6

Discussing on meta helps to improve our site. Besides askings questions and answering of course, voting is especially helpful in making decisions.

What can we do to encourage people to participate more?

6

On idea would be to add a Community Promotion Ad to invite people to [meta]. This is probably a better eye-catcher than the 'Visit Meta' link just a little bit higher.

Update: I added now a possible meta ad based on the meta style.

  • Good idea! Fits much better than current ads to other SE sites. – Stefan Kottwitz Jul 3 '11 at 20:43
  • @Stefan: see also my other ad suggestion there (texample.com and CTAN). – Martin Scharrer Jul 3 '11 at 21:12
  • The ad has now reached the minimal number of up-votes and is now displayed. Stats. – Martin Scharrer Jul 4 '11 at 11:42
8

You can refer to meta in comments; there is a shorthand for this. If you leave a comment like:

Perhaps you'd like to discuss this on [meta] with us?

It will turn into an appropriate link. Try it! The full documentation of shorthand links is at

https://tex.stackexchange.com/editing-help#comment-formatting

  • This only works in comments? It didn't worked in my answer to this question. – Martin Scharrer Jul 3 '11 at 21:01
  • 1
    @martin it is specific to comments, as noted in the URL linked above :) – Jeff Atwood Jul 3 '11 at 21:23
  • Thanks. Sorry I should have RTFM, but the #comment-formatting doesn't work for me (Firefox 5.0, Ubuntu) somehow. – Martin Scharrer Jul 3 '11 at 21:30
5

If you want to regard reputation as something desirable, a kind of reward system, and not only as an index of the expertise and helpfulness that other users have attributed to this user, integrating reputation gathered on meta might help. Afaik, currently, the accumulated meta rep is not visible anywhere.

The meta rep could be displayed

  • on a user's meta profile,
  • in the user info boxes of posts on meta,
  • possibly even on the main user profiles, perhaps like the flag weight or as the link text to the meta profile instead, that currently only says "meta user" (this could be kept as an HTML title tooltip).

As of now, there are the "Convention" and "Quorum" badges on the main site. These could be changed to or complemented by badges connected to a certain amount of meta rep.

Badges earned on meta could be displayed on the main profiles.

4

Problems with meta SX sites in general are that:

  • People don't know about its existence.
    3 links to meta is maybe not enough, but it's rather the other thing. People unfamiliar with meta may even avoid clicking such links, because not everyone is that curious. If there were some descriptive tooltips when you hover mouse on meta links, situation would improve a bit.
  • People want to have their problems solved, not debate over some details regarding how questions should be asked, answered, etc.
    It's what they think usually, but sometimes it can be "fixed". The thing is to lure them here more often, bringing meta name in comments with related meta-questions, to let them understand mistakes or good common practices (and why they are good).

If you're in megastore, you can find an inquiry desk. Like it or not, but TeX.SX is a kind of megastore and the point is to let people understand that meta is a kind of (specific) inquiry desk which helps you at being more efficient in buying/selling things obtaining desired/sharing sought information from/to other TeX.SX customers/salesmen members.

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