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Diamond moderators can edit the new about pages. In the second section from the top--entitled "Ask questions, get answers, no distractions"--that takes us to an opportunity to select one of a page full of questions from the site as the example question used on the about page.

The selections currently available on physics are a little ideosyncratic. Is there some rhyme or reason to these?

I suppose that we want a good example question to

  • be accessible to the intended audience (perhaps even to the newest and most naive person in that audience)
  • be judged at least decent by the community (positive score)
  • have more than one answer which are also judged acceptable (again positive score)

What else? How does a question end up on the list?

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Be happy that you have at least a choice, on Skeptics there is only one question on that list ;-) – Mad Scientist Jan 16 '13 at 17:42
@MadScientist and on Chemistry the list is empty! – F'x Jan 20 '13 at 7:49
@F'x: same on Anime and Manga – JNat Feb 2 '13 at 22:50
up vote 33 down vote accepted

Apparently the posts have to be short, with at least two short answers (<=400 chars). They also shouldn't have any crazy formatting.

Relevant Data.SE query

An interesting thing to note is that if the question satisfies the above criteria, but the accepted answer doesn't, the system pretends that one of the shorter answers was accepted and puts the green tick on it instead in the about page. (Happens if you try to select this post)

Actually, this makes the example questions iffy on some sites:

On science sites like Physics, generally meaty, conceptual answers (and well-explained questions) are preferred over terse ones. Which means that most of the answer examples there seem undernourished and not-as-good-as-we'd-like. Not much we can do about that, though.

With Skeptics (See comment above), since posts with "fancy formatting" aren't allowed, there is pretty much nothing left (since they use blockquotes everywhere). Add that to the fact that Skeptics similarly likes long answers, and you're left with one OK-ish post.

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Ah...the short answer requirement would be what's killing Mad Scientist's list: the rules and culture on skeptics almost demand extensive answers. – dmckee Jan 16 '13 at 17:46
@dmckee: yeah, I added a bit on that – Manishearth Jan 16 '13 at 17:47
Interesting. Where did you get that query? – Jeremy Banks Jan 16 '13 at 18:22
@JeremyBanks: From... er... somewhere... OK, it was linked to in TL (mod room) a few times. The results match what I get on Physics, so I assume Iain asked one of the comm team members on the exact criteria for the post to be included. Not sure though. – Manishearth Jan 16 '13 at 18:26

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