We have some feature requests.
- Give an incentive for finding duplicate questions - 4 years 6 months open
- Help us find duplicates efficiently - 1 month open
- Reward finding duplicate questions - +10, +2, -5 - declined but proposes several alternatives
- Avoid chaining "exact duplicates" - 1 year 8 months open
- Should you gain rep for asking a duplicate question? - 4 years 9 months open
- Avoid chaining "exact duplicates" - 1 year 10 months open
- Duplicates Mark II, Canonicals, more aggressive duplicate prevention - 2 months
- Boost duplicate post search results by incoming link count - 1 month open.
http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/11/dr-strangedupe-or-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-duplication/ even acknowledges the need to not have such problems:
Having dozens and dozens of variations of the same question is clearly bad.
One of the trilogy sites, which is near and dear to me, ServerFault, is currently dying the death of drowning in boring duplicates. When we search for the canonical questions we have made by name (remembering the names of all our 60 canonical questions is hard), usually what comes up is all the zillion questions we've closed as duplicates.
Worse still, by making closing duplicates as duplicates a pain, we've seen a lot of duplicate questions closed with off-topic reasons out of laziness. Clearly this is no way to go, as it pushes the users away instead of giving them the answer we've written.
We need to do one or more of these things, since duplication is a very severe problem on some sites and current work hasn't managed to help. Or, maybe we need to do something else. But, we do need to do something. What do?
More than we are right now, we need to do more to:
- Make it very easy to close duplicates
- Prevent duplicates from cluttering search and the front page
- Leverage the network's incentive mechanisms to reward people who do the annoying work of closing duplicates
- Discourage users from asking duplicates in the first place
Does anyone have any thoughts as to what of these things would be most effective network-wide? ServerFault is in urgent need of salvation from this problem but I imagine at least some other places have a similar frustration.