In the ServerFault weekly newsletter, there is a section labelled "Can you answer these?". How is the questions in this section selected, and does each recipient of the newsletter get a different set of questions?

Edit 1: For the newsletter dated Tuesday, May 22, 2012 I received (in this order):

What did you get?

Edit 2: The newsletter can be found on your profile edit page (as shown):

newsletter tick-box

or as described here: Weekly site newsletters? on Meta StackExchange

Apparently far less people know about them that I realised! I remember seeing the banner add yonks ago.

  • 6
    There's a newsletter? May 28, 2012 at 14:15
  • Tell us what was in that section for your last newsletter and the date it was released.
    – user147520
    May 28, 2012 at 18:34
  • Updated with last week's newletter's details
    – Ashley
    May 28, 2012 at 23:00
  • @Ashley, definitely not trolling. I've never seen a mention of a newsletter and searching for the word on the SF front page turns up zero results, so I can only assume they don't want everyone to know about it. May 29, 2012 at 0:26
  • @JohnGardeniers see image and link :)
    – Ashley
    May 29, 2012 at 4:27
  • 4
    @Ashley, that link is on MSO, so it's no wonder I haven't seen it. MSO is an unpleasant and unfriendly place and I don't like to go there. You'll also note from the upvotes on my original comment that I'm not the only one who was unaware of a newsletter. May 29, 2012 at 10:54
  • 1
    @John MSO is only unfriendly to those who don't read (or think) before they post. Besides, participation isn't required to read MSO and learn about new features. :)
    – John
    May 29, 2012 at 15:37
  • Why was my question moved to Stack Overflow's Meta? The madness of migration in StackExchange sites does my head in. This post is in no way relevant to StackOverflow.
    – Ashley
    May 29, 2012 at 19:17
  • 1
    Note that Meta Stack Overflow and Meta Stack Exchange are one and the same (notice where your link to "Meta Stack Exchange" goes). :)
    – John
    May 30, 2012 at 22:59
  • My head aslode. I've had questions migrated poorly before with no explanation or way to query... This time it seems valid... :)
    – Ashley
    May 31, 2012 at 0:23

1 Answer 1


Not quite. Whenever a batch of newsletters is to be sent, we query for the 20 highest voted questions that have no answers, are open, have score >= 0, and were asked between 7 days and 6 hours ago. Then, for each individual newsletter, 3 of the 20 are randomly selected for inclusion.

So, on a small site on which only one question matches these criteria, it's possible that everyone gets the same "can you answer this?" question. But on a bigger site, it's also possible that everyone receives a different set.

Long-term plans for the newsletter (and Stack Exchange in general) include greater personalization, so this may change in the future as newsletters become more targeted.

  • Bam. Just like that. Thanks. :)
    – Ashley
    May 31, 2012 at 0:25

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