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What is the Work Queue?

This is a proposal to use the Badges! system to help provide answers to questions by adding a new review-style queue for working Questions and using the power of the robo-reviewers for good, not neutral.

What does the Work Queue solve?

Good SO users (like all of us here on meta) are proactive and answer questions. Others do it for the glory of Badges! These users are more likely to answer a question when it is presented directly to them. This proposal will present items directly to these users.

Fresh and new items get preferential treatment vs. older, aging questions. This proposal will provide aging, less-popular questions to new eyes.

Questions which have obvious answers, yet have never had answers selected by one-off users and have aged down the main questions list are never going to be seen again. This helps present them in a new light and potentially answer the questions.

How does the Work Queue work?

When entering the Work Queue, the user will be presented with an individual Question (and any associated Answers) from the site. The Question (and answers if any) will have met a low view / low response / low answer / low "Work List" criteria ("Work List is defined below). Questions with chosen answers will never be presented.

The user will be presented with four buttons and a count: Work, Skip, Ignore, Flag Question as Answered (XX), Skip Count: X, and # of Users Working Question: X.

Clicking Ignore means the question will never be presented to the user on the Work Queue ever again. It can be used if one is definitively not a subject matter expert.

Clicking Skip sends the question to the end of the Work Queue. It can be worked later if it doesn't fall off the queue due to being otherwise answered. If a given user skips a particular question 5 times, it is treated as if clicking Ignore. The X in Skip Count: X represents the number of times the user has skipped the question.

Clicking Flag Question as Answered (XX) means the user has read the question and answers and determined the question has been answered. (XX) is a 60-90 second count-down delay timer for unlocking the button, requiring the user to actually read the question (and discouraging robo-reviewers) and up-vote whichever answer is considered "correct" If a single Question is flagged as answered 20 times (arbitrarily high number) and is not on anyone's Work List, it is either reviewed by Moderators or automatically falls off the Work Queue. If the Question is viably flagged as answered, the 20 flag instances are credited as helpful flags. NOTE: Adding this item is optional to the overall suggestion, but I feel it has a necessity.

The X in # of Users Working Question: X represents the number of personal Working Lists the question is on (see next item). This is used by the user to determine whether to take on the question, or to skip it.

Clicking Work adds the question to the user's personal Working List (a list aside from "Favorites"), which has a capacity of 5. A single Question can be on an unlimited number of Working Lists. The Work Queue will give presentation preference to Questions not on Working Lists.

Up to 20 questions can be Worked, Ignored or Flagged as Answered daily.

How to Work a Question

The intent of the Work Queue is to provide an answer for a question. A Question can be worked by adding a comment to the Question or adding an Answer, both of which are considered Work Activity.

A question will automatically fall off a user's Working List if an answer is selected, or if 2 weeks pass without activity. In the case of the former, the user will receive a notification. In the case of the latter, the Question will go to the front of the Work Queue for the user.

Badges!

Badges! are awarded as incentive for working questions.

Work Queue usage, Flagging as Answers, and Work Activity are used to award Badges.

Work Activity only qualifies if

  1. it is 2 weeks old and has not yet been deleted
  2. it is a comment that has not been flagged as inappropriate
  3. it is an Answer with a 0+ flag.

Incentives list:

  • Bronze Badge "Drone" - provided Work Activity to a single question.
  • Silver Badge "Busy Bee" - provided Work Activity to 250 questions.
  • Gold Badge "Queen Bee" - provided Work Activity to 1000 questions.
  • Flagging as Answered - is only treated as a helpful flag (and related-badge qualifying) if 19 other users agree.
  • Custodian / Reviewer / Steward - These badges do not apply to the Work Queue.

NOTE: All numbers are arbitrarily selected and subject to change.

share|improve this question
2  
In what sense does this do better than the questions page, sorted as desired by newest, or unanswered? This already has an incentive system in the form of reputation. –  AndrewC Jun 12 '13 at 21:36
10  
Is this solving an actual problem? Answering questions is alreadily heavily gamified. –  Martin Smith Jun 12 '13 at 21:36
10  
I can't believe no one here ever thought of rewarding and encouraging answers before now. –  Anthony Pegram Jun 12 '13 at 21:38
    
The reviews system seems to be the most popular way to gain badges. This is using that system to the advantage of answering questions, which is the goal of the site, rather than just edit or approve edits or approve questions. –  JoshDM Jun 12 '13 at 21:38
    
Joe-blow visitor user isn't going to perform the search queries that skilled and experienced users are going to do to bring up the questions that need answering. This style of presentation helps to get the questions to a more in-your-face mode. I know that, while reviewing questions for editing, I've wanted to answer them. This providing a different presentation mode that favors the question, not a list. –  JoshDM Jun 12 '13 at 21:42
3  
I answered a question today, incorrectly as it turned out, but this poor newbie had about 300-400k of reputation bearing down on them within about a minute of them asking the question... I don't think we need to incentivise answering even more... Yes, there's plenty of unanswered questions but forcing them down the throats of unqualified people isn't going to help. Those in search of rep will sit on the question page and answer everything, it pops up instantly. Why would someone sit in a queue of questions they probably don't understand and can't answer? –  ben is uǝq backwards Jun 12 '13 at 21:45
    
@JoshDM: "Joe-blow visitor user isn't going to perform the search queries that skilled and experienced users are going to do to bring up the questions that need answering." Why do we care what "Joe-blow visitor" does with his time? –  Nicol Bolas Jun 12 '13 at 21:47
    
Because we want to engage Joe-blow visitor and transform him into a functional member of the community. –  JoshDM Jun 13 '13 at 14:29

2 Answers 2

Sorry, but I feel this is very much not needed.

There is already a strong incentive system in the form of reputation.

People who would like to answer older unanswered questions can already sort the question list by unanswered. The benefit is that it's much easier to glance through to select questions you can answer, compared with a question-by-question dismiss if not wanted interface.

Flag Question as Answered (XX)

I particularly don't think we need a voting system to review whether questions are answered or not. I'm also concerned that you would think it would be worth putting every question in this queue, no matter how answered it appears.

If a single Question is flagged as answered 20 times (arbitrarily high number) and is not on anyone's Work List, it is either reviewed by Moderators or automatically falls off the Work Queue.

You want every question to be checked 20 times for whether it's answered and then you think a moderator might want to check that too? phew! Too much work. We have the accept button and upvotes that can give you a good enough clue as to how answered it is. This is unnecessary and overkill.

share|improve this answer

This seems to be a solution in search of a problem. We have plenty of reasons to answer questions: upvotes, accept checks, bounties, badges, etc. What more do you want?

And we have ways to give old questions a second look: bounties.

Questions which have obvious answers, yet have never had answers selected by one-off users and have aged down the main questions list are never going to be seen again.

... and? Why do we need to see questions that nobody cared about?

share|improve this answer
2  
You forgot one important reason for answering: It's an interesting question. –  Daniel Fischer Jun 12 '13 at 22:02
1  
@DanielFischer: That doesn't constitute "gamification". –  Nicol Bolas Jun 12 '13 at 22:07
    
True. Still, I think a list of reasons for answering is incomplete without that. –  Daniel Fischer Jun 12 '13 at 22:11

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