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Pleeb

What should we do with Questions and Answers (and Beginner Questions General)

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A discussion came up the other day regarding the forum-RSS feed, in which questions posted in Beginner Questions General was not appearing in the RSS feed, whereas questions made in actual topics popped up.  This was the discussion:

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@Ranger said

When someone posts a question on the Questions and Answers board, it pops up in the forum-rss feed. This is normally fine, but the problem is Beginner Questions General thread updates do not update the forum-rss, and I am concerned that someone may deliberately utilize this so more people can see their post.

Is there a way to see BQG updates without it also updating the answers to those questions? Or is it best if BQG forum-rss threads are deleted?
Do people even want to see BQG updates?


@Tewi said:

No one asking beginner questions is aware enough to abuse the publicity thing, but it is a little unbalanced to have only some questions show up there. IMO, the real problem is the #forum-rss not being able to alert people here of new questions asked in Beginner Questions General, but I don't have ideas on what to do about that
As long as the merged threads' original URLs redirect, best option without some unique workaround is to let the merged threads' RSS posts stay, just so people can pseudo-see BQG

@Ranger said:

 I don't know if there's a way to mark individual posts, but there would be lag depending on if I'm around to mark them or not.

I also wonder if the forum-rss can pick up on updates only if the next question is at least 8 hours before the previous one. It won't catch every new question, but it would tell people the thread has been updated and they could check it out. I don't know if that's an option however.

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As long as the merged threads' original URLs redirect, best option without some unique workaround is to let the merged threads' RSS posts stay, just so people can pseudo-see BQG

I don't know. If they deliberately post in the Q & A board to get more coverage, they're breaking the rules. I still have to move those posts to BQG, and I don't want to encourage rule breaking. I think this is a problem because it rewards breaking the rules and doesn't reward following them.

I could drop a link whenever I see a BQG update into forum-rss, but I would need the permission to do that and there's the chance I miss something.

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No one asking beginner questions is aware enough to abuse the publicity thing

If they use Discord, they could quickly figure it out. I don't think anyone has abused it to the point it became a problem if they abused it at all. I felt that this practice has felt backwards for awhile and I needed to speak up.

@Pleeb said:

One of the original purposes for Beginner Questions General was so these beginner questions didn't result in a feed update (which is what ThunderClap meant in OP by saying "it can drown out other new threads on the Twitter and Facebook pages" -- every topic made used to be tweeted and posted to facebook).

Maybe it's worth working out what Beginner Questions General's purpose should be these days; is it still relevant over just asking a question in the questions board by creating new topics?  Is it still just to try and cut out the repetitive questions?  What are other communities doing?

@reguile said:

New user questions are a plague on every tulpa community out there, but it's a plague I'd be happy to be dealing with.  No community I'm aware of handles it well unless it's a wiki style "you come here to supply information, not ask for it"
I think having all updates/posts showing in the RSS feed on it would be good


@Pleeb said:

I'm not sure how we can tailor the feed not to go off every time there's a reply to beginner's questions general, because at that point we're just moderating an RSS feed.  Like, at that point I wonder if it's worth just retiring Beginner Questions General and just having new threads as topics.

At one point it was stuck on the moderators to keep locking topics and linking them to older ones (e.g. "This question already exist"), which I know kinda stunk and I wouldn't want to see that happening again either.  At the same time, I was never quite sure about these massive "general" threads, but it seems like every big community (not just tulpas) have that kind of thing just so you're not talking about the same thing in several topics.

 

Again, the original purpose for Beginner Questions General was to actively prevent the feed from showing beginners questions, but is that needed at this point?

 

What do you guys want the questions board to look like?  Should we keep segmenting things off to Beginner Questions General?  Should we just start letting topics come up even if they're a "beginner" question?  Should we create a sub board specifically for Beginner Questions? (this would allow it to show up in the feed while also logically separating things)

 

The other question I have is, you probably have all seen the Invision Community Q & A Board, that allows for showing which questions tend to be more popular, allow a "best answer" to be selected, and other sort of things.  What do you think of this format?  Do you think it could work with our Questions board?  If not, do you think it could work for a theoretical "Beginner Questions" board since those answers tend to be straightforward?

 

How would you like duplicate questions handled?

Edited by Pleeb
Formatting

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I'm biased because I moderate and I am the one who ultimately moves the duplicate questions to BQG.

 

Duplicate questions being moved to BQG on the forum alone is a non-issue. With a custom or Lumi's adaption of the view today's posts button, the questions can be seen and ignored if it's listed under "BQG". At least one person is around to answer it, and that's that.

