The Super User site has a [community-faq] tag, description of which is:

These questions have been selected by the community as high-quality posts with generalized answers to questions which come up frequently on Super User. They are more canonical answers which can apply to many different variations on a topic.

While I appreciate that Stack Overflow has a FAQ section, this is concerned with how to ask a question, rather than providing canonical answers to frequently asked questions.

Given the frequency of duplicate questions on Stack Overflow, the volume of questions on this site, and the volume of moderator activity; would not inclusion of such a facility on Stack Overflow aid all these problems? If there is such a facility already, could it be made much more visible and accessible, as I could not find an equivalent when searching Stack Overflow?

I don't see this as exactly the same as community-wiki questions and answers, as while these are community assets, they do not necessarily have the canonical quality, and indexed availability of this requested facility.

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    Related: Do reference questions make sense? and What can be done about repetitive questions?, although I don't think these ideas ever got much traction. There are only 17 such questions on SU; on SO it would probably have to be done by tag, using each tag wiki as an index of links to the reference questions. – user102937 Jul 12 '11 at 16:44
  • Thank you for the references. As with your comment, these previous Q&A do point to having to use the tag wiki as an index. Qualifying for a tag badge could be used as the criteria for nomination of, voting for, and acceptance of a question for canonical status - distributing the much larger volume of queries across users who are already acknowledged as experts in the tag. While you suggest the idea did not get much traction, the combined votes for the two questions you reference did gain 30 net upvotes, so there does seem to be some interest in the idea. – Chris Walton Jul 12 '11 at 17:07
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    I think it's a matter of available time and motivation. The system is not really set up to encourage and award the writing of "blog entries," which is what these really are. It would be nice if we could systematically vet these somehow, and perhaps award a bounty for good reference questions and answers so created. It would have to be a substantial reputation award; badges don't really do it for me in this regard, and it would be a nice way to award rep to those people who can spend the time writing good material. – user102937 Jul 12 '11 at 17:09

It's a reasonable idea, but poorly named, and a tiny bit of a meta-tag. However, I can see some value in having these canonical "reference" questions grouped together with a tag.


Perhaps something like would be more appropriate and less confusing?

It's also odd because we would be extending the concept of moderator-only tags to the main site, which does not currently exist.

This is probably best viewed as an experiment at the moment.

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  • Agree it is poorly named, on SuperUser. Reference-question does seem to be more relevant. – Chris Walton Aug 11 '11 at 18:47
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    I agree that the naming is not ideal. Ivo Flipse and myself are the ones who pioneered the community-faqs on SU. Right now it's not really officially supported by the platform in any way, but I think there's a need for identifying commonly asked reference questions. I don't have time right this very moment, but would be happy to start a meta discussion about how this type of question should be highlighted on the site - I already have a lot of thoughts on it. – nhinkle Aug 11 '11 at 20:30
  • It might be helpful if the tag had a wiki so that people would know its intended usage. I just checked and it hasn't been used at all. – codewaggle Jul 20 '12 at 13:12

On Meta it's here, but on Stack Overflow, there really isn't one. Notice that: and really aren't what you're looking for.

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To begin with, I can help you define a good candidate for that tag: A question is a "frequently asked question" if other questions are closed as exact duplicates of that question.

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Great idea! That would be really a good thing to have!

If the question and answer are general enough it would then be easier to mark many new questions as a real duplicates.

The workflow has to be designed, and motivation, as Robert Harvey noticed.

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