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We're getting more users on travel.SE these days, and as a mod, I find myself doing a lot of:

"Welcome to Travel.SE. If you could perhaps take a look at our [faq], you'd see that...." or similar.

Because many will sign in and ask a question as an answer on another post.

Many will comment as an answer.

Many will ask questions that are completely subjective, vague or off-topic.

Because they do NOT read the FAQ. Maybe it's because it's a small link, maybe they don't care, maybe they're looking for the word "rules". But it happens.

And I'm sure this happens on every SE site.

So...

What I'd suggest (prepares for hate) is have a sort of EULA for the FAQ. When you post your first question - AND your first answer, AND maybe even your first comment, an abbreviated faq just for questions, answers, or comments (with a link to the full faq if needed) appears.

It'd read something like "Congrats on answering your first question. Did you mean to add an answer? If perhaps you wanted to ask a question instead, you'll want to click the "Ask question" button instead. Otherwise, please make sure your answer matches content in the faq (with link) and continue. Please make sure to write detailed answers, with links to back up your statements.".

Similarly for questions - maybe one sentence "Make sure your question isn't subjective, is written clearly, and contains any and all links that others might find useful".

And for all these mini-faqs, a simple text box with "I AGREE" written.

I doubt this is perfect, there are better designers than me out there, and others might have a better solution? But even if it's done as an experiment, a way to test if it helps - it could be very valuable.

My two cents worth. Let the flaming begin ;)

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There already exists how to ask and how to answer, which are shown to a new user the first time they post. Both pages have an "I have read this, and wish to continue" checkbox, when they are shown to a user for the first time. –  Robert Harvey Jan 11 '13 at 21:57
    
Oh ok, I'd clearly forgotten those :/ Sure, but it's not working enough. Perhaps a check for a '?' in an answer to make sure people don't ask questions in answers? –  Mark Mayo Jan 11 '13 at 22:19
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I think the quick start guide would alleviate a lot of these problems. –  vcsjones Jan 11 '13 at 22:38
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@RobertHarvey are those shown when you create a linked account? I don't recall having to do that on any sites I registered on the SE network other than my first registration –  enderland Jan 11 '13 at 23:12

1 Answer 1

I agree with this. When people see FAQ they think "I don't need that", "I know how to use a forum". Perhaps people would pay more attention if it said Rules

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