Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 153 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

I particularly enjoyed the Google Webmaster Central blog entry Tips for getting help with your site.

It covers how to ask questions in a public forum rather well, and I think almost all the rules apply to our Q&A engine:

  1. Ask in public.
  2. Do your homework.
  3. Be specific.
  4. Make it relevant to others.
  5. Let us know if you’ve found a bug.
  6. Stay on-topic.
  7. Stay calm.
  8. Listen, even when it’s not what you wanted to hear.

I think the only one that isn't relevant (except on meta) is #5 and possibly #7.

As for all the others, I believe we've discussed them in some detail here on meta, and I was wondering if we could somehow incorporate this advice, maybe in the "how to ask" sidebar?

alt text

share|improve this question
    
and there is also Jon's take on this: msmvps.com/blogs/jon_skeet/archive/2009/02/17/… and the latest: msmvps.com/blogs/jon_skeet/archive/2010/08/29/… – Jeff Atwood Sep 17 '10 at 15:31
    
I like this list better than what's on the how to ask section of the stackoverflow faq (which is about bicycles and not programming). – dlamblin Nov 23 '11 at 20:33

The way you've bolded "Is your question about programming" makes it seem that this sidebar is more about what's on-topic.

I would suggest the following

Asking Good Questions

Good questions are more likely to get good answers.

  • Be specific
  • Stay on-topic
  • Do your homework
  • Make it relevant to others
  • Listen, even when it’s not what you wanted to hear

[faq link, just like you already have it]

I would make "Asking Good Questions" a link to a more detailed page.

share|improve this answer

Well, you've already linked to my (excessively?) detailed article... so how about including some form of my golden rule: read the question you've just written, and see whether it's the kind of question you'd want to answer.

In case I haven't made it clear elsewhere, btw, you're very welcome to take that blog post and adapt / expand / trim it as much as you like, and post it wherever you want.

share|improve this answer
    
By the way, doesn't rubber ducking apply to asking good questions, too? I.e. what about "read the question you've just written (aloud), ..."? – Tobias Kienzler Sep 20 '10 at 10:36
    
@Tobias: I'm not sure it needs to be aloud, but it's basically the same idea, yes. – Jon Skeet Sep 20 '10 at 10:39

This is now completed as

http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/10/asking-better-questions/

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

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