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Air
12:01 AM
@HDE226868 I've been thinking about topic challenges recently - was tempted to start one for National Engineers Week, so this ties in nicely with the above.
But there's a chicken-and-egg problem. I watched Community Building's topic challenges and didn't see much of a bump. I think we may want to drum up visits/day first, then use challenges to translate that into questions/day.
To wit: WB has almost 3k visits.
 
12:21 AM
@Air On WB it's boosted the question rate for that tag, and, perhaps, as a whole. But, yes, it's already a very popular site. And we need visits for more participation.
 
 
1 hour later…
1:35 AM
@Air I'm thinking that we might need a year to get a good number of questions on the site to show to other engineers. Unless you are saying that the site might not be around in a year.... ;P
@Air @HDE226868 Have you seen that topic challenges bring more good questions to the site than bad questions?
 
user41796
1:48 AM
@NickAlexeev I think it's within scope, yes. A little bit of demonstrated research would likely carry that one a long way.
 
user41796
@Air Tends to work better with a larger user base where you can use the contest to spur a bit more activity with the hope that it leads towards sustained activity.
 
user41796
@hazzey Nah, we'll still be around in a year. All of the indicators so far are positive. No predictions though regarding graduation as we've got a long way to go until we hit 3k questions.
 
@GlenH7 Do you really think that adding a locale to this question will make it better? Won't that just invite legal case studies?
 
user41796
@hazzey - was my comment on your liability question clear? Essentially, all you need to do is provide a jurisdiction (aka UK, US, Australia, etc...) and then flag for mod attention. And of us will then immediately re-open it. And if you don't care to do so, then that's okay too.
 
great timing....
 
user41796
1:54 AM
ha! jynx
 
I like some of the answers as they are. And adding a location won't really change what they said.
 
user41796
"We three mods" chatted and came to the agreement that based upon the community consensus on the meta question that the only thing lacking to re-open your question was a jurisdiction. And while we could guess based upon your profile, the preference was if you did it
 
user41796
It's not that it makes it "better" but rather that the scope is narrowed, if that makes sense. Narrowing scope can be considered as better in this case too.
 
Ok. I'll make the change and raise the flag.
 
user41796
Perfect, thanks.
 
user41796
1:58 AM
The community was pretty clear that it feels that it can handle questions of that nature, so that's what we're going to roll with until circumstances dictate otherwise.
 
We still have plenty of time to see how those questions go, or if they even get asked much.
 
user41796
My personal comments in chat may have been to the contrary, but that doesn't really matter in this case. My job as mod is to enforce the community standard.
 
user41796
TTFN, real life calls. :-)
 
Chatroom: I have seen a few questions try to use the tag where the meaning is "strengthening". As a structural engineer, "reinforcing" has a very specific meaning, e.g. "rebar in concrete". I can see how it would be found be people just looking for "strengthening" though. Is this something that can be easily differentiated?
I'm not wanting to "claim" a tag as meaning only one thing. I just want to see if there is a way to make the two meaning different.
 
2:57 AM
I am soooo being nerd-sniped by the building vortex question. I am muddling my way though 2D CFD simulations to solve it!
 
Eh up chaps - just noticed someone upvoted me 10 times yesterday and then today it said serial voting reversed... never seen that before. Is it possible to see who it was, or otherwise what happened?
 
I don't think that anyone can see who voted. Even mods. At least that seems to be what I saw somewhere.
 
oh.. did anyone else have similar issues? I haven't logged in for a few days.
 
3:12 AM
No, I just saw it on a meta.stackexchange question.
 
They were all upvotes, so perhaps a new user just got over-enthusiastic or something... but I wonder if it happened to anyone else yesterday too?
 
