5

I find one of the useful features of Stack Exchange to be the 'RELATED' list.

However this is made a nonsense when users post questions like:

Please can you answer this question?

or

What does this mean?

These crop up all too regularly - especially in English Language. I'm not aware of a specific way to deal with such titles. Is there one? If not, can there please be one?

Note

I am aware of the existing question How important is it to be specific in question titles?; however this is posed from the point of view of the questioner.

My query is different - I'm looking for suggestions about what can be done about others who produce uninformative titles.

  • 2
    I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure that SE has been trying to figure this out since the site first went live. As far as I know, the solution is to edit the questions and remind the asker to use more descriptive titles... Oh, and you can't duplicate an existing title, either. – Catija Jul 18 '15 at 21:13
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    How long did you spend tweaking the title to this question, just so it wasn't contradictory :P – James Jul 18 '15 at 23:37
10

My query is different - I'm looking for suggestions about what can be done about others who produce uninformative titles.

Edit them. Give the question a decent title, one that lets people guess what the question is by looking at the title, and is searchable.

And comment. Let the user know that having a title is important. Feel free to link them to How important is it to be specific in question titles?.

  • Aha - I had given up trying to edit titles. Probably I didn't have sufficient privileges at the time. It worked for me just now on English Language. – chasly from UK Jul 18 '15 at 21:23
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    People without full editing privileges can suggest edits. Titles don't even have the six-character minimum. – Scimonster Jul 18 '15 at 21:24
6

To some extent, uninformative titles can be detected automatically but this requires a site-specific approach. On Mathematics, some community members were sufficiently tired of uninformative titles to

  1. Collect the signs of weak titles
  2. Write a meta post on writing good titles
  3. Propose a feature request for automatic check
  4. ... and it was implemented.

Not to say that the problem disappeared — terrible questions still have terrible titles — but the users writing decent questions got some just-in-time help.

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