Update: The proposal in question has been implemented.

We recently had a discussion about the tag that raised some important issues, but did not result in a consensus. I'd like to pitch the following solution to the community.

Let's consolidate all celebration posts into one bumpable, meta question, similar to the thread for reopen requests.

These are several reasons that I want to propose this.

  • These posts are not questions, and they are all very similar. I know we allow other unconventional threads to be posted as questions, but this is very clearly a family of such posts. It would make sense to aggregate them into one place to be viewed all at once, like a .

  • Celebrations make more sense as answers than questions. Congratulations posts don't need to be answered. Sometimes those being recognized post an answer to say thanks, but it makes just as much sense to express this sentiment as a comment. Since comments can be upvoted, this presents no loss of visibility.

  • Bumping an answer list allows for continuous recognition of past achievements. Many users may not think to use the search to read through past celebrations, and even so, the interface is not as good as a list of answers. This way, every time a new celebration occurs, we not only get to celebrate the occasion at hand, but remember the reasons for past celebrations, too.

  • Shaking up tradition broadens the format to allow celebration of other cool achievements. Two months ago, Martin Sleziak opened this chat room as an experiment, and I think it's really great. The informality of the chat format has allowed a variety of "quirkier" achievements to be recognized, such as high "meta-rep" and crazy good editing. It's really cool to see these celebrations of individuality alongside those of pure numbers. However, the chat format has its problems. Discussion is intermingled with the list of results, which makes them more difficult to read. The visibility is inarguably lower, there's no voting to show appreciation, it's less accessible to newcomers, and, as demonstrated by the comments in this thread, some users just plain don't like to use chat. A consolidated celebrations thread would be allow us to adopt some of this flexibility, in addition being more unobtrusive to those who consider these posts off-topic. I do think we should still use this room- it's a great place to talk about data explorer, and a great platform to celebrate smaller achievements that are not big enough to warrant a meta post. But we need something else, too.

  • The main thing we'd lose would be having the name of the person being celebrated in the title of the question, which would then get less attention on the meta front page. One way we might compensate for this could be to change the accepted answer whenever a new celebration is posted, thus identifying the "incumbent celebration."

What do you think, community?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Re the last point: Or edit the title, "Congratulations thread, [whoever caused the last bump] edition". $\endgroup$ – Daniel Fischer Mod Nov 25 '14 at 11:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Re chat and "there's no voting to show appreciation" I do not get that at all. One can "star" a message, which seems as good as an upvote for the purpose at hand. The issue of downvotes (that seem somewhat unpleasant in that context) is gone. And starred messages can be found among the rest. To be clear, I do not argue against that thread, just this particular reason seems like a nonreason to me, since in fact for this purpose in my opinion there is a better suited form of voting in chat then here. $\endgroup$ – quid Mod Nov 25 '14 at 13:01
  • 14
    $\begingroup$ Let's just not have user specific congratulatory threads instead. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mod Nov 25 '14 at 13:49
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Agreeing with @AsafKaragila: let's just not. Simply downvote, close, and delete off-topic threads as they appear -- business as usual. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Nov 25 '14 at 15:13
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Asaf The issue is that not everyone thinks they are off topic. I do, but others' opinions matter. To me, this seems like a good compromise. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Gruber Mod Nov 25 '14 at 18:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Alexander, of course that I don't want to have another divisive issue on meta, there are plenty of serious issues to go around. And I do understand this sort of activity and why people do it. But just like we don't congratulate people on earning gold badges (or a particular number thereof), we shouldn't congratulate them on some reputation barrier. This community is very large as it is, and growing larger with each day. This means that eventually more and more people get to 100k in faster rates, which means that at some point the congratulation thread will be bumped all too often too. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mod Nov 25 '14 at 19:01
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Just rip this band-aid (or adhesive strip, if you prefer) now, and get it over with. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mod Nov 25 '14 at 19:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ We might see how good a compromise this idea is once we will have had the first discussion whether it was not a bad idea to replace that really noteworthy achievement in the title by a much less worthy one after so little time (and perhaps if this was not done for sinister motives). $\endgroup$ – quid Mod Nov 25 '14 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ @quid Well, we could just agree that the accepted answer denotes the most recent post, not the most important. Or we could just forget about the accepted answer / title change thing. That would be fine by me. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Gruber Mod Nov 26 '14 at 0:18
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    $\begingroup$ My comment is based on "title/accept is most recent." My point is: some things might be "headline" for a long time and some others only for 20 minutes. This could cause problems. Especially since everybody can generate "news" essentially as they see fit. So somebody could come along and "push away" somebody they do not like from the "headline" via posting something. Or somebody could suspect it happened. If at all, yes, I would strongly prefer no title changes or accept (except perhaps at a later point some overview answer could be generated and accept, but this could also be in the post). $\endgroup$ – quid Mod Nov 26 '14 at 7:18
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    $\begingroup$ Do these posts come up so often as to be actively cluttering up meta? It seems as though they're on the order of, say, one per month if that - as opposed to something like the reopen thread, which gets a new note every few days. I just don't see what problem this is trying to solve. $\endgroup$ – Steven Stadnicki Nov 29 '14 at 8:38
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    $\begingroup$ I think it is a nice tradition for the first $n$ people to hit some barrier. Then around $n$ threads need to be kept open and the barrier number updated as appropriate (assuming that, for the most part, the same $n$ people will be the ones hitting the thresholds). I don't find the threads bothersome in any way. $\endgroup$ – copper.hat Dec 1 '14 at 7:02

