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There was an interesting conversation today in one of the chatrooms about how can one identify a good question.

Basically, the scenario is that question we all have seen which is enormously popular, but not considered to be very good by the majority of the sites main users. Here is a few that I've managed to find, I'm sure we could all find more examples.

Are there any methods that might be employed to reliably detect these types of questions, so that we could filter them out?

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Filtering out bike shed questions? Sign me up. (except question #2, that's just code review) – user7116 Dec 16 '11 at 19:17
The jQuery one would be on-topic at CodeReview. – Kevin Dec 16 '11 at 19:18
up vote 1 down vote accepted

A good question is a useful question, right?

So, a good question one with a high proportion of people (logged in or not), who arrive at a question via google / some other search, and then either click "This answer was useful to me", or upvote an answer (if they happen to be signed-in users).

This is after all, the essence of how SO makes the world a better place.

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It would be interesting to see the result of only the votes from regular users of that site, excluding traffic from the MultiCollider. A question in the MultiCollider pretty much always collects a lot of drive-by votes, those are likely not good indicators of quality.

So the only votes that would be counted are votes

  • from users with 200+ reputation, to exclude users that only have voting rights due to their accounts on other SE sites
  • excluding any votes that were referred via the MultiCollider

The biggest problem left if you manage to correct for the visibility and traffic of the question would be that easier, "bikeshed" questions tend to get far more votes than difficult questions that you need to be an expert to even understand. I suspect excluding the MultiCollider would correct this partially, but the mass-appeal of a question will still skew the votes.

You probably also just need to exclude questions that were linked from Reddit and got siginificant external traffic from users that have SE accounts.

A completely different approach would be to only count votes from users that have a significant amount of reputation in the tags of the question. The idea would be to only count votes from experts in that field.

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The MultiCollider? Is that the "hot questions" tab in the Stack Exchange drop-down? – jwiscarson Dec 16 '11 at 21:13

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