Welcome (former) CogSci users!
Several months ago we gave it another shot: we started a procedure to reboot CogSci to try and finally get us out of Beta. Most of us agree changes need to be made to CogSci to make it work. We have now reached a point where your input is needed to help decide on the future of Cognitive Sciences Stack Exchange!
Because we noticed earlier revival attempts were short-lived and mostly failed due to the lack of an enduring community, we decided on a more long-term systematic approach. This approach involves the following steps:
- We completed a summary of meta: a concise outline of what the community thus far believes this site could be, and the problems we encountered.
- We started discussing proposals for a new target audience, scope, and site name for CogSci.
- We are now calling in active and former users alike (you!) to:
- extend on these ideas based on the overview we provided so we can
- implement a new direction for CogSci, decided on by the majority through democratic voting.
We hope you are willing to contribute to this discussion, even though you might not have been active on CogSci for quite some time. However, know your opinion is valued. There might have been a time where you had your own ideas on what CogSci was and what it could be and we hope to spark your interest in bringing those forward again. If you want to participate, thank you very very much! If not, we would hereby still like to thank you for your contributions to the site.
To make this process as smooth as possible and to prevent you from having to read over 200 pages of chat and posts, I will provide a summary of what has happened so far. The community review highlights three issues for which we had no clear solution and on which we need your input: (1) The expected quality of questions, (2) scope and site name, and (3) how to attract more expert users.
We want to establish new minimum requirements for questions posted on this site, enforced by introducing a new-close vote reason. The current proposals revolve around addressing insufficient research and/or motivation.
No major changes in regards to which fields are on topic were brought forward. We would love to hear arguments against this. However, we (pretty much) all agree we should find a better site name! Vote for your favorite, or add new suggestions! See also @AliceD's proposal on a new site name.
Over the many years of CogSci's existence, the amount of unanswered questions has been piling, which seriously affects our answer-percentage. ChristianHummeluhr referred to this pile as Garbage Valley, containing question which :
"might be interesting to a lay user, given a sufficiently exhaustive negative answer--an answer telling them why this makes no sense--but which are absolutely uninteresting to an expert user who would be qualified to answer them."
Here, we need to discuss how we can increase the answered percentage, by discussing how we tackle these questions (i.e. closing or answering).
We need more active (expert) users! Therefore we need to promote the website once we have decided on a new focus. If time permits (other two points have priority), we could discuss where/how to promote once the new changes are pushed through.
Call to action
We now need to take action. We have some ideas but we need a community that agrees with these and supports them. Therefore, if you still believe in what CogSci may be, join the discussion. Cast your vote, propose your own ideas and, hopefully, help us revive CogSci (which will eventually help us getting out of Beta).
Monday, July 17th, at 18:00 GMT we will organize a chat discussion to make sure that everyone is heard and can discuss in an efficient way (you can set yourself to attending for the event here). We urge you to participate so that we can make the best informed decision together. At the end of this session, the result should be a list of concrete proposals that we can vote on in the following two weeks.
Tuesday, August 1st, at 18:00 GMT we will act upon the discussion. The proposals that received the most support will become the new direction for CogSci. We again invite people to join us in chat, if people want to share their final thoughts (e.g. suggest exact phrasing of messages).