What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 133 Stack Exchange communities.

I know this is possibly a question in a question in a question (level three questionception anyone?) but what is the etiquette for discussing questions? Should they not have some different type of almost "chatroom" interface, where a threaded or linear view is forced, instead of votes or views ? Perhaps once in which votes simply adds opacity to the yellow highlight background colour behind the post (that I know SE loves so much)

It just seems to me that discussions are.. not newbie friendly. I have a number of discussion threads open, and the only way so far I see to reply to what someone answers is to comment on their answer. I get some giant alert window if I click "Answer your question", and my browser crashes (but that's a completely different matter)

So...

My Questions:

  1. How is one expected to "reply" to the OP in a discussion? Comment, new answer, what?
  2. How is one expected to "reply" to the first answer? Another answer, comment, what?
  3. What happens when one answer wants to reply directly to another, whilst referencing something else? You do this often on a forum.

Also: Am I doing it right?

Please see this, this and this and tell me if you think I am doing it right (I still don't quite understand when to do what, and I figure you guys are the best people to ask.)

share|improve this question
1  
(By the way I downvoted you because I disagree with your thinking that questions need to be changed: Should they not have some different type of almost "chatroom" interface, where a threaded or linear view is forced, instead of votes or views? No, we have chat for that already) –  The Unhandled Exception Nov 12 '11 at 16:27
    
Problem: Very few people use chat :( –  cbroughton Nov 12 '11 at 16:31
    
Now last time I checked :-) The Tavern's always full. –  The Unhandled Exception Nov 12 '11 at 16:32
    
Hmm, can't edit a comment on meta; interesting. Must be permissions. Anyways: None of the language specific channels I would ever seek help in have more than one or two people in them at any given time. Flex being a key example. Even the time graph is horrible. –  cbroughton Nov 12 '11 at 16:37
1  
@cbroughton You should be able to edit comments on meta same as anywhere else - as long as it's within the 5 minutes after you posted it. –  Anna Lear Nov 12 '11 at 17:52

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

It just seems to me that discussions are.. not newbie friendly

I assume what you mean here is that Meta is not newbie friendly... and I can agree to a point. I'm not sure I see this as an issue, probably because I'm a seasoned meta user. But I do remember what it was like to be a new meta user and it was a little confusing.

Meta has it's own unique cultrue which is different from the rest of the sites on the network, and I think this is okay. I think it's okay because if you're going to particpate here, you should take the time to learn how the community works, because this will also get you up to speed on why the network works they way it does.

Read old questions. Read new questions. When something is closed as a duplicate read the original. The more you read on meta the more familiar you'll become with how to ask and answer here, and also why the rules the network has are there. There's a wealth of information and historical perspective in the old threads on meta.

I have a number of discussion threads open, and the only way so far I see to reply to what someone answers is to comment on their answer.

Yes, that's the best way. You can answer your own question, if you framed your question in the form of an open discussion. One of my questions comes to mine where I said "How can we improve these things?" and then I answered my own question with "Here's what I propose"

How is one expected to "reply" to the OP in a discussion? Comment, new answer, what?

If someone asks a meta question, and you want to give a substantial reply (not a snarky comment) you should answer it. Then, the OP should comment on your answer, and you should comment to reply to their comment (and/or edit your answer).

How is one expected to "reply" to the first answer? Another answer, comment, what?

You should comment on their answer.

What happens when one answer wants to reply directly to another, whilst referencing something else? You do this often on a forum

You can reference it in your comment. I often copy the relevant part of their comments and put it in quotes or italics.

share|improve this answer
1  
Here's a comment someone may want to refer to later... –  The Unhandled Exception Nov 12 '11 at 16:25
    
"Here's a comment someone may want to refer to later..." And here's how I would respond to that comment at a later date –  The Unhandled Exception Nov 12 '11 at 16:25
    
Heh, your answer was more thorough ; and I don't believe in "first answer is the answer". –  cbroughton Nov 12 '11 at 16:36
1  
@TheUnhandledException: I agree with your comment, and am voting it up. Additionally, I have further things to say. –  Adam Robinson Nov 12 '11 at 18:12

The answer is simple.

  1. Answer.
  2. Comment.
  3. Comment.

Depending on the context you can also quote a part of another answer if you want to discuss that particular answer.

What goes beyond a comment should go into a chat room.

share|improve this answer
    
Then why does everyone reply as answers to my discussion questions, when their answers themselves are only questions? –  cbroughton Nov 12 '11 at 12:29
    
Misunderstood your question initially. You were asking in the context of Meta and I was thinking of the main site. Edited my answer. –  Octavian Damiean Nov 12 '11 at 12:32

You must log in to answer this question.

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