About a month ago I asked How should we handle questions about game completion time?.
There were two answers, which had fairly different approaches. One, which I proposed myself, was to close a lot of these questions as dupes of a more general "How can I find out how long a game is?" question which we'd create. The other, proposed by OrigamiRobot, was to close these as off-topic.
Currently it stands at 20 votes for mine versus 8 votes for OrigamiRobot. So my solution is in the lead, but does that actually mean anything? I don't know if that gives me license to go ahead and implement my solution.
My question here isn't specifically about the Game Completion Time issue. I'm just using that as an example of the more general issue with meta discussions like this. How do we know when something has been "discussed enough" that we've reached a decision about what to do? Should I just start VTC'ing those as dupes and trying to drum up support from 4 other people to close, and if we get the 5 votes, yay, we win? Should OrigamiRobot do the same thing with VTC'ing as off-topic? Are other people who disagree with both of us and think that status quo is fine just going to vote to reopen them?
This isn't the first time I've been confused about how discussions on meta actually drive site policy, and it probably won't be the last. In general, how do I know when it's okay to move forward on something? And what if the vote had been closer, like, say, 20 to 18 instead of 20 to 8?
Update: Per some discussion below which seemed to basically say, "Well, sounds like you have good support, so go ahead and do it", I went ahead and did it. End result: Lots of downvotes and eventually closed. Which makes it sound like either I should not have moved forward, or the process is simply that we must try and sometimes (often?) fail. Either way, it seems to prove the point that it's very hard to know if the result of a meta discussion should translate into an actual policy change.
I want to discuss a bit what seems to be actually happening, because I'm not sure whether or not it's the best overall policy.
Here is the general sequence of events that has occurred.
- Some issues from a certain class of question bugged me, so I raised the meta topic about it.
- The discussion a month later seemed to have stopped at ~20 votes for my solution, and ~8 for OrigamiRobot's solution.
- I didn't know how to move forward. I opened this meta question about how to move forward.
- Some users indicated they'd like to see mods take a more active role in shaping policy, but the mods would prefer this community handle it.
- Discussion in the comments leads me to believe that really the only way to move forward is to try it, and see what happens. I feel this is not a great approach for reasons I'll elaborate on below.
- I create the umbrella question. It doesn't prove terribly popular, initially getting a lot of negative votes, but eventually ending up slightly positive.
- It gets 5 close votes as NARQ.
- It gets 5 reopen votes and is reopened.
- Per yx.'s suggestion, I ask RavenDreamer to merge it with a pre-existing question that mostly covered the same ground.
- Yx. and I both cast votes to close other completion-time questions as dupes.
We are now at the point where a bunch of questions are sitting with two close votes. Maybe that will fizzle out and they won't be closed. Maybe they'll get 5 votes and end up closed. Maybe they'll all get 5 reopen votes after that and get reopened.
This is, essentially, the problem. It feels as if we're hashing this problem out via Close/Open votes. I feel this is a pretty poor way of deciding on an issue, but it seems to be the only avenue of approach that exists. I particularly dislike it because it has the side effect of appearing to indicate that only users with 3k+ reputation and the ability to cast close/reopen votes have opinions that actually matter. The votes in the original meta topic are in many ways meaningless, because if you don't have 3k rep to back up your opinion with close votes, it doesn't really have an effect on the actual outcome.
Is the only option we have duking it out on the main site with our close votes? At what point am I supposed to know I shouldn't pursue my issue further? At what point should opponents know that they shouldn't act against it further? Is there any other way we can reach a consensus?