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Not all Arts & Crafts questions are well-suited to the StackExchange model -- for example, "does my artwork look good" or "what craft can I make with popsicle sticks". However, these could be great discussion starters in our chat room! One of the great things about this site is the wide range of topics we cover and different experience levels of our users, and I've already seen (and gotten inspiration from) terrific sharing of ideas and techniques.

But that feels a little random and haphazard to me. A recent question about alternative origami materials, for example, could be an interesting and fruitful chat topic... as long as there are a decent assortment of origami crafters present in the room. And that's one of the things chat events are for: attracting a particular subset of users, and keeping discussion (somewhat) focused on a particular topic.

What sort of events would you like to see scheduled in The Studio?

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  • I think this is a great idea to handle some (IMHO sometimes a bit frustrating) off-topic questions and to generate on-topic questions for the site. Indeed, people can gather ideas there and when it comes to applications, they can ask on the site. I propose to call it "workshops" instead of "events" (sounds more fancy :). – Surb Jun 9 '16 at 13:03
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    I love the idea of "workshops" -- it's very much in line with the Arts & Crafts concept, somehow :) – Erica Jun 9 '16 at 13:04
  • I guess the delicate part might come when it is about advertising these. The best I see for the moment would be to use the advertisement space of the site or our own profiles. – Surb Jun 9 '16 at 13:09
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    @Surb Pretty sure we could just use featured metas for this. These won't be saturating our system so I don't see any harm in this. SFF and Movies do it this way. – Matt Jun 9 '16 at 15:13
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This should be done somehow. Our chat does have decent activity and we should capitalize it. This would really help build that community feel outside of the sometimes perceived rigidity of the Stack Exchange Q&A format.

I worry that your sample topic might be too specific and not gain enough attention to be useful at this stage. To help ensure this idea, in general, gets traction and to more test the waters of discussion, in the early phases of our beta, I would suggest...

Genre discussion

Pick a crafting genre like Origami for instance. We can encourage off-topic to Main discussion there. To help stimulate discussion we could consider the general topics of

  • Showcase your work: Want to brag and show something off? Besides the ooo's and aaa's this would encourage people to ask questions like: "How did you learn that" or "What is that technique called"
  • Beginners tutorials: Want to get started with some part of [art/craft genre] and don't know where to start. Would help people not familiar with the genre get started. Would encourage more of point 1 as well. This could be a good source of question inspiration as people more experienced would answer questions they would not longer consider (as it would be second nature).
  • Alternative materials and tool ideas: Like the closed question was going for.
  • I advise against request for critiquing to avoid any potential for confrontation. I know that we can be objective and provide constructive criticism. However that cannot cover all users and you cannot be sure how people take criticism especially in a chat format where body language is not present or lost in translation.

So, to start, we could have an origami chat night session. Next maybe a crochet chat session or a wine bottle one!

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  • To clarify, I intended the topic to be more like "come talk about origami for an hour" than "discuss alternative origami materials" -- but your point is well-taken, the event definitely needs to be broad enough to attract a group of users, and then we can take on the more specific questions during the event :) – Erica May 27 '16 at 14:56
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    @Erica Yeah... didn't mean to pick on the idea but it was the example to use to make a point. Not that I think you were getting that impression. – Matt May 27 '16 at 14:59
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    We could certainly hold votes for which type of art/craft to cover, too. People could suggest their own and then we vote for our preferences, then rotate through them. – user24 May 27 '16 at 18:43
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    Also, encouraging people to recommend resources for these specific topics, like when I provided a list of books in chat for figure art construction. – user24 May 27 '16 at 18:44
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    @CreationEdge I would have thought that would come naturally with the recommendation. A little encouragement and leading by example wouldn't hurt. – Matt May 27 '16 at 19:22

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