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12:46 AM
Anyone have any ideas on what to change the room's description to? "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" is getting old. Off the top of my head, how about "Chat room for writers to procrastinate in"?
If you change the tagline, you'll have to change the name of the room
@JedOliver - I added the thing about pinging a mod a while back, and didn't have to change the name of the room.
Or do you mean the name HAS to be changed because it's terrible?
Or because Jack has THE SHINING?
Or was it Jack's son?
I like "The Overlook Hotel" a lot. Did the community decide on this, or did someone just change it for the hell of it?
Red Rum! Red Rum!
Any way of getting a screencap of that in the chat sidebar?
If you change the tagline, change the room name. Otherwise NOBODY will get the Overlook Hotel reference
How about the Writer's Bloc?
1:00 AM
We could use a series of fictional hotels.
"The Wastepaper Basket"
I don't know about fictional hotels
How about a movie
It seemed like a good idea, but now I can't think of any.
Stranger than Fiction? Misery?
The Shining is a movie.
Yes, yes it is.
1:04 AM
I like "Stranger than Fiction"
It works on multiple levels
"Stranger than Fiction" with the tagline "Ignore the disembodied voice narrating your life. Writers.SE general chat."
@Standback, @justkt, any objections? @NathanCTresch ? (He's actually the room owner.)
yeah. I got that.
2 hours later…
3:25 AM
Hello, @NathanCTresch!
12 hours later…
3:00 PM
I like The Overlook and the tagline; I vote not to change either.
@LadybugKiller There, I read Alex's question and answered it in detail. Happy? :)
@NeilFein or @Standback : any idea why I have 81 edits but haven't yet gotten the Strunk & White badge?
Q: Is the opening of this story intriguing, "dark" and smooth?

alexchencoDisclaimer: I'm not an Native English Speaker. This is my fifth attempt of writing a short story (the previous ones are set in the same "universe" as this one). I would like to know if the reader would feel intrigued by this opening. I also wonder if he would feel that it has a "dark" atmosphe...

@NeilFein Provided the current guidelines, should we be encouraging critique posts to host their WIP offsite and provide a link to it?
3:30 PM
@LaurenIpsum: Congrats on hitting 81 :D A lot of badges take a while (hours or days) to register; they're not calculated "in real time".
2 hours later…
5:01 PM
@JedOliver - That's a good question. I was thinking that we can just make this information available to people and make sure they're aware of the issues. What they do with their text is up to them. The reason we got into such detail about one site's hosting situation is that it's this site.
But that's my opinion as a user, and perhaps we need more input on this.
@LaurenIpsum - Understood.
I've gotten additional feedback on the room's tagline from the disembodied voice narrating my life.
I highly doubt there would be a legalistic issue in any case but I (hesitantly) agree with you. The information on safeguarding your intellectual property is there for all to see and you can ignore the guidelines at your own peril.
But I think the way you handled your blog post from last week is probably the best use of Writers.SE as a forum for critique and, IMHO, should be used as the preeminent example on how to utilize this forum when seeking feedback on a WiP.
5:21 PM
@JedOliver - Then maybe we should put in the guidelines that having stuff critiqued on chat is also a real option, and probably a better one for general critique. (I got a ton of good feedback here, too.)
I would. But I'm not a mod. I would ask the other oligarchs and see what they say.
5:33 PM
@JedOliver - Maybe so, but you are a user whose opinion I respect.
Have edited some text on chatroom critiques into the guidelines on critiques. Any thoughts on how to make it easier to find it in this wall of text is appreciated. (It's a CW post on meta, anyone can edit it.)
@Standback @justkt - FYI, added more to the guidelines. If we can make those shorter or easier to read, that'd be awesome.
6:22 PM
Q: How to leverage social proof?

dukeofgamingHow can one use social proof as an argument without sounding like "just because everybody is doing it so should you"? I'm writing a whitepaper regarding best-practices and new tools in the industry of software engineering. There are certain controversial topics like DVCS and TDD that do work, bu...

