TLDR: I want to be able to ask questions that are attributed to a Community User, such that any high-rep user or moderator can seed his site with the questions that really should be on it!
I think there's a problem across the Stack Exchange network with regards to the expected level of expertise. Let me explain with an example:
... At a reception recently a woman came up to me and told me her daughter is named ‘Loïs’ too. She said “I was hoping I would bump into you because I noticed you know how to put the umlaut on the ‘i’, Can you please tell me how to do that on the iPhone?”. I explained it to her and the next day in the office during lunch I told the story to my co-workers. I laughed and said “apparently some people still don’t know how to get to the special characters on the iPhone!”. Nobody laughed. Then someone said “Well, neither do I. How DO you do that?” and then someone else admitted not knowing and then it turned out nobody knew. ...
The point of all these stories? If you know how to get to the special characters like ü, é and © on your iPhone and or PC, if you know what a URL is and if you know how to use most of the Apps on your iPhone you are part of a small group of experts. Don’t assume you are the default because you are the exception.
My point is: we strive to get the experts on board to answer the questions, but end up with a site where only the experts are asking questions. Which I'm surely isn't the only audience we're trying to cater to here?
This might be overblown for Stack Overflow, which thanks to its enormous audience does feature very basic programming questions. But still, the quality of a lot of questions scares away a lot of potential users, since they're afraid that they're too newbish.
Moving over to Super User. When was the last time you saw one of your family members ask a question on Super User? Right, never. And how many phone calls from your mom did you get? Clearly it's not due to a lack of questions: A Google search for: How to + Windows 7 + Microsoft + forum turns up at least three forums completely littered with questions that would suit Super User. So while there's not a lack of questions from potential user, but they surely don't ask them on Super User. And even though Super User gets 80% of it's traffic from search engines, I think it could be a lot more if it also featured more accessible questions.
Why am I asking this? Well, because I see the same thing happening to new SE sites! I consider myself an internet-junkie and I even proposed Web Applications, but already shortly after the private beta I felt disconnected. Instead of seeing questions about using web applications, there were loads of questions about how to change web applications. This is not your typical user problem, this is a feature request
The same applies for the Apple SE site, Ask Different, which last week even had a worrying number of avid users. Why? Because there simply aren't enough questions to answer! Surely, a Mac just works, but that doesn't mean (new) users don't have questions!
So what do I want? I want the ability to ask questions, which I think really should belong on the website, but without having them attributed to my own personal account. The current situation requires users to play Jeopardy and ask the question on their own account.
However, I have several problems with this:
- If I want to ask a large number of questions, this will almost naturally make me gain a lot of rep, which I personally do not want or need.
- I don't even think these questions should be attributed to me, as they are most likely someone else's questions repackaged. Furthermore, as a highly active user and a moderator, it would look awkward if I started asking easy questions as if I didn't know the answer.
- The current implementation is aimed for occasional questions you think really should be asked, but not for asking dozens of questions.
- I can create a sock puppet, but sock puppets could be used for evil, such as up-voting and accepting one's own answers (more often than they deserve) and I think this behavior should be discouraged.
Bottom line: I want to be able to ask questions that are attributed to a Community User, such that any high-rep user or moderator can seed his site with the questions that really should be on it!