resources, we'd have a fully-integrated dedicated blogging system, a fully-integrated dedicated bug-tracking system, discussion forum, documentation wiki / knowledge base, etc. In this world, we have a few internal systems that are barely adequate for a small team but neither well-integrated nor scalable, we have chat, and... we have meta. – Shog9 Dec 30 '16 at 16:52
  • Why fully integrate? SE provides OAuth so platforms like Discourse are "integrated" as much as we'd need. If we could only move discussion out of Meta, I think it would already help. (I'm sure SE Chat is someone's baby, but what about any of the Slack clones?) – Raphael Dec 30 '16 at 21:15
  • Chat is probably the one successful example of a piece of meta's original domain (idle chat and fraternization) that was broken off into its own system, @Raphael. The second attempt - blogging - has largely ended in failure: even though it did possess the limited integration you describe, it suffered mightily from a lack of effective integration on the main site (both chat and meta have this to some degree) and in particular a lack of integration with the privilege system (you effectively had to "know somebody" to use the system even if you were able to log in). – Shog9 Dec 30 '16 at 21:19

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