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I read through some very helpful posts about how to be successful on Meta, though the links seem to have disappeared and I'm not sure how to find them again. Anyway, there's a lot of talk about feature requests that seem to suggest that Meta is the place to request features (once one has become established in the community). This is reinforced by the "Feedback" button at the bottom of the page taking me to Meta.

However, the Stack Exchange language is still very much focused around the idea of asking questions. The topics page is called "Questions" and the button to start a discussion is called "Ask Question."

I don't normally think making a suggestion is necessarily asking a question. So is Meta for more than just asking questions? Or is feedback just generally considered to fall into the "Questions" category?

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    It is generally okay to formulate a feature request as a question, for example Can we have mandatory comments when down voting? and then use the body to back your proposal and explain how it would benefit all of us. Keep in mind that voting is frivolous specially on such questions, where a down vote can/will also mean: No, don't implement this, Here is a popular example – rene May 2 '18 at 16:05
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    People have suggested changing the terminology before, but nothing came of it. – Laurel May 2 '18 at 17:52
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In some sense, meta isn't really for questions at all; it's for discussions. The efficacy of using the Q+A model for meta has been debated and discussed a lot in the past, but we still use it. On meta, we write questions and answers, but in spirit, we're talking and thinking and discussing and exchanging ideas. There's seldom a right or wrong answer (even on some questions).

Asking a "question" has two purposes:

  • It puts the proposal on the radar of the devs, community managers, and others in Stack Overflow, Inc. In this sense, it's kinda like a more traditional way of requesting an improvement to a product: You contact the people who make it.
  • It allows you to get feedback from other users, to improve and refine the idea and make it better. In this sense, it's really starting a discussion. It also serves to vet out some of the worst feature requests; if something's a bad idea, the community will probably explain why without company employees having to do it. Eventually, a Community Manager or other employee may add a tag designating the feature request with a specific status (like , , , etc.).

So, I view feature requests as really just discussions - no more or less like a question than any other post on meta (unless you count phrasing it like "Can we have [X]? Pretty please?"). And that's a good thing.

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    I would note that often feature-request get more feedback vs a discussion, positive or negative, as after the initial time often a status-planned or status-declined is updated, which is not the case for a discussion. – yagmoth555 - GoFoundMe Monica May 2 '18 at 17:20
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    @yagmoth555 That's a good point; I've added something about that. – HDE 226868 May 2 '18 at 17:26

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