Participation in our Meta seems to be somewhat lacking, and I've asked a number of questions lately that have gone unanswered:

On Meta we don't get points for participating, so what can get people interested in participating more? There's badges, but perhaps people don't care as much about badges. I'd be surprised if people don't care about how the site is run and what we can do to help the site grow though.


Re: increasing user participation in general

Users are drawn to Meta by the "Featured on Meta" sidebar. Aside from that, users have to organically discover it. To assist with that, larger sites often abide by the practice of commenting under a question or answer if it is relevant to a Meta discussion, e.g.

[This post is being discussed on Meta.](link to the Meta question here)

For example, if a question's on-topic or off-topic nature is being debated or other such reasons.

Many users are simply not interested in Meta, however, because that's more of an 'institutional participation' thing than a 'subject matter' thing. On Stack Overflow, for example, it was somewhat famously estimated in a blog post that only 0.005% of users on the site participate in Meta! Granted, Stack Overflow has a ton of registered users, but 0.005 relative percent is still a very, very small amount.

Re: close votes on questions, and specifically

People seem to feel strongly enough that such questions should still be closed

It's important to note that a question having answers and its status as closed or not closed are at best orthogonal to each other. A question having answers simply means it can be answered (or guessed at, at least) by users who frequent the site. A question being closed means it is off-topic based on the site's scope. Closing a question doesn't send the signal that it isn't answerable, only that it shouldn't be asked here.

So if you reopen such questions just because they got answered, you send the signal that such questions are OK. That's fine, if the community decides that such questions are in-scope, but that's a decision that the community needs to reach together (here on Meta). Moderators can assist with this by featuring such discussions with the meta tag so the show up on the aforementioned "Featured on Meta" sidebar.

Re: chat naming and features

I don't have much to say on these , except that it's almost certainly not worth any effort to request chat features; much bigger sites/communities on the network (SO and MSE, to name the main ones) have been requesting even the smallest improvements to chat for about a decade now, with no movement by the company. It's simply not a feature that interested either the previous leadership or (it appears) the current leadership enough to devote any dev hours to.


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