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Orientation / Welcoming Committee

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I'm not sure where to start, on my first visit to this site. I don't know the rules, the context, the history, anything really. What brought me here is the search for better online discussion technology. I'm not sure where to find things... and what's right and wrong. I'm left only one option: to read a lot of questions first - but is that the right thing? Maybe this is just a feature request to state so, on my first visit. Or maybe it's an open question about whether orientation is too complex for a sentence or two, and whether the option of helping people volunteer to orientate others, should be discussed.

To make it more confusing, although it's refreshing in that its different from sites that I've seen that look similar... it's not less confusing. I like that it's relatively clean and uncluttered. Except for a "-0" on every post, that would probably be better of being hidden, and grey instead of black if it had a value. But I think I know very well where it's coming from. Has any other ideas been discussed? Also, the concept of "peer production" should be considered - would most internet newcomers be able to make out what this is about, clearly, should they land here first, from a web search or link?

To start off... Should I just let loose and post every question I can't find an answer for? Or should I spend some more time trying to group questions into discussions first? Would it be better if I was herded into a certain direction first, so as to manage my first impression, or would that be more likely to drive me away? Has there been any culturally-neutral research or experiments into this? Possible, but where would one find those?

I see the word community thrown around here, a lot. Community means many things to many people, even dictionaries list more than ten interpretations. At its core, community alludes to commonality - and the more sophisticated that commonality, the more functional the community, in my opinion. Can we distill an improved commonality than simply being the people who somehow found their way here?

What are our sacred cows? At which point of the conversation did I walk in? What's the development cycle here like? Who runs it? Is this a community that knows exactly what it wants, what works, and what doesn't, or is the idea to iterate here? Ie. are my inputs still desired, or have I missed this bus? What is this community certain of, and what is it curious about? Who does the development? Where is it discussed? Is this the main development community: https://github.com/codidact? Where's the history? How can I maximize my chances of constructive contribution here? Great, a wiki! https://github.com/codidact/docs/wiki And the codidact.com homepage lists it clearly, as well as a Discord But seeing as that was literally my first impression, and visually quite disconnected from the rest of the site, and I couldn't casually navigate back to it, I think my mind might have filtered it out... and I would assume so would most.

Which brings me to the idea of first impressions, context, and orientation. A complex mix... I hope this is the place to discuss it. Is it? How can we best imbue this community with better self-organization? Has ideas such as letting people choose roles, been contemplated? Has the idea of a welcoming committee been discussed? If not here, has anyone come across great off-site resources we should study and learn from?

In line with "discussion tech" - I've found Kialo to be an interesting take - perhaps some ideas can be iterated on there before we bring it back here - perhaps we can come up with a mash-up of the two? I've drafted a discussion on Kialo here Another platform that I've been using with some success is Zulip - but using it comes with an even steeper learning curve.

Where can I browse feature requests, and filter them by the reviewed preferences of the developers, and the community? Is it really as easy as clicking the https://meta.codidact.com/categories/3/tags/961 feature-request tag? (Can I embed it here?) Maybe it might be worth saying so!

Is there a "new here" or "Introductions" section? Or is this, like StackExchange, an experiment in running a community with minimal small talk? Just about the only thing that I have come across is the Code of Conduct here: https://meta.codidact.com/policy/code-of-conduct Simplicity. Love it.

I like the fact that I could interact without registering... and when I did, I found the https://meta.codidact.com/tour to be cute. But it ends a bit abruptly, and is maybe a bit wordy, and lacking some visual cues as to being a demo or sandbox.

That all said, thanks to everyone here, who has been trying to make things better! I do feel like there has not been enough experiments in online discussion formats.

I guess, technically, orientation and welcoming can be done in Q&A format - that would certainly be the most elegant in sticking with the format, and simplicity, in my books. But that touches on my biggest question: how do we improve signal to noise?

Why should this post be closed?

