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I'm a little new to all of this, so I'm wondering, what is the difference between the normal scifi stack exchange and the Meta version?

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Directly from the help page What's Meta?

What is "meta"? How does it work?

Meta Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is the part of the site where users discuss the workings and policies of Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange rather than discussing science fiction or fantasy itself. It is separated from the main Q&A to reduce noise there while providing a legitimate space for people to ask how and why this site works the way it does. Meta is for:

  • asking questions about how the websites work
  • asking questions of the community
  • posting bugs
  • suggesting improvements
  • proposing new features

Please look around to see if your question has been asked before, and avoid asking questions that have nothing to do with Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange or the Stack Exchange network. This is not a random discussion area; rather, it's a place for improving our community and website, together.

Voting is different on meta.

Like normal Stack Exchange sites, Meta allows members to vote on questions and answers. For most posts, votes reflect the perceived usefulness: well-written, well-reasoned, well-researched posts tend to get more attention and more upvotes. Highly-voted and frequently-linked posts may become part of the community-curated FAQ or codified as part of the site’s Help pages.

Unlike normal Stack Exchange sites, Meta invites the community to discuss, debate and propose changes to the way the community itself behaves, as well as how the software itself works. On posts tagged feature-request, voting indicates agreement or disagreement with the proposed change rather than just the quality or usefulness of the post itself.

If you have an account on Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange, you have an account on its meta site.

You do not need to create a separate account for meta; once you are logged in on Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange, you are also logged in and may post on its meta site.

Votes on meta do not affect your reputation; your meta reputation is the same as your reputation on Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange (synchronized hourly), though you earn separate badges. You must have 5 reputation to participate on meta.

Meta has required tags.

On the main site, we ask that you avoid using meta-tags.

Because meta-discussion sites are different and serve multiple purposes, some meta-tags are okay, and even required. Each meta question is required to have one of the following tags:

  • [support], which indicates a request for assistance with one of the site's features.
  • [bug], denoting a reproducible problem on the site that you believe is due to a mistake, malfunction, or programming error
  • [feature-request], for a proposal for a new feature on the site, or requests a change to an existing feature.
  • [discussion], for posts that may not have a clear-cut right or wrong answer and are often subjective. If it's not a bug or feature request, it is probably a discussion.
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    I admit the question seems rather silly now – Lipee Jul 23 '14 at 17:38
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    @Lipee Not at all. The help pages are frequently missed. I'd rather see people comfortable enough to ask questions about the site here in meta, rather than making 'mistakes' on the main site. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have here, or in the chat system. – Beofett Jul 23 '14 at 17:53
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    I apologize if I came across as "duh, look here" - I just really couldn't put it any better than that page does. – phantom42 Jul 23 '14 at 18:00

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