Take for example the JavaScript tag on Stack Overflow. There is such a flurry of beginner questions that those of us who know the language very well and are interested in answering subtle, advanced questions stop following that tag. It would be nice to be able to subscribe to the "hard" questions only.

A friend and I were discussing this and came up with the following solution: have an "I don't know" button, for when you see an answer, you realize that it is a legitimate question but simply don't know the answer. Then people could subscribe to the questions that have at least 50 "I don't know"s or something. The solution has some issues (such as, there are different areas, not just levels of expertise, but maybe the existing tag system takes care of that?), but it's something.

I'm wondering if people have thought about this and have other ideas to solve this problem. Maybe a solution is already in place and I simply don't know about it?

  • 2
    +1 very interesting idea!
    – Pekka
    May 7 '11 at 22:32
  • Thats a good idea in my opinion. Maybe also the questions that have many I don't know's could have a rep boost too. Encouraging people with the capabilities to answer hard questions. (Less rep for hard questions is a problem if people care about rep)
    – Wes
    May 7 '11 at 22:37
  • 1
    Great idea. We need reputation based filters (with settings of course) so that we can choose a reputation range - like just seeing questions by 'young' users or by more experienced users. May 7 '11 at 23:06
  • 7
    How is this any different from an up-vote? Up vote questions you think deserve an answer.
    – user149432
    May 7 '11 at 23:17
  • I definitely see the need for this. In fact, I already regularly upvote interesting questions I do not know the answer to, so using a button like this would not be a big leap for me, but would make finding interesting questions simpler. May 7 '11 at 23:17
  • 2
    I usually upvote legitimate questions when I don't know the answer. Challenging questions are some of the most useful. May 7 '11 at 23:27
  • 4
    @Mark: As I said, I already upvote interesting questions. However, I also upvote well-written questions that may not be super interesting. Upvoting meas a question is good, but just because a question is good does not mean I would want to follow it. On the other hand, interesting questions that people do not know the answer to generally interest me. May 7 '11 at 23:30
  • @Mark: The problem is that people tend to not up-vote stuff they don't understand. May 9 '11 at 12:05

Doesn't the Unanswered tab serve this purpose? The first few pages of unanswered questions on a given tab are going to be upvoted questions that don't have super easy answers, in my experience.

  • Hmm, my gut feeling is that you will miss questions that got incomplete answers or that got answers which misunderstood the question. I don't have evidence that that is actually what happens though.
    – luqui
    May 8 '11 at 1:20
  • @luqui: I guarantee that that's the case. ;) But on SE sites "unanswered" means it didn't get an answer that was accepted or upvoted, so fewer questions will fall through the cracks than if it were simply defined as "zero answers." Compare to the following search: stackoverflow.com/search?q=[javascript]+answers%3A0 May 8 '11 at 1:22

I don't think yet another tool in the UI is the answer. What you consider a boringly trivial question, someone else with less experience or a different background might consider a super-tough question.

You really want someone with similar interests to tell you that a question is interesting. That means you need a social interaction tool, and what you want to do with it is advertise questions.

Inside Stack Exchange, create a Javascript experts' chat room, and use it to share questions that you guys find interesting. Or use external tools such as Twitter if you prefer.

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