Thing is, I moderate meta, I read every single post on meta. I do not want that to change. I do not want a “sub community” in meta I avoid regularly.
I understand your concerns Sam (hence suggesting a trial first).
The category would be ‘General Discourse Chat’ so the topics would need to be about Discourse and of course if you think some are not suitable they can just be removed.
Also it is totally ok for you not to read everything on the forum, especially if posted in a section such as the one proposed. That’s why we have mods
Having said all that, I’m totally ok with what you prefer, but I really do think it would be a good idea not just for the community here, but because I guess you use Meta and the activity here to help define features and the direction of the software - and adding this community element would benefit the ‘community’ side of Discourse as platform too.
In this case I am going to side with Sam - the Discourse team are the mods here, there isn’t really anyone else. So if they don’t want to deal with moderating a General chat category, there aren’t any more mods who can.
Guys, here is work. Is a place to talk about Discourse code, send PRs, fix bugs, create features.
I’m not a fan of introducing an “idle chit chat” category here, but I do think something may be missing - a place where the community is exchanging more ideas about how best to use discourse to build a community of engaged users.
Some of these end up in the “support” category, but they can get lost in the mix of “hey, I’m having a problem with the software here, help”.
community-management tag. Maybe it’s too specific for some of the topics we have in mind?
I think we should try to:
- Better describe what the missing category is and what kinds of topics belong there.
- Come up with a tag we think covers that in a nutshell
- Make an effort to tag new and existing articles appropriately
Then we can circle back to the question of whether there is really a missing category.
Or just create the General Discourse Chat section and from the topics posted in that see if a different approach is needed. But truthfully (and at the risk of repeating myself) I think we just need a General Discourse Chat section - I don’t think a tag (or even a number of tags) would be sufficient because in order to tag things they first need a complementary parent category (which is missing in this case).
Another solution would be to rename uncategorised as ‘Everything Else’ (would not be my first choice though).
At SitePoint - a web dev forum - we have a Community category (nee General Discussion, nee General Chat)
It is more “relaxed” in that posts can be off-topic, short, humorous etc.
There have been discussions about eliminating it in the past precisely because of low quality posts and increased moderation burden.
It was decided that having a Community category has at least two “Pros”
- a place where the newbies can “dip their toes in”
- a place were established members can “take a break”
Many, if not most, if not all of our longest running topics are in the Community category.
BUT, as said, it all depends on what kind of forum the Admin(s) want it to be.
Does Discourse meta need topics like
"what did you eat for lunch?"
"post a funny picture"
Although most topics here are “on-topic” I don’t get the impression that all posts must be strictly serious and business only.
Nor do I feel that members can’t get a feeling of “belonging” or “knowing others” (albeit with the limits imposed by text-only interaction) without there being a “hang out” category.
I’m not suggesting an Off-topic category for discussions about things not relating to Discourse - I agree that for this site, that would be too much of a burden for the mods/admin and could prove problematic (politics/religion etc).
I think we just need somewhere to talk about Discourse related stuff that while might be a bit lighter hearted, is still very much on topic for the site