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I realize that their is a small box to the right of the screen which directs users to the FAQ when they ask a question. However chances that a user is going to click their, might be low. I know I didn't and it would have helped me better understand what questions to ask and what questions not to ask. So, as per a request by a community member in my question: Has anyone tried to make a movie off of 'Fahrenheit 451?", I'm bringing this up in meta.

I suggest that if a registered user (or a new IP) clicks on the "Ask a Question" button for the first time (and has not seen the FAQ yet) that you direct the user to the "Ask - Advice" page for each particular stack exchange site. For instance on StackOverflow when a new user creates a new question they are sent to http://stackoverflow.com/questions/ask-advice but when a new user (to that site) creates a new question on the Beta Writers site they do not see the ask advice page. I suggested that this page be unique to each site, as each site has different variations of acceptable answers.

Perhaps, to make the page not a waste of time include the message on top of the full question form and a "Show/Hide" option.

I'm asking this as a discussion to see if users think this idea is helpful or not. This is why its not tagged as a feature. If you feel it should be re-tagged feel free to do so.

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

They are already shown a How to Ask that covers important basic information.

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Is that displayed on the "ask a question" page/form or is it a link. I'm talking about putting it on the "ask a question" form because I personally did not find the link or choose not to click it because I thought I knew what I was doing. I'm talking about avoiding problems from most users who have that concept. A good +45% I would imagine. –  Justin Apr 26 '11 at 18:03
    
@Justin When they click "Ask Question" for the first time, they must read through that page before they can ask a question. –  waiwai933 Apr 26 '11 at 18:07
    
Is it implemented on a new question in any SE site. For instance if I post on Stack Overflow for the first time and on the Gamers site will it show me that page for Stack Overflow and the Gamers one? –  Justin Apr 26 '11 at 18:09
    
@Justin: It didn't show me a "How to Ask" page on Gamers, but I've been in the SE network for awhile, so maybe it assumes I already get it. –  Robert Harvey Apr 26 '11 at 18:17
    
I'd like to amend that screen to show specific information for each user. I also went to a new network (of which I didn't have account) and went to add a question. I have way less reputation than you, and it did not show it to me. I used the beta writers site. –  Justin Apr 26 '11 at 18:20
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Bad questions are an especially acute problem on StackOverflow. It's entirely possible that the "How to Ask" page is only rolled out for the high-traffic Trilogy sites (StackOverflow, SuperUser, ServerFault). –  Robert Harvey Apr 26 '11 at 18:22
    
@Justin: Are you a pro-tem mod on the beta writers site? Some of the FAQ is customizable. –  Robert Harvey Apr 26 '11 at 18:23
    
I wish, no I'm no moderator... besides I just opened an account a few hours ago. Have yet to post anything to it. I am planning on it, tho. :-) –  Justin Apr 26 '11 at 18:28
    
Ok I've changed the question to reflect the information everyone has given me. Its now a discussion on expanding a current function for all sites (including those in beta) regardless of traffic. –  Justin Apr 26 '11 at 19:09
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I agree that showing FAQ for the first time posters is really great idea. However, it is pretty long and I think it would be better idea to show just an excerpt with most important information and link to full FAQ.

Also for first time askers it might be a good idea to present some checklist:

  • have you tried Google search?
  • have you tried searching Stack Overflow for similar questions?

My only concern is, smart people would feel a bit offended...

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If its worded alright, most would understand. Also if we ensure the reader that this message only appears once, smarter audiences will happily skip over it. We're more targeting for audiences (such as myself) who don't have a literature degree and well need some help. –  Justin Apr 26 '11 at 17:07
    
Hm... My answer is similar to this question: meta.stackexchange.com/q/46434/156075 –  Paweł Dyda Apr 26 '11 at 17:21
    
It is very similar, however the answer seems to be wildly off topic as it suggested showing the reputation system, when a new user would not know much about repetition and doesn't need to know to ask a question. –  Justin Apr 26 '11 at 17:44
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