I would like to comment on Stack Overflow isn't very welcoming, by Mister Hanlon.

I assume they would appreciate discussion because they feature this blog post very prominently to me. And they talk extensively about the need to be very open and for everybody to be able to participate not just the elite. But even though there is a comment section I haven't been able to find a way to participate in the dialogue like I assume they wish me to.

Is this a bug or something?

  • It's possible that commenting is disabled on it. They will do that sometimes, though there's usually a notice saying so when they do. – Catija Apr 26 '18 at 22:15
  • This doesn't appear to be a dialogue. It appears to be a message. – Richard Apr 26 '18 at 22:31
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    There's some discussion going on at meta Stack Overflow. – Jon Ericson Apr 26 '18 at 22:33
  • @JonEricson - Which is lovely, but some of us don't have SO accounts. – Richard Apr 26 '18 at 22:41
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    @Richard: I believe you can still read meta without an account. ;-) In any case, nothing says someone can't post a question about the blog post right here. – Jon Ericson Apr 26 '18 at 22:42
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    @JonEricson - I'm struggling with this one. The concept seems to be "Y'all have a problem and y'all are the problem" without any sort of introspection on the part of the Community Managers who actually run the site. Perhaps some of y'all could also be nicer? – Richard Apr 26 '18 at 22:43
  • @Richard: I can see that. I've been writing about this for about a week, but haven't posted my thoughts yet. (Partially because there are pressing problems on other sites.) You might be interested in what I wrote last month. – Jon Ericson Apr 26 '18 at 22:47
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    You can even participate on MSO if you just create an account (you can't downvote but the association bonus is all you need to vote, answer and comment). It's easy enough to delete later. – Catija Apr 26 '18 at 23:00

Locking comments on the blog is the rule, though occasionally at the post author's request we open them up.

If you want to have a conversation with SO/SE folks then meta is your best bet. If you want to have a broader conversation then Medium is the place for you since Jay cross-posted there.

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    Then why have a heading for a nonexistent "comments" section? – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Apr 27 '18 at 16:43
  • @SonicWizard #wordpress? – Joe Friend Apr 27 '18 at 16:47
  • Really? What the heck is there to down vote here? – Joe Friend Apr 27 '18 at 16:53
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    I have to guess, but I'd say that they're downvoting because they don't like this policy. But, moderating comments on Wordpress is significantly more of a headache than it is on Meta, so I think that it makes sense to close them down or to give an alternate like Medium. – Catija Apr 27 '18 at 16:59
  • You guys no longer use Disqus for comments? – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Apr 27 '18 at 17:11
  • @SonicWizard Nope – Joe Friend Apr 27 '18 at 17:56
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    A simple idea, for each blog post their could be a q/a with a discussion & blog tag on MSO, with the link in the article to follow. – yagmoth555 Apr 27 '18 at 20:07
  • I think its the fact that there's no "in band" method of feedback. Sure, we can and do meta, but some days, we aren't sure who's listening. (I mean, team DAG gives great feedback, but that's not always true of the wider corporate body). That, some folks just want to downvote everything, or Tim Post's keys got lost again. As you can tell, meta is strange. – Journeyman Geek Apr 27 '18 at 22:41
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    @JourneymanGeek Got it. I'll defend our decision as will most anyone who has owned a blog for more than a few minutes and addressed any difficult topic. My personal perspective is the blog comments are frequently a cesspool. Forcing people to respond on their blog or somewhere else frequently causes people to think about their response more carefully. That's not company policy, just my 2 cents. – Joe Friend Apr 27 '18 at 22:44
  • Oh, I'd accept that. I get minor amounts of abuse on mine. FWIW, I get the policy and didn't vote either way here. But if you're wondering about downvotes here.. well ^^^ that's probably why. – Journeyman Geek Apr 27 '18 at 22:49
  • On the three articles linked to the article in question there are comments so that 'rule' seems to be awfully selectively applied... – A D Apr 28 '18 at 21:47

I think enabling comments on that blog post would lead to a long and convoluted discussion.

The topic being discussed is clearly thorny and everyone is likely to have an opinion on it.

I encourage you to participate by taking the one minute survey that the blog post offers as the entry point for beginning to let Stack Overflow know what you think may not be working with its welcome to new users, and what you think is.

By collecting initial feedback systematically via the very short survey, which has a free format field for the comment you would like to make at the end, will enable those charged with addressing welcoming issues to take stock of the current status.

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    Not to put too fine a point on this but... When I saw the one minute survey, I kinda had to laugh. Such a "corporate" gesture. I summarily ignore such surveys. – user102937 Apr 26 '18 at 23:00
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    What's that you say? SE is ensuring high-quality, non-opinionated content by using upfront technical and cultural measures to make it harder for folks to post stuff that probably wouldn't be very good? Nah. – Nathan Tuggy Apr 26 '18 at 23:11
  • @NathanTuggy there's a field where opinionated content can be included at the survey's end. – PolyGeo Apr 26 '18 at 23:15
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    @PolyGeo: Yes, that's what I said. "Here, after we've finished laying down a guilt-trip, send us a private message. Probably someone will read it, run some misleading statistics on it, and then report a skewed version of the results in the next blog post about this." – Nathan Tuggy Apr 26 '18 at 23:20
  • @NathanTuggy I guess I trust Stack Overflow to read my survey submission and to take some account of the free format text that I included. I see that as the start of the discussion that the survey offers via one of three means. – PolyGeo Apr 27 '18 at 2:31
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    @PolyGeo: Normally, I might as well, but that blog post really set my teeth on edge. – Nathan Tuggy Apr 27 '18 at 2:35
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    @NathanTuggy I felt comments on that blog post would lead to a lot more "you're doing everything wrong" comments to people like us rather than "you're doing most things right, but here's where we might be able to improve a few things" comments. – PolyGeo Apr 27 '18 at 8:27

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