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The upcoming 'Moderator Election: Town Hall Chat' got me thinking:

  • Should Programmers.se hold a meet-and-greet?

As others have mentioned, there are so many misunderstandings on this Q&A Forum. I feel like if Programmers.se members got a chance to meet the moderators, and perhaps share a quick drink, it would engender a tremendous amount of goodwill. Perhaps people wouldn't act so hostile to one another?

I know that there's the obvious problem of meeting in a defined physical space. [Travel arrangements and arranging for time off from work could be issues.] But I feel like it would be worth it.

Do others agree?

Also, if this is not possible, perhaps we could just organize a Google Hangout?

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    But who can we trust to confiscate all the guns, knives, and shards of MSDN DVDs at the door? – Shog9 Jan 30 '12 at 0:29
  • @Mr.CRT would AOL disc shards still be permitted? – World Engineer Jan 30 '12 at 1:41
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I don't see how such a thing is feasible in the context of a moderator election. I'm looking at the first 10 users with a location in their profile: Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Virginia, Tennessee, United Kingdom, California, Washington (state), New Hampshire, and Russia. If you take a look at the moderator candidates with locations available to the public, you have Australia, Georgia (state), Pennsylvania, Ohio, Greece, Canada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

Beyond the logistics of coordinating a time and a space (highly unlikely to do in such a short timeframe), you need to deal with the cost of getting people there (as much as I love Programmers, I wouldn't pay for a hotel and plane ticket to the location to talk to people to get a volunteer position). And then, you need to get interested users there - you need to pick a location and time where people can actually show up and participate. I don't see how the cost and effort is worth it, at all.

As for a Google Hangout, the purpose of using the SE chat system is to keep it on the network. In addition, the convention Google Hangouts have limited moderation ability and limited size - these don't apply to SE chat system. The only advantage would be video chat capabilities, but I'm not sure how relevant or useful that is for the purposes of the moderator election.

But that doesn't mean that meetups would be bad. DevDays was cancelled this year, so there were no organized groups of people from the development-related Stack Exchange sites meeting. I would have to dig, but I believe some people discussed organizing local hangouts with various purposes, ranging from socializing to professional development and presentations a la TED Talks. I know that I would attend these if they were held between Manchester, NH and Boston or Worcester, MA, and I would suspect other users would attend them if they were local. And if you combined all of the development-oriented SE sites - Stack Overflow, Programmers, maybe Game Development, Code Review, Software Quality Assurance and Testing, some users of Project Management who are in the software industry, and so on - you would probably hit critical mass.

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