While the extant How-To-Ask page is useful, in that it provides good guidelines in general for asking questions on the network, I believe that it can be improved by allowing community (or, more likely community moderator) edits to include information relevant to the specific stack - for example, in ELU and ELL, perhaps a paragraph about including context; in Retrocomputing, a few sentences about how "retro" is defined; and so on.

I can see three ways that this might be implemented:

  1. Allow the community [mods] to freely edit their specific stack's How-To-Ask page.

    I dislike this because it potentially allows the community to delete the current boilerplate, without guaranteeing that necessary information and instructions from it will be included in the replacement text. It does, however, offer the opportunity to provide very stack-focussed advice.

  2. Allow the community [mods] to create a file that gets included into the stack's How-To-Ask page after the (current) system-wide boilerplate

    This is, in my opinion, the best option - it ensures that the information will all be found in one place, preserves the network-wide advice, and still permits the inclusion of very stack-focussed advice.

  3. Allow the community [mods] to create a separate page in the stack's Help Center that is linked from the existing How-To-Ask page.

    This is a second choice to #2; its primary disadvantage is that the stack-specific advice and the general advice are not in one place. It still preserves the network-wide advice, thus guaranteeing its availability, and provides a "fixed" location for stack-focussed advice.

Implementing this should, in my view, lead to an increase in the quality of questions, the quality of first questions, and a reduction in downvotes on the basis of question quality, which tend to discourage the querents whose first questions are low quality due to not having the stack-specific advice that implementing this would allow.

(relevant discussion: My question in ELL-Meta)



You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .