I just edited the question selection for my site and some text and manually pinged my mod team to alert them. I wondered if we would get notified of at or also if a trusted user made a substantial edit to the question at hand.

It would be nice if the moderators for a site got a notification any time the about page changes. This could be the result of someone editing it (us or a SE employee) as well as if the question we have chosen gets edited by a user.

I'm assuming the site isn't coded to cache the question when it is selected and a malicious edit (or simply a clueless edit) could render the selection of a particular question for the about page less than desirable.

As much as I like a less-noisy notification system, I feel it would be good to have more eyes on changes systematically rather than by chance. (especially since our users can't themselves flag the about page if they see something amiss there)

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    Wouldn't a better solution be for the system to be smart enough to cache the question when we select it? – yannis Jan 21 '13 at 19:02
  • @Yannis I wanted to suggest that and leave the implementation up to the designers. I would assume the vast majority of edits would be positive to improve a question. Perhaps that's the ideal solution in the end, though. I figured if they were going to ping people for any modification, that would catch question changes and mean no caching need be implemented. – bmike Jan 21 '13 at 20:00
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    Think about it for a second. How often over the lifetime of a site will this be used? – phwd Jan 21 '13 at 20:08
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    @phwd The seldom nature of this page being edited or the question changed seems to be part of the reason why I'd like to be pinged. Assuming no changes happen for eight months, I'd rather get a ping when the page changes and I've forgotten about what it looks like or if it even exists anymore. Shog9's point is good though about the non-mod content being user flaggable and reviewable on the original question so this might still be not worth the time to code. – bmike Jan 22 '13 at 18:12

This seems like an overwrought solution. Wouldn't it be simpler to either,

  • Duplicate the question and answers when first selected, store the duplicated text elsewhere such that it doesn't change when the question is updated unless manually refreshed... or,

  • Lock the question and answers such that they cannot be modified without moderator intervention?

Note that the latter can be done now if you're especially concerned about this.

  • Sounds fine to me. I was tempted to lock the question I selected, but didn't want to prevent people from making it better as most edits do. But I think anyone who's been in a moderator position has seen people that rage quit, fling poo, take as much rope as is given - and it's only a matter of time until someone figures they can edit something that shows up on the about page - prominent - and unable to be flagged other than the normal mod process. Hopefully that would catch any edits whether or not the mod was aware that particular question was being featured. – bmike Jan 21 '13 at 20:15
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    Well, keep in mind: that page is heavily cached. You'd see the edit pop up normally long before it would show on /about. – Shog9 Jan 21 '13 at 20:19
  • Cool - I'll let this get aired a bit and see if anyone comes up with a reason why locking wouldn't solve this in practice. Just struck me as a loop hole worth poking a bit. Good to know about the cache - when I made the change, it was put into effect almost immediately so I didn't notice any cache effects from selection as opposed to editing. – bmike Jan 21 '13 at 20:23
  • If you need to lock the question maybe you should just delete it because locks are for questions that got away with the upvotes but don't really need to be a shining example of the good questions to ask @bmi – random Jan 21 '13 at 21:04
  • What happened in this case? Why don't we have an actual question on our About page (It wasn't a huge deal and a site member did the right thing in asking why our question went away...) – bmike Apr 15 '14 at 14:38
  • Do you recall what your old question was, @bmike? – Shog9 Apr 15 '14 at 15:52
  • I believe it was apple.stackexchange.com/questions/40355/… – bmike Apr 15 '14 at 19:07
  • Hmm... Don't see any reason why that one would've been de-selected, @bmike. It's possible you never had an explicit choice there, I suppose - it might've picked that one implicitly at one point and then later stopped. Hard to tell. – Shog9 Apr 15 '14 at 19:27
  • Thanks for checking. – bmike Apr 15 '14 at 19:35

Or you can star the question you're putting up as a shining example and keep an eye out on it for any changes as they come pinging through the notifications along with your other favourite questions.

Unless you choose to not want to be notified, in which case, choose to be notified.

In other words, if you like the question so much you want it greeting users on the about page, put a ring on it.

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    That would be an effective and generally-useful strategy, except it was broken and never fixed. – Shog9 Jan 21 '13 at 23:28
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    Looks like a two birds, one gets stoned off its rocker bonus in the wings here – random Jan 21 '13 at 23:48

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