I finally figured out that the reason I sometimes have 4 badges and sometimes have 7 (while on the Interpersonal Skills site in both cases) is not an issue of refreshing my browser, and the reason my profile page sometimes seems to have more details than at other times is not a matter of me imagining things.
Indeed, there are apparently two parallel sets of account details (presumably, per SE site): my Main Interpersonal Skills profile and my Meta Interpersonal Skills profile. Or is it more accurate to say there are two completely different navigable systems per site?
Admittedly, I haven't dug very deeply into the guts of this place, but that's mostly because I don't know where else to look. I'm pretty sure I completely read the little send-off letter I was given upon my arrival (but I don't know where to find it now to make sure that I did), the Help Center topics are all fairly basic and not much help for these kinds of questions, and I'm not sure where to find "the FAQs" referenced in one of the bronze badges.
I'm not as frustrated as I might sound; I actually like scavenger hunts. But two things about them: you know you're signing up for it and you usually get a list of what you're looking for. Here, not so much.
I've only been a member here for a couple days and I'm catching on to the premise, the culture, the goals, and even a lot of the mechanics. I like it here, I'm enjoying myself, and I think I'll be good at this. I have definitely found a new place to hide when I want to procrastinate or ignore my freelance deadlines.
Still, I hope I won't offend anyone by saying that I find the UI support here (the documentation files, that is, not the people – they've been great) to be less than adequate, unless I've just overlooked a doorway somewhere that leads to a library of good stuff – that's always possible! Have I?
I'll happily go there next if someone will send a link (or a lot of links – no problem).
If not, or in the meantime:
Are there two separate systems here? That is, will running a search in Main give different results than if it's done in Meta? Or is it all a single network but you just have to pay attention which room you're standing in when you click your name to see your profile? I do now see the way to get from one User Profile display to the other.
Is there a good explanation as to why badges are earned separately in each area (Main vs. Meta)? Why not just have a set of badges that are specific to Meta?
It looks like my Rep is the same in both – is that a coincidence or will it always match?
Are there any Main vs Meta differences with privileges (I imagine not if Rep is the same)?
Where are "the FAQs" referred to in the Badges?
Next, I'm correct that these UI/UX issues are not specific to the Interpersonal Skills site, right?
I've picked up that we're relatively new (in the Beta Public stage) here, but you didn't have to build the platform and navigation help files and everything, did you?
And finally, is there a way to chat directly with someone, privately?
I know about Chat, but that looks like a whole 'nother monster. Can you send private messages to each other there? If not, is there a chat channel for discussing the site itself? (In other words, I haven't seen any other questions like this in Meta, by anyone other than me, and I really feel like I'm occupying valuable space asking questions that could be addressed some other – better – way.)