Personally, I find these posts not bad. However, if a somewhat complicated procedure should be needed to fit them in (edit the title, change the accpeted answer, and what not), then I would say the thing has run its course and it is better to stop that tradition, as oppose to continuing it in this rigid form.

Perhaps this is a pity for some (including me), but the alternative seems a lot worse to me, be it either the constant quibble about the posts or this rigid form that gets proposed here.


Update: The proposal in question has been implemented.

This is a good compromise and I think its score (presently 31) indicates a clear positive community response.

But I think the thread should be simple rather than complicated. In particular,

  • Don't try to have an accepted answer mean anything. This is not what accepting an answer means and this would be confusing.

  • Don't try to merge old congratulations threads with this new thread. Just use it for future congratulations.

  • Don't edit the title of the question. Leave it as something generic.

  • Don't argue about the details. Just make the thread and allow people to make answers congratulating specific users.

The point is that we don't want a rigid and complicated procedure; this is what quid's answer complains about:

if a somewhat complicated procedure should be needed to fit them in (edit the title, change the accpeted answer, and what not), then I would say the thing has run its course and it is better to stop that tradition, as oppose to continuing it in this rigid form.

The main problem with the current congratulations threads is that they are recurring, uninteresting, and a much bigger deal than they really should be. I would find it a bit sad to ban the sentiment of such posts altogether, but on the other hand, I think it is silly to keep congratulating people on this level (and the Hot Meta Posts list should be reserved for more important things). This proposal solves all these issues effectively.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Votes have many rationals, it is not easy to tell what they represent unless there is a clear statement in the post about how votes will be interpreted. I upvoted the question because I think it worth discussing, but I am leaning more towards what quid wrote. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Jan 14 '15 at 0:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Kaveh Upvotes on meta mean "I agree". Downvotes mean "I disagree". $\endgroup$ – 6005 Jan 14 '15 at 1:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ No, they don't. People use votes for various reasons, e.g. I here upvoted because I think it is a useful discussion, not that I agree with the proposed solution. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Jan 14 '15 at 1:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Kaveh They generally do. I'm not sure how to convince you of this, maybe you simply haven't spent much time on meta. Here is another post; notice nobody argues with the premise of the question. $\endgroup$ – 6005 Jan 14 '15 at 2:06
  • $\begingroup$ I have seen countless times new users on meta get upset by downvotes, before it is explained by more experienced users that downvotes mean disagreement and upvotes mean agree. I didn't really know this was subject to debate. Of course, some users (e.g. you) are not voting this way, and I will contend this might be a significant portion of the meta population, but if you ask anyone here how voting works on meta, they will explain what I have said. $\endgroup$ – 6005 Jan 14 '15 at 2:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Goos: Checking the highest voted answer to the first link you gave, you will see a couple of reasons to downvote that don't mean "I disagree." I notice that I long ago downvoted the answer you linked directly to, because I disagree with it; it is sometimes right, but overgeneralized. $\endgroup$ – Jonas Meyer Jan 14 '15 at 2:52
