Over the past couple of weeks I've started noticing a disturbing (to me) trend in our little community and I wanted to get the ball rolling on what (if anything) to do about it, or (entirely possible) I'm the only one who is concerned. I think the 'tl:dr' summary boils down to something like this:
"We've started to have people stop by who are more familiar with 'the way things are' over at Stack Overflow, and appear to be making assumptions that things work exactly the same way over here at photo-SE and are making unnecessary waves because things don't work completely like Stack Overflow at photo-SE."
Now I'm not a member of Stack Overflow, so I'll freely admit that I only know 'the way things are' over on Stack Overflow as a result of 2 things... What people who are participants of both stacks have told me in chat, and witnessing directly some of the inappropriate behavior by experienced Stack Overflow members who have joined photo-SE, and their highly confrontational reactions to what might as well be called 'best practices' that we at photo-SE have developed for our community which deviate from the 'best practices' over at SO.
Specific examples of these sorts of inappropriate reactions (for OUR particular community... I'm not implying 'inappropriate' in a judgmental way) include comment threads such as the following:
- @greg: Do we need to clarify that photo-SE 'best practices' may be different than those of other stacks?
- @alexandrul: What is 'freelensing'?
- @time4tea: What is a photography portfolio, and when would I use it?
Again, I'm not judging... I think that every reaction that these users had probably would have been the right reaction if they were to questions/answers over at Stack Overflow... Seemingly the disconnect only comes into play because this isn't Stack Overflow! There are probably other examples of these kinds of disconnects, but these are the ones that I'm personally aware of because they've been happening on questions that I've personally asked.
I've been pondering this evening what to do about this because it is clear to me that while we both use the same 'engine' to run our two sites, in no way is the photo-SE community a child site to Stack Overflow, and the assumptions that both communities are the same with the same 'best practices' is clearly false. So with that said...
It makes me wonder... Should we (or even can we) address and clarify this difference within the FAQ or somewhere else on the site? It doesn't have to be complicated... I'm thinking something along the lines of: "The photo-SE may have different community 'best practices' than you are used to. Please tread carefully until you have a handle on the differences and when in doubt please defer to those who have been members of photo-SE for a while." Or something to that effect... Just something with a bit more 'weight' than a comment where we can reference new (to our stack) users if they dive in with incorrect assumptions about 'the way things are,' or 'the way things should be.'
Or... Does someone else have a better solution? It seems quite likely that this problem will continue to crop up as more folks from SO come and visit photo-SE? Maybe the big differences or the things that 'make us unique' should be clarified somewhere... In a thread on Meta, perhaps?
Or... Am I just out to lunch? It's possible that this really is just me, nothing additional needs to be done, and things can be handled in comments or by mods on a case-by-case basis...