I created a chat room as an experiment to help people get game recommendations.

Let's see how it goes.

Opinions are welcomed.

Please remember you need 20 reputation to talk in our chat channels.

  • Having a place to direct people is very nice. Right now we should all be aware that it requires 200 rep to be able to use. – tzenes Sep 1 '10 at 18:00
  • 20 rep on Meta.stackoverflow.com @tzenes – Ivo Flipse Sep 1 '10 at 18:02
  • 200 Rep on gaming.se = 100 rep on meta – tzenes Sep 1 '10 at 18:03
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    It's 20 meta.so rep to post, 0 to read ("access") – McKay Sep 1 '10 at 18:04
  • RE: whenever it's available: if Jeff's hopes from last month ring true, then we should actually be getting something early this month. – Grace Note Sep 1 '10 at 18:08
  • @McKay I'm not sure how you plan to use a game-rec channel to get a recommendation if you can't post to it... – tzenes Sep 1 '10 at 18:08
  • @tzenes Over the years I've had no shortage of recommendations fall into my lap (and eventually drain my purse) without me ever saying a word. You might not get to voice your specific needs, but consider that a room dedicated to recommendations is going to already be bristling with numerous options by the time you open the door. – Grace Note Sep 1 '10 at 18:18
  • @Grace, I have no idea what you just said – juan Sep 1 '10 at 18:24
  • @Juan she's saying that its hard to be heard in a noisy room. I don't see this so much as a bug as a feature. When I join game-rec there are already recommendations in progress. I can get what I want without ever having to open my mouth, and possibly on a topic or genre I hadn't even considered. To me this is a good thing and should not be deterred. Now, if you really care about a certain recommendation, then I would suggest that if you wait long enough you'll get your chance. – tzenes Sep 2 '10 at 6:53
  • @tzenes then it appears as if you've answered your own question to me. – McKay Sep 2 '10 at 14:31
  • @McKay you'll notice I put in a part there about caring about CERTAIN recommendations. Without the ability to post how do you propose users handle that? – tzenes Sep 3 '10 at 0:36
  • @tzenes I am seemingly unable to qualify for that 100 reputation bonus because I already had a meta.so account. – sequentiallee Sep 3 '10 at 2:33
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    @Call go to your meta account and disconnect the two account. Log out and back in, then reconnect them. This should award you the bonus reputation. Note though, that it may take time for chat to reflect this change. – tzenes Sep 3 '10 at 4:56
  • Off topic, but related to the chat: In Windows, accents that use rich text editors (which sadly doesn't include web browsers) support special ctrl codes to produce accented letters. For example, ctrl+' then e would print é. – user2974 Sep 9 '10 at 14:37

I don't like this idea.

Chat rooms not only get a lot less visibility than the main site, they are also very temporal - if you weren't there and don't check the transcripts for the exact moment a question was raised, you won't see it. And starring is a poor replacement for voting, in my opinion.

Not to mention that if you do find something in the transcripts, how are you going to respond to the user? Just using the @ mechanism in a new sentence? It is horrible.

So in general I think chat-rooms are bad for asking questions that are meant to address the whole site - [game-rec] or not. They are good if you want to discuss something (although, again, it's just with the users currently there) or if you want to ask a specific user something.

  • I agree it's not perfect, but without it, it won't be possible to address the game-rec problem IMO -- but as I said many times before, it's an experiment. – juan Sep 9 '10 at 17:36
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    Honestly speaking, does a recommendation really need to be more than a temporary point? If I get a good recommendation (or a set of them), then I'm going to be busied for quite some time and will not bother with checking out new updates to my old rec. It's also going to be more likely to be personal in this method, allowing me to get a much better answer than trying something that will "help everyone". Likewise, while I am asking for the recommendation, it will be much easier for users to address my needs if we can discuss it back-and-forth - something which the comment system is horrible at. – Grace Note Sep 9 '10 at 17:38
  • I don't find voting useful, one because it is a bloating overload of the SE system and two because numbers are meaningless in a rec if the people don't share your taste! We have even had one question where someone explicitly stated that they have been continually disappointed by the recommendations provided by rating sites. Direct discussion helps more because it allows us to address that individual's need much better without worrying about the overhead. This is the solution which helps us truly find what that one user wants, and not what a question may merely ask. – Grace Note Sep 9 '10 at 17:48
  • @Grace as I've said before, in my eyes recommendations are more about knowledge than opinion. Higher visibility is more important (again, to me) than being able to discuss anything back-and-forth. Also, I think that many types of questions can enjoy any "back-and-forth" mechanism, it does not mean they should be limited to a chat room. – Oak Sep 9 '10 at 17:50
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    I don't deny there is knowledge in recommendations - I have made it very clear that I respect people who are experts at building repositories. But there is a scale issue that makes it difficult for us to reasonably host repositories in the parent site within the same space that we house the rest of our authoritative Q&A. This is especially the case if we want to actually maintain an image of being authoritative and reflect it with how we handle repositories. – Grace Note Sep 9 '10 at 17:56
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    I can go on, but the full discourse of the scale problem is large and unsuited to fit in comments. But to summarize, if we want to be a successful site that people will recognize as a true source of knowledge, then we have to make a choice. We can't have this competition for visibility between recommendations and problems. The process of authoritatively addressing either one will cause the other to languish. And rather than let it dissolve to nothingness, why not section off a space of chat to give a measure of help to that languishing member? – Grace Note Sep 9 '10 at 18:27
  • @Grace but if anything, chat is a lot less appropriate than the main site, as I've tried to explain in my answer. It's completely inadequate. And I really don't think [game-rec]s would unhealthily compete with other questions. There are other types of questions that are wide and general as well, should they be excluded from the main site too? – Oak Sep 9 '10 at 21:45
  • To the same extent that we have had disgruntled users leave because of the people who oppose game recommendations, we have also had users turn away from the site due to the large presence of game recommendations competing against the problem solving and fact finding questions that the rest of our on-topic question base is comprised of. So, actually, we already have proof that there is unhealthy competition. This is only going to increase if we actually start moving towards doing recommendations properly - unless we want to settle for inadequately supporting them. Which I find a waste of effort – Grace Note Sep 9 '10 at 23:06
  • Transcripts are permanent and searchable. – badp Sep 13 '10 at 17:48

We could have a question on the site like

"I need a game recommendation, where should I go?"

and just try to tag it heavily enough that it will come up in the "Related questions" for somebody creating a new question.

