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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.

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How to propose a community on the codidact.com network

Our network of communities is growing but is still small. If the community you're looking for isn't here, you can propose adding it.

To help us grow, we're looking to build active, thriving communities that start with a group of people who are already interested in building it. We don't require a lot of people and there's no hard-and-fast rule; we're looking for enough activity to help your new community succeed.

To get started, post a proposal in the Site Proposals category describing the site you hope to build. See "what makes a good proposal" below. If you have a community already (anywhere from a handful of people up), invite them to join Codidact if they haven't already and participate in the proposal. If you don't have a group of interested people yet, your proposal might attract some from the existing Codidact community. We're not currently creating sites without the support of a group or community, but with luck your post here will help you find that community.

What makes a good proposal?

A good proposal addresses the following topics:

  • Name and high-level description. What's the one-sentence description of what your community is about? If you were filling out the tag line on the list of communities, what might you put there?

  • A little more about scope. You'll work out many of the details later (on your own meta), but please give us an idea of what topics are and are not included in your proposed community.

  • Address any overlap with pre-existing communities. If your proposed community is about a topic that overlaps with others already on our network, how should that be handled? It's ok for communities to have overlapping scope, but if it's a large overlap we'll need to discuss that more, involving the other community. If you've already had some of those discussions, please include that.

  • Where/who is your community now? Are you a group of active users from another online community, are you colleagues working in the same research area, are you members of a mailing list that wants more out of life?

  • Additional features. If you have initial ideas about how you'll use Codidact's features beyond Q&A, please include them. For example, if building a set of canonical reference material (like a wiki) or hosting a shared blog or supporting critiques or reviews is important, please let us know.

You don't have to have worked out all the details for your new community yet; you can continue that on your own site's meta when it exists. But please plan to share enough that the broader Codidact community can understand and help you refine your proposal. We will use tags to track the state of proposals.

What happens next?

Your proposal will start out with the following tags indicating areas that need to be developed. As the proposal progresses, these tags will be removed:

  • Needs-summary: to satisfy, describe the broad scope and/or who the community is for in a sentence or two that can be used on the community list. Add this to the proposal when you're ready.

  • Needs-scope: we want to see the next level down of scope consensus, whether that's lists of on/off-topic items or sample questions or something else. Think of this as fodder for the help topic on what you can ask here. It doesn't have to cover all the edge cases, but it should be a decent start. We want to see some sort of consensus via voting -- do the people who are interested in building the community agree on what they're building (broadly)? You will probably want to work this out in one or more answers.

  • Needs-people: we will add an answer to the proposal where people can let us know they're interested in participating. We're looking for enough people to support the community in general, and also enough people who are enthusiasts. A community needs all types of people from casual browsers to people who read everything and answer a lot -- but to get started, a community needs at least some people who will actively ask and answer questions and help build other aspects of the community.

After you post your proposal, members of the broader Codidact community will probably respond with comments and suggestions. People might have questions or raise concerns. Q&A isn't always the best format for this, but you or other members of your planned community should participate -- answer questions, adjust the proposal in response to feedback, and so on.

Ask your community members to join Codidact (if they aren't here already) and indicate their support. We ask for this because votes alone don't tell us much, but people commenting to say "I am interested and expect to participate in these ways" is helpful. If, for example, there are a lot of people who want to ask advanced questions but nobody prepared to answer them, that would be a frustrating experience for all involved and suggests that more recruiting is needed.

During the early stages of discussion your proposal will have several "needs" tags. As the discussion proceeds these needs are addressed, the proposal should (we all hope) reach a point where it seems clear that the community has support and should advance. We don't have exact metrics for this; it's a judgement call, informed by discussion. If you don't understand why a proposal is where it is, ask! We're all working together and want our communities to succeed.

When a proposal advances to the "status-planned" stage, expect discussion of initial setup. Does your community need Mathjax? Some non-standard font? Something else? What name and URL should we give it (if not already settled)? Are there particular elements that should be included in the logo?

When these details have been worked out, the proposal will be marked "status-pending". This usually means we're waiting on DNS, someone with direct database access for certain operations, Cloudflare stuff, logo design, and other details. This tag means "we plan to launch this soon".

Can we import questions from Stack Exchange?

You can, and some communities have done it, but consider these points first:

  • We've found that communities that start "fresh", while empty on day 1, have been more successful in building their communities here. Everyone's new questions are visible, not hidden behind years-old imported questions. Everybody starts on the same footing. (It took us a while to learn this.)

  • Focused imports might serve you better than bulk imports. Do you need all of the questions from another site, or do you want to cherry-pick specific ones?

  • The import process is a little finicky. The path from SE's Markdown to the HTML they export to the imported copy here can have issues along the way. On Scientific Speculation we found that imported Mathjax sometimes needed to be cleaned up, and on Judaism imported Hebrew got weirdly corrupted. We've logged these issues and will try to improve the import process, but we don't know when.

We now think the best approach is to start your community fresh, build your initial questions and answers and blog posts and wikis and whatever else, and then revisit the data-import question later, after your community has taken root here.

This community is part of the Codidact network. We have other communities too — take a look!

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