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.

  • 1
    Please tell me your theme song proposal is not Qué difísil es hablar el español... – walen Jun 11 at 13:28
  • (1/2) I like this as a general idea (save for the theme song thing, which I see as kind of lame, sorry). However we would need to first settle on what "the average SE site" and its corresponding "average" policies are, to know where we are "different". Also, saying that our policies are laxer might not be the best thing to say to a newcomer (or at all), even if it were so. Finally, if we had to pick a theme song (I hope not), it should be done carefully: using a ©-ed song in an SE site could be seen as lucrative use and be the cause of a lot of legal concerns. – walen Jun 11 at 13:46
  • (2/2) In the end it boils down to being able to customize the Tour page or some or the main Help pages (not just the "On-topic" one), so we can explain in our own words how things go around here. And yes, it'd be a Nice Thing To Have™. – walen Jun 11 at 13:50
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    Needless to say, the usefulness of such a cheat-sheet would be directly proportional to the likeness of newcomers actually reading it before posting or commenting... i.e. very very low :( – walen Jun 11 at 13:55
  • @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
  • Ah, forgot to +1, sorry. – walen Jun 12 at 7:59
  • Re: the song. Yeah I love it! It's really funny (reminds me of Les Luthiers), and a cool showcase of regional slang. But that doesn't make it a good "theme song" for the site. This site's about grammar and spelling, about regionalisms and style, about etymology and history, about past, present and, in a way, future of the Spanish language. The song is just about "haha Spanish is weird lol". Not to mention thin-skinned people might be offended by the singers mocking an English accent 🤷‍♂️ So, while I love the song, I don't think it properly portrays our stack. – walen Jun 12 at 8:32
  • Besides: as I said, to me the whole "theme song" concept is just lame. We are not a sports team, we are not a therapy group, we are not the boy scouts (no offense: I've been one for quite a long time), we are not a 90s TV series. Why would we want to have a theme song? What would be the purpose of it? – walen Jun 12 at 9:12
  • @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
  • "that's the least important part of the proposal" --> Fortunately :D The rest of the proposal I'm OK with. // We have lots of songs in the scouts that we sing on different occasions, but our hymn is sung most every day we meet up -- you could call that our theme song. – walen Jun 13 at 13:05
  • @walen - Sounds like fun. – aparente001 Jun 14 at 1:06

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