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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.)

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    Hello, there. Drop by our chat room to learn more. You can ask and get answers to everything about the site and more. – NVZ Aug 14 '17 at 6:56
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    Also visit meta.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/faq to find out. – NVZ Aug 14 '17 at 7:01
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    Let the games begin 'cause the diggin' n'er ends. You'd like chat, I believe, when there's real people there anyway. With your varied interests you might even find a few other Stack Exchange Network sites to wander through. Won't point you at any 'cause finding 'em might be half the fun. – Chindraba Aug 14 '17 at 7:19
  • Just an fyi, a lot of things are extensively covered on meta.stackexchange.com it's worth searching there before posting new questions on a per-site-meta – apaul Aug 15 '17 at 1:11
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    Also... "found a new place to hide when I want to procrastinate or ignore my freelance deadlines" be careful with this... I'm pretty sure many of us have been bitten by it more than once ;) – apaul Aug 15 '17 at 1:16
  • Hey, thanks, folks. I thought I replied to each of you, but apparently not. The links and advice are helpful and appreciated. And thanks for the No Spoilers policy, @WitanapDanu! – WeaselADAPT Aug 21 '17 at 23:35
  • The FAQs mentioned in the badge are all questions tagged faq on Meta. That badge has been retired for a few years by now though. Hope you stick around! :D – Mithical Aug 24 '17 at 17:01
  • @Mithrandir, thanks for buttoning it up. I recently noticed the indication that the badge was retired – not sure if i missed that before or if it was added since then. As the badge was actually secondary to the goal of increasing my knowledge, I appreciate knowing how to reach the information. – WeaselADAPT Aug 25 '17 at 13:40
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Each 'Main' site has a 'Meta' site linked to it. Reputation is earned only on the main site while badges are not. Votes in the meta do not affect reputation, good or bad. Meta is supposed to be for questions, maybe discussions, about the main site. That's about it in terms of what to do about issues, how to balance things and what not. Meta is not supposed to be questions about how it works (like this question is). Think of meta as the 'bridge' on a ship, not the library or information center.

The status of this site, public beta, has no bearing on how things work as far as the UI/UX goes. That is all done globally for SE sites. (Stack Overflow, again, is slightly different, and Area 51 is, well, alien.) We can do some minor changes in part of the Help pages, but not much.

Your "little send-off letter" was probably the Tour, though that's only a guess.

Within the Stack Exchange Network there is another unique site, pointed out by NVZ above, Meta Stack Exchange, (MSE) which is a Meta site, but acts like a main site, in that votes count for rep on MSE, and it has no "Main" site attached to it. It's like the bridge of the fleet flag ship. All issues of UX/UI, bugs, etc. that affect the SE Network (or multiple sites on the network) go there.

Finally, chat can be helpful, both for learning the system and as a place to check on ideas for questions. (Better on some sites than others of course, since different users are in different places.) There is not, however, any way to contact users in private, chat or private message, or even by email. That's part of the design of SE as a Q&A site rather than a forum.

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  • Yeah, yeah! It was the Tour! All right, thanks for the info. – WeaselADAPT Aug 14 '17 at 8:39

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