Our MVP requirements include having a place for meta activity.
We know from our experience on SE that the Q&A format does not always fit meta needs well. Meta is by definition more discussion-oriented, and voting doesn’t necessarily mean much. Also, on SE most users don’t participate in meta; it’s another place you have to go and, even with the publicity of the community bulletin, most don’t seem to go there.
With all that in mind, I propose the following functionality:
- Meta is not a separate site but a flag on a post. “Meta post” here means posts that have this flag set.
- There is a post type of “discussion” that is modeled on the “question” post.
- Question posts may set the meta flag. Discussion posts must set the meta flag, barring a strong argument to the contrary. Discussion posts are an affordance for meta, not an invitation to turn Q&A into Quora.
- On discussion posts, comments are visible by default – comments are more important in meta discussions than on main Q&A.
- Discussion posts have a way to record a resolution. (This might be something like a pinned answer. TBD.)
- Discussion posts with recorded outcomes are treated as resolved (closed? something else?).
- Meta posts are clearly visually different from questions; a casual observer can tell that it’s a meta post.
- During the first “reasonable amount of time” of a site’s existence (configurable), meta posts are displayed on the main site alongside regular questions. I expect this to be controversial. My reasoning is that these are formative times for a community and we want to increase engagement. After this time passes, meta posts are not mingled with main Q&A.
- At all times, users can easily see just the meta posts or just the main Q&A posts.
- Meta posts have tags, which do not mingle with main-site tags.
- Meta posts do not contribute to any reputation score we might display, but meta activity is shown on user profiles and could contribute to privileges in ways TBD.