Or someone trying to get one of the badges that "reward" you for voting 30 or 40 times a day. Those badges just seem to be begging for abuse.
 
weird thing was, it only subtracted 50 of the rep points instead of all 100 - so maybe it keeps the first 5 votes, or maybe it was just random that other people also happened to upvote some of my answers on the same day (looking at my rep history it's been low recently while I haven't been very active on the site).
oh yeah, never thought of that... though aren't they for voting on close votes and things like that? I don't pay too much attention to badges
@GlenH7 how's the modding going lately? And how come you haven't overtaken me yet on rep? I've not been very active here lately... ran out of questions and couldn't answer any more as they seem to be getting harder for 'real' engineers :D
I should put some more effort in as we'll need some 'users with over 3k' at some point
 
I'm trying my best to get to 2k, but that may take weeks. I'm a slight bit impatient.
 
3:48 AM
@hazzey I have to go, but mods can see some voting stats that might be helpful here. @Air @TrevorArchibald @GlenH7 You might want to play around with some of the tools to help you.
 
@hazzey well the best way is asking good questions and writing good answers! Actually now is probably a really good time to build quick rep if you want to do that... because there are quite a few people now using the site, but not too many that your new questions/answers will go un-noticed.
When the site started in private beta I tried to write one question and answer per day, but I very quickly lost steam and couldn't keep it up
The other thing is of course consistency, as in keeping to do that every day. You actually look like you're doing pretty well at that... ave. 50-odd rep per day is very good I think.
 
I got a late start. I didn't do anything in the private beta; I just started in the public.
 
Well I just want the site to exist long-term, so trying to make sure it works out! Looks like we're about 100 questions short of the 10-per-day expected of a good beta.
Seems like we had a good start but then hit a plateau and questions now just rolling in fairly slowly :/
 
4:03 AM
I assume that will ramp up. I haven't been involved in other betas, but I can see engineering being somewhat different than the other ones. (I'm sure that they all said that too!)
 
I hope it does ramp up yeah.
 
Me to. I can see this site being a lot more useful than some of the other sites that have engineering questions.
 
Air
@jhabbott Looking into it.
 
@hazzey I think until/unless we develop a larger community of civil/structural folks, we might have to let reinforcing go as a synonym of strengthening. Would reinforcing be a commonly useful tag anyway, or would those questions be better tagged "reinforced-concrete" or something like that?
 
@Air cheers - I'm a bit stumped tbh as to why someone would spam-upvote (if it was someone trying to destroy things as internet peeps often do, surely they would downvote) so all I can think is that someone just got over-enthusiastic... but If that's the case I'd expect others would also have the same issue.
it's not a massive issue anyhow, the automated system seems to have caught whatever it was that was going on.
 
Air
4:17 AM
There's a good chance someone really liked one of your answers and then went reading through your profile and voting on a bunch more
 
@Ethan48 I would be happy to use something like "rebar". But without an easy way for the questioner to find the tag, it might not get used.
 
@hazzey Yeah, although I think it might be easier to get folks who mean rebar to use that tag than to get people who mean strengthening to not use reinforcing.
 
There will probably be quite a lot of rebar/concrete questions I'd imagine since it's such a big subject-area, certainly worth a good broad tag and a few synonyms to point at it.
 
Air
4:48 AM
@jhabbott It looks like the history of the reversed votes was wiped when the votes were wiped.
It could just be that I'm a noob with moderator tools, but there is a tool we use to track suspicious voting patterns and it is completely empty; I'm guessing because the automated script caught the pattern already. If I had looked yesterday, I might have seen it.
By the way, the fast start and then slow down period happens in almost every beta. Don't worry about it, it's perfectly normal. Our stats are fine, and they are less meaningful than Area 51 implies—Area 51 is incredibly obsolete.
 
well I didn't get many votes for a while then all of a sudden I got 10 yesterday and 6 of those reversed today. So perhaps the other four were a random coincidence, or maybe the algorithm allows the first 4 (or something) before kicking in and deleting the others.
ahh ok - good to know that... still looking at it makes one feel somewhat that more work is needed.
 
