Welcome to Stack Exchange podcast #50, featuring usual suspects Joel Spolsky, Jay Hanlon, and David Fullerton, plus special guest Shog9 aka Nine Shogs Shogging. And remember, today’s podcast is sponsored by the House of Lords, bringing you excellent laws, 100% free!
- This is podcast #50… sort of. It’s the 50th podcast since we switched from the Stack Overflow podcast to the Stack Exchange podcast, but we’ll celebrate anyway.
- Our most recent blog post [had an instruction in the title](http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2013/07/say-hi-to-nine-of-our-newest-newbies/), and 80 people bothered to do so. Apparently, our blog post titles have power. We probably promise only to use it for good.
- Site milestones, featuring Jaydles. Since our last podcast, we have launched [Space Exploration](http://space.stackexchange.com/). As of this recording it’s in private beta, but it may be public by the time of publishing. The activity level is very good – 150 questions in the first few days. 136 of them are even open! (Amusingly, the proposal faced [some promotional setbacks](http://discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/questions/11018/space-exploration-proposal-promotion-deleted-because-of-area-51-connection) during the Area 51 process.)
- New features. We redesigned two small but important pages: the [badges page](http://stackoverflow.com/help/badges) and the [privileges page](http://stackoverflow.com/help/privileges), which used to be extremely confusing. We also fulfilled an [ancient [feature-request]](http://meta.stackoverflow.com/q/915/165581) – you can now retract close votes.
- Jon Ericson is the newest member of the Community Team, and since Community Managers have lots of direct interaction with the community we like to introduce them personally. He’s a top user on [Biblical Hermeneutics](http://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/users/68/jon-ericson) and we are happy to have him on board.
- Reason #48923 to [work at Stack Exchange](http://stackexchange.com/about/hiring): we now have two private chefs working for us. They are awesome.
- Also, today is the rollout of our custom beer pong table. Blame Jay and Michael.
- What is there that’s left to say about closing? We made some changes to closing. It’s close to our hearts because a) we hate fun, and b) the whole reason that people like us (and also hate us) is because we close all the crap. But people don’t _feel_ that way about closing. So we needed to learn to close less hatefully.
- Enter: [the War of the Closes](http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2013/06/the-war-of-the-closes/). Jay walks us through what changed. Including statistics! And buckets!
- So why do we have to close questions at all? Joel has the answer! Because otherwise we would be like Yahoo! Answers. Joel walks us through the history of programming questions, from the Dark Days. It takes a while. Get comfortable.
- Also, [we still hate fun](http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/01/stack-overflow-where-we-hate-fun/). (If you didn’t copy down the question number, [this is the question](http://stackoverflow.com/questions/953714/face-recognition-library) we talk about for a while.) This could be a podcast all on its own. [Here’s the Meta.Travel.SE question we discuss](http://meta.travel.stackexchange.com/questions/13/localized-questions). [Here’s the FlyerTalk example thread](http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manufactured-spending/1455542-pin-available-now-visa-mc-prepaid-debit-cards.html) Joel was talking about.
- Joel broke the shades in the conference room. Possibly forever. Then, back to close reasons. We realized we couldn’t ever cover all of the off topic questions, so there’s an “other” free-form reason.
- Go to stackoverflow.com and search for “closed:1” and click “newest”. This will show you the most recently closed questions. You’ll hopefully find that the new set of reasons makes much more sense. We’re happy with the way
Thanks for joining us! Today’s guest has been Nine Shogs Shogging, joining Jay Hanlon, David Fullerton, and Joel Spolsky. Today’s episode was sponsored by the House of Lords. See you next time!