TRE (I) was a success . . . depending on how you define it, but the majority agree, hope or guess.

I could've just gone on and thrown in a new plan of attack since there are only so many ways to get a list of questions and edit their tags and stuff, but I first wanted to see what you guys find fun.

There are things we learned from TRE (I). There were so many good things about it it's not worth cluttering up space to list them first, so instead I try to comment on the holes of our work. Here's my commentary:

  • Maybe the stat page did it, or maybe this was the nature of the event, but it occurs to me that a lot of questions could have had their grammar, formatting etc. improved that were only bumped because of the tags. Ideally, this time we should design the event in a way that encourages quality edits rather than increasing the quantity of the edits.
  • It feels like we were very inconsistent with when and how we should review edits. Some people didn't get to review at all, and some people (including me) got review-capped. Also, some edits that shouldn't have passed did. I think we should be more elaborate on what edits we're looking for to avoid this. Also, I may need to come up with yet another genius™ plan so that we encourage more editing than reviewing, and also everyone almost gets their fair share of review points for teh badgez.
  • One good thing about TRE was that despite the name, we got to do many additional things: We flagged bad answers or comment noise, we closed some questions, some upvotes and downvotes were given and a bunch of other things, thanks to nice users like Jan. It probably would've been much more effective if we had planned for this earlier.

My jaw hurts now, I'll perhaps come back later to edit in some more rant. For now, let's remember that we apparently need to come up with something to fill those holes in this TRE.

So in the answers below, you can write about one or more of these things: (The more the merrier)

  • What you liked/disliked most about TRE
  • An idea of how any part of TRE (II) should go (any aspects of its process; I'm not asking for a full-scale invasion plan. You can talk about the time of the event, its frequency, or its process)
  • What our main aim should be; if we do need to focus on something important about tags
  • The biggest problem of our current tagging system in your opinion, if there are any
  • Any additional commentary or your opinion on how we can make things more fun (answers to the likes of "how can we attract more users?")
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It's time to polish the turds... $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2016 at 17:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Get ready for some Hollywood action. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Feb 2, 2016 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ esters and amines, so that we can finish this. $\endgroup$ Feb 3, 2016 at 5:16
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ debuzzwordify $\endgroup$ Feb 8, 2016 at 4:58
  • $\begingroup$ I second what @Martin-マーチン proposes. $\endgroup$ Feb 8, 2016 at 13:20
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If you are editing titles, there are 9 questions with \ce in the title. I don't know how to (or whether it's possible) to search for all titles with MathJaX, I tried different variations of searching for $, but none seem to work $\endgroup$ Feb 8, 2016 at 18:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Ortho Mathjax blows up searching. I don't think we can do anything with the site's search. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Feb 11, 2016 at 7:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I guess there are many new one-taggers. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Feb 18, 2016 at 1:17
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @orthocresol I have written a rudimentary query: data.stackexchange.com/chemistry/query/445054/… $\endgroup$ Mar 4, 2016 at 6:48

5 Answers 5


Well, there are various things and taking care of as many of them as possible would be beneficial.

  1. Adding tags to one-taggers - there's lots of them. About 150 only in inorganic chemistry.

  2. Taking care of functional groups, nuclear and other (re)tagging stuff.

  3. Improving titles - removing mathjax, buzzwords for starters, but also making them as appropriate and precise, as possible without making them too long.

  4. Improving text with mathjax, maybe some links, also punctuation, spelling etc. when needed.

  5. We shouldn't forget about flagging/voting to close and also up/downvoting stuff while doing TRE II.

What to change:

  1. Try systematic recruiting of people for event - the more people the better.

  2. Not concentrate that strongly on tags, as other things can be improved too.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So, how can I recruit people? $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Mar 3, 2016 at 6:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Maybe organizational question on meta who wants to participate, how and when? $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Mar 4, 2016 at 2:44

The few times I joined, I had fun enough to want to come back. However, the time we held it was a serious complication for my private life. In order to attract more people to the whole event we might want to check the best times when to hold it in the first place. It might be, that Fridays was just right, but checking first would probably give everyone the experience to be a part from the beginning.

The main issue I had with the event was that it is too short, to do thing properly. It is too fast paced and instead of talking a bit more in chat, there might be complete silence for minutes because people are working on the posts. That's fine, as that is the purpose, but I guess there should be more communication and also a little less pressure. The projects we chose for the first edition were massive, and with a lot of questions, there was a lot to handle. If everybody would have taken a smaller piece of pie, the whole thing would have lasted longer...