What do you all think? This is kind of a what-to-write question, but not exclusively so.
It's an interesting problem, but I suspect it may not get good answers as it is.
1 hour later…
7:47 PM
@NeilFein Edited it could be a useful question on argumentative/persuasive writing that uses the peripheral (emotional) route as opposed to the central (logical) route. As it sits, it's too broadly subjective to elicit an effective response.
There's potentially a great question here on the proper use of positive peer pressure in an argumentative setting. But if the OP doesn't edit it to that effect ... it could be a while before it gets a good response
Something along the lines of "What are the advantages/drawbacks of using social proof as part of a convincing argument?" could work
@JedOliver - You wanna submit that as an edit? I'll approve it.
Sure. I could use the 2 rep points. :)
8:09 PM
Ok. that was weird. The OP edited it as I was editing it. Looks like he followed your suggestion an expounded on his example.
What's a CVCS?
curriculum vitae cover sheet?
(made that up. like it.)
I think it's something version control system?
Not actually sure this is more clear, still reading.
I didn't say it was clear. it's just longer
At least I have a general idea where the Duke is coming from now.
So, hold on, OP wants to know how to leverage the behavior of others as an example of good behavior (which is what a social proof is) while not sounding like that's what he's doing?
Sounds like he wants to obfuscate his methods in the writing. Or am I missing the point?
It's hard to help this guy make the question better when I'm not a coder or a tech writer. I worry there's stuff that'll be clear to other coders/techies but that I'm missing.
8:23 PM
greetings, I come from programmers
CVCS stands for Centralized Version Control System
Welcome to writers
Indeed! As I said, it's hard for me to judge the question, not being a tech writer or coder myself. I don't want to dumb it down to baby-talk.
So when you say "how to use social proof as an argument without sounding like "just because everybody is doing it so should you"?" can you expand on that here?
@NeilFein Well, right know the whole thing is pretty "obfuscated" (sorry, @Duke)
no worries, I enjoy criticism (specially the harsh one)
I updated the question with some context on what all this (C|D)VCS shenanigan is, as clear as I could [please let me know if it is clear enough]
8:38 PM
There are fans of technical writing around who might be able to help with this but it might be a while before there's an entirely helpful answer.
Saw that. That's helpful.
Added this to come back to the point: P.S.: Sorry for the wall of text, the main point of all of this question (so it doesn't get lost) is how to try to demonstrate with social proof that trendy tools/techniques are not necessarily cargo cult.
It seems that the advantages of DVCS are self-evident. Why is CVCS the currently accepted norm? What is the advantage of CVCS? Is it just a legacy procedure (that's just the way we do things around here...)?
Well, that puzzles me too, haha... they are self-evident to those that have experienced them
And to some degree, yes, they could be considered legacy systems
Thing is, the enterprise world moves at a slower pace technologically, as they have to move on solid ground
Today, DVCSs are solid ground... but there are commercial solutions such as Perforce that have big marketing spending
the best two DVCs around are open-source
and there are lots of myths still around open source software
...I could go on and on
(Perforce is a CVCS)
@dukeofgaming - nice edit. You're right, it is a bit of a wall of text now, but if you knew how to express this concisely and quickly... then you wouldn't be having a problem, would you? This is probably as good as we can get it for now.
going back to the point
8:52 PM
I agree with Jed, we may not get answers quickly - we're trying to build up our tech-writing community here.
In general (not just for this question) any thoughts on where we can publicize links to questions like these?
I don't want to just drop links into the SO or Programmers chat room every single time we get one of these.
Personally, as a technical person I find writers appealing since I'm not expecting to find technical people... we geeks have trouble talking to non-technical people
specially since technical problems/solutions need to be presented to them
this paper I'm writing is also for managers to read
so I can add as much coherent technobabble I could and convince most fellow geeks, but management (who is focus on product, customer and process) can see technological advancement as a nice way to halt business
as you could infer, a DVCS could actually speed up business
and, again, I'd say the evidence is in adoption: "others have done it succesfully, you should too!"
Does saying you're writing a whitepaper make it clear that your audience is non-techies?
It's actually a mix in my case
it will be read by techies, and directors/managers have engineering background, but probably some of them haven't been in the trenches too lately
I always like to think that if technical stuff is well explained, it should be able to be understood by non-techies
(I actually have a whole section in the paper explaining what version control is, I even have some diagrams with pretty colors)
Well, I hope we get some answers soon. If the answerers seem clear on the problem, we'll know the question is clear.
Gotta bail and get back to work. Later!
9:07 PM
I really didn't want to get into the technical part of my writing problem, if I think about a simpler way to put the main question on my way home I might just leave the wall of text as an annex to my question
thanks for the attention =)
3 hours later…
11:45 PM
If I could just add this to my IRC client it would be SO much easier

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