So now that the merge of content is pretty much done and we've had a few weeks to start seeing how the new community is coming together, I wanted to start a Meta post to discuss the various issues and new found strengths we see in the community.

There's still a long road ahead and making sure we're open and honest about what we see as strengths and weaknesses in the community is going to be critical to bringing our two disparate communities together under one (hopefully stronger) roof.

Also, just as a friendly reminder, if you think of any issues that have been bugging you beyond the scope of this topic that could use their own meta post, don't hesitate to make a post. That's what Meta is here for, so that we can figure out together what our community looks like.


I think you are right AJ - the Stack Exchange way of doing things is quite structured, with tightly defined scope for questions and answers, avoiding discussion and getting one best answer for a specific question - which works well for some topics, less well for others.

SSD had a very loose set of requirements in terms of how questions should be structured, the amount of discussion etc. but was focused on getting to the end result which is helping someone design or create sounds.

I think there is a middle ground where this merged site will end up, with a lot of the SE structure, but possibly not as tightly controlled as on some other sites.

That sounds wrong, but what I mean is that for sites such as Security.SE we can very tightly define the way questions and answers should be structured - here, there is a more flexible environment. Sound is a creative endeavour, so I think we need to accept that both the old and the new have their place, but we want to moderate the extremes a little.


I know my initial concern was culture shock over how loose a lot of the questions were on SSD and feeling like the quality wasn't all that high, but as I've taken a deeper look, I've seen that there is a strong foundation on which to build from asking and answering questions that may be slightly more broad than AVP was used to, but also can still be given good, experience based answers that are meaningful and helpful to people in the sound field.

Even in just the last couple weeks I've seen a lot of progress towards figuring out a healthy balancing point between trying to focus on the meat and potatoes of questions, but also keeping it open to a broad level of detail and it's also made me reconsider how open to be to similar kinds of things on the Video Production site, which may no longer be part of the audio only side of things, but is still a closely related site.

I'm also excited to see how and what level of interaction forms between the video production and sound communities since there is so much overlap when it comes to audio for video purposes.


I agree completely with what AJ and Rory have said. What we've got is a bunch of people that share many common interests coming together and saying "Wow, look at all these new questions to answer!" - and that's precisely what folks have been doing for the most part.

Meta involvement has really picked up, we're having the kinds of conversations that we need to be having and I think, with very few exceptions, this went off without irritating anyone too badly. Things have rapidly come together and an even better site is emerging, which stands a shot at being one of (if not the) friendliest and relaxed places on our network while maintaining the high signal to noise ratio that our brand promises. I think this is rapidly becoming a site that other sites can learn from.

On the technical side, we learned some stuff. The first wave of migrations didn't go as well as I hoped, a couple dozen questions that should have stayed on video were accidentally sent over. However, we refined some queries, improved some tools and subsequent moves went much, much better. Folks on Video that were equally into sound are understandably a little bummed about seeing their rep now split between two sites, but quite a few seem to be digging in and having a pretty good time here.

The actual re-branding of Video went extremely well, with almost no snags at all (save for a few minor text corrections). We were hoping that the split wouldn't cost Video too much as far as participation and traffic goes, but it actually appears that they're now doing better than they were before we started 1. It'll be a few months before we can say for sure, but I think this split was needed, and long overdue.

All in all, I feel as if the project was a great success, and those that actively helped to move things along are directly to thank for that. We (Stack Exchange) are still not yet done, we're looking at places where we can target certain kinds of ads very likely to bring in new and knowledgeable contributors, for both sites. I'll have more on that in separate meta posts on both sites, but we're really excited to see how well things turned out.

Good job, everyone! :)

1Analytics reset when we changed the domain, I don't have hard numbers ready, but will in the somewhat near future. This will also make Area 51 stats seem strange, or scary, pay no attention to that for now. (I'm going by memory of averages prior to starting)

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