Already in the few days the private beta has been live, the questions have already started using acronyms reasonably heavily. Some examples

  • BCG - "Board and Card Games" site
  • BCG.SE - Meaning "Board and Card Games @ StackExchange"
  • BGG - Board Game Geek

I have also seen a few comments asking what the acronyms mean. I assume that the people taking part in the private beta are stackoverflow regulars, and big fans of board gaming, so quite familiar with BoardGameGeek, but when public beta starts, and for the future, can we expect people to understand these acronyms?

I think we should make the site as accessible to all as possible and try to avoid acronyms, through editing and leaving comments for others to follow.

What does everyone else think?

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I hate .SE acronyms, because .se is a real TLD (Sweden), administrated at iis.se –  Powerlord Oct 25 '10 at 20:23

4 Answers 4

I think having a glossary on meta would be a good idea; a place for people to look up common terms and acronyms that are thrown around that they don't know. For instance, I've gotten a question on "beer and pretzels", which I thought was a well-known term for describing games.

Beyond that, I think we should try to expand out acronyms at least in question and answers; in comments, which are somewhat secondary and have limited characters, I think using abbreviations is OK. In a question or answer, if a particular phrase like BoardGameGeek has been used already, and from context it's obvious that you're still referring to the same thing, I think it's OK to use the acronym, but you should make sure it's expanded out at least once.

I don't think we should be too aggressive about complaining about every use of an acronym. There are some that most people involved in a particular thread will understand; if someone needs clarification, they can ask for it. If you really think that a question or answer is confusing because it uses an acronym, then feel free to comment or edit it, but we shouldn't try and always frown upon their use.

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I'm really nervous about BCG's usage and its similarity to BGG. People WILL create an acronym from our site name, whether everybody likes it or not, so should we try to establish that acronym as something less like "BGG"?

I'm not sure what else this SE could be labeled exactly, but even "Card & Board Games" (CBG) is a significantly better acronym than BCG because it looks a lot less like BGG at a glance.

BGG is the major existing site in this topic area, and it would behoove us to establish how we DON'T overlap with them. Q&A is what this site is for, and is the area in which it has the most to offer, as BGG isn't ideal for the question and answer format.

Having a name that acronym-ifies to nearly the same thing as BGG just risks either pissing that community off or hurting the StackExchange site by not distinguishing it adequately from BGG.

This is a fairly time-sensitive topic, too - at some point (public beta?) the cost to a name adjustment gets out of hand.

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You make a very good point. I'm not sure of the right solution, but this should be considered. –  Pat Ludwig Oct 23 '10 at 2:35
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+1 - While I'm more of a board game person, and there seem to be a majority of board-game-based questions on the site, if people are going to apply an abbreviation to the site, I think CBG is far better in terms of distinguishing us from Board Game Geek. –  LittleBobbyTables Oct 23 '10 at 14:08
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How about B&CG? –  Todd Oct 26 '10 at 1:19
    
That might work, but I doubt we'll have that amount of control over the preferred acronym. The community will likely pick the shortest thing that makes sense (BCG). –  lilserf Oct 26 '10 at 6:08
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Another route we could go is simply BGSE; our domain is boardgames.stackexchange.com, and it's fairly well accepted that card games fall within the category of board games so I'm not sure we need to include that in the acronym. BGSE is less ambiguous than BCG, and does away with the apparent ".se" top level domain by losing the period. –  Brian Campbell Oct 26 '10 at 13:14
    
BGSE is a good acronym, too. I'm worried that the acronym won't actually be something any group of moderators or avid users can control, but will be something that just HAPPENS in the community. I'm afraid that might be BCG. –  lilserf Oct 26 '10 at 14:44

I'm a little nervous about putting the items in this order

  1. card
  2. board

Based on the Area 51 proposal, the focus is clearly on BOARD first and card as a distant second.

Beta Q&A site for people who like playing board games, designing board games or modifying the rules of existing board games. Card games, too, because some games really can be classified as both.

If we put card first, we would be sending the wrong message.

We'd also be opening the door to, say, poker and the like -- When there is already an Area 51 Poker site proposal that will eventually go to beta IMO.

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Yeah, I'd prefer to favor board games. I only suggested Card & Board as a "hack" fix for the acronym :) –  lilserf Oct 26 '10 at 14:45

I like Todd's suggestion of B&CG.

It's sufficiently different from the rest of the acronyms to avoid confusion.

I also don't like the .se suffix - my tech head always thinks of Sweden first.

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... and once I think of Sweden, I think of two Swedish Au Pairs I once knew .... and then, well, I forget what I was looking for in the first place ;) –  Jon Hadley Nov 2 '10 at 19:56

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