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Orientation / Welcoming Committee
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?