podcast August 3, 2015

Podcast #66 – Thank You For Saying Words To Us

Welcome to Stack Exchange podcast episode #66, recorded live at Stack Exchange HQ in New York, NY on July 7, 2015. Today’s podcast is brought to you by The Association of Ex-Fog Creek Summer Interns (AEFCSI). Today’s show is hosted by the usual suspects Jay Hanlon, David Fullerton, and Joel Spolsky, plus ex post facto…
Avatar for Abby T. Mars
Director of Community Management - Former

Welcome to Stack Exchange podcast episode #66, recorded live at Stack Exchange HQ in New York, NY on July 7, 2015. Today’s podcast is brought to you by The Association of Ex-Fog Creek Summer Interns (AEFCSI). Today’s show is hosted by the usual suspects Jay Hanlon, David Fullerton, and Joel Spolsky, plus ex post facto Producer Alex.

First up: it’s important to note that David is a charter member of the Association of Ex-Fog Creek Summer Interns, from way back before Fog Creek knew how to do internships (his words). He made graphs in Flash and that was his whole internship.

Much graph. Very Flash. Wow.

So! Let’s talk about features. The coolest one we have for you today: now, when you log in on one site, we log you in everywhere. You can read about it on meta. It seems like a no-brainer, but it was harder than it seemed, and that’s why it took about 94 years. Turns out login is hard. Who knew? (Anna Lear, who has to work on this monster project, did. So did Dalgas.)

In other news, we updated our blog, which you can see if you’re reading this blog post. We moved off of WordPress and onto Jekyll, which is the only CMS in the world that doesn’t have its own Stack Exchange site. The new blog is open source, btw, so you can kick the tires. [Editor’s note: some issues with the blog migration and our iTunes feed are why this podcast was published so belatedly, and why you can’t listen to it in your podcast app just yet. Use the SoundCloud link below while we work that out.]

We’ve also re-vamped what it means to graduate, and since this recording we’ve announced plans to tweak graduation even further. Essentially, what’s going to happen is that we’re going to consider any site for graduation if it hits 10 questions per day over a certain period, and then it’s going to get a site design by Joel done totally in emoji. Some of this is true and some of it is false. You decide! (Also in this section: tangents.)

Next topic: reddit. What the heck happened? Joel doesn’t know because he was busy flying a drone into a swimming pool that weekend (true story). Oh, and here’s the drawing the hosts start talking about in the middle of the drone story. Then we finally get to the reddit story, which is that Alexis Ohanian aka /u/kn0thing once tried to eat a spoonful of cinnamon on our show, way back in episode 43. And apparently something else happened at reddit, too. Jay and Joel walk us through the basics of the story (and David reminds us continually that we have no idea what actually happened).

Related: What should we do to reduce the risk of a Reddit-like crisis?

Basically, our assessment is that reddit moderators felt unsupported by reddit inc., and at Stack Exchange we have always strived to make sure our mods don’t feel that way. (We don’t always succeed, but we do our best–and have since way before reddit exploded. Just saying.) We are entirely dependent on our community, and our mods are the members of the community who give the most. A community isn’t something a VC or company can own. Companies can serve communities, and once they stop doing that (hi Digg!), the community will leave–as well it should.

The biggest lesson we can take away is that we have to listen to the things our community is asking us to fix. For reddit, it was moderator tools. For us, it’s been things like the quality problem and people talking about how mean Stack Overflow is, which people like to write about on the internet. (Read this post by Bill the Lizard instead of the original post, btw.)

We abruptly thank you for listening to Stack Exchange Podcast #66 brought to you by the AEFCSI!

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