I found a really great discussion on Monomer-Dimer tatami tilings and up-voted it. However, it doesn't really have a question or answers. It's still a great read.

It's not the first time I've seen knowledge-dumps into MathOverflow in the guise of questions. (For some reason tilings are a frequence source of such posts.)

MathOverflow as it currently stands, is not always amenable to discussions or open-questions, as evidenced by the occasional closed questions.

Quora recently introduced a blogging feature, although it is build for philosophical and open-ended questions. And other users can vote on it.

I wonder if any thought has been put into incorporating such a feature into MathOverflow where such posts would certainly attract readers and commentary.

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    $\begingroup$ An MO subreddit? $\endgroup$ – Yoav Kallus Jul 2 '13 at 19:09
  • $\begingroup$ MathOverflow does have a chat function. Do people use it? $\endgroup$ – john mangual Jul 2 '13 at 19:10
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnMangual: some yes (not me though). To the right of the page there are two links, below an information regarding the number of people chatting. One to the general MO room one to one called homotopy theory. Following the link you can read the transcripts and see for yourself. For the general room (I do not know for the other) I would say not much yet. However, there is also some log-in-issue at the moment (in the process of being resolved) which might or might not contribute to this. But without log-in in you can see the transcript to get an idea. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Jul 2 '13 at 19:45

The SE network allows a site to host a blog, and I suppose that if there is a large enough user base interested in contributing then perhaps that is feasible.

However I should point out that now that I have a personal "math" blog, I find less and less time to write in it. This is sort of like how kids want a dog, but then the dad has to walk it all the time/a goldfish and then the goldfish dies of neglect.

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    $\begingroup$ I had a turtle. By accident, my brothers hit it with a soccer ball. $\endgroup$ – Andrés E. Caicedo Jul 2 '13 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ It's is true about blogs, dogs and goldfishes. I guess, I meant that people are using "questions" as free math-enabled web hosting. We may as well let people write things that don't require answers, per se. $\endgroup$ – john mangual Jul 2 '13 at 17:41
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnMangual: what is the merit of doing this on a Q&A site? AFAIK various blogs support math-content just fine. There is the n-Lab, too. There is Wikipedia. There is Planet Math. There are many things to write some mathematics somewhere on the internet. If you do not want to ask a question why would you want to do so on a Q&A site. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Jul 2 '13 at 18:04
  • $\begingroup$ @johnmangual I agree whole-heartedly with quid. $\endgroup$ – Yemon Choi Jul 2 '13 at 18:12
  • $\begingroup$ @YemonChoi This is not a suggestion or recommendation. This is an observation of what is already happening. People are finding creative ways to fit their thoughts into MO's tightly-regulated Q&A format. Perhaps Wordpress and Wikipedia are sufficient. $\endgroup$ – john mangual Jul 2 '13 at 18:58
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    $\begingroup$ @John: I suppose that if one treats this like a seminar with guest lecturers it could be nice. Someone writes a post, then someone else writes one, perhaps someone writes two posts on a slightly larger topic. If those topics are accessible enough, and interesting then it could be fun. But in order to succeed in the task of maintaining such "seminar" you would need quite a large user base that have actively agreed to participate. That would be a very nice, but very difficult as well. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 2 '13 at 19:01
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    $\begingroup$ If people are using questions to expound, this is not with any kind of support from me, and I really really really really really really really really really wish they wouldn't $\endgroup$ – Yemon Choi Jul 3 '13 at 0:22
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnMangual: though this is not much done on this site, and might or might not cause some opposition if it were done, yet is endoresed by general SE-philosophy, the correct way to do this on SE-sites is to still ask a question and then also provide an answer. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Jul 3 '13 at 13:15

I do not want to claim that "thought has been put into" it, as it was more like a spontaneous idea, but for what it's worth I suggested recently in a "tea"-discussion on community relations that on a potentially to be created webpage for MathOverflow other than mathoverflow.net, presenting the entity and its community in a way somewhat detached from the main site, there could be a space for users to present themselves and the things they care about in a way more detailed than the userpage.

In addition, there used to be (or there is, but I do not think so the last time I checked it was down) something called PlanetMO, aggregating blogposts related to MO or also just using some specific tag. This service was kindly provided by http://www.mathblogging.org/ However, this never got much use so it "died" (basically).

If you intend a tighter integration with mathoverflow.net such ideas where also presented on occassion this other "tea"-discussion might be the most recent instances of something along these lines. But there seems to be considerable opposition against this by some (including me).


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