In Come Take a Look at our New Contributor Indicator! we were asked for

Questions? Suggestions? Feedback? Let us know.

There was plenty, mostly not in support of the feature. Maybe it is hidden somewhere in a comment, but I don't see anybody from SE reacting to the feedback given by the community.

Instead the feature now is live in exactly the presented form.

Dear SE: Why do you even ask us if you don't care?

Edit: The first(?) reaction I could find just was posted.


We, as users, are fully justified in expecting SE to listen to and care about our comments, concerns and other feedback about the system. It is not reasonable, however, to demand that SE agree or comply with each and every piece of feedback received.

Even just on a purely practical level, meta doesn't always speak with a single voice. Sometimes, popular opinions here conflict with each other.

More philosophically, it is entirely possible, and frankly should be expected, for an organization (such as, but not limited to, the SE community team) to hear that users don't like some change, carefully consider the merits of the comments, weigh the feedback against other concerns, and conscientiously decide that there are reasons to disagree.

Many people here are developers, and understand the concept of tech debt. Paying off tech debt and improving maintainability are important goals that are frequently if not always invisible to end users. That can be one reason for moving forward with something the community dislikes. Another reason is balancing the wants of the vocal few (i.e. meta) with the silent majority (i.e. the non-meta and often not-even-registered community).

That's my answer to the literal question you asked, but if you'll allow me some room for exposition:

In recent years, it has seemed to me that SE users (on and off of meta) are getting increasingly impatient with SE. The "torch and pitchfork" moments seem especially strong after changes are made to site features (whether additions, subtractions, or modifications) and extra triple especially so when those changes involve design or UI. (This is a natural human response; people don't like change, and it's difficult for a human brain to separate the actual quality/effects of a change from the fact of a change taking place. My personal rule for those is to say nothing for at least three days, and then consider whether my initial reaction was just due to change existing or whether something is really worse... or better.)

The team has admitted that things haven't always been done perfectly or even well in the past. However, drawing the conclusion that the company just doesn't care is a leap too far. Questions like

Dear SE: Why do you even ask us if you don't care?

are glib and inherently unfair. Personally, I'm thinking they're the biggest part of what makes meta difficult to use.

In some ways, SE seems to be a victim of its own success. In the early days, merely having a meta site and any non-zero level of communication with the community seemed to win a lot of praise. Since then, the company has continued improving, but expectations have increased far faster (sometimes reasonably, sometimes not). We can and should expect further improvements—and if we don't get them, it's fair to consider leaving—but we are not now and may never be in conspiracy theory or oversimplified accusation territory.


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