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Going through problems and questions, I'm always surprised how long some go without solutions, and wonder if the community would benefit from having an interactive chat of some kind. One possibility comes to mind:

Video view of affected computer. In many cases, being able to see the output live can help. To reduce bandwidth, perhaps this could be done on a scheduled basis via UDP/streaming.

Obviously not all questions would benefit from this. Nor would some people want anyone outside their organization to see sensitive data. But I'm betting there would be quite a few scenarios where approaches like the two above would prove immensely helpful. Can anyone write up answers that would properly define those scenarios so they become good candidates for implementation, and/or write up reasons why nothing like the above should even be considered.

I'm just looking to see if there's efficient ways this great Stack community can provide to provide high quality answers to good questions even quicker, without taking too many resources.

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Wow, didn't expect so many downvotes so quickly: -7 in one hour! At this rate, I'll be below 100 points in a day. Yikes. Didn't realize this was such a horrible idea/question. Thanks for all the comments and feedback. And noticed another question of mine was downvoted on another SO site at same time. Good to know... –  Lizz Mar 25 '13 at 5:41
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What you're proposing are things that are good for a support site. Stack Overflow isn't meant to be one. –  Mat Mar 25 '13 at 6:42
    
Good comment, @Mat Thanks for the helpful distinction! Downvotes from folk with comments like these are learning opportunities for me, and I appreciate them. :) –  Lizz Mar 26 '13 at 4:04

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Why would a scheduled chat be needed when a questioner can already get notified instantly that his question may need clarification?

Don't get me wrong. It is indeed difficult to ask a good question, but lowering the initial barrier to ask a question would probably decrease the quality of those initial questions and that would probably try the patience even more of the people trying to answer them.

As to a video view, it's a good idea, but there are many potential security problems with it. A typical screen is littered with potential sensitive information almost everywhere. A person needing help could inadvertently reveal their name, email address, ip address (therefore, their location), their place of employ, their developer key, their private key for their vpn/application development, other sensitive information, etc. And a person who's good at social engineering could get the person to reveal even more under the guise of trying to help them.

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Thanks, Stephan. This is the kind of detailed, thoughtful feedback I was looking for - particularly on video view. My hope was someone might know of (or be able to create?) technology to help automatically protect sensitive data. –  Lizz Mar 25 '13 at 5:40
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I suppose that title bars, browser tabs, terminal windows, control panel windows, windows not immediately in the foreground, pictures, etc., could be obscured from view in some way, but I'm afraid that there is always something that such a real-time video system could miss. Perhaps videos could be used for asking questions, but only -prerecorded videos, not real-time videos. With real-time videos, there is too much that could go wrong when someone is already trying to troubleshoot an existing problem. –  Stephan Branczyk Mar 25 '13 at 5:55
    
Good point - thanks for the addition. :) I'm also not crazy about the extra management and bandwidth required for such an implementation, but I only wrote this question while considering what could be done, but looks like there's too many problems - at least for now. –  Lizz Mar 25 '13 at 6:03

There is a chat... and if the question has no answer for a long time, it is probably because nobody knows (or cares). "Better user interaction" is extremely unlikely to change that.

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