Air
As far as high-rep users, we are almost on pace for the Area 51 "targets" by 90 days. I did the numbers earlier today.
And there is no deadline. Code Review has been in beta for over 4 years and is in the queue to graduate. If we take a long time to ramp up, so be it. As long as we keep focused on quality, we'll get there.
 
oh - I thought at 90 days they decide if it's too crap they kill it, or if it's doing ok they leave it another 90 days, then if it's doing well they promote it
 
Air
But I will take this opportunity to re-pimp the Twitter account and suggest sharing interesting stuff there, or to LinkedIn or Facebook.
 
Oh that's great- I didn't know we had that!
 
Air
4:56 AM
I had pinned something about it in chat over the weekend but took off the pin when I featured the Meta post
Unlike some of the other SE Twitter accounts I am currently running it manually, in the hopes that it will be more attractive to follow if it's not just a glorified RSS feed
(Well, all the mods have access to it, so it's not necessarily me behind each tweet.)
 
yeah great plan
 
Air
If you find cool engineering related stuff feel free to @send it to us to retweet.
I'm sending the odd item over that I see on my personal feed.
We'll see how it goes.
 
5:25 AM
Hopefully the twitter will make it much easier to refer hackspaces and their members :)
I just tweeted my local hackspace to check it out.
Also to target special-interest-groups with specific questions.
 
 
10 hours later…
user41796
3:47 PM
@jhabbott Only SE employees can dig into who actually did the voting. Most times it's not worth their trouble. What was odd to me was the ~10 up votes in a very short period of time but not all rolled back.
 
user41796
5:12 PM
I checked into things a bit more - had all of the votes come from the same person then all of them would have rolled back. Now we know why you continue to outpace me in the repz racez. :-)
 
9:01 PM
haha.. yes I'm sure we both care massively about who has more rep
 
Air
Mommy, daddy, stop fighting! D: D: D:
 
@Air did you see on twitter I tweeted my local hackspace and they re-tweeted, so hopefully some new members will come from that.
 
user41796
@jhabbott You have no idea how late into the night I lay awake worrying about repz
 
sorry was confused there for a minute, thought you were on about twitter
tweet more stuff - special-interest-group type stuff with an existing hashtag if possible
 
user41796
9:17 PM
@jhabbott My comment was in reference to repz. If you hover your mouse over the comment, you'll see the reference comment highlighted
 
user41796
There. I fixed it anyway. :-)
 
oh - see that's why you're a mod. I never even realised you can reply to specific comments. I just type stuff in the box at the bottom and press enter. Mouse over my comments to see a total lack of context :D
 
user41796
Yeah, the only oddity is if you just an @ someone then it will sometimes link to their immediately prior comment even though it may not have been related to what was being discussed
 
user41796
So @jhabbott should link to your comment about me being a mod
 
yeah. although not a fail as it was actually relating to that.
 
user41796
9:21 PM
@jhabbott But clicking on the little arrow to right hand side of the chat comment puts some the chat message ID in the comment field and allows you to reply to something specific like this
 
ahh, I can flag you to yourself, nice
 
user41796
Yes
 
user41796
be forewarned that all mods in all chat rooms see those flags
 
I just used the tweet-link thing, so can I see some stats how many people click through it?
 
user41796
so if you choose to flag something as offensive or with a custom mod message, every mod in chat will see it. 10k+ users will see offensive flags too
 
9:24 PM
yarp
 
user41796
@jhabbott I'm not sure. I can ask around. I'm pretty ignorant about tracking stuff from tweets as I don't use twitter all that much.
 
yeah.. I often feel too old these days... like when I was a kid I could program the VCR and my parents couldn't... now I feel like they must have when I see hashtags and tweets and vines and all that malarkey. I see some good/valid uses, but most people seem to use it for banal crap and I don't really 'get' it.
 
user41796
I think the difference between then and now is that I understand it, I could use it if I chose. But I don't see the value in it. Twitter just isn't a quality enough source of information for me. I use facebook if I want to find out what my more distant friends are doing. I use websites and RSS feeds for things I want to keep track of. Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, and the ilk all have too poor of a signal-to-noise ratio. Too much effort to sift through it.
 
