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Ben Halpern for The DEV Team

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Introducing the watercooler tag (light off-topic chitchat)

Hey folks, we're launching a new tag called "watercooler"


Light, and off-topic conversation.

It's a place for light off-topic chitchat.

For example:

It's not the end of the world if you post stuff that is loosely on-topic in terms of programming, but we'll try to keep this space for posts that are not as much about coding.

We are all developers, professionally or by hobby, but we have lives outside of code. If you're interesting in chatting about anything non-code, stop by the watercooler to chat.

Of course, the code of conduct applies the same in the watercooler tag as anywhere else.

If you don't want to see too many posts from the watercooler, the way to currently do that is to first follow the tag and then give it a negative weight in /dashboard/following.

I know that's counter-intuitive but that's currently the best way to do that.

Happy coding!

Top comments (15)

gusgonnet profile image
Gustavo • Edited

Hey Calin,
one time I heard from creating a water cooler for remote collaboration was in the Remote book from the Basecamp guys.
These are the tips for collaborating remotely mentioned in that book, taken from this review:

  • Try to make sure that employees on different time zones have about four hours of overlap in working hours.
  • Use screenshots or screencasts to communicate information.
  • Share information openly on work schedules, to-do’s, calendars, and files.
  • Create a “virtual water cooler,” a chat forum for fun and social stuff.
  • Share progress with each other to fuel that sense of achievement and momentum.
  • Consider a hybrid strategy, with some employees working in the office and some at home. (37signals has a Chicago office with about 10 people, while the other 26 are spread across the world.)
  • Don’t only try one remote worker – try at least a team.

Not sure if that's the real origin of it, though.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Oh, by the way. We're looking for watercooler mods. Anyone interested?

jess profile image
Jess Lee

more info on tag modding:

yechielk profile image
Yechiel Kalmenson

I don't mind taking that!

nanythery profile image
Nadine M. Thêry

I am interested in doing that :)

irreverentmike profile image
Mike Bifulco

Y'all are going to have to make sure the water cooler is topped up though 😉

ben profile image
Ben Halpern


You’re welcome to make one of the first posts 😄

piyukore06 profile image
Priyanka Kore

Really apt name.. #watercooler 😁

bhupesh profile image
Bhupesh Varshney 👾

Ah, I See You're a Man of Culture As Well

jackharner profile image
Jack Harner 🚀

Am I going crazy or did this launch a while ago too?

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

It went live a little while ago but we didn’t take the final steps to make it an officially supported tag.

We actually wrote some code to make this tag show up less in the feed if you don’t follow because we didn’t want it to bother folks who are here just for technical stuff.

jess profile image
Jess Lee

We might want to add the note about hiding the tag directly on the tag page for anyone who misses this post. Whaddyathink?

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Yeah we should