  • $\begingroup$ I have been visiting this meta (and other metas) for years now and I can tell you that it is not the case, people may vote for usefulness/suitability of a topic, for agreement with a proposal, or even because of general behavior of the user among other things. If someone wants to have a poll on a specific issue it should be stated as so in the post like Asaf does in his answer here. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Jan 14 '15 at 4:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Kaveh I wasn't really arguing about how people actually vote, only about how votes are to be interpreted. I should concede that "I agree" is a vague way of saying what I mean; for example, "I agree" can mean that you agree with the usefulness/suitability of a topic. $\endgroup$ – 6005 Jan 14 '15 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Kaveh I don't agree that a separate poll is needed unless the voting looks close. I stand by that 41 upvotes, 5 downvotes (or whatever it was at the time) indicates a "clear positive community response". If you think my interpreting this as clear positive support for the proposal and you think it important enough I suggest you take it up on another thread. I would not see, for instance, 10 upvotes and 7 votes, as a clear positive response, or even as a positive response. But 41 upvotes is clear approval in my mind. $\endgroup$ – 6005 Jan 14 '15 at 5:03
  • $\begingroup$ More concretely: If only 5 people downvote a proposal, then only 5 people expressly disagreed with any aspect of it. In particular at most 5 people disagreed with the proposal. And 41 upvotes I would assume includes at least 20 (being safe) votes in favor of the proposal itself. $\endgroup$ – 6005 Jan 14 '15 at 5:04

This is a poll answer.

Please UPVOTE this if you think there shouldn't be any more personal congratulatory meta posts.

Please DOWNVOTE this if you think there should be some solution (regardless to a single thread, or continuing in this fashion) for personal congratulatory posts on meta.

If you don't care, please don't vote.

(I will occasionally update the current score for the benefit of those that did not reach 1,000 points yet.)

Update: Current score, +6, -8 (12 Jan 2015 09:51:10 PM UTC)

  • $\begingroup$ Whatever the score is, please add +1 from me on the upvote side. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mod Dec 8 '14 at 8:47
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I've voted on your behalf! $\endgroup$ – Aditya Hase Dec 8 '14 at 10:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Integrator: Does that mean that you're abstaining? $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mod Dec 8 '14 at 10:12
  • $\begingroup$ I'm unable to choose sides. $\endgroup$ – Aditya Hase Dec 8 '14 at 10:17
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Integrator: Is this because you don't want to assume the axiom of choice? $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mod Dec 8 '14 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ @quid: It might take another couple of days. I don't expect this to be similar to the "Let's kill the [homework] tag" or "Let's require registration for asking questions" or "Let's have silly hats", but I'm not in a hurry. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mod Dec 8 '14 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ Let us see. What I am worried about is that it does not get enough visibility anymore. After all 40+ voted OP. Maybe let us make it an "issue" in the election? This is only semi-serious. [Deleted the first comment to avoid excessive clutter.] Current count +3/-3 $\endgroup$ – quid Mod Dec 9 '14 at 7:03
  • $\begingroup$ I think the number of votes matches the importance of the issue. Those who want congratulatory posts can always create them. Those who don't want them can vote accordingly. Whichever side has more support will determine the outcome. The system works. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Dec 9 '14 at 7:07
  • $\begingroup$ @quid, it is a possibility, yes. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mod Dec 9 '14 at 7:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Beh, no this is when it doesn't work. Since meta is not active enough to drown these things in the noise, it becomes annoying when this gets done, closed and reopened and deleted and undeleted. This is where the system needs fixing, and we need to decide on some result and empower the moderators to act, if need be, without hindrance. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mod Dec 9 '14 at 7:23
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila You know there is the (celebration) tag for hiding those posts, if they are annoying. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Dec 9 '14 at 7:33

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