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I see too many questions maybe? Anyway here you are a welcome upvote. ‭.                                                .‭ about 1 month ago

Thanks, well, the Q&A format does allow for multiple answers, I guess I will split it up if the discussion here starts clouding the questions... :-D ‭dagelf‭ about 1 month ago

I wasn't even aware that a new user tutorial/wizard existed. Very nice one! Good job, everyone who was involved in it! (Can we start a dragon community now. Pleeeease?) ‭Lundin‭ about 1 month ago

I'll have to agree with 8063, this is probably way too many questions for one post. While the Q&A format allows for multiple answers, it's not exactly great for answering multiple questions since they all get mixed together. ‭Moshi‭ about 1 month ago

By the way, I'd suggest grouping related questions under a heading, ex. "How should we guide new/unregistered users?" (peer production, orientation, first impressions, is there a quickstart/intro guide) "How and where can I contribute to the project?" (GitHub, [feature-request]s, What feedback are the devs looking for?, etc.) "What type of community are we fostering?" (What does community mean here? How do we grow that sense of community?) ‭Moshi‭ about 1 month ago

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2 answers

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Welcome to Codidact!

Codidact is very much a work in progress, and input is welcome. This network-wide Meta is the best place to find existing feature requests. Some also come in as GitHub issues (in the codidact/qpixel repository -- that's the main code repo). It's best to look around and get familiar with what's already been brought up, but don't hold off on questions or requests because you think you're "too late". Worst case, you'll ask about something that's already been brought up and your question will be marked as a duplicate and you'll get a pointer to the previous post.

We have the tour, which I see you've found, and we welcome suggestions for ways to improve it. Please feel free to ask those questions here.

We also, I learned just this week, have the ability to show an "introduction" message to anonymous users (people who visit without being signed in). This message can be customized for each community. We'll try to figure out what it should say here on Meta, and make sure our moderators know they can set this on their communities. While all communities on our network share basic expectations, each community does have its own norms and we need to make sure people are aware of them. The help on each community is a good starting point.

One of our broad design goals is better contextual help and guidance -- not just a help area, but also information that's immediately relevant to what you're doing right now. The "ask question" guidance is one example of this. Reading your post, I realize that one of the places we need this is the account-creation page: what should we show you right after you create an account? Where should you go next?

This is only a partial response to your post; I hope to improve it later, but wanted to at least post what I've got.

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Should I just let loose and post every question I can't find an answer for?

Absolutely not!

You first need to understand the specific rules and norms of whatever site you want to ask on.

Codidact is more about the individual sites than the organization, so help pages are mostly per-site. There is also much more variation between sites as a result. While there are commonalities, you really need to read the help for each individual site you intend to post on.

Each site has a HELP link on the top banner. For example, the help for Electrical Engineering is at https://electrical.codidact.com/help. While that is, of course, specific to the EE site, it also talks about the general mechanics that are common across all sites.


What's the main problem with discussions, other than maybe a bit of clutter?

That's certainly a significant problem.

It's not that discussion is inherently bad, but that it conflicts with the purposes and implementation of this site. Any one site can't be all things. We sacrifice chit-chat in return for getting clean questions with answers, without noise.

Once I got used to this concept on SE, it was like a breath of fresh air. You get what you really came for, and didn't need to wade thru a swamp of drivel to find it.

where is the correct place to discuss this for each site itself?

The closest thing we have to discussions here are in meta. That's the category (what we call the divisions at the top of the page, like Q&A, Site Proposals, Blog, etc) where the site itself is discussed. Admittedly, Q&A is not always the best format for that. It's an artifact of re-using the software already developed for the main part of the site. I think there are thoughts about changing this long term, once many other more pressing features are implemented.

2 comments

Thanks, this looks like something that can be mitigated by a relevant introduction message - I particularly like the notes about comments here: https://electrical.codidact.com/help/intro Reading it, the question I'm left with - is - what if the answer is not clear cut and warrants discussion? Perhaps there's a missed opportunity in providing a place for discussion. Also, I find this Q&A format more condusive to discussion than many others. Also, is there a better place than here for this note? ‭dagelf‭ 28 days ago

So I see there's an attempt to mitigate that with "don't solicit discussions"... https://electrical.codidact.com/help/asking - again, I can't help wondering - if not here, where? What's the main problem with discussions, other than maybe a bit of clutter? Also, where is the correct place to discuss this for each site itself? ‭dagelf‭ 28 days ago

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