Podcast #41 - Neither of Us Have Muscles

by Alex Miller

on January 28, 2013

Welcome to Stack Exchange Podcast #41, featuring Joel Spolsky, Jay Hanlon, David Fullerton, Kyle Brandt, Nick Craver, and Geoff Dalgas, with Producer Alex calling in from Denver!  We have a bunch of systems administrators and the like here, because we are in the process of moving datacenters to our new home in New York City.

  • So what's involved in the move? We hired movers to do all the de-racking and truck driving, so the work done by SE employees involved laying everything out and then wiring it back up.

  • We've got all sorts of people underfoot this week who came in from all around the country to work on the new datacenter. Once it's complete, we'll fail back over to NY from Oregon, where we've been since Hurricane Sandy. There are still some issues to work out before we can do that, though.

  • Due to some of these issues, we are switching over to SQL 2012… tonight! Craver takes us step by step through how we're going to manage that process.

  • So what else are we talking about? How about the new about page! We rolled out a new about page, and you should check it out. Jay and David walk us through it.

  • The Trello team got Trello-themed fortune cookies shipped to their office, which is awesome.

  • Another feature that went out this week is the ability to upload your own profile picture instead of using Gravatar. Read about it and go upload your picture! (No animated gifs allowed.)

  • Speaking of animating things, we also think the profile page needs a little simplifying, among other things. (Joel has noticed a few very simplified Q&A copycats cropping up that just have a few of our hallmarks, and missing the in-depth stuff that makes a community.)

  • Let's look at some interesting meta questions! Is it okay to ask for opinions?

  • Speaking of questions like that, we're not completely happy with the "not constructive" close reason. How do we know what kind of questions we want? Good Subjective, Bad Subjective helps, but the situation still gets tricky.

  • Sometimes the answer determines whether the question was good subjective or bad subjective. There's a great example of this on English. (Joel says it was a great question to begin with.)

  • As we've been investigating closed questions, we've found some interesting observations about the process of closing questions and conditioning our users.

  • So "too localized" is overused and misused, so we are looking at ways to tweak and improve the closing system so it will be less frustrating but continue teaching new users the things they need to learn about our sites.

  • One thing we're working on is tweaks and improvements to the close and reopen queues. Tune in next podcast for some of the other options we're considering!

  • We talk about the reopen queue for a really long time.  Also, close votes have an aging process. David talks us through the problems with it.

  • This podcast is now at the top of the close queue.

We'll see you next week for another exciting episode of..... The Stack Exchange Podcast!