3

I'm primarily a user of MathOverflow, but sometimes wander here in hope of making an impact. What strikes me, is how differently I'm treated over there and here, which typically means a flurry of down-votes without any explanation, followed by sporadic negative comments. I can understand this even less in case of a feature-request, especially something that might be welcomed by one community and not by another. If a new, optional feature is preferred by, say 10% of the sites, then this way it has no chance of being implemented. Even more so if the users of these sites don't frequent meta.SE. What can I do about this?

A typical example is that of Standing bounties, which seems popular only on my site.

  • On the example you linked to can you point out which comments are negative, or if that example isn't a good fit, any other comment that you find has that characteristic. I ask because I want to understand which type of comments are perceived negative as I seem to be able to totally misjudge that – rene Jul 11 '18 at 10:30
  • 1
    "down-votes without any explanation, followed by sporadic negative comments" those comments are the explination, you percive them as negitive, some may well be but in your example, two users gave detailed reasons why they did not support you and were in no way rude. – Mark Kirby Jul 11 '18 at 11:09
  • @MarkKirby in defense of the OP they no where claimed the comments were rude. I personally think there is a difference between negative and rude comments, no? – rene Jul 11 '18 at 11:27
  • 1
    @rene I never said OP said they were rude, I was pointing out that the comments were not rude but yes, I do think negitive and rude are not the same thing, perhaps rude was a bad choice of word right now. – Mark Kirby Jul 11 '18 at 11:34
  • @Mark First the down-votes come, the first comment arrived like 10 minutes later, so it seems the first couple of people didn't bother to give a reason. – domotorp Jul 11 '18 at 12:09
  • @rene You're right that the comments are not particularly negative, rather I should say non-supportive. – domotorp Jul 11 '18 at 12:11
  • 1
    Okay, but non-supportive is bummer for your proposal but in itself those comments are not an issue, right? And with issue I mean: should be flagged and removed? I understand you rather had supportive comments but you can't win them all ... ;) – rene Jul 11 '18 at 12:16
1

The main 'problem' with feature requests on Meta is that downvoting is used to indicate disagreement:

On posts tagged feature-request, voting indicates agreement or disagreement

Just like people aren't required to support/explain their upvote with a comment, they aren't required with downvotes either.

It's perfectly understandable that a Meta Stack Exchange post and Meta MathOverflow post are received so differently. MathOverflow has always been a special site with an audience rarely crossing over to other sites (or maybe just Math.SE). This is absolutely fine, don't get me wrong, but it does mean that opinions which are commonly liked there can be severely opposed on most of the other sites.
(Another example in this regard is the 'Thanks (in advance)' in questions and comments, which seems to be part of the etiquette on MathOverflow, and considered noise on the rest of the network). I'm exaggerating a little, but I hope you get the point.

Combine this with the fact that a lot of people here, including the de-facto head CM, don't like bounties at all, and I can understand why your question has been received so negatively. It's not a badly written question, and you're following the right procedure; it's just that most people here think it's a bad idea.

  • I agree with all this, but what can we do then if we have a feature-request? – domotorp Jul 11 '18 at 12:07
  • Accept the fact that it's not well-received by a larger community? Just like in the workplace, where your team and your manager might think X is a good idea, but the C-level guys or the workers council reject it? – Glorfindel Jul 11 '18 at 12:09
  • But this is an optional feature that other sites don't have to use. Why should others decide what is good for us? – domotorp Jul 11 '18 at 12:13
  • 1
    Sure, you that's why you can post feature requests on per-site Metas. Stack Exchange's developers watch those, too. – Glorfindel Jul 11 '18 at 12:16
2

As noted elsewhere, downvotes on feature requests usually signify disagreement and don't necessarily mean the proposal was badly made.

That said, and speaking generally (I haven't read your other questions), a feature request is expected to make a case. We see a lot of feature requests here on Meta that boil down to "I think it should do this". Yeah, so? Those don't fare well. Instead, explain why the feature request is beneficial. The broader the spectrum of cases you consider, the better. A feature request that is ideal for one site might be neutral or counter-productive on others. A feature request that helps power users might have side effects that hurt new users. A feature request that's tuned for people using full-screen browsers on large 4k devices might be bad for tablet users. And so on.

Finally, voting on Meta is an input to SE, but it's not the only one and probably not the most important one. If you browse the tag here you'll see plenty of very popular feature requests that were never implemented and sometimes outright declined, and you'll find some lower-scoring ones that were implemented because they were critical in some cases or they were easy or they could be done as part of some other work that was already in progress.

  • My main question is about what can be done to have a feature-request heard that is popular only on some smaller sites. – domotorp Jul 12 '18 at 19:17
  • @domotorp as one example, there is a Hebrew keyboard built into exactly two sites (as far as I know), because Mi Yodeya needed it. One of our users wrote a userscript, and later SE built it in. Nobody else cares, but it helped us. – Monica Cellio Jul 12 '18 at 20:22
  • But for my issue we cannot write a userscript and users from other sites downvote something that would be useful for us, because they don't need it. – domotorp Jul 13 '18 at 18:24
  • 1
    @domotorp I think you missed my point. SE could have said "you can use a userscript", but they actually built it in even though only two sites cared. – Monica Cellio Jul 13 '18 at 18:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .