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Simple idea. I go and make a bot (or another person) and on main a "question" is posted with the title Book Share. And the rules of Book Share are in the question and people answer with the latest book they have read (That is SciFi-Fantasy) and write a simple review/blurb. That way people like me who read way too fast (yeah it is a legit problem i finish a 600 page book in one night) can find more books that are good. Up top they could give a rating out of ten.

Is this a good idea? I know rules are needed and other thing but I have to go to school right now so I typed what i can. I hope you understand my idea.

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    This sounds exactly the sort of thing that we have a blog for. Why not review a few of your most recent reads and solicit comments asking for suggestions? – Valorum Mar 10 '17 at 11:34
  • Also, we don't have stickied posts on the main site. They drop off the front page as they decline in popularity. – Valorum Mar 10 '17 at 11:35
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    Is this a proposal for the main site, or for meta? – SQB Mar 10 '17 at 12:18
  • @SQB main, as stated in the post: go and make a bot (or another person) and on main a "question" – Mithrandir Mar 10 '17 at 12:21
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    I like this idea. One meta question and then short answers on multiple books with a five star rating. Others can contribute to existing answers if they review the same book. (600 pages in one night is amazing! How?!) – Wikis Mar 10 '17 at 13:20
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    @Wikis it's not that difficult, actually... – Mithrandir Mar 10 '17 at 13:33
  • @Wikis my reading speed is about 500-1000 wpm – Christopher Mar 10 '17 at 16:06
  • If you mean "words per month", I can beat that... – Wikis Mar 10 '17 at 16:13
  • @Wikis words per Mili Second – Christopher Mar 10 '17 at 16:14
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    Possible duplicate of What questions are on-topic, and what questions are off-topic? – Christopher Mar 10 '17 at 16:14
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    Are you sure you want to close this as a duplicate? I think this is a legitimate proposal, granted you restrict it to Meta. Anime & Manga have such a post on their Meta and it works fine. – Gallifreyan Mar 10 '17 at 21:17
  • Possible duplicate of Should we have a permanent "recommendations" chat room? – Möoz Mar 19 '17 at 21:17
  • @Mooz but new users wouldn't be able to ask there – Gallifreyan Mar 20 '17 at 10:36
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Nooooo.

This is not what the site is for. The site is for asking specific questions about Science Fiction and Fantasy works. If you want reviews, check out the blog - you can find and write reviews there. But a question such as you propose would be A.) A list question, which has a ton of possible answers, none of which are 'right', and B.) a recommendation question, which is basically the same, but are explicitly banned.

  • See my comment here. – Wikis Mar 10 '17 at 13:23
  • @Wikis - this wasn't proposed as a meta idea, it was proposed for main... – Mithrandir Mar 10 '17 at 13:38
  • I know, but I think meta is a best place. – Wikis Mar 10 '17 at 14:02
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Recommendation questions are off-topic, as decided here. A question of the kind you suggest would be closed almost immediately. The rationale for this is that they're far too subjective and there's no single correct answer or way of judging one answer better than another.

Like it says in the text of the recommendation close reason, a better place for this is chat. There you can not only get reading recommendations but also have extended real-time conversations with people about why such-and-such a book is good.

  • I have to downvote because this is appealing to the rules that were created before this idea popped up. This is different - a searchable archive where (short?) reviews can be made. Sounds awesome. You don't have the problem of whether a subjective answer is correct or not - it's simply one person's review. – Wikis Mar 10 '17 at 13:23
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    @Wikis Doesn't the searchable archive go against the very nature of our community which is a QA site? Also, one person's review may fall into "POB" area. If one person loved a book and three hated it, which review do we use? – Aegon Mar 10 '17 at 13:37
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    @Aegon - they all add their reviews to the same answer. All valid. – Wikis Mar 10 '17 at 14:02
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    @Wikis Huh? I've heard of people criticising applying rules retroactively, but this must be the first time I've seen it the other way round. You seem to be saying that rules created earlier shouldn't be applied later, or in other words that rules should only be applied retroactively. – Rand al'Thor Mar 10 '17 at 22:49
  • No, I'm saying we should re-evaluate this rule in light of a new situation. – Wikis Mar 10 '17 at 23:05
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    @Wikis Should we re-evaluate every close reason every time someone posts or proposes posting an off-topic question? I don't understand what makes this situation so special. – Rand al'Thor Mar 10 '17 at 23:07
  • I'm not proposing every time, I'm proposing this time for the reasons I gave. – Wikis Mar 10 '17 at 23:15
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I think we can make this work in a Meta post.

Recommendations on the main site won't work, even as one big list. I suspect they will attract many new users seeking recommendations and we'll be flooded with such questions. Recommendations appear to be one of the factors that sank the previous Literature Stack Exchange (and they're banned on the new Literature).

However, I can see a few very attractive prospects in having a nice tidy meta post with a list of recommendations. Notice that people won't be asking for recommendations on this post - instead everyone will post a those works they felt were matching or somehow related.

Anime & Manga have tried this, and it seems to be good. Our recommendations will not be the same, since our SE is about a common topic, rather than a common medium, but this is only better! We can get laser-like focused recommendations here, given users are willing to share their experiences.

Those are the reasons why I think we could benefit from a recommendation list on Meta:

  • We could diversify our interests

    Take a look at our most popular tags - these are the works that most people who are not even into science fiction and fantasy have already heard of (well, some apparently didn't).

    Diversity has even been a problem on Anime & Manga, and the newly launched Literature - apparently, since so many users over there come from SFF, the books they've read are mostly similar. This has even lead to a sort of crisis - the most popular work is 1984 by George Orwell, who is also the most popular author. A solution was proposed to start topic challenges to diversify the site.1

    Diversity may or may not be a problem here yet - depends on who you ask - but I think we can do much better. Our users must have read at least a couple of libraries worth of fantasy, and watched jigahours of science fiction. I'm more than sure that we will be able to come up with some good and less-known works that may be interesting to other users.

  • New users who seek recommendations will not be turned down by our usual "off-topic, try chat" reply

    I don't like that reply either, but what else can we say right now? Besides, most new users don't even have the rep to go to chat, in which case our answer is useless.

    I believe new users can have a positive impression of our website if we explain to them that recommendations are off-topic on our main site because they are too opinion-based, and then show them that we too occasionally need recommendations. The new user will be happy, and maybe even stick around to post something else.

If we accept this, an example recommendation will contain some explanations about why that users think we should read/watch what they recommend, and some works they think are similar (but not necessarily).


1: Ironically, it seems that the first challenge will again be a work of science fiction ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • I agree with this – Christopher Mar 19 '17 at 20:09
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    I disagree with this. – Valorum Mar 21 '17 at 8:51
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    @Valorum but why? – Gallifreyan Mar 21 '17 at 8:53
  • Because I think it's a bad idea – Valorum Mar 21 '17 at 9:09

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