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After:

the two major steps remaining are:

  • upgrading the reputation/privilege levels
  • getting a site design.

Getting a site design might take awhile.

  • Etherium got their site design completed last month (July 2022) after more than 6 years since the Private Beta went live.
  • Data Science got their site design completed this month (August 2022) after more than 8 years since the Private Beta went live!
  • Motor Vehicle and Maintenance got their site design completed this month (August 2022) after more than 11 years since the Private Beta went live!
  • Arduino got their site design completed last month (July 2022) after more than 8 years since the Private Beta went live!

I would like to propose that we increase the reputation levels for privileges

This is for many reasons, and I've been meaning to write this post for a very long time (well before the Beta label was even removed)!

Some of the reasons are below:

  • (1) For the most part this won't affect things very much. The people using privileges properly have largely been users that would still have those same privileges after the jump. For example, the vast majority of the edits have been made by people who will still have editing privileges after the upgrade. This is similar for other privileges.
  • (2) Far too many inexperienced users are creating new tags with which the community disagrees. For example, recently I had to delete the tag which is a duplicate of . This is in my opinion quite a major problem, as it happens frequently and can be hard to notice and hard to clean up later. I've been fixing it most of the time so you might not have noticed it, but it happens regularly.
  • (3) Let's look at close votes. If you remove my close votes and the 1 close vote which seems not to be attributed to any existing user (adding up the number of close votes from each user on the close votes stats page gives me 1 fewer close vote than the total given), there's been 375 close votes and about 70% of these were made by users who have not posted a single time since more than 1 year ago, and about 30% of these were made by users who have not posted a single time since more than about 2 years ago, or haven't even contributed a single post at all! Basically, people who earned all their rep during the Private Beta have "infinitely" more say than they should have regarding how questions should be closed, and users whose contributions were predominantly made within a year of the site have made about 70% of the close votes.
  • (4) We have far more 10k rep users (people that would remain having the "access to moderator tools") and/or 3k rep users (people that would remain to be able to cast lose votes) than pretty much any of the other sites that had their Beta labels dropped about 8 months ago. These include: Robotics, Genealogy, Sustainable living, Tor, Freelancing, Amateur Radio, Italian Language, Ebooks, Reverse Engineering, Alcohol, Expatriates, Joomla, HSM, Lifehacks, Portuguese Language, Woodworking, Coffee, Mythology, Computer Graphics, Monero, Arts and Crafts, Korean Language, Language Learning, 3D Printing, Artificial Intelligence, Esperanto Language, IoT, Ukrainian Language, CS Educators, DevOps, Stellar, iota, Bioinformatics, Drones, OR, Tezos, eosio.
  • (5) Raising the bars may motivate some people to post more again, which would be great considering the recent drop in activity, largely from the power users who have already maxed out the privileges available to people with more than 5000 rep.

If you have more than 3k rep you'll still be able to close vote.

Shall we do this?!

