In regards to the "Stack Overflow Isn’t Very Welcoming. It’s Time for That to Change" article, I have a feature suggestion that would help users write good questions that are less likely to be shut down by the community.
The article has me in two minds;
- Yes, it does stink when you try to come up with a good question, only to have it closed/down voted/dissed in the comments.
- How are people feeling they are being singled out when there is no real way to know that someone is a woman or a minority or even if you happen to be a dog.
As it says, hurt feelings are hurt feelings and you can't argue with that, but maybe we can get to the root of the problem, instead of focusing on the symptoms?
Namely, a lot of people just don't know how to ask a good question. The article talks about one plan in reguards to SO specifically, in that you'd have a textbox for your question, another for code snippets, etc. in order to help users format their questions in a useful way.
Another option that some sites have started using is to have a meta post that is used as a sandbox. A user can type their question in there as an answer, and get feedback on how to word things better or deal with potential problems in order before it hits the main question list and gets torn apart.
The question sandbox idea has several problems though; namely you have to have a little rep in order to post in there, which is hard for a 1 rep newbie, and you have to know it exists. Not all sites have them, and the ones that do can be hard to find on the meta question list.
Add a new "sandbox" review queue, and an option on the Ask a Question page to submit your question to the sandbox queue instead of the main site.
I am aware that the main goal of the site is to ask a question easily, and get answers quickly, but that does not work if the question gets closed or a lot of negative feedback.
I personally would have used this feature a few weeks ago, when I was trying to figure out if my question would be well received on DataBaseAdministrators, or if I should put it on StackOverflow instead. I really wasn't sure which would be better.
So I went into the DBA chat and asked the users if my question would be a good fit. But that's a lot of steps, if anyone is in chat, and you have to have 20 rep to use chat which won't help a new user.
I think that any tool we can give new users to better understand how Stack Exchange works is a good thing.