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Motivation for this proposal: I've noticed that each SE site has a slightly different culture. For example, some sites:

  • do not allow partial answers in comments (e.g. Interpersonal Skills)

  • frown upon writing an answer to a question that is likely to be closed (e.g. ELU)

  • do not allow assumptions of gender when it isn't known (e.g. Academia)

  • control question quality more or less tightly (e.g. ELU very strict, ELL much less strict)

Here are some other examples of cultural differences among sites:

  • At Academia, there are often lively debates involving a large number of participants; moderators are pretty tolerant but if a debate start to get out hand, a moderator will often move it over to Chat, which usually slows things down enough to cool people off

  • At ELU, the review queue is rather overwhelming

  • Here at Spanish Language Beta, we allow questions to be written in either English or Spanish or a combination

Recently I spent a little time at an SE site I wasn't very familiar with, and looked around a bit at another site that I hadn't visited in a long time. I realized it would be helpful for each site to have its own cheat sheet with a quickly read bullet list showing the key features and characteristics of the site, that make it unique.

Such a cheat sheet could include:

  • Some of the reasons why regular participants there like the site -- this would show newcomers what the site has to offer

  • Local policies that might be tighter or laxer or in some way different than the average SE site

  • Optionally, a theme song that might have been selected by community consensus

  • Optionally, a list of all the countries the regular participants live in

  • Links to important pages that it would be helpful to have listed all in one place -- for us, this would include links to

    • the tag housekeeping page

    • the resources page

    • the list of commonly used comments (e.g. welcome -- your post is problematic in such-and-so way)

    • quiénes somos

Note, I was thinking of proposing this as a feature request at SE Meta, but then I thought, if people here like this idea, we could create such a thing for our site, and maybe it will set a trend!

I have a proposal for a theme song, but I'll wait to post that (separately). First I guess I should wait and see if there is any support for the general concept.

Here are a couple of analogies for the proposal:

  • Let's say you can program in Java, and you need to do some maintenance of a program written in C++. You look around for a book written for a target audience like you -- already familiar with basic programming concepts, but in need of a succinct guide to show you how C++ is different from Java.

  • Let's say you are an experienced Settlers of Catán player (this is a strategy board game in the general genre of games sometimes called "Eurogames"). Someone has lent you an expansion. The expansion's rule book has a separate section written specifically for people who are familiar with the basic (unexpanded) version. This enables the players to get a quick start to the expansion.

  • @walen - I'm not sure it's realistic at this point to aspire to be allowed to customize the tour, and experienced SE users aren't likely to go to the tour. But we could have one centralized q-a page that functions as a Table of Contents for our most important go-to q-a pages, and it could start with a short description of (a) what we love about this site, and (b) what an experienced SE participant needs to know about our site. // If you don't like that song, okay, forget it. But if you're okay with that song, one could always reach out to the musicians to ask permission. – aparente001 Jun 11 at 15:47
  • @walen - I thought the song was about regionalisms. I was thinking it would be a way to share a laugh. But that's the least important part of the proposal. In brainstorming mode lots of ideas spew out and I'm lucky if one of them is worthwhile. // The boy scouts have a theme song? – aparente001 Jun 13 at 1:49
  • @walen - Sounds like fun. – aparente001 Jun 14 at 1:06

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