25

You have made a very good observation. You may recall that the last time we communicated, almost a year ago, I told you that I thought that the silent downvotes on your question were due to "overzealous enforcement of the FAQ guideline that suggests that off-topic questions should be down-voted to remove them from the front page, and that answers to off-...


14

I can remember having a distinct thought yesterday, about how there seemed to be a dearth of good questions, and a rash of some very bad ones. ("Good" and "bad" are subjective, so, to save time, you can read my thoughts about "good" questions by looking at my profile; I've already written about it there.) I don't believe this is a matter of experts vs. ...


12

Like you, I stumbled on this site by accident. My own first interactions were less than felicitous: I was chastized (rightly, as I see it now) for a sloppy answer, and never officially "on-boarded". I actually have left off using the site twice for extended periods for personal pique over other matters. In spite of difficult beginnings, I persevered, and I ...


12

I'm a reader and a rare asker, not an answerer, so basically I'm one of those "eternal newbie" types. I feel the problem that you brought up is pertinent to any Stackexchange subforum, not this one exclusively. A while back I had to leave the financial subforum for a similar reason... I naively came in with a succinct question about making an anonymous ...


11

While there is the occasional rude individual, perceived but unintended slight, or even an otherwise polite user acting out of frustration, I suspect that the lion's share of the tension comes from a mismatch between who the site says it's for and who actually turns up to ask questions. Who the tour says EL&U is for: linguists, etymologists, and serious ...


11

In EL&U, the problem is not that the standard Stack Exchange advice for writing good questions isn't appropriate. It's that some visitors don't have enough patience or enough facility with the language to wade through all that advice. I suggest: help visitors decide quickly whether EL&U is the best place to ask their question; and since we can't ...


10

The room topic of the ELU chat room has traditionally been something along the lines of "The Incomprehensible Room" or "The off-topic room". Sometimes it changes to something more obscure, like the "some son of god" one. I think the room's title is sufficiently self-explanatory that the topic isn't really needed, and I feel it would be a shame to lose that ...


10

In my opinion a video wouldn't help. I think the real problem is there is no indication on the way to posting a low quality question that indicates exactly that fact to a new user. I agree with P. Obertelli, no one reads tours watches intro videos. The neglible amount of people who do don't post bad questions afterwards. To put it bluntly, the starting ...


10

(I'm not sure that this'll count as an answer. Or even be useful. It's just my ramblings based on the question.) Yep, I totally agree that experienced users commenting can come across as condescending. I know I'm guilty of it - hell, two out of your three example quotes are mine! (That said, I thought I'd done a better job than normal on those of avoiding ...


9

thanks to all, I don't know English well (as elementary translator or trying to learn more by translating ! ). but. when i ask questions. the questions are not very technical (usually I don't need the meaning of technical words), but my questions are about phrases (usual idioms that native English speakers understand them, something like reading newspaper ...


9

I'm opposed to it being a compulsory video. Some people may lack the bandwidth or technology to play a video, or may have difficulties being verified as watching the video. Also, some users may have disabilities meaning they can't watch or hear a video, or may wish to translate some parts of the content into their native language using machine translation. ...


8

TL:DR - The SE system breaks down when there is a lack of comradery throughout the community. Our proactive options are: change the system or try to change people. Systems are a lot easier to program... but that's not to say that the community can't improve as well. Note: 1 reps are not part of the community and even though they may be the cause, they're not ...


8

I upvoted the question because (1) I appreciate your continuing effort to improve the quality of questions and answers around here, and (2) I think a short video presentation might work with drive-by questioners who aren't especially keen on researching the site's standards—especially if it means reading something. But I second Dan Bron’s suggestion that the ...


8

I like the spirit of your idea, but I don't know how effective it would be. It's not hard to imagine users checking ‘Yes’ to the first question, even if their questions are very scant on details. (It just seems like the "right" box to check, whether it's true or not.) The second question might provide a nudge in the right direction. If something like ...


6

I feel stupid. I've been here 6 months - but I never realized until now that there was a list of actual questions most frequently asked on ELU (as opposed to factitious list of questions about ELU contrived for expository purposes). A couple of possibilities: a banner across the top of the landing and question pages - there was one of these running for ...


6

Downvotes by themselves are not a problem, but they might point you to a larger issue. I can speculate as to some potential causes, but I don't know how to validate them: 1) Was there a corresponding uptick in bad questions? 2) Is there a serial-downvoter just out there causing havoc? 3) Is the recent "Community Review" system bringing more attention ...


6

A Survey of Means, Meaning, and Meanness Summary: Here are all SE sites, each with data from the 50 newest questions, and sorted on mean then median. Read-time data was gathered around 01:00 UTC on Sunday, August 26th, 2012. Here’s the tl;dr for those who don’t care to peer more deeply: ELU has a fairly low mean at rank #83/90, but if you notice who comes ...


6

I know most people don't agree - but even though I personally don't do it very often, I see nothing wrong with downvoting questions you don't think are likely to be an asset to the site in future. And at least if you downvote, you can reverse later if the question gets improved and/or you reconsider. Once you vote to close, you can't retract. My gut feel is ...


5

I haven't looked into the two questions very much yet, so I can't say if they are truly duplicates. However, I can say that the practice of marking questions as duplicates isn't due to some assumption that earlier answers are automatically better. The purposes are: to "[invite] the new Questioner to examine specified earlier Questions for a day or two, ...


5

Spot ELL on the home page of Stack Exchange sites. On the other hand, it's hard to miss EL&U, and its size suggests that the site is successful. Could this home page be partly responsible for users simply not knowing that ELL exits? Related: Should we have a migration path to ELL? We have that migration path now, but what use is it, if the questions ...


5

I don't fully agree with the premise of the Question, that "we tell users to comment when they don't have sufficient rep to do so". It clearly states the limitations on Commenting, as a privilege to be earned via reputation building. One can argue that this restriction is undesirable for policy reasons, but that is a different discussion, one that has ...


5

Anyone who enters a new space with preconceived notions will be surprised and perhaps disappointed. While I think your suggestion is fine, I don't think it will do much to curb new user shock, because, as Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say, "It's always something". For you, it was the bot, and the tagline. Personally, the first time I said "hello" to KitSox ...


5

It is undeniable that the minimum site expectations of an acceptable answer must be clearly explained to the new member: (1) it should answer the question as asked by OP (2) it should be adequately supported by appropriate references. So we only need create a standard message that says just that and is prefaced by a welcome to ELU. This standard message ...


5

This is the first introduction to your pages. Pretty nice, right? Nowhere does it say "Please begin your tour by looking at our standards for answers and questions. Then dive in. You will be encouraged to modify either your questions, or answers, or comments along the way. We hope you find it inviting enough to return and stay awhile." (Can you tell I wrote ...


5

SO could help with setting an expectation of required editing of OP: ?"We understand that if you are confused or stuck it might be hard to word your problem on your first attempt (but please try! (link to how to ask a question) you will get better results)" ?"Most questions will need clarification from you - please be prepared to quickly edit ...


4

"Comment" Answers New Users (< 50 rep) Many brand new users arrive here with hopes of commenting on the conversation (so to speak), but provide an "answer" instead, as they do not have the requisite rep to comment everywhere. This may be perceived as a catch-22 to the new user. Hi [username], welcome to ELU! This is closer to a comment than to an ...


4

Firstly, yes that text is a templated response available from the review queue. It is worded the same way on all the sites that I can see. I have seen quite often on sites like SuperUser that new users will post an answer along the lines of "Have you tried...?". This is clearly something that should be in a comment. In these cases the template response ...


3

Lack of reasonable research Have you thoroughly searched for an answer before asking your question? Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs. This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and above all, it helps you get a ...


3

Requests for candidate words or novel expressions I'm afraid I have to vote to close this question as off-topic. If a question asks about a recent neologism that thousands of other people can be shown to use, then it is on-topic. But if, as here, it is looking for a 'neologism', or asking if a 'word' or term you have just made up (for example a ...


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