One of the things I've always loved about Stack Exchange sites is how nice the community is. When I'd asked question at say, Rails Forum, I'd be told how stupid I was for not reading the docs or that my code sucked, whatever. I come to Stack Overflow and I just get answers and help. I love that.
I've only been at Scifi.Se for a few days, and already the community seems to be devolving into passive-aggressive, smart-ass comments and a general lack of respect. It's not bad yet, but I see the signs and it's already made me think of just abandoning this beta all together. It's not like that on Writers.Se -- people there are generally trying to form a community and work together to build a site. When a question is posted that's maybe not the greatest -- no one posts a link to a Wikipedia article in the comments and says something along the lines of "what, this not enough detail for you." They try to guide the question into something that will work. Unfortunately that site looks poised to die.
That's not happening here. It started with the mass-closing of more than a dozen questions by someone, while an SE moderator, hadn't really taken the time to participate in the community. To his credit, when a question he closed was reopened he's asked why people found it interesting. It was my question, so I'm staying out of it.
I'm trying to post a lot of questions, actually, of different kinds, to see what the community likes and will tolerate. I strongly disagreed with the closing of that particular question, because it wasn't open-ended, wasn't subjective and was something actually has interested me for a while. I figured someone would know. But, whatever, had the community not reopened then, I think that's good, too. It helps to shape the site and for all of us to know going forward what's working and what's not.
I also see some early problems of trying to force the site into something that it's not. Maybe it's just that this type of site and this topic is not well suited to what the SE model is. Maybe, the SE model needs to adapt a bit and allow types questions that wouldn't work at say Stack Overflow or Superuser, because this is a fundamentally different kind of topic. I don't know.
But the point is, this is a beta. We all need to feel free to be able to pose questions and we need to deal gently with each other as we come to consensus. My roommate actually joined at my prodding. He's a huge sci-fi fan and I was like, you need to post a questions. He won't, because he's afraid of how people will respond after lurking over the last day or so and seeing how some of the question were responded to and the moderating style. That should concern all of us.