Hopefully that will start to get the word out.

I myself had no idea of the chat room and today was the first time I had seen mention of it, and i had to post a question that got voted closed to find out about it. I don't think that's the kind of experience we want a new user to have.

  • I added a system message on the parent site, let me know what you think about it – juan Sep 9 '10 at 14:43
  • Sweet, but wouldn't we want it to point to the chat room, instead of here? – jblaske Sep 9 '10 at 14:45
  • I wanted to kill 2 birds with one stone, and also redirect users to meta, where they can find other interesting topics about the site... have you seen this by the way? – juan Sep 9 '10 at 14:49
  • I think that if we update the question to include some general introduction about the chat system (the comments by tzenes, Ivo, and McKay most importantly), then this serves as a good launchpad. Otherwise, the users might be a bit confused. – Grace Note Sep 9 '10 at 14:49
  • @Grace, feel free to modify it as you see fit – juan Sep 9 '10 at 14:50
  • @Juan I was going to, but one quick check: can anonymous users read the chat or is an account on MSO required for reading? – Grace Note Sep 9 '10 at 14:59
  • @Grace, a meta account is required for reading, 20 rep for chatting (it can be clarified in the post... it's an alpha stage experiment after all) – juan Sep 9 '10 at 15:14
  • @Juan Done! When we get our own chat, then we'll just update everything to point at our own chat and update the instructions accordingly. – Grace Note Sep 9 '10 at 15:33
  • @Grace does this mean there is a question on the parent site that i can go upvote and favorite now? – jblaske Sep 9 '10 at 15:37
  • No, I was editing the question here. The hopeful intent is that the system message will work. If this test proves successful and we make this an official tool for the site, then I think we will also update the FAQ and possibly the sidebar. The related questions for asking, unfortunately, has proven to be fairly ineffective at being noticed. – Grace Note Sep 9 '10 at 15:46
  • To that note, @Juan, shall I add the chatroom to the FAQ? – Grace Note Sep 9 '10 at 15:46
  • @Grace, I forgot we could update it -- if you want to, but since we're experimenting I'd wait to see if it works. I leave it to your judgment, more visibility can't hurt. – juan Sep 9 '10 at 15:54
  • @Juan I feel that it is a simple matter - if this chat room is a success, then we will want it on the FAQ. If the chat room isn't a success, we can remove it very easily. During testing, it will prove useful as something we can at least point to, so that people will see it when they find the site. I have now added the passage. – Grace Note Sep 9 '10 at 16:18
  • @Grace Well played ;) – juan Sep 9 '10 at 16:37

I like this idea, as I have quite a few questions that fall under the game-recommendations tag.

My question-answer to this question would be if it is somehow possible to make it more visible in the gaming.stackexchange main page? I get the feeling that it isn't very often visited because people don't exactly know about it.

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    We can use the notification bar, but I'd rather do that when we get our own chat -- the one on meta.so is an experiment of sorts as of now, and not really official. – juan Sep 7 '10 at 13:08
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    @Juan: but if we are currently experimenting, shouldn't we try to ensure that as many possible users get to try it out and generate feedback? i would imagine it would be a simple fix to switch the link and make a post on meta notifying everybody of the change... – the_e Sep 7 '10 at 13:50
  • I believe experimentation is better done in a controlled environment, and that means having a few users only to start with -- just like the team rolls out features, they do it, and they don't tell you for a few days to test it only on people that find it. No need to rush it IMO. – juan Sep 7 '10 at 14:28
  • I suppose that is within the realm of the moderators. My assumption was based on an open beta vs. a closed beta type system ;) – the_e Sep 7 '10 at 14:41
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    @Juan No offense to the tourney, but I think actually this chat room would be far more useful to link in our system message. Even if it's on the Meta Stack Overflow chat currently, this gives us something to do besides just blindly turning people away from the site. – Grace Note Sep 9 '10 at 14:33
  • @Grace, I just added it (before seeing your comment), you know what they say about great minds... – juan Sep 9 '10 at 14:44
  • @Juan Well played. I see what you did in there. Good luck in being our first user to get that elusive new badge! – Grace Note Sep 9 '10 at 14:54
  • Thanks guys....I think that is the perfect location for it! – the_e Sep 13 '10 at 8:55

I think it would be nice if it could get some dedicated treatment on the Ask a question page. Either a permanent location in the sidebar, or as an alert of some srot when someone tries to tag something as game-rec.

  • Permanent location in the sidebar, a la Stack Overflow's direction to Meta, would be not a bad idea. Tag alert is a bad idea - time has proven quite clearly that not everyone is going to tag their question properly when asking for a game recommendation, so it wouldn't be a useful expenditure of development. – Grace Note Sep 9 '10 at 15:12

I would love to make it more obvious to users. If you have any ideas, post them as suggestions in the Meta thread I just linked. – Grace Note


What kind of questions should I not ask here?

If your question is about …

  • Thank you, just FYI, we cannot edit that part of the FAQ, just the top part, and Grace already added info there -- what do you think about it? – juan Sep 9 '10 at 21:43

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