What is the purpose of Anime.SE?
What kind of people do we want on Anime.SE?

I tried to find a meta post about this but really couldn't find anything. The site tour says

Anime and Manga is a question and answer site for enthusiastic anime and manga fans

If we take that at face value, we only want enthusiastic fans, and only questions and answers by and for enthusiastic fans. There has been disagreement with this mindset, though. I think its time that as a community, we clear this up.

  • 3
    Stack Overflow and Programmers have discussions on this issue pretty frequently. Those guys can be mean as hell, especially to people with subpar English. By contrast, I've seen our users try to make sense of almost complete nonsense and edit it into something intelligible just because we don't want to discriminate against new users. (I've even been that user a few times.) Yes, we are more elitist and exclusionary than most anime sites on the net, but by Stack Exchange standards, we're quite friendly.
    – Torisuda
    Aug 19 '15 at 0:02
  • @Torisuda i understand where you're coming from. To new users, though, they're not gonna know the difference. If our goal is inclusion, how friendly we are relative to other sites doesn't really matter, right?
    – ton.yeung
    Aug 19 '15 at 3:59
  • 1
    I'm sensing that you and I have pretty major differences in opinion on this topic. I've been in the anime fandom for almost fifteen years, and in all that time I've never been attracted to any of the available fan communities. Recently, I spent some time on Reddit and 4chan doing research for an answer here, and I remembered why--endless threads of "Clannad is forced drama bullsh***tt u sux", "Angel Beats suxxxx", "No u sux", "ur mom sux".
    – Torisuda
    Aug 19 '15 at 17:44
  • 2
    Frankly, I don't want to invite those people to participate here. I think we've struck a pretty decent balance between inclusive and exclusive. No one here vilifies new users like on SO and Programmers, and we're pretty lenient on people with subpar English, but we're also not tolerating the kind of garbage that Reddit and 4chan put up with. If people prefer that kind of atmosphere, I think they should stay there. Let us be an island of civility and intelligent discourse.
    – Torisuda
    Aug 19 '15 at 17:47
  • If that means we stay small, I think that's okay. I don't think we need to be as big as MAL or ANN. We'll make up for our small size with high-quality content.
    – Torisuda
    Aug 19 '15 at 17:51
  • I see where you're coming from. Can you write an answer summarizing your thoughts?
    – ton.yeung
    Aug 19 '15 at 18:07

Stack Overflow and Programmers have discussions pretty frequently on whether they should change the way they treat new users. (Here's a famous one from SO.) The usual argument runs that new users should read the FAQ, they should familiarize themselves with the help center, and if they can't do those things, then, for the quality of the site, their questions should be deleted. Those guys can be mean as hell, especially to people with subpar English or writing skills.

I've not seen that kind of intolerance on Anime and Manga. By contrast, I've seen our users go out of their way to try and make sense of complete and utter nonsense so it could be edited into a decent question. (I've been that user a few times; as a former tutor of English as a Second Language, I understand that not everyone can have native-level proficiency.) Most downvoted and close voted questions receive a comment explaining why the question is not up to grade. Sometimes the comment may be a little brisk, but I've never seen anyone here heap mean or sarcastic remarks on a new user who wrote a bad question.

By Stack Exchange standards, we're actually quite friendly and lenient. However, we are more elitist and exclusionary than most other anime sites out there. Although many of our users get here from Stack Overflow, Physics, Science Fiction and Fantasy, or other Stack Exchange sites, many more come from the wider Internet, and they're not used to the high standards of Stack Exchange.

I suspect my answer runs counter to the direction many people want for the site, but, to be honest, I like being elitist, exclusionary jerks.

Before you downvote, hear me out. I've been in the anime fandom almost fifteen years. During that time, I was never attracted to any of the available anime fan communities on the Internet. Recently, I spent some time on Reddit and 4chan doing research for an answer here, and I remembered why that was. It's because every discussion they have goes something like this:

Clannad greatest animu evar!! So many feelz

Clannad forced drama bulsh****TTT Y U NOT SEE IT?




The discussion on Why is Clannad the best anime? is actually on the better side of what I've seen on 4chan and Reddit, but the second thing someone writes on it is

Too vanilla. Now if Tomoya fucked Ushio, that would be something.

I assume this person is just trying to be shocking by suggesting that the main character having sex with his five-year-old daughter is just what was needed to spice up the show.

Putting aside the puerile nature of the discourse, if you ask a question on one of these sites, it's impossible to ask people to support their answers with evidence because they'll just call you an idiot for not knowing what "everyone" knows, even in cases where the thing that "everyone" knows was concocted out of thin air by some bored forum troll.

Frankly, I don't want to invite these people to Anime and Manga Stack Exchange. I enjoy the fact that we have standards, and that we won't tolerate just any garbage that someone felt like throwing up on their monitor. Nothing we ask about on this site is really that important, in the grand scheme of things. No one is going to get killed or fired if I include some unsourced information in my answer on a show about 24th Century Martian gondoliers. But it is nice to think that people can't just make up whatever they want and start throwing it around as a well-known fact. And it is nice that no one here tries to be Howard Stern and make shocking statements just for the fun of it it, or starts randomly cussing because you don't believe their pet theory about the masturbation scene in End of Eva.

I think we have a good balance right now. We're a fan community; we don't require our users to be working on a Ph.D in pop culture studies. We're not the Math Overflow of anime. We're lenient towards people with subpar English; as long as we can make some kind of sense of a question, we'll edit or let it stand. We point new users towards the relevant parts of the manual, rather than just saying "RTFM or GTFO". We're tolerant towards the fact that people expect to be able to discuss Legend of Korra and Tales of Symphonia on the same site where they discuss Naruto and One Piece. At the same time, we don't tolerate the kind of worthless garbage that floods Reddit and 4chan, and we expect a basic level of politeness from everyone.

I think the kind of users we want to attract are people who are reasonably polite, have reasonable writing skills to express themselves, and are willing to learn and obey the rules. It's fine if they're not great at writing, as long as they can get the basic idea across. It's fine if they don't know a lot about anime; I have no problem answering basic questions like Who's the artist of the Oreimo's Suki Nandamon original edition theme song? or even Who is the creator of the manga Yu Yu Hakusho?. It's fine if they don't spend three weeks studying the help center before asking a question; we have plenty of people willing to take the time to help out a newbie. Not everyone will be this kind of user; some people evidently like how it is on other sites. If someone prefers the atmosphere at some other site, let them stay at that site. Let us remain an island of civility and intelligent discourse in a sea of sophomoric bile.

If this means we stay small, I think that's all right. We don't need to be as large as MAL and ANN. We'll make up for our size with high-quality content. People will come here when they have a tough question that requires a maniac level of fandom to crack. If, after that, they want to go back to that thread with 36,000 posts of people cussing at each other over whether Lelouch was alive at the end of Code Geass, let them go.

  • @Toshinou-san, how could you edit out my incisive and multi-layered satirical reference to that troll we had a few months ago who answered random ID requests with Boku no Pico? You tyrant :)
    – Torisuda
    Aug 21 '15 at 19:44
  • Ohohohoho >:) . Aug 24 '15 at 7:55
  • Pretty nice answer. Also, boku no pico is a piece of art too. You might not like pornographic materials, hentai, yaoi or just BnP, but respect it! (I just don't like yaoi, don't get me wrong.)
    – ave
    Aug 29 '15 at 12:21
  • @ardaozkal I don't have anything against yaoi or pornographic materials. I've even read a few yaoi in the interest of "scientific curiosity" and open-mindedness. Totally wasn't my thing, but I did it. A few months ago we had this troll on the site who went around and put "Boku no Pico gay fag bitches!" and similar as the answer to a bunch of id requests that clearly weren't looking for Boku no Pico. I brought it up in a joking way to reinforce my point about the kind of people I don't want on the site. But since there's no fun allowed here, Toshinou-san edited it out.
    – Torisuda
    Aug 29 '15 at 19:20
  • @Torisuda 1) I know that you aren't against it. 2) I congratulate your open mindedness. I read for scientific curiosity too 3) Yes, fun is not allowed. I even got a warning for it (on Arqade). Have a nice day~~~~
    – ave
    Aug 30 '15 at 0:35

To be frank, I don't really know what you're asking. This is a very broad question and even though you've got two points, they're still pretty generic.

What is the purpose of Anime.SE?

Simple Answer: To answer and ask questions about Anime & Manga and related topics.

Longer Answer: Stack Exchange sites are whatever you want them to be - they can be social (chat), they can help with things you're confused about and they can be a great resource to learn new information. Do we really need to define and focus on one particular thing?

What kind of people do we want on Anime.SE?

Simple Answer: We want people who will contribute positively.

Longer Answer: Are we really looking for a particular type of user? We cater for fans of all genres, people who are really into anime and people who only have watched ghibli films.

