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Does the management or the Welcome Wagon care to know about activity that makes existing users want to leave their platform or is the goal only to welcome new users?

I would like to post some simple suggestions and cases but in the past I've been attacked for it.

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    Since the question you "duplicated" was left unanswered for over a year, the answer is clearly, no, they couldn't care less. – gdoron is supporting Monica Oct 15 at 5:22
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    To be fair, this does not feel like a dupe of the linked question. I don't know if the question will remain constructive, but it does seem to imply a different question from the one linked. – Hitodama Oct 15 at 11:34
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    I do not think this is a duplicate, but I also do not see the point in it outside the catharsis of just posting it. Why would you expect them to respond? – user148287 Oct 16 at 15:42
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    The welcome wagon was a name for an initiative. Its not an organization – Journeyman Geek Oct 16 at 21:43
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    What is a "welcome wagon"? – Srid says Reinstate Monica Nov 17 at 21:55
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    @Reinstate: stackoverflow.blog/2018/04/26/… – Robert Harvey Nov 18 at 2:08
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    I thought you were making fun of them by the term "Welcome Wagon", but you were not. They actually named it that way :D – Fermi paradox Nov 18 at 13:29
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    The welcome wagon is not an organisation (and thus can not act or do things (like figuring out stuff)). It is an initiative or the name of a project or phenomenon. – Peter Mortensen Nov 18 at 22:56
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    The welcome wagon is a concept to make every user, old or new, feel equally unwelcome on the site. This unwelcoming experience used to be reserved for new users only. But now we are all equally unwelcome. – Lundin Nov 19 at 7:46
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+50

SE staff already knows what makes users leave.

Senior users

To SE staff, they are easily replaced and not that much of an important asset.

"Director of Public Q&A" at Stack Exchange Inc. retweeted:

If you’re against CoCs and to protest you’re leaving the community because the CoC has become more inclusive...

  1. You identified yourself as part of the problem
  2. You removed your problematic self from the community

... thank you?

As you can see they know their changes will make many users leave. That's not only acceptable but a reason to be happy about (at least to Sara Ownbey Chipps; the rest of the SE staff avoided commenting for obvious reasons).

Additionally, they deleted the previous heavily downvoted post about the new CoC and replaced it with a post that explicitly prohibits criticizing the new CoC:

debating the core of the new rule ("please use stated pronouns") [...] is off-topic for this post

This allows all dissenting views to be censored as "off-topic".

Also, they avoided posting a high traffic (featured) post about our agreement/disagreement with the new CoC using the pretext of "harming the community".

Time and time again have mods been warned of echo chambers forming on SE sites. Not only did they ignore it, but the tweet above is a recipe for an echo-chamber. Unsurprisingly, this comment comes from Interpersonal Skills (IPS), the biggest echo-chamber I spotted. Can you guess the connection of IPS to the current situation? ;-)

New users

SE had published temporarily a game, where you could vote to: moderate content, flag, upvote, etc. It was a rough approximation of how SE works.

  • Lenience and rewards create happiness.
  • Moderation creates quality.

Some users are inexperienced or incapable of creating quality content, get downvoted to oblivion and never return. We can fix lack of experience. But we can't fix lack of capability.

So instead of accepting this simple fact, they decided to ignore it. They increased rewards, which effectively reduces the moderation tool availability threshold.

In short: They reduced quality to increase user growth.

On top of that, they didn't care for our feedback or most probably didn't want to see a negative reaction, so they didn't post it on Meta before implementation. They decide. The community obeys.


The worst part is that they don't even see that they are abusing the power our free labor gave them. In their minds, their actions are completely moral. Not a spec of doubt.

They are turning an encyclopedia into a political tool and can't see anything odd about it.

