Regular visitors of the 2nd monitor chat room may be familiar with @RoboSanta, a friendly bot, pimping posts that are hopefully upvote-worthy.

Currently RoboSanta posts one Naruto answer per day (accepted non-selfie answer with zero score on a non-closed non-deleted question), randomly selected from a SEDE query. Pimping these is likely to attract upvotes, with few odd exceptions (typically some pre-2014 posts).

I'm thinking of adding a few more topics:

  • Ripe zombies: open questions with one or more non-deleted answers with zero score, and no answers having greater than zero score. Pimping these is likely to attract upvotes and reduce zombies.

  • Code-only answers. Posting such answers is likely to attract downvotes and flags, and reduce crap.

  • Bad Naruto: selfie accepted answers with zero or negative score, when there are other answers with positive score. Posting such answers is likely to attract downvotes and flags, and reduce crap.

In terms of frequency and timing, I'm thinking of one post per day per topic, and space them 2 hours apart.

Do you think these additional posts will be a good thing? Or some of these but not all of these? Do you have any thoughts on the timing of these posts? (Currently RoboSanta posts a Naruto at 21:00 UTC, a time when there's moderate activity.)


4 Answers 4


No one-boxing

This is less about the content/targets of the feeds and more about the formatting as they appear in chat (especially if multiple are posted in a short time).

At the time of this writing, this is what the feeds look like:


That is, each one is two posts, like this:

RoboSanta: Naruto answer; accepted non-selfie answer with 0 score:
RoboSanta: https://codereview.stackexchange.com/questions/113202/check-if-divisible/113205#113205

With the 2nd one being the large one-boxed post.

My idea would be to keep the feed description and the post associated into one chat post, maybe like this:

RoboSanta: Naruto answer: accepted non-selfie answer with 0 score: Check if divisible

Mark-up version:

Naruto answer: accepted non-selfie answer with 0 score: **[<Post-Title>](<Post-URL>)**

For the timing part, I would like to suggest that Robo Santa posts 2 times a day. This is because some users aren't online 24/7.

How about posting on 9:00 UTC and 21:00 UTC ? I wouldn't space them 2 hours apart because it would make it harder to find them.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You mean, post all topics (naruto, zombie, ...) at once, twice a day? \$\endgroup\$
    – janos
    Dec 29, 2015 at 11:48
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, 4 posts won't harm. In this way it will interrupt any chat only once per interval. \$\endgroup\$
    – Heslacher
    Dec 29, 2015 at 11:53

I think selfie answers with zero score aren't necessarily bad. In some cases such as this selfie answer the intent was to simply show that the real answer was understood, acknowledged and appreciated. It could have been posted as a new question, but I find questions of the "Krappy Kode (version 5.2b)" variety to be annoying, especially if I've already reviewed the code twice.

It's appropriate that such an answer gets zero upvotes and zero downvotes, IMHO, because it's really just a manifestation of the real answers which are worthy of upvotes and isn't sufficiently reworked to bother people for another review. However, it's valuable because anyone looking at the question later will see the revised version as well as the rationale for the changes.

What do you think?

  • \$\begingroup\$ My apologies. Nothing wrong with selfie answers, in general, at all. In fact it's encouraged SE-wide. I didn't explain well (fixed now) what I really meant: selfie accepted answers with zero or negative score, when there are other answers with positive score. So I meant not just any selfie selfie answer, but a much more specific kind, a small subset. Really sorry about this. \$\endgroup\$
    – janos
    Dec 26, 2015 at 17:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @janos: No worries. I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something important. \$\endgroup\$
    – Edward
    Dec 26, 2015 at 18:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ The etiquette for selfie answers that don't add insight is to mark it as Community Wiki to make it rep-neutral. Strictly speaking, it's Not an Answer because it's not a code review. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 26, 2015 at 18:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, I didn't know that one. Thanks @200_success. \$\endgroup\$
    – Edward
    Dec 26, 2015 at 18:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @200_success, can you then flag such an answer to be converted to a Community Wiki? Can it be changed into a Community Wiki after posting? \$\endgroup\$
    – holroy
    Dec 27, 2015 at 22:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @holroy Yes, a post can be converted to Community Wiki after posting, and I did that to Edward's answer. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 27, 2015 at 22:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @200_success. How? Flagging as in need of moderator invention? \$\endgroup\$
    – holroy
    Dec 27, 2015 at 22:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @holroy Yes, that could do the job. Flagging as Not an Answer also works. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 27, 2015 at 22:58

Just a personal opinion, but I wouldn't mind having it post one of each every hour (or maybe 2 hours).

One of each because if it's going to interrupt chat, it may as well do it all at once.

Every 1/2 hours because (IMO) that's infrequent enough to not be an annoyance, whilst maximising the frequency of posts for people who would be interested in them.

Can I also recommend giving RoboSanta a dedicated room for people who want to find its posts without having to search chat for them.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I wonder how many posts the SEDE query is returning.. feels like at that rate santa might run out of things to post pretty fast! :-) \$\endgroup\$ Dec 20, 2015 at 19:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ And this would be a bad thing? :p \$\endgroup\$
    – Kaz
    Dec 20, 2015 at 19:41
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Well, for anyone shooting for Unsung Hero at least ;-) \$\endgroup\$ Dec 20, 2015 at 19:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I also wouldn't mind having it post several at once, but it shouldn't onebox if it going to inject several posts at once. \$\endgroup\$
    – user34073
    Dec 20, 2015 at 20:05
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ I personally wouldn't want several at once. Much less every 1/2 hour. One an hour or two from one of the categories is more reasonable IMO. \$\endgroup\$
    – RubberDuck
    Dec 20, 2015 at 20:06
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ About the dedicated room, sounds like a feature request. You can always propose on GitHub, as mentioned in RoboSanta's profile. Actually, I had this idea for a while too. As it happens, I just released this tonight: in addition to the 2nd monitor, RoboSanta will be posting in RoboSanta's Playground too. As I don't expect any other posts in there, it could be a good place to find these posts easily. \$\endgroup\$
    – janos
    Dec 20, 2015 at 21:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Separate room is a really bad idea - there's not much point if nobody sees it. The frequency is also great at about one per day - that's good enough to strike the right balance between in-your-face, and "subtle". if robosanta becomes "promiscuous" with it's pimping, people will just ignore it (perhaps even by pressing the ignore button). The goal is to get people to read the post, not to either auto-vote, or ignore it. \$\endgroup\$
    – rolfl
    Dec 21, 2015 at 13:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @rolfl the bot could post to both RoboSanta's Playground and The 2nd Monitor. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 23, 2015 at 10:08

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