Active users in week on meta has rarely reached even double figures and, given a reported number of users of over 100,000 that may not be healthy for the site because a mere handful of users are not necessarily representative of the whole. While it may be appropriate that active users have more influence on interpreting site guidelines and setting precedents than inactive users, a wider involvement should lead to a better consensus and, if not that, at least speed up decision making. At present it may take a month or more for enough users to have expressed their opinions for a “Community view” to be formulated with any confidence.
One reason for low participation may be the difficulty in identifying policy matters that remain relevant from routine administration (eg tag burninations and notifications superseded by events). There are search issues across all SE sites but meta sites, though generally much lower volume, have the added complication of pink tags. These form an additional system to ‘resolution’ (if only temporarily) through Acceptance, but the two systems are not mutually exclusive. Pink tags may be applied to both Closed and Open Qs, and for Open Qs to those with or without an A and for those with a A whether or not that has been Accepted. On the other hand, pink tags are not necessarily applied to issues that clearly have been resolved, such as may be indicated by a relatively highly upvoted Accepted A.
A schematic below attempts to show how the pink tag system combines with system applied on the main site, for the 786 Qs presently visible to all on WAmeta:
It is those Open Qs without any As and no pink tag (23) and Open Qs with As but no Accept and no pink tag (212) where additional input from users would, IMO, be constructive. However, to find these is not as easy as it might be. The search queries required seem to be:
closed:0 locked:no -[status-*]-[community-ads] -[faq] answers:0
closed:0 locked:no -[status-*]-[community-ads] -[faq] answers:1 hasaccepted:no
These, I think, are sufficiently complicated to discourage the less active user from making the effort to participate where, I believe, their contribution would be valuable.
There are however various, seemingly straightforward, changes that it seems might improve matters:
- A search term that covers all pink tags, say pink or mod-only.
- For consistency, where a Q is featured (eg Burninate [limit] at present) the tag featured should be shown (with other tags) in the post (and counted as pink).
- All pink tags should have usage guides.
- Site mods should be proactive in applying pink tags where reasonable As have been provided for some while but none has been Accepted.
- Qs tagged status-deferred and status-planned should be reviewed and an update provided at least annually (at present these date back to early 2013).
- notifications should be pink.