Avengers vs. X-Men is here!

If you’ve taken a gander at the Sci-Fi & Fantasy site today, odds are you’ve noticed a lot of questions about the Avengers or X-Men. Why is that? Well, it’s because the site is in the throes of its first big event!

AVX.STACKSHOWDOWN.COM

This event is closely modeled on the Skyrim vs. MW3 event that Gaming held last Fall, but modified for maximized, ultimate comic book goodness. Thanks to designer Jin Yang, developer Emmett Nicholas for getting the site up, and Tim Dillon and Ryan Penagos from Marvel for providing us with awesome art.

The event was inspired by Marvel Comics’ own Avengers vs. X-Men event, which just launched today. Avengers vs. X-Men is a 12 issue mini-series, coming out biweekly, pitting two of Marvel’s premier superteams in battle over an Earth-changing event. With the biggest names in comics on the creative team, this is shaping up to be 2012’s big blockbuster for comics. Be sure to check out the event by hopping by your local comic book shop, or checking out the issue on the Marvel App or at ComiXology.

So how does this translate to the Sci-Fi & Fantasy Stack Exchange site? Glad you asked that, me. We’re putting our Avengers questions against our X-Men questions, in a battle for views! Fans are encouraged to ask the questions that have been burning up inside them ever since they first held a comic, and then share that question so they can both get an awesome answer, and ALSO ensure that their side (Avengers or X-Men) gets the views they need to pull ahead. So far today, the X-Men’s early lead has given way to the Avengers, who are now winning. Come on, X-Men!

What kind of questions are welcome? You are really full of questions, me, but I’ll answer them. Any questions about anything X-Men or Avengers are welcome. All of the activity is being measured through the use of tags, so as long as your question falls within the scope of the Avengers or X-Men tag, it’s fair game! So far today, some of the leading questions are:

Like those questions? Upvote and share them! Have a better answer? Post it! Get involved because there are prizes to be won.

Oh, did I forget to mention prizes?

At the end of the contest’s run (April 19th, specifics here), the winning side will be chosen and one lucky participant from that side will win our grand prize! On top of that, the users that have the top question and answer for both sides will win prizes. Lots to win!

So what are you waiting for? Avengers assemble! X-Men…x-trapolate? X-travaganza? The X-Men don’t have a rallying cry, but rally X-Men fans, rally! For more info on the contest, please check out the official rules and prizes page, as well as the Meta post!

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!

%d bloggers like this: