What is “Meta” or “Site Feedback”?

#1

Meta means discussion of the discussion itself instead of the actual topic of the discussion. We also call this the #site-feedback category.

Why do we need a Site Feedback category?

This is where we can come together to decide who we are and what we are about .

This is a place for the folks who enjoy the forum so much that they want to go beyond merely reading and posting, to work toward improving our community together. Meta is where all leadership and governance forms, a place for debate and evaluating direction.

It is also community memory, documenting the history of our community and its culture. There’s a story behind every evolution in rules or tone, and these shared stories bind communities together. Meta is the home for all the tiny details that make our community unique: its terminology, its acronyms, its slang.

Some great Site Feedback that we’d like to hear:

  • How can we welcome new members of our community and encourage them?

  • Which topics should we allow and encourage? Which topics should we explicitly discourage?

  • What are our standards for community behavior?

  • Are we setting a good example for the kinds of discussions we want in our community?

  • What problems and challenges does our community face, and what can we do about it?

  • How should we moderate our community, and who should the moderators be? When should we flag posts?

  • How do we publicize and grow our community?

  • How should (or why did) the rules change?

pinned #2
#4

I was a Glowforge backer. The campaign was run by the founders, who already had huge (>$11M) financial and technical backing, and was one delay and missed deadline after another. But the forum was great - for a while.
They started out encouraging a lot of activity by responding to posts from within the organization, and really selling the product. They created quite a few categories and since there were so many backers (they did >$26M, or over 6,000 backers, in < a month) and many were already laser users, there was a lot of content. This was great for the rest of us who weren’t experienced laser users, because we asked a million questions and the founders mostly let the pros answer them. They also had quite a few employees, and consistently added more. But remember that after 2+ years of missed deadlines they still had not delivered a production quality unit.
One place the forum went wrong was that the founders gave the moderators, who apparently had drunk the Glowforge kool-aid, the power to decide what you could say and how you could say it. After such a long campaign with no deliverables, many people were understandably upset, particularly the ones who had planned to use the machines in their businesses, and were missing deadlines and had their money tied up for a long time.
Anyway, sorry for the history lesson. I think this forum can be a huge help to the owners of both machines, as forums for other products have been. I think a good place to start is select moderators whose focus is on organizing the content and encouraging contributions. Establish a reasonable code of conduct, and expect some frustrations. Set up categories that take both experienced CNC router users and new users into account - Categories for CAD, workflow, signs, 3D, speeds and feeds, machine mods, troubleshooting, successes, and fails. Everybody learns a new skill, whether hobby or job, when they know they can ask for and get helpful replies. Keep ‘corporate’ content coming, so we know you’re still involved. Keep email addresses and contact info private, but allow direct user-to-user contact when both parties agree. Keep it current and interesting.
There are undoubtedly some very smart, very experienced CNCers. I look forward to learning from them, and returning the favor when I can.

1 Like
#5

Thanks for the great feedback! I think for the time being the only moderators will by myself and Andy, because I totally agree that things could get out of hand unless we have a trustworthy team. I’ve tried to already establish a code of conduct, check it out if you haven’t already. As far as categories go, we plan to add more categories as the community engagement grows so that topics aren’t spread too thin at the start :+1: