Update: Since the reaction to this idea seemed pretty lukewarm, I've decided not to move ahead with this. If someone else wants to build an event on this idea, feel free to do so.
This is a conspiracy to get some good questions and answers in less-trafficked tags.
If the response to this proposal seems positive, I'll move ahead with implementation in a week or so.
We should form viewing circles—groups of users who are all following the same series at the same time. Hopefully, this will mean that when people ask questions about the series, other users who are also following the series will be able to answer them. The circle doesn't have to stay in lockstep; it's okay if you slip back by a few episodes, and it's also okay if you end up way ahead.
This proposal comes from several frustrating experiences I've had. The naruto and one-piece tags never seem to lack for questions or answers, but it's a real crapshoot in other tags, especially when it comes to currently airing or less popular shows. If you ask a question about a show that no one else is following, you either get no answers or you get overly general answers from people who haven't seen the show and are guessing based on tropes. Conversely, a lot of people won't even look at a question if it concerns a series they aren't following. So decent posts languish with few upvotes, and the users who write these posts get discouraged and seem to either give up and leave or spend a bunch of time in the review queues closing id requests. It's just a bad experience all around. While this is somewhat unavoidable, there's a lot we can do to improve it, and this proposal is one idea I came up with to do so.
Also, a lot of people mentioned that they discovered new series by reading id requests. Now that id requests are gone, this could be a good way to discover something new.
If this idea hits off, we can do it maybe once per season. You can also do manga; I don't think we really need to separate out manga.
Here's how we can form circles:
- Someone (probably me) will create a meta post to form circles.
- Everyone should write answers mentioning the series you want to form a circle around. It can be a single series, or it can be a franchise (e.g. all the Fate shows), or a small set of shows around some kind of theme (e.g. shows inspired by Eva, shows based on Key visual novels, manga by Shirow Masamune, the films of Satoshi Kon). If you're doing multiple shows, you should mention the viewing order you'd like to follow so things can stay in synch. It would also be nice to mention where someone can watch the series (legally, of course), and whether it's been completely released or is currently simulcasting.
- We should all upvote answers that mention series we're interested in following.
- You can commit to a circle by leaving a comment saying "I'm committing to this circle". It's not official, but it's nice for the person who created the circle to know that others are interested in committing. You can also make suggestions or request clarification before committing.
- People are inevitably going to drop out as life happens (or as the show starts to suck), so large groups are probably better. I would encourage everyone to commit to popular, highly upvoted circles so the circle can survive these inevitable dropouts.
- For the same reason, we should all join several circles, not just one or two. That way if you can't stand to watch a show anymore, you can drop it, but still be involved with other circles.
- It's completely valid to join a circle watching a series you've already seen, if you'd like to rewatch it and maybe answer some newbie questions with your deeper perspective on the series. You can also possibly join a circle if you've seen the series and aren't going to rewatch it, just to assure everyone that there are experts on that series around the site.
- It's also perfectly okay to "join" a circle long after it's been formed and started watching the series—you know that other users on the site have seen the show, so you can ask questions with some confidence that there are experts around. And there might also be questions from the initial viewing still hanging around without good answers, that you can provide an answer for.
I prefer to do this on Meta rather than chat. Not all of us go to chat, and not everyone who might be interested in a circle is going to be on chat at the same time. Plus, doing it on Meta lets interested people vet the suggested circles to make sure someone else is actually interested in joining.
Please leave comments, questions, and suggestions here. If people seem interested, I'll create another post where we can actually form circles.