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As we know, there's a lot of issues with low quality posts, and questions about code without any code where potential answerers are just expected to guess what the asker's code is.

There might be a way to help. When asking a new question, this is what we see:

enter image description here

There's a big empty box. It could be preset (if you can do that with a textarea) with some instructions.

I suggest the following:

  • Elaborate on your question (what's the context? what are the steps to reproduce?)
  • Post and format your code
  • Write what you tried to resolve it
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5  
Please vote this comment in appreciation of tackiness and/or tastefulness of text written with the brush tool. –  MPelletier Sep 8 '11 at 14:11
2  
As an side: this is already implemented for answers to the Open Source advertising sidebar. –  Arjan Sep 8 '11 at 14:46
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@Arjan: That's actually content inside the textbox though, not a help overlay thingy –  balpha Sep 9 '11 at 5:59
    
True, @balpha, though that makes me wonder what MPelletier means with "preset"? (But I guess you're right, and pre-populating would probably gives us many posts where the default text is not removed by the question asker.) –  Arjan Sep 9 '11 at 9:23
    
@Arjan: By preset I mean the text that's "already there" when you hit the Ask Question link. And by no means do I want to see that help text as part of the final wording in every question. It disappears on the first keypress in the two textboxes, so it'd better do that for the textarea too. –  MPelletier Sep 9 '11 at 10:09
    
+1 Agree. And I'd like to add a note that you absolutely must be standby for the first few minutes. I hate it when people just drop a question at SO and walk away, apparently expecting that the question magically answers itself. I often put a lot of effort in reading the whole thing. Then not getting any response when needed, is very very frustrating. –  Gert Arnold Nov 4 '11 at 23:37

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