 

Even though there are less beginner questions, it is still nice to have them moved to BQG. Given that the forums don't get much activity, there are not very many beginner questions to begin with. As a result, it can be refreshing to answer a question thread when the previous activity was chatting in the LOTPW thread. However, on days where there are some interesting general discussion or question threads floating around or there are a lot of beginner questions in a short time span, beginner questions on top of that start to become taxing.

 

On an interesting note, sometimes beginner questions get a more diverse audience where more specific questions typically get answered by forum regulars. I wonder if part of this is related to people on Discord seeing these questions and coming to the forums or lurkers/new users feel like these are questions they can answer. This is also counter intuitive, since the structure of the BQG thread depends on active users answering them with the exception of followers (which if there are any, I'm assuming are active users anyway).

 


 

3 hours ago, Pleeb said:

Should we create a sub board specifically for Beginner Questions? (this would allow it to show up in the feed while also logically separating things)

 

I really like this solution. Having a sub board would mean there is still separation, it might be a little bit easier to find, and new threads would be posted in the forum-rss feed rather than individual updates. I also know some people like fresh threads, and this would address this as well.

 

I don't know if the forums will ever become extremely active any time soon, but for now this seems like the best solution to me.

 

3 hours ago, Pleeb said:

Again, the original purpose for Beginner Questions General was to actively prevent the feed from showing beginners questions, but is that needed at this point?

 

No, because of the current activity level of the forum is far less than it was in the past. If the forum becomes really active again, we can switch back to only displaying new question threads and we don't necessarily need to merge all of the beginner question threads in one mega thread. Actually, looking though a sub board of common questions might be easier to search in than a mega thread.

 

3 hours ago, Pleeb said:

Should we keep segmenting things off to Beginner Questions General?

 

Yes. I don't want beginner questions to get mixed up with other threads, I feel that would pollute the question pool. However, if they had their own board, they could easily be filtered out, in fact more easily than they can now. All someone would have to do is check Q & A while not checking the sub board in their activity feed.

 

3 hours ago, Pleeb said:

Should we just start letting topics come up even if they're a "beginner" question?

 

For now, yes. Especially on Discord where there's a broader active population. The more people who can see the thread, the more likely it will be answered quickly.

 

3 hours ago, Pleeb said:

The other question I have is, you probably have all seen the Invision Community Q & A Board, that allows for showing which questions tend to be more popular, allow a "best answer" to be selected, and other sort of things.  What do you think of this format?  Do you think it could work with our Questions board?  If not, do you think it could work for a theoretical "Beginner Questions" board since those answers tend to be straightforward?

 

Even with beginner questions, I don't think a ranking system is necessary. Usually one answer post is good enough, and multiple people are unlikely to share different ideas about the same common topics. However, I'm against the ranking system in general and I refuse to use it. All advice should be treated equally and considered by the OP, unless it is deliberately aimed at misinforming or harming them.

 

3 hours ago, Pleeb said:

How would you like duplicate questions handled?

 

If a regular question thread gets a duplicate, I can merge the thread with the original thread. If it gets another duplicate, I would want to start moving them to the sub board.


I'm Ranger, Gray's/Cat_ShadowGriffin's tulpa, and I love hippos! I also like cake and chatting about stuff.

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Beginner Questions General is just where we put questions that have been asked many times before and would be merged with the last thread asking that question, but still practically speaking warrant an answer rather than us being all stuck up about it, so the thread is viewable by choice for people who are willing to see possibly repetitive newbie questions while people sick of that can avoid it

 

we could make it a board and it'd be far more visible, but then I wonder

1) what would the normal Questions & Answers board be for? really General Discussion is enough for normal discussion past the newbie level

2) won't we still run into the problem BQG was made to avoid of bloating the board with repetitive questions that shouldn't have been asked (should've been searched for, though TBH this forum's search kinda sucks now)

 

is it enough fair warning to users viewing the board to know there may be repetitive/simple questions that we won't have to worry about having to merge and stuff? I think maybe, but we should definitely go back to linking to old threads covering the topics (along with some more in-context summarizing or adding on with it preferably), but maybe not locking the thread after because old threads don't always answer the exact same question with its context and if the new user has something to add/discuss it's more daunting/confusing to try to do it in an old, existing thread than their new one

Edited by Lucilyn

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The Beginner Questions General should stay as-is. If possible, I'd be more interested in an opt-in channel on the Discord server where people can see a full RSS feed of that thread. Allowing people to make these topics without merging and pointing them to resources will just lead to people who want to be spoon-fed. That'll happen regardless, of course, but it'd be great if we could mitigate this issue.

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