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How can we improve the question system altogether?

This comes from a fact: it's as easy for a question maker not to get rewarded for a question (even if it's a good one) as it is for a network user to down vote a bad question. This is a real fact; even if you don't think a question is bad, almost nobody will up vote a normal/good question.

So for one user who might sometimes ask bad questions, even if it's a very few of them, as time passes they will end up reaching a question ban. If 80% of these question bans are deserved, I'm pretty sure there are at least 20% of them who get this ban only because of this system that makes it much easier to lose points than earn points.

In order to prove my points: Let's say I'm new to a technology, Magento for example. Then I would like to find some topic (almost tutorials I would say) like "How magento works?" But we all agree this kind of question is off topic because there isn't a specific answer required.

But then how can you explain to me such an issue which is basically the same for drupal gets so many up votes while still being off topic? How Drupal works?

My guess is that this issue was done a long time ago. At this time I think the users were much less elitist than they are today. If you do the same today, you will get down votes from most users without any doubt.

This is why my thinking is that the whole network should refactor re-think this question system. In other words, we need to find together a solution to the question: "What is a good question?" A solution different or at least extended from the one already existing.

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    You did notice that question you used as an example is from 2009 and closed in 2013? In 2009 those type of questions seemed okay, in 2013 we no longer thought so. We constantly refactor but we only get stopped in our tracks as we can't or are not able to delete the questions on time before they are used as an argument that we should re-think what question quality and scope means. – rene Nov 29 at 14:42
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    "This is a real fact" - [citation needed] – jonrsharpe Nov 29 at 14:45
  • @rene Of course I do. What's wrong with that ? The subject is supposed to have less interest because he is old ? The question and answers can be updated for each new version, like there is a comment from 2 years ago. I don't really see what is wrong the time of the question ? – Minirock Nov 29 at 14:45
  • @Tom Please, where am I complaining about anything ? Come on, please read and discuss about what you read – Minirock Nov 29 at 14:47
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    Where you're complaining? For example here "It's as easy for a question maker not to get rewarded for a question (even if it's a good one) than it is for a lambda network user to down vote a bad question." (and no, claiming that as a fact doesn't hide the complain) – Tom Nov 29 at 14:48
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    I question the premise here: we get new users every day, and every day someone earns one of the milestone badges. People are warning rep just fine, including people whose primary contribution is questions. – Dan Bron Nov 29 at 14:49
  • @Tom it's something I think to be true, but I never say I feel being treat like that. So no this isn't a complain. You can disagreee with the fact, but you can't say it's complaining... – Minirock Nov 29 at 14:49
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    "it's something I think to be true" ... "You can disagreee with the fact" ... just because you think something to be true doesn't make it a fact. – Tom Nov 29 at 14:52
  • @Tom sorry i'm not english native it might not be the perfect word. I can edit it to say ; I think it's a fact if that is what is bothering you... – Minirock Nov 29 at 14:53
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    "we need to find together a solution to the question: "What is a good question?"" - we already have, and it's listed in the help center of each individual Stack Exchange site. The solutions may change over time, as evidenced by the Drupal question that was on-topic when it was asked but is off-topic now. But the solutions themselves are still there. – F1Krazy Nov 29 at 14:56
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    Could there be another reason questions like the one you linked get downvoted? Is it possible it has nothing to do with elitism and more to do with the fact it's against the rules & totally off-topic for StackOverflow? The post you linked is closed as off-topic. Please don't let the upvotes distract you. – dustytrash Nov 29 at 15:08
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    One thing worth repeating: quality is subjective. Posters are inherently biased. Just because you think the question is good doesn't automatically mean it is. Also, please don't use me to justify this; I recommended you edit your previous question, not ask a new one. – fbueckert Nov 29 at 15:11
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    "At this time I think the users were much less elitist than they are today." - Quality control has nothing to do with elitism. It's just that time proved some questions to be more suited for Stack Exchange's Q/A format that others. Some questions that were considered on topic in the early days are not considered to be a good fit today. – Modus Tollens Nov 29 at 16:45
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    Possible duplicate of How to ask a smart question - also see the "Linked" and "Related" in the right column, along with some of the comments. – Rob Nov 29 at 17:15
  • We know quite well what good questions are, but we still don't know well what to do and how to avoid the bad questions. – Trilarion Nov 29 at 21:16
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How can we improve the question system altogether?

I wasn't aware it was that bad. The community here collected a decent basis of good content, so much that SOinc. can now leverage that content into the next phase without much of the community input.

This comes from a fact: it's as easy for a question maker not to get rewarded for a question (even if it's a good one) as it is for a network user to down vote a bad question. This is a real fact; even if you don't think a question is bad, almost nobody will up vote a normal/good question.

From my infamous SEDE query still shows that it is easier to get an upvote then it is to get a down vote. It is amazing we manage to get rid of bad content, given the down vote investment.

So for one user who might sometimes ask bad questions, even if it's a very few of them, as time passes they will end up reaching a question ban.

No, in the end their "good" questions will garner upvotes (as the facts from my query show), putting them over the threshold for a quality ban. If they only manage to ask subpar and 0 scoring posts then they get nowhere. If that is 20% then so be it.

In order to prove my points: Let's say I'm new to a technology, Magento for example. Then I would like to find some topic (almost tutorials I would say) like "How magento works?" But we all agree this kind of question is off topic because there isn't a specific answer required.

Yes, in 2009 we had still no idea how this Q/A model would pan out, nor what type of questions and answers would work well. In 2013 we knew and those broad, open ended type of questions were deemed not a good fit. Closing those questions became the new standard and deleting a must. The lack of delete voters to clean-up those questions is what should worry us.

But then how can you explain to me such an issue which is basically the same for drupal gets so many up votes while still being off topic? How Drupal works?

Maybe these questions are better received on their designated sites like Drupal.SE. For a programmer with a practical problem to solve, having a broad overview of how something works is close to useless and probably covered elsewhere much better.

My guess is that this issue was done a long time ago.

Yes, you could have found that yourself.

At this time I think the users were much less elitist than they are today.

I don't see why I need to be insulted, please refrain from doing that again going forward.

If you do the same today, you will get down votes from most users without any doubt.

Yes, I have a much better understanding of the scope of Stack Overflow and questions that are not useful for future visitors get my close and down vote. The close vote in the hope that no answers will be provided, the down vote to expedite the roomba.

This is why my thinking is that the whole network should refactor re-think this question system. In other words, we need to find together a solution to the question: "What is a good question?" A solution different or at least extended from the one already existing.

We have had since 2010 Meta sites where 0,015% of the community discussed the scope of their main site. That definition wobbles and if anything, I think overall question quality is better served with a strict and narrow scope, allowing less then we allow today. That does mean we sometimes have to let go of Q/A's that once were thought to a pearl but turn out to be less shinny after all. And so the 0,015% of the community decided to redefine their scope a little bit.

Make no mistake, that 0,015% are the most invested users, those that care and feel responsible to make the content quality prevail over personal preferences. Maybe the now proposed mechanism by SOinc can replace that, leading to more support for your stance. I do warn you that The Loop will include way less then the current 0,015% so if that experiment doesn't give a scope definition for Stack Overflow that satisfy your and my needs I think we have to agree Stack Overflow no longer aligns with our personal goals for how we want to share our knowledge with future visitors.

Do not ask what a good question is. Ask for a specific topic what lasting value we want to curate for visitors to come. Think about the customers, not about the content.

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How can we improve the question system altogether?

The first step would be to identify issues and/or features that could be added.

This comes from a fact: it's as easy for a question maker not to get rewarded for a question (even if it's a good one)

I am assuming you did not mean this literally (clicking the down vote button is easy).

Whenever you state something as a fact you should provide evidence. Not saying you're wrong but it would certainly help convince readers that what you are saying is true.

You should also state your point. I am not sure you are implying good questions are down voted (malicious or bias users), OR good questions are sitting at 0 (not enough attention).

how can you explain to me such an issue which is basically the same for drupal gets so many up votes while still being off topic

This is an example of a very bad / off topic question getting lots of up votes. It doesn't help your point. The question is over 10 years old I don't see value in debating why it's not downvoted, in fact it's already closed as off topic.

Take a look at this answer to your linked question, it's up voted but solely contains links. This is against the rules for a good reason as one of the links is dead (links to wrong place) and the other link is behind a "login wall". Today this answer, just like the question would most likely get down voted. This has nothing to do with elitism.

If you want to visit a place where "How does Drupal work?" is a praised question and "Read the handbook, here's a link" is a praised answer I suggest using forums with less rules, such as Reddit (programming subreddit).

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