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Many users on the main site, Stack Overflow, got great help by asking questions and receiving quality answers. In time, with increasing reputation, many of this many people develop their style in asking and answering.

Again, some of these people wish to do more, so they start to comment for new-comers and handle review questions. Users with higher reputation can access moderator tools.

So for those people who review, moderate and comment; meta is both a great and an important place. Since this is such a dynamic community, things got argued about and functionality got changed, or stayed the same for some more time. People who review and moderate (probably) check meta often. There are questions and answers about site moderation for making this a better place.

As I said, reviewers and editors and moderators visit here often. But for sure, there are times when these people can not login for a few days or weeks. Or new users do not know much about what have spoken before about edits, reviews and moderation.

My question is about that: Is there an easier way to keep track of these topics? Of course, there are lots of topics which are worth a gaze for its content. But I am talking about ones that affect the community itself. Like posts that causes something to change. Or a big argument about edits and some radical decisions about future edits.

Following are some examples about these topics:

These are examples that come to my mind as examples, but of course there are some more of these out there somewhere.

I did not see a general similarity that will help me to categorize them easily and recognize them with a glance. There isn't any common and separative tag that all of them had or they are not all community wiki.

Is there an easy way to separate them and reach them?

What I have in mind is a special tag with:

  1. A different background color like the shiny brown backgrounded tags, but with a different background color.
  2. Tag will only be added or removed by moderators (guys with a ♦ sign in their profile names). So these posts can be flagged by them.
  3. Maybe a separate section where we can track them. Maybe a section in the help menu or a new tab under questions tab with the same color of the related tag.

So we can keep track of such arguments or changes about the community moderation and behaviour. Also, new users can find and reach them more easily.


Update: As @Troyen mentioned in this comment. Let me explain it with an example.

If we consider this great answer of @jmac on Improving “demonstrate a minimal understanding” close reason, it clearly defines each closure reason. In fact, it is greater that the FAQ: Why are some questions marked "on hold". It defines each reason clearly. Reading that answer (in my whole opinion) will affect reviews! Instead of "Your question do not fits, make it better" type answers, maybe better comments will be written, like what is missing to make that question a better one. Or that answer will link, explaining what is missing in his question and how his question looks like to other users.

From that point of view, we can consider what @RobertHarvey said:

However, can I humbly make the assertion that casual users of Stack Exchange sites should never have to visit Meta?

In my opinion; Yes! If such answers just stay on meta (except tag) and only meta users will know them (if they visit meta in time to see the question and those great answers).

Then just a tag is not enough maybe. Meta users should reach them easily, but the main site users are also to be aware of them as well. They read them or not, I can not say anything about that. But they should know that they exist, those are like gems under the iceberg for them.

  • Things which are huge get the [featured] tag, but they have to be huge. For example this question regarding the split up of meta meta.stackexchange.com/questions/212631/…; – Richard Tingle Jan 10 '14 at 23:46
  • The faq tag probably covers the majority of "this is information the community needs to know" information. – ale Jan 10 '14 at 23:48
  • I am talking about basic decisions and conclusions about how to edit, review or which questions should close for why type reasons. IMO, all who edits and review and moderate must see them. and fetured tag is not for that. – FallenAngel Jan 10 '14 at 23:50
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+50

I think we could probably do a better job of publicizing certain threads, especially those that concern the primary operation of Stack Exchange sites. There are a number of mechanisms already in place that help accomplish this goal, like the tag and , as well as community events.

However, can I humbly make the assertion that casual users of Stack Exchange sites should never have to visit Meta?

There are plenty of users more than willing to point out a faux pas, especially those that are the result of recent community decisions. And every effort should be made to insure that the sites themselves are self-describing; the Help Center and the software design should allow you to participate meaningfully in the site without ever having to go to Meta.

Unless, of course, you want to participate in the decision-making process itself, in which case Meta is your port of call.

  • I would guess that casual users will be less likely to be registered users, and so won't see featured posts. Though I agree with everything you say I think you've written I think that MSE should be advertised more, across the network; and questions/suggestions that affect the network are the perfect opportunity to do that. – ben is uǝq backwards Jan 11 '14 at 0:15
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    Casual users do not have to, but edit-ers must reach them easily. Or this can be summerized to somewhere else, small help section in review page or editing page etc. But basic problem IMO is, new users do not know much about them and they are editing and reviewing. This data must be in somewhere easy to reach by new-comers. – FallenAngel Jan 11 '14 at 0:41
  • The Help Center contains guidance on editing. Is it insufficient? – user102937 Jan 11 '14 at 0:42
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    I frequently needed to find these guideline topics on beta sites. I remembered the guidance from reading it before, but it was more helpful to have the relevant topics on hand explaining why e.g. subjective questions are a bad idea or how to define "too open-ended". Situations like that often required a lot of searching, and the ultimate answer (or the justification for a policy) wasn't always included in a FAQ question. – Troyen Jan 11 '14 at 0:51
  • I found flagging a very confusing feature of SE. Without guidance from Meta, it is IMO impossible to know how to use VLQ flag, which close reason to choose, etc. Close reasons changed a lot over time and the threads discussing the changes are large. I don’t know how to obtain up-to-date info without reading large amounts of text, but I am sure, that if I did not read it, I would not know how to flag posts properly. Summary post about the latest change is helpful as it answers many questions, but it summarizes the change, not the final state. – Palec Feb 19 '14 at 3:27
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There are two places that I try to keep up-to-date on, in addition to just generally reading what the active questions are on any given day.

The question (and its answers): Recent feature changes to Stack Exchange

And anything that's in the tag. (It's not a bad idea to keep an eye on either.)

If you're a high-reputation user and interested in site moderation, keeping an eye on is a good idea.

Same idea if you're a diamond Moderator: .

  • Problem is, new users and many other (old) users do not know that. faq is a tag that have few followers and not all (site moderation and review based) topics are covered. Beyond that, very few people know that they must follow them to get updated. That means they are hard to reach for ones who are new or do not know them. – FallenAngel Jan 11 '14 at 0:04
  • Much to Robert's point this really isn't for new users but for people who want to participate at a deeper level. There is already a wealth of information for now users built into the help Center of each site. (If only people would read it.) – ale Jan 11 '14 at 0:44

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