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We all love Sound Design Stack Exchange, but there is a whole world of people out there who need answers to their questions and don't even know that this site exists. When they arrive from Google, what will their first impression be? Let's try to look at this site through the eyes of someone who's never seen it before, and see how we stack up against the rest of the 'Net.

The Site Self-Evaluation review queue is open and populated with 8 questions that were asked and answered in the last quarter. Run a few Google searches to see how easy they are to find and compare the answers we have with the information available on other sites.

Rating the questions is only a part of the puzzle, though. Do you see a pattern of questions that should have been closed but are not? Questions or answers that could use an edit? Anything that's going really well? Post an answer below to share your thoughts and discuss these questions and the site's health with your fellow users!

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I agree with @Arnoud on many accounts, I too have been a fairly long-standing and deeply-involved member of the community and it has been rewarding on both the giving and receiving end of shared/crowd-sourced knowledge. I have noticed some great improvements within it's new incarnation, which has also allowed us to better police ourselves (near the end of the old version, we were running into a lot of spam and drive-by question problems with all of the weight falling on our moderators trying to keep up with it). SO I've definitely witnessed a great improvement here which is allowing more high-level (rep-wise) users to be more actively involved with keeping the site polished.

This being said, I have personal concerns that some of the flagging abilities are being abused, at least in how it relates to the Sound Design community at large. We are an 'informal breed'. Having been intrenched within one of the major post production sound meccas myself, I can comfortably argue that many of us go unseen day in day out, often we dress casually in t-shirts or a button-down shirt with jeans maybe once in a blue moon dressing up when an obligation, event, or some other black tie function requires that we do. Many of my own peers, like me, are laid back and informal in conversation, we all speak to each other (even those of us of the same breed half way around the world) as though they're a kindred spirit. Many of us have met, know, and/or share professional working relationships with other users on here, having met on here by happenstance in the first place. In many ways, it's really awesome. We also love to share our knowledge and experience with those around us. Yet being such an 'informal breed', informal discussion is just the way many of us our wired when we are among our sound peers, even in such a global community as SSD.

To that end, many posted answers can short, succinct, and to the point yet still allow the OP to easy find more details and continue their discovery without being overly spoon-fed (because almost everything is subjective in this field and there are many right answers - the one which matters the most is what's right for 'you'). Some questions may be equally short and to the point. Because of the subjective nature of what we do, there is a lot of opinion-based questions (be it ethics, discussions of articulation and sensibilities, workflows, crowd-sourced review/feedback of showreels or products of interest - even one our very long-running and infamous sound recordist joke thread was flagged as not being appropriate, good grief! ). Again, this field of sound is just not possible to be looked at black-and-white like a math problem all the time with "x question requires y answer". Trying to adhere specifically or mold to that format, given how lucid and informal/subjective what we do is, I feel is detrimental to the mission of the community and undermine what makes both it and it's user base so diverse and unique. Even the joke one is a vital part - jokes bring us together in this field often due to the stress we are under, and on a very intrinsic level many of these jokes are based off of wildly illogical but truly real-life situations. And for new users who wonder if they've gone mad by experiencing these things when starting out in the field, seeing such an informality found in that specific joke thread on here can give them hope and sense of comradery that we're all in this together and they are not weird. We're one big family, a place to share knowledge candidly without the barriers of rank and politics. It's a very vital welcoming tool. it worked for me when I first stumbled on SSD.

In conclusion I have reviewed many questions and answers flagged as "lack of content" and "short" and so forth, and it has reached a point where it ticks me off a little. Some have been valid flags and I have acted accordingly, but well over 80% of them I decline the flag when I review because they are perfectly in-line with the community and provide the necessary information. There is otherwise no problem at all except that the user didn't choose to write a full-length novel/filler of an answer when it isn't necessary, or they were flagged for syntax which in my opinion is a serious waste of time to police unless there truly is a something which is hard to understand (some of us speak in phrases versus entire sentences at times on here, and it doesn't affect the clarity of the answer). Or flagged because a one-sentence answer with a specific product name didn't contain a link or filler detail sometimes (I'm sorry, but a search engine isn't hard to use, and many items listed on here are well known amongst many of us already, or once again, they're an easy search away as long as the answer provided the name and manufacturer etc). As you can probably gather by the end of these, the tenseness has seeped into my writing a bit. I certainly mean no disrespect or self-righteousness. I just, feel personally that our time as a community could be devoted to more productive practices than these abuse/irrelevant flags. The Sound community at-large is just informal by nature, and it's what gives SSD its unique and welcoming personality. it's just the way we're wired as a breed.

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    Many of these are automated. I think it would be prudent if I wrote a post here about some of the quality related things that come up, and how some of our rather strange standards came to be. As others from the SE network that are conditioned with this sort of thinking continue to trickle in, the background would probably be rather helpful. I'll try to get that written this week, you gave me a good idea. – Tim Post Jan 8 '14 at 14:31
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    Just to follow up, I'll be creating a post today or tomorrow that discusses flagging, appropriate use, and the fact that this is a thriving community that does things a little differently than the rest of the network is accustomed to. – Tim Post Jan 15 '14 at 15:06
  • @TimPost, I think this would be a most useful post! – JoshP Feb 2 '14 at 21:52
  • Man, @Stavrosound... I really want to flag this now. :) – Steve Urban Feb 10 '14 at 9:19
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i've been a 2 year user of SSD/SSE and love the site. the functionality has had a big boost with the upgrade to stack exchange. my congratulations for the easy and smooth transfer! i think that the site will keep growing slowly in the current period, but sound design is getting a lot more attention than the last 10 years even for such a small market.

have you considered hooking up with soundcloud? or at least, say hi to them. they are very inspired and interested in projects. the least you could do is discuss 'were things are going' in sound design/online distribution/forums etc.

good luck and have a great new year!

arnoud

  • We do have soundcloud integration enabled here, links to soundcloud will automatically show as the mini-player (just not HTTPS links, we're working on that) – Tim Post Jan 8 '14 at 14:28
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Final Results





  • Brutal synth drop

    Net Score: 0 (Excellent: 0, Satisfactory: 2, Needs Improvement: 0)





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