Anime SE is open to everyone. The only thing we expect is a certain level of basic coherency and a willingness to contribute.

As far as who we want to attract - more experts would be good, but generally active coherent users are what fuels this site. Much of our questions are researchable, so we don't necessarily need hundreds of experts.

  • "Stack Exchange sites are whatever you want them to be" reaaaaally. I never would have guessed. The question is what do we want it to be? A lot of the supposed problems could be more readily addressed if we establish whether we want to cater to everyone or just experts. The trend right now is toward experts. Whether we need to define and focus on something is the purpose of the question. IMO, we do need to define, but we don't need to focus.
    – ton.yeung
    Aug 19 '15 at 0:02
  • As for the kind of people. People who are both active and coherent are probably the minority in the anime world. If these are only the kinds of people we are willing to welcome, then so be it. This means that our site will never really grow even close to the MALs and ANNs, which is okay. However, that also means that advertising and retention takes a back seat to kicking everyone else off of the site
    – ton.yeung
    Aug 19 '15 at 0:04
  • I don't see why you want the site to be exclusive - being coherent is basically a threshold we have to avoid questions that are unreadable. I also said that active users are those we want to attract - not that other single-time users aren't welcome. Aug 19 '15 at 6:21
  • We're a Q&A site, we're always going to be somewhat geared towards experts as we need people to answer questions. Without that we would be essentially a forum. Aug 19 '15 at 6:26
  • Also ANN and MAL are completely different websites which require littke-to-no community interaction if not desired. Whereas questions and answers here pop up to the front page for everyone to see Aug 19 '15 at 6:27
  • The point is that I don't want the site to be exclusive. If you mean coherent as in I can understand what they're trying to communicate even with formatting and grammar issues, then I agree.
    – ton.yeung
    Aug 19 '15 at 14:50
  • While we do need experts, I think we need to attract the questions for experts to answer, first.
    – ton.yeung
    Aug 19 '15 at 14:51
  • Yes, ANN and MAL are totally different sites. When I mention ANN and MAL, I mean name recognition.
    – ton.yeung
    Aug 19 '15 at 14:52
  • ah okay, I presumed you meant as active/interacted with. You're saying that you don't want the site to be exclusive, but also "A lot of the supposed problems could be more readily addressed if we establish whether we want to cater to everyone or just experts" and "What kind of people do we want on Anime.SE?" - so this is confusing me. What sort of problems could be solved? Advertising niches? Deciding whether to allow types of questions? Maybe understanding what outcome you're thinking of might help me see why this should be defined Aug 19 '15 at 17:10
  • That's putting the cart before the horse. See Leading Questions
    – ton.yeung
    Aug 19 '15 at 18:07
  • Well unless I understand the purpose of defining these things, I don't see any point in them. I agree with your deleted comment - this should be moved to chat, although I'm more than happy to leave it open-ended Aug 19 '15 at 21:17

There are currently three trends I'm seeing:

  • Questions should be formatted correctly with good grammar
  • Only questions about an anime/manga/etc should be allowed
  • If it doesn't follow the site rules, the user is an idiot beyond saving

This would basically translate to professionals who also watch anime are the only people who are welcome on this site, as 1. Even native english speakers have trouble with writing, and 2. Professionals are just about the only people who would bother to go through the manual before doing something.

Considering the dominant demographics of anime/manga fans and the amount of people who are just discovering anime and manga, I believe these are unrealistic and unsustainable expectations.

  • 3
    I agree, perhaps if we were a Japanese-based site, we might expect older users and more localized users. The rest of the world is spread out and immature Aug 18 '15 at 20:11
  • 1
    These attitudes are seen in greater or lesser degree across all of Stack Exchange. I do think they're helpful, in some degree, to maintain the quality of site content. I also think that some sites have gone way too far with them and the high rep users are basically just country club snobs at this point. It's good to check ourselves every so often and make sure we've dialed these traits to the level we want them at.
    – Torisuda
    Aug 21 '15 at 0:29
  • As to the second point, I made this meta post as an attempt to satisfy both the people who want to have a broader scope and the people who want to have more concrete rules about which topics are allowed.
    – Torisuda
    Aug 21 '15 at 0:32
  • 1
    @Vogel612 I think you misread my post. I have three points to my post: 1. describing the current trends, 2. what that means in terms of actual audience welcomed, and 3. why its bad. I am in now way saying that the trends I'm pointing out is how we should proceed.
    – ton.yeung
    Aug 27 '15 at 21:32

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