Anyway, I am up for it again, and since I commented my favourite topics, which Mithoron echoed, I don't include them again...

I decided to include a couple of things that I would like to have done, just to get an overview how long these processes might take, how much it will fill.

  • A topic, that I just came across again: Everyday use of "Everyday Chemistry". It appears to me a little bit strange that with 713 appearances is the eighth most used tag on our site. Going through all of the questions will certainly take some time. (With 10 participants, doing 20 questions a session, this will already take 4 events)
  • The buzzwords in titles are one of the most recurring problem on our site. It is hard to fight them on a day to day basis. I currently count about 200 questions that need to be checked and possibly edited. (This is about one session, maybe two.)
  • Apply the tags esters and amines, so that we can finish this. That's about 250 questions that need to be checked. (This should be two sessions.)
  • What is it with the nuclear? This is only about 50 uses, but as I pointed out in the linked post, It really is complicated to get started with the whole thing. But this would be a good topic for TRE, because we have plenty of people in the room then already.
    There might be the obvious questions, where you just need to change it to , and some cases where you just delete it. Then a couple of questions, where it would be good when everybody who is online this day could read it and make suggestions.
  • Remove MathJax from titles: SE data query This one is easy with only 50 cases, so one session should be fine to cover it.
  • Polish the turds. This is a big one. This is not easy to accomplish. Occasionally there is a turd question (score <= 0) with a [good] answer (score > 1). Based on this search my guesstimate is 2000 questions, that need to be checked. The task would be to make those questions good enough, so that a good answer is not lost in the trash. One of those examples is probably https://chemistry.stackexchange.com/q/1358/4945. While this one is quite ok so far, there are a lot more out there that need work on the tags. Maybe a couple of them should be checked if the given answers are even helpful and if they are just there preventing the abandoned post to get deleted. When I find the time, then I might construct a SEDQ being a bit more specific and subdividing it into smaller pieces.
  • Check what prevents these questions from being deleted. What 600 more questions?

Well, there you have it, I guess it can cover us until the next year ;)

Oh, and when editing, we should pay attention to: Can we edit out unnecessary "statements of weakness" or buzzwords inside the questions' bodies?

  • $\begingroup$ I would. Bows $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Mar 4, 2016 at 11:14

Do the same cleanup as we did at TRE (I).

I was quite sad to see that 85 questions now have as their only tag. There are also 150 questions that have as their only tag.


I know that I'm literally digging up a fossil of a post here, but if this ever happens again, then another good candidate for tagging is . Even if TRE(II) doesn't formally happen in the near future, feel free to just go ahead and do some edits.

Anyway, the tag is a relatively recent creation and as such is not applied to many questions where it really should be. I'd like to suggest a few (well, maybe not a few) search criteria:

  • sigmatropic
  • cycloaddition (Note that not all cycloadditions are pericyclic, so be a bit careful.)
  • electrocyclic
  • group transfer
  • cheletropic
  • Woodward-Hoffmann (if possible, try to look for wrong speelings, e.g. Hofmann/Hoffman)
  • Mobius (don't bother with Huckel, it'll bring up a lot of false positives)
  • conrotatory, disrotatory
  • suprafacial, antarafacial

and specific named reactions (feel free to add to this list, off the top of my head)

  • Diels-Alder
  • ene (and variants e.g. Conia)
  • Cope
  • Claisen (and variants e.g. Johnson-Claisen)
  • Carroll
  • Sommelet-Hauser
  • Nazarov
  • the 2,3-Wittig rearrangement is pericyclic, but Wittig will give lots of false positives

I would like to take part in TRE(II).

A couple of ideas regarding scheduling. It would be great if this was held over winter break or Summer and perhaps last a few days.

In addition, when finding a good time to schedule it, we use a Doodle poll (not affiliated with Doodle poll, I just like it because it works and it's free) to find a good time for the most people. Here is a sample:

It looks like, in the sample, 6pm on Sunday the 11th works (sorry Don.)

enter image description here

Why I stress something like the above (a spreadsheet would work too):

  • It can be hard for someone in charge of this to get everyone together to give their availability.
  • If you put down your availability in Doodle or a spreadsheet, perhaps you're more apt to follow through with your commitment.
  • It's easier to keep track of who will be there.

Just an idea I had with the hopes of increasing participation.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Did you just create a doodle for screenshotting? =D $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Dec 5, 2016 at 1:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Jan Well... maybe... $\endgroup$ Dec 5, 2016 at 1:51
  • $\begingroup$ But my pretend availability is just astonishing. I'm so accommodating! $\endgroup$ Dec 5, 2016 at 19:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .