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As we'll likely get an initial influx of new people now that Graduation is coming, I suggest we sort out some community guidelines in addition to the [faq] for us to be aware of before it happens.

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  1. Questions that are even slightly broad, off-topic, or open-ended - we've historically been lenient for a while, letting people have time to fix them. I propose we make the new guidelines to automatically close/vote to close, and then add a comment that if they fix it, they can flag for reopening. Stricter = less time wasted by people answering questions that are going to get closed, and the user may still be online when it happens. Thoughts?

  2. We've had a few new users who sign in, add an answer which is a link to their business (sometimes subtly, sometimes very much NOT). I propose if they're just links, even if relevant, we delete. If they've added a sentence as to why it's useful, I propose we allow it, but add a comment that they should state that affiliation. If they've done both, we allow it. Thoughts?

  3. Any immigration questions - please vote to close, and always include a link to the expatriates proposal to help. The sooner that gets off the ground, the better for us.

  4. Chatty comments - aside from the infamous Palestine etc debates, we've generally allowed some chatty comments. Should we continue like we are, or should we always lock posts that are getting chatty comments and refer them to the chat room?

  5. The [FAQ]. If you have a chance, please re-read it, or even just pick one section. If there's an ambiguity or somewhere where you feel the community opinion has changed over time as we've matured this site, suggest some changes.

  6. Tag wikis / tags - any changes we want to do about these going forward? Any thoughts on country vs city etc? (like the infamous tag?)

  7. Above all, if anyone sees answers, questions, comments that shouldn't be there, please flag them for moderators. Those with high rep can also click review at the top and review new users' additions, I believe, although I'm not sure on the threshold for that.

Any more comments, ideas or suggestions?

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    Since Immigration.SE proposal has been closed, you may want to update the question to say instead that Immigration proposal needs to be restarted if anyone is interested. – Ankur Banerjee Jul 25 '12 at 9:35
  • I'm not sure you need to worry about a sudden influx of new people. Mathematica.SE graduated recently, and there was no rush of new users. Travel.SE is of course of interest to a much broader audience, but unless it starts getting advertised a lot more than before, it's unlikely that suddenly lots of newcomers find it. – Szabolcs Jul 25 '12 at 10:08
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    @Szabolcs - regardless, these are some things our community needs to settle on anyway, so it's still worth discussing :) – Mark Mayo Jul 25 '12 at 15:58
  • @Mark Certainly! – Szabolcs Jul 25 '12 at 16:03
  • @AnkurBanerjee Updated with link to new Expatriates proposal (: – user82 Jul 29 '12 at 15:38
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  1. Agree. Very broad or open-ended questions make it very difficult to answer conclusively.
  2. Agree. Nothing controversial to me there.
  3. It's been closed now, which is problematic.
  4. It should be possible to migrate comments into a chatroom (I've seen this on other sites), which would be preferable to locking the post itself.

If continue to be on-topic, I'd suggest updating the FAQ to make that obvious. At the moment they don't fit into any of the on-topic categories. Maybe a new one should be added for "destinations: what to see given some specific criteria", as it also encompasses the counter of not being about "list-style answers, suggestions or recommendations on a topic or place (unless VERY specific criteria is listed)".

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    I know that once the comments get to a certain number (8 or something) it gives the commenter the option to migrate. Not everyone does that though. And good point about the specific criteria for visits. Reddit.com/r/travel has the same problem, I saw one last week "going to Europe for 3 days, what should I see?". Seriously(!). 1000 people will give 1000 different answers. – Mark Mayo Jul 25 '12 at 2:08
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Looks like Immigration is closed now, but there's an alternative - Expatriates! It's been running for a few months, so let's give it Travel.SE's support.

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We really need to figure out what kind of self-promotion, if any, is kosher on this site.

With growing numbers of visitors and new users, plus the impending graduation, I have seen an uptick in the number of answers that are self-promoting - with or without disclosure. I think we need to decide to what level we want to allow this. There are hundreds of travel engines, blogs, etc.

What I propose is that if the linked resource has legitimate, well-written content which is NOT copied from elsewhere, then it's fine with disclosure.

If it's a link to a hotel, a tour group, a travel search engine without explanation beyond "Hey, we're so cool! Try us!" - then we delete it regardless of whether disclosure is done or not. Answers like these are not signal at all, they are completely noise.

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  • I've been meaning to do a more detailed comment on this to discuss. Perhaps we could have a 'town meeting' in the chat room for these items?. Tricky with timezones though. Although as long as the moderators are there it could be ok. – Mark Mayo Aug 5 '12 at 10:11
  • In answer to your answer, what if the hotel link has well written content, but isn't disclosed? I have my answer to this, I just want to hear yours ;) Also - we need to consider whether the link is actually answering the question. It could be great, well written content, etc etc, but if it is not an answer, we should be getting it flagged and therefore deleted. – Mark Mayo Aug 5 '12 at 10:13
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    If there's no disclosure, it shouldn't be allowed, period. Delete the answer, leave a comment, and if they truly care about content then they will add in a disclosure. Chances are that spammers are just looking for hit-and-run links or more exposure to their site - one time visitors, basically - so if they really want to be a part of our community, then they need to play by our rules. – Ankur Banerjee Aug 5 '12 at 17:15
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    OK. So - no disclosure, and obvious 'ad', we delete. Agreed. If it's a non-new member (eg > 500 rep) we warn them? Or delete and tag them in the comments? This question is because just this week a non-new user went hunting and answered two questions loosely tied to his website, which he then promoted. At least then they're part of the community, they just need to play by the rules. Finally, if they link to a hotel/tour company website but it's not related to the question, we delete as well. – Mark Mayo Aug 6 '12 at 2:28
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I propose we make the new guidelines to automatically close/vote to close, and then add a comment that if they fix it, they can flag for reopening. Stricter = less time wasted by people answering questions that are going to get closed, and the user may still be online when it happens. Thoughts?

Yes, that's generally a good idea. Bad-but-redeemable questions are a lot more likely to be improved if they're closed. Be sure to leave a comment on the question explaining why the question was closed and that they can flag for reopening. Note that new user (with less than 15 reputation points) cannot flag; tell them instead to reply to your comment.


We've had a few new users who sign in, add an answer which is a link to their business (sometimes subtly, sometimes very much NOT). I propose if they're just links, even if relevant, we delete. If they've added a sentence as to why it's useful, I propose we allow it, but add a comment that they should state that affiliation. If they've done both, we allow it. Thoughts?

The FAQ section on promotion states

Post good, relevant answers, and if some (but not all) happen to be about your product or website, so be it. However, you must disclose your affiliation in your answers.

Delete any promotional post that lacks affiliation, or if it's really helpful add the affiliation. Don't hesitate to flag promotional posts that don't really answer the question as spam.


The FAQ is a bit long. This belongs in its own meta thread.


Tag wikis / tags - any changes we want to do about these going forward? Any thoughts on country vs city etc? (like the infamous georgia-country tag?)

I still think that 3-letter airport tags are an abomination. And it's .

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  • lol @ georgia ;) We should have a town hall meeting over that one. Thanks for your thoughts tho! – Mark Mayo Aug 16 '12 at 21:57
  • I assume "it" in "And it's Georgia" refers to both the state and the country right? (-; – hippietrail Aug 17 '12 at 7:17

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