Stack Exchange is giving away sets of Game of Thrones: Season 1 on Blu-Ray and DVD!

Stack Exchange is giving away 2 Blu-Ray sets and 3 DVD sets of Game of Thrones: Season 1. Huzzah! They say that in Game of Thrones, right? Of course they do. Here’s what you have to do to enter the giveaway:

Handy Twitter sharing icon!
  1. Find your favorite Game of Thrones question at SciFi.SE and share it using the site’s handy sharing tools (see right). And if you get inspired to ask your own Game of Thrones question, do it! And share it! When you share a question, make sure to…
  2. Use the hashtag #SEthronesDVD or #SEthronesBlu, depending on whether or not you want to be eligible to receive a Blu-Ray or DVD of Game of Thrones: Season 1. Only questions shared via Twitter with either the hashtag #SEthronesDVD or #SEthronesBlu are valid entries into the giveaway. You may tweet as many questions as you like; each tweet acts as an entry to the contest BUT only 1 set will be awarded per user.
  3. The names of 2 people using the hashtag #SEthronesBlu, and 3 people using the hashtag #SEthronesDVD will be drawn at random. So yes, the more questions you tweet the higher your chances, but you cannot win more than 1 set.
  4. The winners will be notified via StackHQ and will have to provide a mailing address via direct message that we can send the set to. Winners will have 48 hours from being contacted to provide a mailing address before a new winner is drawn.

The deadline for entry is Wednesday, March 14th at 3:00 PM EST.

Also, due to the regional limitations of the sets as well as shipping costs, only applicants in the United States are eligible. 

And that’s it! We hope everyone has fun checking out the awesome Game of Thrones content on SciFi.SE and  tweeting their questions. Just make sure you aren’t spamming your followers with a bunch of questions (ultimately, you know what your followers want; operate under the “be cool about it” rule).

Stack Exchange is only responsible for the sets and are not providing Blu-Ray players or DVD players along with the sets.

UPDATE: The contest has concluded and winners have been announced via @StackHQ. Thanks to all who participated, and be sure to ask questions about Game of Thrones here on SciFi.SE when season 2 starts up in April!

The Last Question

Jeff Atwood, one of the founders of the StackExchange network, chose to mark his last (day-to-day) day at the company with a post disparaging identification questions.  As Jeff pointed out in his post, the [tag]story-identification[/tag] tag is the second most common on our site right now, so I’d like to point out why our community feels that these are a valuable part of the site, where we disagree with Jeff’s viewpoint, and hopefully give you a bit better understanding of how decisions about what’s on-topic are made (and then re-made, and re-made, and …).

The community consensus gets hashed out on “meta” – there have been quite a few discussions about story identification questions (starting way back at the launch of the site, up to and including during the recent moderation elections), so you should head over there if you’d like to make your opinion heard, or read in more depth (good places to start are here and here) – what’s below is heavily based on the content from there (I’ve borrowed some sentences verbatim).

This is my personal opinion as a user of the site, not an official statement.

Read more

Moderator Elections

The first moderator elections for scifi.stackoverflow.com are now underway!  Back in February 2011 we gained “pro tempore” moderators, whose task was to guide the site through the beta phase (before then the Stack Exchange staff filled this role).  Now that the site is fully launched, the community gets to elect its own moderators.

Moderators are the patient, respectful, and fair folk that lead the site and get access to the most powerful moderation tools and a few special resources.  There’s not much in the way of reward, but there’s plenty of work, so we should be thankful to all of those that have put their name forward, and especially those that end up with the job.

Once elected, the moderators hold their office permanently, so you need to make sure that you get the mods that you want. Likewise, if you want to be a moderator, then this will be your last chance for likely a long time.

The election process is composed of two stages (or three if we get more than 10 nominees, which looks unlikely).  The first, which ends in three days, is nominations.  Any community member with at least 300 reputation may nominate themselves (you cannot nominate someone else – encourage them to nominate themselves instead).  Each nominee writes a brief outline explaining why they are a good candidate, and anyone can comment on these – indeed you are encouraged to do so: ask the candidates anything that will help you make up your mind as to where your votes go.

We’re about to enter the election phase, when all members with at least 150 reputation can cast three votes: 1st choice, 2nd choice, and 3rd choice. All votes are private until the election is complete, at which point the election data file (the vote totals for all the candidates; no identification of who voted for whom) will be freely and permanently downloadable by anyone. The winners are determined using the Meek STV method.

There’s going to be a chat event where you can ask the candidates questions to better inform your vote.  See this meta post for details about when it’s scheduled, or just keep an eye on the chat room calendar.  You can also post questions on meta, if you find that better than chat.

Democracy is a highly imperfect process, but it is a participatory imperfect process. Please participate in our community elections. Your vote is your voice, so use it!

Launch!

After almost a year in beta, we now have over 3000 users and an active community of science fiction fans (as well as a few users that are actively working in this area) providing input, answers, moderation, blog posts and their own time to make the site a global success.

Congratulations to all the members – your effort has paid off, and today scifi.stackexchange.com has graduated from a beta Stack Exchange website to a full-fledged member of the Stack Exchange family.

What does this mean?

New design.


Be sure to check out the errorCAPTCHA (human verification), about, and 404 (page not found) pages, and check out the different look of meta (and, while you’re there, take a look at some of the hot meta questions).

Privileges have changed.

Now that we’re not a beta site, the privileges required to do certain things have increased. That means there are fewer people to do them, and you might not be able to do everything that you could yesterday.

If you see something problematic, please comment and flag. Your moderators will be happy to close, reopen, migrate, protect or delete questions or answers that need it, especially if there’s comments and/or flags from multiple users saying that’s what needs to happen.

Remember that anyone can edit.  Even if you lost the edit privilege, you can still edit any answer or question – it’ll just go into a moderation queue to be verified first.  Again, there are fewer people to work through these suggested edits now, too, so it might take a little longer for the suggestions to be processed, but generally our moderators are super fast, so you probably won’t wait long.  If your edit is approved, you get reputation, so it’s another way to build up to the privilege level that you used to enjoy.

Vote Early, Vote Often, and Vote Some More. Voting builds reputation, which will help more users earn the privileges that let the site be more user-run than moderator-run.  When you’ve run out of votes, find an unanswered or poorly answered question and answer it, to gather more reputation for yourself.

We’re linked in the footer of regular Stack Exchange sites

Hopefully we’ll get some new visitors as a result.  Please take care to be even more friendly and helpful than you already are to help out our new members.  In particular, if you down-vote or vote to close, please make sure that you leave a comment (or upvote an existing comment) explaining what’s wrong with the question/answer, so that we encourage better participation by these new users, rather than scare them away.

Let your friends and fellow fans know about the site (and the blog!) – we get around 1500 visits a day, but the more people who come, the wider the pool of expertise we can bring in.  This is just one giant leap towards becoming the authoritative site for science fiction and fantasy questions – we still need to work hard to get the rest of the way.

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