Announcing the birth of the Pearl Dive – a chatroom dedicated to enhancing the quality of the material on the site, sieving out the pearls from the sand.
Caveat: I'm new to creating chatrooms, so I may need a couple of days to sort everything out. Currently the room description, list of owners, sticky notes etc are still very sketchy and/or non-existant.
The point of this post is to discuss the goals and functions of the chatroom a little before the chatroom truly begins to work.
What is it?
We have located a few users willing to spend their hard earned rep points to award and/or draw attention to high quality posts (=pearls) on our beloved site by placing bounties. The main purpose of this chat room is to make it easier for the sponsors to find material worth sponsoring. Finding the pearls in this site is not always easy, and the sponsors will need help from the other users.
This has been an on/off pet project of yours truly and a few diamond bearers. We thought about how to best do this and checked with a member of SE staff to hear their eventual objections.
Who can participate and how?
- For this to function well, we of course need to locate willing sponsors - the more the merrier. In my vision the sponsors are altruistic users largely acting behind the scenes. The may see themselves as éminence grise, or may be collectors of rare pearls. Others will likely see the role differently.
- Users unable or unwilling to sponsor material themselves are also needed at least as endorsers/curators. I, for one, will have a hard time deciding whether an unanswered interesting looking question in an area I am unfamiliar with myself will benefit from a bounty. I (or another sponsor) may need help from a trusted relative expert in deciding which questions to sponsor.
- Of course, everybody is warmly welcome to help by posting pearls!
The following rules are obvious. We will add more if/when needed.
No begging. Asking for attention to your own answer is a relatively sure way of turning off the sponsors. It is, perhaps, less unappetizing to ask for this kind of help in promoting your own question, but I don't want to encourage that either.
We cannot help advertizing the pearls in the chatroom, that's the whole point. But we will not maintain lists of sponsored pearls outside the dive, most certainly not in meta threads like this. This is because we need to keep the competition with the "usual" bounties fair, and not try to game the system, turning attention away from the bounties started by users not affiliated with the Pearl Dive.
- Don't upvote somebody's posts in main simply because they became an active sponsor in the Pearl Dive. The voting in main should not be skewed for this reason. The sponsors are quite capable of getting more points, if they so desire.
Things to discuss.
I welcome all the input from the crowd, that is you. There may problems we have not foreseen. Or unclear points and/or policies. Such as:
- At one point we discussed whether endorsers/curators should be by invitation from a sponsor only. I'm not sure the level of interest in this project is high enough to warrant that, and would like to keep the threshold for participation lower, at leat initially. If too many unqualified people promoting posts becomes a problem, this needs to be addressed. If only to keep the signal-to-noise-ratio in the Pearl Dive high enough.
- While the sponsors are to remain mostly invisible, we probably want to keep a sponsors' honor roll visible in the chat room. There already exists a SEDE-query listing the most active bounty donors on the site, and stickying that should suffice. That list will include all the other bounties already given on the site, which is IMO the way it should be.
- Also, particularly if we don't find a large pool of competent curators, the sponsors will likely want to specialize in certain areas/tags only. I suggest that the interested sponsors would write a post describing the type of posts they are most willing to help with. Ideally those should be visible from the chatroom, but I don't know of a way of doing that. If somebody knows of a mechanism of doing that within the chatroom, I'm all ears. An alternative would be to post such statements as answers to this post. Linking this thread from the chatroom is a good idea anyway, so these pieces of information then become accessible to visitors of the Pearl Dive.
This may go South in many ways, but I want to make a serious attempt anyway. You are all welcome to become a part of it.
Pearl Dive – the rep point does not stop here.