  • In context of knowledge capability is just a fancier word for experience and it can as easily be fixed by learning stuff. – Helmar Nov 18 at 11:54
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    @Helmar not really, brain differences are a real thing (can be measured by MRI scans and so on). For example there are millions of people that are much smarter than me. And that's ok. – Fermi paradox Nov 18 at 11:59
  • "know... make many users leave" [emphasis added]: is an assertion not supported by that tweet you are quoting. That it will make some users leave is supported. – Raedwald Nov 18 at 14:20
  • "This allows all dissenting views to be censored as "off-topic"." has got nothing to do with senior users. You are assuming that only senior users, and most senior members, would want to voice dissent. That says much more about your attitudes than about SE. – Raedwald Nov 18 at 14:22
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    @Raedwald "some not many" argument: That's a relative term. It depends on the observer. To me, they are "many", to them they are "an acceptable number". There are much more interesting things to attack in my post. [1/3] – Fermi paradox Nov 18 at 14:35
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    @Raedwald new - senior users, as in, "first time visitors or visited site a couple of times" vs "regular users using meta etc". Perhaps a bad wording on my part. You talk about my attitude towards SE. Could you describe it? [2/3] – Fermi paradox Nov 18 at 14:39
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    Some good points here, but they're made easier to dismiss by some big stretches, e.g. there's nothing political about the fact that SO has developed a reputation as insular and intimidating; dragging politics in weakens the key point that ignoring years of users' suggested fixes and driving away quality answerers defeats the point of approaching SO in the first place. The IPS thing seems like a personal bugbear. Just one post "prohibits criticizing" the CoC; there were many debates on the CoC; problem is they were mostly ignored (not that one post focussed on clarifications). – user56reinstatemonica8 Nov 18 at 14:42
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    @Raedwald "They reduced quality to increase user growth." is unsupported by evidence - Please share the "evidence". My personal experience shows that strict moderation (e.g. peer review in scientific magazines) is very effective at weeding out bad science. – Fermi paradox Nov 18 at 14:47
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    @Raedwald The reward for asking a high quality question is getting a high quality answer. Increasing the points for questions just leads to rewarding popular questions and we're aware of how that has panned out in the past. – James Nov 18 at 14:51
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    @user56reinstatemonica8 you are right. Some of the things you mention look as if I m exaggerating. SO is intimidating to new users, and even to me. Every time I post something I have doubts on how it will be perceived. Unpleasant, but useful because it forces me to invest more effort, increasing quality. IPS is actually very relevant (and not personal at all), but I can't go into details without giving the pretext for a ban. As for only one post prohibiting criticizing, ignoring us was always a thing, but we are talking prohibition to discuss it in high visibility posts. – Fermi paradox Nov 18 at 15:05
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    @user56reinstatemonica8 In other words, they allowed opposition as long as it's drowned by dozens of other posts. They forbid it in the featured post. – Fermi paradox Nov 18 at 15:11
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    In what way is Interpersonal Skills an echo chamber? – Peter Mortensen Nov 18 at 22:53
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    @PeterMortensen see comment at IPS meta referred in the answer, lPS is turning into an echo-chamber. Political correctness ("everyone's feelings are super important"; more important than reality) seems to be dominant and that repels anyone disagreeing with it effectively creating an echo chamber ("there's consensus among IPS community", well yeah, it figures; dissidents left). – gnat Nov 19 at 8:18
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    @user I have flagged your comment as rude. Please feel free to rephrase it and have a civil discussion. But to address your slander towards me: I do not have an irrational fear (that's what a phobia is) towards them. I simply state facts. Facts have no feelings. Also, another invalid argument of yours is that this is about trans. It is not! I would say the exactly same thing about any group. No discrimination. Not even preferential. – Fermi paradox Nov 25 at 10:40
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    @user oh, i m truly sorry. :) Did you mean something else by "transophobes"? Please do explain :) – Fermi paradox Nov 26 at 12:41
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Yes. If these existing users turned away for any of the following reasons:

  • They were discriminated against
  • The site is unwelcoming due to their background or gender
  • They felt the site is a hostile environment, full of elitists

The welcome wagon has already 'figured out' why new users leave Stack Overflow and is working towards fixing that.

The goal of the welcome wagon is to help new users. Obviously if their changes are causing existing users to leave, they should be interested.

If you know of other reasons users leave, it would be of interest to the company but not the welcome wagon initiative.

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    The welcome wagon is not an organisation (and thus can not act or do things (like figuring out stuff)). It is an initiative or the name of a project or phenomenon. – Peter Mortensen Nov 18 at 22:55
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    @JJforTransparencyandMonica It's also just a common phrase. (I'm a native US English speaker and didn't know it was a company name until just now.) – Em C Nov 18 at 23:25
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    Pretty sure it's just a common phrase. – dustytrash Nov 19 at 0:45
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    Important distinction here: Obviously if their changes are causing existing users to leave, they should be interested. But the question wasn't if they should care, but if they do – AConfusedSimpleton Nov 19 at 10:17
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Yes, I promise that someone does, and you should include the challenges you recognize into your post or else it just looks like you're feeling unhappy. So welome! What do you see as an obstacle to new users? I don't think anyone likes to wade through the stuff internet users say, because it can be anything at all and usually super random or childish. But the only way to find out is to listen so, what's up?

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