9:49 PM
I quite like twitter as a basic user, I follow some things and get to see some interesting news stories (I don't read papers or magazines and don't have TV either). But it's all the weird conventions that bamboozle me - like favouriting things to me means to bookmark it in case I want to refer back to it, but people don't seem to use it like that at all
 
user41796
I'd love to be able to tell you what common usage is, but for obvious reasons, I can't. :-)
 
yeah, I'm gonna have to figure it out to do some marketing at some point. I remember reading a twitter guide once that explained re-tweeting and hashtags and all the basics, but that was like 3 years ago or something and it all seems to have changed now
like sometimes they do .@someone instead of just @someone - no idea what that means, or sometimes it starts with RT or sometimes it's quoted and says "via @someone" at the end, and sometimes it has MT or PT or something at the beginning. gah.
 
10:23 PM
Regarding this question: engineering.stackexchange.com/questions/1825/… - surely it's asking how long is a piece of string? I would have voted to close but there seem to be some serious answers.
 
10:56 PM
@jhabbott I don't really understand that one.
Does anyone remember the name of an experimental plane - like a 737, but a bit different; more like a small Airbus model - that had engines mounted on top of the wings? It was purely experimental, and I think the name starts with a C. It's some acronym.
Oh, and it was not a supersonic aircraft.
Never mind; got it: futuristicnews.com/…
AMELIA, as it turns out.
 
Yeah me either... ahh well
Meh - I voted to close anyway as I don't like it. Guess we'll see if others agree or not.
 
Air
11:15 PM
@jhabbott I did notice that, and thanks—hopefully it's to our mutual benefit
I don't know what "MT" is for either.
I know back in "olden days" of Twitter, there was extremely little built-in functionality.
I think just @mention notifications, if even that... no hashtags, no retweets
So people would prefix the tweet with "RT @username:" to give attribution and a linkback for something they just copied verbatim
I recall the practice being a bit controversial, even when Twitter released it as built-in functionality
 
Ahh nice use of the reply thing! :D
@Air ^^
 
Air
:D
 
I'm such a noob. I know because my 16yo tells me all the time.
 
Air
As for the dot at the beginning, that's because Twitter sort-of hides tweets that start with @mentions from everyone but the author and target. It treats them as semi-private messages and assumes that nobody else cares about your conversation
People use .@mention when they want everyone to see the conversation in their regular feed.
It's just a hack/convention.
 
but all he does is watch anime and complain that his laptop is not powerful enough to handle the latest 3d graphics in games. So what does he know
 
Air
11:23 PM
Ha! Teenagers... can I put mine in a time capsule for those years?
 
@Air ahh - now that makes a lot of sense! I often wondered why when I do a tweet directly to someone (when it's not a 'reply' as such) then it gets hidden
 
Air
I figure around 13 or 14 I'm going to want to just shut my eyes and hold on for dear life
Best case scenario, for 2-3 years... worst case, 10+
 
@Air Such pessimism.
 
Air
@HDE226868 It's informed pessimism, though, from remembering myself as a teenager
 
Oh dear - it looks as if I'm in some legal trouble... I'd better go call saul
 
11:25 PM
@Air "Like father, like son"?
 
Air
@HDE226868 "The debilitating flatulence of the father is visited on the son"
 
Looks like I will end today with -15 rep! hah :D
 
I feel like I should make a Star Wars joke, but I can't find one.
 
Air
Oh, there's got to be a YouTube clip where someone put fart noises on some SW scenes
 
I'm at -2 for the day. First time<0. But I've had a good week, so I don't really care.
 
11:26 PM
@GlenH7 will be pleased
 
@Air I meant Anakin vs. Luke.
 
Air
^ Always worth rewatching
 
@Air Groans.
I really should rewatch the movies.
 
Air
I think my wife has only seen VI
And one or two of the mistakes
 
Seeing the mistakes kind of ruined a few scenes for me.
 

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