What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 130 Stack Exchange communities.

Currently, we can edit a question to put in a link to related items, we can add a comment and we can suggest a duplicate when voting to close, however, I think it would be beneficial if there were a simpler way to attach links to a question to other links without closing.

I envisage a "related question" button or even "related answer" that allows you to link another post to the one you're viewing. While you can do this by editing the question, adding a comment, or posting an answer, I don't think these are necessarily appropriate when say linking old questions that are no longer editable.

The benefit of such a feature would be that users would have a recognisable way of seeing related links, they could vote on the more useful related links (thereby indicating which ones provide better assistance with the question they are viewing), and the search facility of the site could utilise the link information to hopefully improve results.

I'm not entirely convinced myself on this feature but I thought it was worthy of some discussion.

Update

To encourage discussion, I'd like to add that we should consider the opposite as well. As in, do all the different ways you can see related questions actually make it worse rather than better. Is there a way to reduce the methods into a consolidate system that is more useful?

share|improve this question
    
Very good proposal. –  Piotr Dobrogost Jul 3 '09 at 12:39

4 Answers 4

This is completed, see:

http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/04/new-linked-posts/

share|improve this answer
    
Cool feature :) –  James Poulson Jul 11 '12 at 23:15
    
Would be great if this was extended so linked answers were actually linked to the answer (like links within post body) - not the question they are contained in: meta.stackexchange.com/q/210668/196397 –  Patrick Dec 19 '13 at 17:53

I'm not sure it's a good idea to have another place to list similar questions..

Why not improve the existing "Related Questions" section - add the ability for users to suggest better related questions, which would promote them to the top of the list and visually highlight them in some way.

I'm not sure how many people would actually use this, so making it an improvement of an existing feature seems like a good idea (that way, if no one uses it, it's not taking up extra screen space)

(There's a somewhat similar idea which I really liked, "Inverse duplicate listing")

share|improve this answer

There is a section on the right that lists possible related questions, matched by tags.- Kyle Cronin

I think you totally miss the point.
Questions matched by tags are often vaguely related because there are finite number of all tags and finite (small) number of tags in each question. This mechanism can never replace linking questions manually.

Ultimately, I think this problem has been solved multiple times. - Kyle Cronin

Once again, you totally miss the point.
The aim is to have clearly visible section when links to similar questions/answers could be put in and subsequently found in. Now, we have a total mess where you have to look through all answers and comments to find some useful links.

Perhaps the related questions could be underneath the main question as a collapsible region (above comments), as I often miss it in its current location. – Jeff Yates

Agree.

Bottom line SO is supposed to be a Knowledge Base and as such has to have good tools for linking items.

share|improve this answer
    
OK, I don't totally miss the point. I do understand that user-submitted "similar" question is different than either the duplicate listing or related questions. However, since those mechanisms already exist, it would be nice to perhaps tweak them as opposed to creating a completely new section. –  Kyle Cronin Jul 3 '09 at 15:10
    
@Kyle Sounds good. –  Piotr Dobrogost Jul 3 '09 at 17:54

There is a section on the right that lists possible related questions, matched by tags. Also, you can add a comment with a link to a related question, and as you said closing as a duplicate also puts a link to the questions it duplicates. Ultimately, I think this problem has been solved multiple times.

Also, with regard to related answers, I think that ultimately if two answers are related their respective authors (or those that can edit) should cross-pollinate with the missing information, rendering such a link, at best, vestigial.

share|improve this answer
    
I tend to agree with you (like I said, not convinced myself that there is necessarily anything that needs to be done). However, does this imply that there are TOO MANY ways to do this, thus making each one less effective at achieving the goal? –  Jeff Yates Jul 1 '09 at 18:12
    
There are too many ways to link question to question, answer to answer, etc. However, I personally can't think of a good, clean way to streamline the process. I think that, right now, what SO has works. –  Thomas Owens Jul 1 '09 at 18:14
    
Perhaps. I know that not many people look at the autogenerated 'related questions' section, so maybe it should be closer to the actual question. –  Kyle Cronin Jul 1 '09 at 18:15
3  
I would almost like to be able to control that autogenerated 'related questions', by removing things that are nothing like the question or adding something that is a lot more like the question. That might be a better approach for linking similar questions. –  Thomas Owens Jul 1 '09 at 18:16
    
Perhaps the related questions could be underneath the main question as a collapsible region (above comments), as I often miss it in its current location. –  Jeff Yates Jul 1 '09 at 18:22

You must log in to answer this question.

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