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    $\begingroup$ I fully agree with you. By the way, the new sites all look the same, the only difference I saw was the logo, is that right? $\endgroup$
    – Camps Mod
    Aug 18, 2022 at 11:05
  • $\begingroup$ Yea, the sites that recently got a "design" now have a custom logo, but they mostly look the same :) $\endgroup$ Aug 18, 2022 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ Regarding (2), in the specific case you mention, might it be worth making it a tag synonym? $\endgroup$
    – Anyon
    Aug 18, 2022 at 23:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Anyon true, but there were a lot more examples than just that. Some of them inappropriate for synonyms. To propose a synonym you need to have at least a score of 5 on both the tag and its destination, but since the atat tag doesn't have any questions, it's not possible to propose synonyms for it. Even in cases where I had a score of 5 on the tag and destination, it didn't work and I had to get Catija (a CM) to do it. I think this is one of the biggest flaws in the SE design! $\endgroup$ Aug 18, 2022 at 23:57
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    $\begingroup$ Synonyms for tags never really worked, well, proposing them. It's always been far easier to make a meta post and let a moderator do it. In this case you would have to suggest 'atat' as a synonym to that other tag. If you have these recurring tags, try merging them when they exist. Obviously moderators will have to do that. $\endgroup$ Aug 27, 2022 at 17:50
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    $\begingroup$ On another point, I am not sure how graduation works these days, so maybe you can just ask for it. However, this is a switch on kind of situation, you can never go back. Community moderation will take a serious hit. I suggest you wait until you have about 10 users with more than 10k reputation (excluding moderators). Then you have at least a few who can see deleted posts, which may be a perk necessary. $\endgroup$ Aug 27, 2022 at 17:59
  • $\begingroup$ Community moderation will barely change. $\endgroup$ Aug 27, 2022 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ Tag:lipid-bilayer was created here: mattermodeling.stackexchange.com/q/9721/5 $\endgroup$ Sep 27, 2022 at 4:30
  • $\begingroup$ Tag:dyson-orbitals was created here: mattermodeling.stackexchange.com/q/9756/5 $\endgroup$ Oct 5, 2022 at 11:42
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    $\begingroup$ There's no correlation between losing beta labels and raising reputation, so I don't understand how point 4 makes any logical sense. We used to tie rep levels to beta status but we haven't in at least 4 years. $\endgroup$
    – Catija
    Oct 30, 2022 at 20:17
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    $\begingroup$ @Catija Point 4 shows that we have more 10k and/or 3k rep users than the ~40 other sites that I listed there, which are all at least our age or even older. If we include sites that didn't have their Beta labels removed recently then this number becomes far more than 40. We have enough 3k rep users to continue to expediently handle the close-vote review queues. We have enough 10k rep users to do what 10k rep users can do (e.g. edit things faster when necessary, and voting on deletions/undeletions). Our review queues almost never have anything un-handled. Compared to the other sites we're ready. $\endgroup$ Oct 30, 2022 at 23:00
  • $\begingroup$ Three new tags were created here: mattermodeling.stackexchange.com/q/9899/5 $\endgroup$ Nov 2, 2022 at 12:40
  • $\begingroup$ Tag:resources was created here by a user with only ~250 rep: mattermodeling.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/resources $\endgroup$ Dec 3, 2022 at 14:24
  • $\begingroup$ Tag:domain-decomposition was created here: mattermodeling.stackexchange.com/q/9098/5 $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2022 at 13:06
  • $\begingroup$ Tag:casscp was made here: mattermodeling.stackexchange.com/q/10343/5 $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2023 at 13:30

2 Answers 2

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I think this could be beneficial. While we have built up a great community here already, I think the broader matter modeling community tends to be skeptical of these sorts of sites because they see them as something of a passing trend. I think anything we can do to reinforce that the site is active, growing, and going to stick around will help to attract more users. Taking this step may also help demonstrate the same point to SE, bringing us closer to getting a site design (which would also be very beneficial).

Consolidating the pool of users with privileges should also help, particularly among users who are just starting on the site. While I love seeing new users participate, its probably better to have them earn some rep and learn about the site before making new tags, submitting unapproved edits, or close voting.

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  • $\begingroup$ Great! I agree with this. Camps (another diamond moderator) said he "fully agrees" in the first comment on my original post. Perhaps we can add the "status-review" tag and get it done. Community Moderation won't take a hit (just look at the stats in our review queues), but certainly we won't have as many single-question tags and duplicate tags being created by low-rep users anymore, and we won't have bad reviews being done as much. It may also motivate some high-rep users who became inactive to start earning rep again! My flag has also been "pending" for ages. $\endgroup$ Oct 17, 2022 at 4:35
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    $\begingroup$ Y'all only have five non-mods with 10 k reputation. That seems way too few for raised reputation levels. Can you explain here why you're comfortable with having so few people have that privilege level? Also, there are so many sites that left beta long ago, that even if your activity levels are higher, y'all won't be moved to the front of the line. I'm sorry, but this change won't in any way impact your priority for a design. $\endgroup$
    – Catija
    Oct 30, 2022 at 20:15
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    $\begingroup$ @Catija Maybe it's different on other sites, but I don't see why we need more than 5 non-mods with 10k rep? 10k rep users can: (1) View deleted posts, (2) Cast delete and undelete votes, (3) Access moderator tools, (4) Edit tags inline. As for (1,2) we barely have any posts that need to be deleted/undeleted. We have ~2600 questions and only a handful deleted. The mods and 10k users have handled those situations extremely quickly. As for (3) these stats are fun to look at, but not crucial on this site. (4) the tag editing wouldn't be needed as much if: $\endgroup$ Oct 30, 2022 at 23:13
  • $\begingroup$ ... the low-rep users weren't allowed to make new tags, and whatever tag editing has been needed, has been done expediently by the mods and 10k users. Specifically, in the last year nearly 100% of the tag editing was done by myself, Tyberius, Camps and Susi Lehtola (all of us are either 10k or mods, so tag editing won't be affected by the change in rep levels). As for the site design, I'm okay with us not being moved to the front of the line. If we could have rep levels changed sooner, that would be appreciated for the reasons outlined by Tyberius, Camps, and myself. $\endgroup$ Oct 30, 2022 at 23:18
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    $\begingroup$ @Catija Software Recommendations has only two non-mods with 10k rep but has had their rep requirements upgraded long ago. $\endgroup$ Oct 30, 2022 at 23:54
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Unfortunately, I have to decline this specific request. But there's an asterisk - we're still happy to change specific levels on this site as needed. To get there, I need to share some reasoning.

