We're at an interesting point in terms of our site growth and community development. I just thought I'd talk a little bit about where we are and why we should try to start making an extra effort to be active on meta and in chat.

Did you know that four out of five of our 'site health' indicators have turned green?

They measure questions-answered percentage (we're 92%), rep distribution (we have 230 users with 200+ rep), question-to-answer ratio (2.5) and visits-per-day (north of 1.5k is considered green.)

The remaining indicator, where we have some opportunities to improve, is questions-per-day.

The four signals that are green have been green for a little while now, but keep in mind some are a bit volatile (especially visitorship.)

Given the influx of new users into the community, and likely increased attention in general, I think it would serve us well to "man the stations" a bit more regularly in terms of chat, and to be a little more active on meta. (This very gentle reminder is a bit less gentle for high-rep users and mods.)

If we can wake up these spaces, we will end up driving engagement on the main page too! I'd love to hear in answers about interesting things we could do with the chat space or other ways we could tap into the power of the community here.

See you around!

  • codinghorror.com/blog/2009/07/meta-is-murder.html A quiet meta might actually be a good thing, especially if the site is otherwise quite active. – Thomas Klimpel Nov 28 '13 at 23:29
  • Also, what would be the point of a more active meta, when we can't even act on things were there is agreement in the community, like meta.philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/277/… – Thomas Klimpel Nov 28 '13 at 23:33
  • Hmm. Well, to the first point -- some meta is necessary, and all I'm really trying to inspire here is being a bit more initiatory and "at the helm" with respect to what's happening in meta and chat, rather than being pure exception-handlers and totally reactionary. – Joseph Weissman Mod Nov 28 '13 at 23:34
  • Some meta is present and works. The community closes inappropriate questions without explicit moderator intervention, and seems to provide enough feedback to newcomers to clarify expectations. I admit that somebody (me?) should have responded "timely" to Kevin Holmes requests on meta, but apart from that I can't see any major issues. – Thomas Klimpel Nov 29 '13 at 0:16
  • Fair enough. Again, mostly just drawing attention to the place where we've come to as a community, and wanted to encourage folks to try to consider engaging (or re-engaging) a little more deeply. Chat has been a ghost town in particular. --Anyway, happy thanksgiving :) – Joseph Weissman Mod Nov 29 '13 at 0:32
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    where has chat gone! – Dr Sister Dec 9 '13 at 22:03

Chat room ideas

I believe that some sort of formal structure for a chat room will facilitate discussion and questions in all other parts of Philosophy SE (including other chat rooms: The Symposium).

  • The Writers SE has a weekly writing exercise for ten minutes (roughly) on a specific topic. Why not have something similar to inspire chat? How about creating a monthly informal (non-comprehensive) syllogism time on something of philosophy? This may be too hard compared to merely writing about anything. But a new chat room can be created, and it can last for a day (roughly). Syllogisms compact so much information into a nice neat format. Yet, there can be variety to them. A precis of an argument per se.

Note that some things below here may sound as if I'm claiming that philosophy is just a bunch of opinions spread around. I do not mean that at all; please have an open mind.

  • Argument topic. Call it a debate maybe. Two high reputation (well read) users dual out two opposing views for a time that works for them. Then maybe, everyone else for a specific time, such as after a week (or not), votes on who is more convincing. This could happen monthly.

  • A new chat room for something about what you believe in. However armchair philosophic that sounds, just what system(s) do you personally ascribe to? I think you mean the general chat room, but again, this would probably be better if it were created into a new chat room. After all, people like talking about "their" beliefs. Maybe this would just scratch the surface, how else can we go deeper on something that should not be used in Q & A?

I do not know the capabilities of SE (but some code for incorporating voting doesn't sound that bad). That's all I got for now. I hope that inspired some other ideas to heat up the frigid state of dialogue...especially that happened in March...in The Symposium.

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