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Welcome to Codidact Meta!

Codidact Meta is the meta-discussion site for the Codidact community network and the Codidact software. Whether you have bug reports or feature requests, support questions or rule discussions that touch the whole network – this is the site for you.

Help us help you: please show your support for site proposals

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Our network now has eight sites (plus Meta), and we hope to see many more as we continue to develop both our platform and our communities. As we've worked with communities to build the sites we have now, we've found ourselves adjusting how we go about deciding when a site is ready. We are trying to strike a good balance between being responsive and getting out of the way when a community is ready to proceed, on the one hand, and not jumping the gun and creating sites before people are ready to use them, on the other. When people come to a site that we've announced, they want to see some activity already. It's a chicken-and-egg problem, and we're trying to solve it by having some people ready to create that initial activity.

For a while we've judged this by voting and activity on the proposal and some amount of "gut feeling". This works for proposals that take off quickly, like Electrical Engineering and Judaism did, but it might not be serving the longer-running proposals as well. Two months ago I was guessing we'd be creating the Tabletop Role-Playing Games site soon and, yet, we haven't. I can't tell if we don't have the interested users or if people indicated their interest by voting on the proposal and are patiently waiting for us to set it up.

The challenge is that a vote on the proposal can mean a few different things. It can mean "this sounds like a viable site". It can mean "I'm passively interested; I would read that". It can mean "I am eager to build this and would participate heavily". We just don't know.

This is why I've begun to add the following answer to proposals:

Right now we don't have a good way of identifying people who would help build a new community, so let's do this: if you are interested in helping to build this site, please leave a comment describing your level of interest (casual visitor, enthusiast, expert in this topic within the site's scope, something else?). I'll edit them into the post later.

We don't want to create a heavyweight process or a system of quotas. We do not need to see commitments from 200+ people before we'll create a site. (If we did, we wouldn't have any of our current sites.) But we'd like to know that a few propsective contributors are out there alongside the readers and browsers. We're asking for the feedback publicly, in comments, so the builders will know who each other are, and so they can clue us in about things we wouldn't know on our own. For example, EE came to us with a small group of experts; knowing that about the founders helped us move quickly. Sometimes it's more about who than how many.

We have several suggestions that look viable but we can't tell if people are interested in building them. In some cases the suggestions are not very developed yet but they gained a positive response. Please help refine them where you can and weigh in where you are interested:

There are several more suggestions in the Site Proposals category. If you see something there that you can contribute to, please do.

If you've been following site proposals, you might be wondering why this list doesn't include two proposals with a lot of support:

  • We have, just today, launched Languages and Linguistics -- it's brand new and empty right now, so if you've been waiting for it, please go forth and ask and answer.

  • We plan to launch Software Development soon. Software Development will be both a site and an incubator; we are planning from the beginning that some sites might spin off from it later. We also want to work out how best to collaborate with our friends at TopAnswers, who have several language-specific sites.

7 comments

Thank you for your continued support for new sites! I've already commented on some of these but may write something a bit more involved when I have some time later. (NB: Any work on getting L&L in the footer?) ‭DonielF‭ about 2 months ago

@DonielF New sites don't get added to the footer and to codidact.com for a while after they're launched, so that we can get any initial setup done and the community can decide on an initial tagline to use. ‭‮edoCfOtrA‭ about 2 months ago

It would help to have a "poll" category type. This is where each page is a single question that presents a series of options, and users vote on those options. The question would have to specify whether options are mutually exclusive, or cumulative (vote for your top pick versus vote for all you favor). This is probably too much development effort for now, but such a thing could be useful in the long run, and would certainly be useful for site proposals. ‭Olin Lathrop‭ about 2 months ago

@Olin How is your proposal any different from the current voting system in place? Voting on Meta is an expression of "I agree/disagree" as it is. To the contrary, I think leaving site proposals as a q/a format is better, since it encourages expression of ideas on the proposal. There's a lot more to talk about besides "is this a good idea"! ‭DonielF‭ about 2 months ago

@Doniel: The main difference between a poll as I described and the existing voting is that you get more than two choices in a poll. Monica is asking which of several levels people would engage with on a new site. A single yes vote doesn't tell whether you just like the idea, might drop by occasionally, plan to actively lurk, might answer questions occasionally, or are an expert ready and willing to answer whatever questions come daily. ‭Olin Lathrop‭ about 2 months ago

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