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On Thursday, April 23rd at 17:30 CET (11:30 EST), we're going to be hosting a Cognitive Science SE chat event in the Axon Terminal, hopefully the first in a regular series of chat events. I expect the chat to last about 45-60 minutes at most. The time was chosen based on responses in the Chat resuscitation thread.

The idea of regular chat events received a lot of support some years ago, and really great ideas (journal club, meta discussion, etc.) were proposed for topics, so it's time to finally, actually get these chat events going.

Topics for 23/4

1) Introductions

The first (quick) topic will be introductions, as proposed in the original chat events question by Ben Brocka. We're a relatively small community of regulars, and it would be great to hear a little more about what we're doing, and why we're on the CogSci SE.

Whether you're an old-timer who can't find the time to participate as much as you'd like anymore, or a new regular who sees value in sticking around, we'd love it if you could please try to find the time to stop by and say hello! :)

2) Spring Cleaning 2015

I would like to propose a period of 'spring cleaning' starting May 1st and running throughout the month of May. I proposed another spring cleaning effort some years ago that seemed to be well-received, but I unfortunately never made a sufficient effort to actually organize anything.

Personally, I would particularly like to discuss how we can best distribute our time among different site activities (answering, editing, closing questions, etc.) in order to improve the community, site value and SE beta metrics; how to facilitate quality questions; how to encourage more cognitive scientists to participate regularly, among other things. These are only examples--it would, of course, be great if other people could contribute their own ideas on how we can make an effective cleaning-up effort.

A few coordinated people can make a bigger difference than it would seem in a relatively short time on an SE site like our's! Our %Answered metric, for example, has improved a full five percent from 77% to 82%, in just the last month. That's a big difference!

Thanks for reading

Thursday, April 23rd at 17:30 CET (11:30 EST) in the Axon Terminal: be there, or be square.

Hopefully, this will be the first of a series of biweekly or monthly chat events. I have not made a signup poll because this is going to happen (and we'll simply have to see what happens and who shows up). If you plan to attend, would like to attend but can't, have ideas of your own, or just support/hate the effort, please do leave a comment or answer!

(Above all, the overall goal with these chat events is to inspire more active participation on the site by organizing the community. If this idea should inspire such dislike as to somehow earn it 100 downvotes, I would be far happier than if no one reacted at all.)

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    I'll do my best to drop by, but 11:30 on a Thursday is not the easiest time for me. – Artem Kaznatcheev Apr 19 '15 at 14:18
  • @ArtemKaznatcheev Much appreciated! I'll be adjusting future event times based on the feedback we get here, and will try to incorporate some kind of proper poll in the process next time. – Christian Hummeluhr Apr 19 '15 at 14:33
  • Great idea @ChristianHummeluhr :) – Ana Apr 21 '15 at 15:33
  • @Ana Thank you. :] – Christian Hummeluhr Apr 21 '15 at 20:00
  • Final note: On a personal level, I would especially appreciate it if some of the regulars that have joined up during my inactive period (~1 year) would stop by and say hello! – Christian Hummeluhr Apr 24 '15 at 7:41
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Summary

The chat session has concluded productively, and the chat log is available starting here! We talked at length about a number of topics, including a new self-help close message that covers individual behavior questions more broadly, an initial research requirement on questions, and the procedures for enacting community decisions. It seems that holding a discussion and generating questions on the basis for that is a fairly productive method.

Problems

I found it difficult to keep the discussion on track because the SE chat format lends itself to spawning multiple discussion threads. Except for briefly touching on voting strategies and how to encourage more voting, we unfortunately didn't manage to discuss much spring cleaning related business. It seemed we all had some pent up questions for the management, represented by poor Steven Jeuris, who nonetheless answered our questions skillfully.

Next time

The next chat session will be in approximately 14 days, and will be organized and announced pending attempts to find out how we can coordinate these meetings such that a larger amount of people are able to participate. CogSci.SE members have a diverse range of time zones here, so suggestions are very welcome!

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    Thanks for organizing! I enjoyed the discussion and hanging out with other active CogSci.SE-ers. – Krysta Apr 23 '15 at 18:15
  • Thanks for participating. I look forward to the next one! – Christian Hummeluhr Apr 23 '15 at 18:21
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    Screw comments shouldn't state agreement for once. Thanks a lot again for organizing this Christian! Looking forward to the next (at a more time zone friendly time). – Steven Jeuris Apr 23 '15 at 21:02

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