So, we talked about this internally. Since we decoupled the reputation level changes from graduation, this is the first request we've gotten to raise all the levels wholesale. A notable milestone! It's also the first time we've evaluated a request like this.

For me to feel comfortable modifying the rep thresholds wholesale from the beta to the historical "public" versions, I'd need to be confident saying that such a change would be of material benefit to the site. This gets complicated when there are so many rep threshold changes to consider - and when the individual level changes aren't the driving force behind the request.

So, now I need to start asking questions like "does changing the close vote privilege to require 3000 rep benefit the site?" But I also have to consider changes to review access thresholds, tag creation thresholds, question/answer editing thresholds, tag wiki edit thresholds, deletion vote thresholds... And if one of those does not benefit the site, then it would be better to leave that privilege out of the mix and just enable the others. And if the goal is to motivate people, well... is the site actually better off revoking curation privileges from so many users at once?

So let's take a look at the table... Each number shows the # of non-diamond users active in the last 14 days who have access to the privilege, both before and after the proposed change. This does not reflect the number of users who actually used those privileges.

Privilege Users Now Users After Grad Levels % change
Create tags 68 27 -60%
Access review queues 59 52 -12%
Cast close and reopen votes 52 14 -73%
Edit questions and answers 33 20 -39%
Approve tag wiki edits 27 8 -70%
Cast delete votes 20 4 -80%

So... does changing this wholesale benefit the site? The differences in this table apply a pretty strong pressure to consider that question carefully. And I'm just not confident enough that it does to proceed.

(I am aware that the users who use these parts of the site in practice by and large may not be affected, but there's still a significant price to be paid by removing the opportunity for users with less rep to participate in these ways.)


The asterisk, and my recommendation:

There's no specific reputation threshold I have an issue changing to a certain degree on this site. But I'd rather not touch them without a reason to do so specific to that privilege. So, if I'm going to change rep thresholds here, I want to make sure that I am changing a rep threshold because it solves a specific problem on the site.

So, my recommendation is to resubmit this request, but this time, only submit a request for the specific levels that you would want changed, and focus on how such a change would materially benefit the site in some way, or alleviate an ongoing problem. For example, if newer users are making too many tags, we can raise that threshold. If users with low rep are issuing too many improper and disruptive close votes, we can raise that threshold.

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  • $\begingroup$ Immediately I noticed that ProfM wasn't included in the "cast delete votes" row of the table (because he wasn't active in the last 14 days), and including him would have made that 75% instead of 80%. By excluding people who were not active in the last 14 days, you're showing a better picture of how people might use these privileges, but then you say "This does not reflect the number of users who actually used those privileges." If you included columns on usage, we'd see that this would pretty much be a change from 0 to 0 (in almost every row). Can you also show us the tables for other sites? $\endgroup$ Dec 19, 2022 at 4:15
  • $\begingroup$ Can you please make that table for sites that do have the upgraded reputation requirements, so that we can compare? This table has zero context. Maybe the numbers are precisely the same in sites that have the upgraded reputation levels. Surely you didn't reject this time-consuming proposal without comparing right? So why hide the results of the research that lead to rejecting this proposal? $\endgroup$ Mar 2, 2023 at 15:29

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