2

I don't want to sound pretentious. This is just a thought.

Recently I stumbled up this long Repository of FAQs on stackoverflow. It links to other FAQs giving very useful advices for users like me between ~100 and ~1000 reputation. I was wondering why nobody forced me to read them earlier. I then asked myself how many ~100-1000 rep users will never see these FAQs.

So why not use the system to bring users and knowledge together - earlier and more efficiently.

I'm willing to learn but I am also lazy (as everyone is). I'm too lazy to do a search for FAQ or click the FAQ link on the right.


Insert an automation which does something like these quick examples:

  • First Tag Wiki Edit → provide a link to a corresponding FAQ and ask a multiple choice question about the FAQ and what the purpose of the tag wiki is.

  • 5th answer → show neat tricks when using 'kbd'+Win-Key-Images, or the advantage of using '>' and 'code' together, or the difference between "``" and 'code'. Every single trick added from advanced users can be used as question.

  • 10th answer → teach them how to look for duplicates so they will do this more often

  • 15th answer → teach them how links have to be used and edited. That a excerpt is needed and so on.

  • 10th review → provide a link to a corresponding FAQ and ask a multiple choice question. Maybe about when to comment and when to edit. Or even how to answer

  • 20th review → same with another question about how to edit bad titles

Give +10 Reputation or -10 Reputation for the correct/incorrect answer.

Tie them to new badges or lower the corresponding requirements for existing badges. 100 edits is way to late for tips. The damage is already done.

Encourage 10k+ rep users to write FAQs so these can be added to the system if accepted from enough other 10k+ users. If the FAQ is added, ask the author to write down 3 questions. Each with 1 right and 2 wrong answers. Give them their own little monument as an incentive, an accepted system-FAQ.

Cut up these system-FAQs and make short tips of them which can appear as banner at the bottom of an edit or review page. One banner per day. Maybe with two or three old but good example questions.

I'm sure there are many more and far better FAQ questions.

  • Just to note that the win image thing is a 'hack' - its not a 'standard' way of using the keyboard tag. And duplicates are often shown on the side. – Journeyman Geek Jan 2 '13 at 5:32
  • also rep is not awarded for any moderation activity – soandos Jan 2 '13 at 5:53
  • 3
    > I'm too lazy to do a search for FAQ or click the FAQ link on the right. – unfortunately, putting a wall of text in front of you isn't going to make this better. We have a site that explains How to Answer. You wouldn't believe how often that is skipped and ignored, and that's the first thing some will see. And it's not even a lot of text. – slhck Jan 2 '13 at 10:09
  • 3
    I like your ideas, but I'm afraid the effort required to create this wouldn't pay off: It has been shown that out of context messages are often simply ignored (and "out of context" means that the person doesn't want to see this message at that point). If someone were interested in knowing more, they'd look it up, ask others here or in chat, et cetera. I believe we merely have to act on cases where we see people doing something wrong. – slhck Jan 2 '13 at 10:12
  • I see the point with "out of context". Some points to reply to that. 1) Show related FAQ. If someone edited 10 times maybe he want to know if there are some secret formatting goodies. 2) He shouldn't be forced to answer or read. A single click would dismiss it. Its only a chance to get some rep or badge. 3) No negative reputation for wrong answers. --- Of course this requires a lot of work and its hardly conceivable. But in a what-if assumption: What would you enhance? – nixda Jan 2 '13 at 11:56
  • I don't know. I found active reviewing much more responsive when it comes to all the things one could do wrong—of which there are plenty. There are a lot of helpful messages next to the ask question box and when editing posts already. I could imagine something similar for answering, where there's currently nothing IIRC. I also like the idea of a sort of "tip of the day". – slhck Jan 2 '13 at 12:32
  • 1
    @slhck Shown when posting (first) answer, linking to this page (tips on writing great answers) and this page (advanced help). – Daniel Beck Jan 2 '13 at 14:09
1

I was wondering why nobody forced my to read them earlier

In my experience of asking improvements whom add texts, even if it's just expanding a single word into a full sentence that's much more detailed; I always get the response that people won't read it.

Take any form of license agreement prior to installing an application or a game for instance; did you read the full license agreement for the operating system you are currently running as well as the browser you are currently using? A lot of people don't; they install the program to browse, not to end up reading a ton of text prior to that.

The same happens right here on Super User, people want to ask and answer questions.

There's a small part that wants to do more than that, they will end up searching for such texts; in the prior example this could be interpreted as "Can I do X with this Y? Am I allowed to do X with this Y?".

So why not using the system to bring users and knowledge together - earlier and more efficiently.

The system is used, but in a different way; the information is given to them when people ask for it.

If someone asks this or searches for it in the future, they are linked to this question or a similar one. The same applies to the FAQs you have found on Meta Stack Overflow, such texts are handy such that people don't need to write them again. It allows people to respond earlier and more efficient.

Insert an automation which does something like these quick examples:

There's already a big part of that automation in place, the reputation system.

Once you earn more abilities, you'll wonder what you can do with them; this is also called gamification. It's like receiving an item / ability in a game, you will wonder what you can use it for. And exactly, as you gain a new ability you will get a link at the top of the page that you can click on and which explains how the particular feature is used.

I'm willing to learn but I am also lazy (as everyone is). I'm too lazy to do a search for FAQ or click the FAQ link on the right.

Though yes, there's one part which still can be improved; in specific linking to these FAQs more from those ability pages. I would suggest asking individual questions for improving these ability pages at Meta Stack Overflow.

As for your idea, no idea if it will be considered; one has to be careful to not introduce bloat to the system, it is from a high reputation / moderator / developer perspective already quite complex...

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .