I just spent quite a bit of time writing what I thought was an original and interesting discussion point. Of course, I did a search on MSO first and as usual couldn't find anything relating to what I wanted.

When I typed the title of the question, nothing that came up in the "Related Questions" box was quite exactly what I was wanting to discuss.

So, I post my question, go check it out, and low and behold in the "Related Questions" box, I see THREE other questions, that in essence, are exactly the same as the one I just typed up.

Is there any way to perhaps periodically update/preview that "Related Questions" box when creating a post? Perhaps after each paragraph break or something? (on second thought, seeing how many people have difficulty creating paragraphs, maybe a different trigger)


2 Answers 2


You should know that the "related" column is heavily weighted by tags.. just FYI. So if you want two questions to be "related" to each other, tag them similarly (and ideally, tag them identically).

There is also body and title matching of course but tags is the big one.

Edit: this is completed for asking per Feedback requested: Similar Questions displayed in sidebar on /ask

  • Interesting. I can see how this might be difficult to implement. Mar 22, 2010 at 8:40

This seems like a reasonable suggestion - although obviously the triggers could be ripe for discussion (I'd suggest that filling in tags should be another trigger). I would expect a goal of the preview should be that just before the user clicks "Post" the related questions should be the same as the ones displayed after posting.

Potentially, if a really strong correlation is found, hitting "Post" could trigger a dialog box: "Are you really sure this isn't a duplicate of one of these posts?" (suggesting only the strongly correlated matches). That would make it easier to spot the fact that the question body had changed the list of related questions.

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