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I shouldn't have to post my feature requests as a "Questions". They aren't questions. They don't need an "answer", they just need a "response". But the site treats them like a regular Q/A.

If we absolutely have to use the Q/A model for feature requests, there should 2 automatic answers that say "Yes, I like this idea" and "No, I don't like this idea". That would help us gauge the interest and prioritize the feature request appropriately.

With today's model, when people don't like an idea, they downvote the question. That's the best move available, but it's just wrong. Downvoting the question says it's a bad feature request, and often that's not the case. If a feature request is truly unnecessary, downvoting the question makes sense. But when it's a valuable addition that just isn't worth the effort, that deserves an answer (even if it gets downvoted).

Do we need an alternative channel for "feature requests"?

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    Well, honestly, sometimes its worth tempering enthusiasm with a little extra thinking. You are aware, somewhat that folks inside the company do realise it works badly for FRs. And that special casing sites is a pain – Journeyman Geek Jul 5 at 11:22
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    I don't think automatic answers are a good idea, it's much better to encourage substantial answers than simple yes/no ones. But I do think that a separate mechanism to express agree/disagree would be very useful, using the regular voting for this is a fundamentally flawed use of this tool. – Mad Scientist Jul 5 at 11:24
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    To @JourneymanGeek’s point: TPTB have mentioned several times recently they have a project to move public software tracking to a dedicated tool (like Jira or whatever), because they know Meta doesn’t work. I expect it to arrive in 6-8 time units. For now, Meta is the place, and I doubt they’re going to invest in improving the Meta experience for FRs when they’re already planning to depreciate it for that purpose. – Dan Bron Jul 5 at 12:54
  • I love SE and I have ideas that can help. It's stupid that it costs me reputation every time I share those ideas. But I'm not going to stop. – LevenTech Jul 5 at 21:41
  • @DanBron your comment is the answer I was seeking - an actual plan to execute the exact feature I'm requesting. THANK YOU! – LevenTech Jul 5 at 21:46
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I shouldn't have to post my feature requests as a "Questions".

Sometimes, it's possible to propose a feature request as an answer. This is often done during alpha releases of new functionality, like Moderator flag dashboard design refresh (alpha) and Custom Filters release announcement.

But most often, it is not. An alternative which sometimes works is posting a stating "I'm seeing problem X. [A few paragraphs with elaboration and examples.] I'd like to do something about it, how about feature request Y? Or do you have better alternatives?".

With today's model, when people don't like an idea, they downvote the question.

Yes, that is exactly how it works: see the Help Center article What is "meta"? How does it work?.

Voting is different on meta.

...

Unlike normal Stack Exchange sites, Meta invites the community to discuss, debate and propose changes to the way the community itself behaves, as well as how the software itself works. On posts tagged , voting indicates agreement or disagreement with the proposed change rather than just the quality or usefulness of the post itself.

If you're looking for an alternative way to change how Stack Exchange works, you can try Twitter. I heard it works pretty well if you have enough followers.

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    Yes, I'm trying to change how StackExchange works. I want it to be better. And I'm continually surprised by how resistant others are to that effort. – LevenTech Jul 5 at 21:38
  • you're being sarcastic, right? Or are you actually saying that I should go to Twitter with my feature requests? I really thought that was why the "feature-request" tag existed – LevenTech Jul 5 at 21:48
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    @LevenTech the Twitter remark is kind of sarcastic but sadly true, based on recent incidents. – Meta Andrew T. Jul 6 at 2:07
  • @MetaAndrewT., thank you for your honesty. Twitter is a fine channel for feature requests, that doesn't bother me at all. But if that's the case, we should make that clear to users, and do away with the "feature-request" tag – LevenTech Jul 6 at 2:15
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    What MetaAndrewT says about Twitter is exactly right. Honestly, it isn't that hard to write decent feature requests. I may have though of hundreds more, but refrained from posting them since the benefit wasn't worth the development time. It's just like writing books or poetry: you publish only a small fraction of what you actually write. – Glorfindel Jul 6 at 7:49
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I shouldn't have to post my feature requests as a "Questions". They aren't questions. They don't need an "answer", they just need a "response".

Meta site(s) were not created with the sole intention of making feature requests. You are not really asking the question when proposing a feature. It's just that the general framework of all the SE sites is based on Question and Answers.

If we absolutely have to use the Q/A model for feature requests, there should 2 automatic answers that say "Yes, I like this idea" and "No, I don't like this idea".

Isn't the same thing easily done by upvote/downvote?

If a feature request is truly unnecessary, downvoting the question makes sense. But when it's a valuable addition that just isn't worth the effort, that deserves an answer (even if it gets downvoted).

Folks can add comments and answers when supporting or rejecting a proposal. Again, they may not technical be answers, but "discussion" over the proposed feature.

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