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[meta] Questions that Deserve a LMGTFY Answer

asked 2015-04-03 10:03:03 -0500

I recently came across a question that was really simple to answer *. I haven't checked but it may well also be a duplicate on Ask Fedora. I answered the question because there were two answers that didn't say the thing I thought was most appropriate. Maybe that was the wrong thing to do though.

What should we be encouraging in the Ask Fedora community and how should we do so?

It seems to me that we obviously want people to use Google first but there are at least two issues with that:

  1. Ask Fedora becomes a resource on Google by people asking precisely those questions.
  2. Once the question has been asked, the question of how to encourage the community to do specific stuff is moot and the question needs to be responded to:
    1. Downvoting? Seems silly considering the user doesn't use Google and will likely be discouraged by this behaviour.
    2. Vote to close? Similar problem to (1)
    3. Answer the question? The problem then becomes how to teach the community when our behaviour reinforces the behaviour we are trying to discourage.

* I don't think that providing a link is going to be productive.

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answered 2015-04-03 11:48:22 -0500

mether gravatar image

updated 2015-04-03 11:49:13 -0500

IMO, Always answer the question asked even if it is very simple as long as it is on topic and provide pointers where users can gather more information. If it is a direct duplicate, mark it as such.

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Fair enough: Mark as Duplicate (if applicable). But is it useful to add an answer specifically in the case that there are other answers already there? And should the question be closed or downvoted?

jcuenod gravatar imagejcuenod ( 2015-04-03 12:02:26 -0500 )edit

If there are duplicates, merge them if you can, or if you can't yet, drop in a comment citing the duplicate question and tag a moderator (I'll get messages with an @randomuser for example) to signal they should be merged. I don't think they should be closed or downvoted; a question asked multiple times is one that users are obviously interested in the answer to. Point #1 in the question is especially cogent; Ask Fedora questions do show up in google searches, so we are helping those that do search for answers first.

randomuser gravatar imagerandomuser ( 2015-04-03 13:32:37 -0500 )edit

My preference as a moderator is to close duplicate questions only when they're asked by the same person. (Mostly, I close all but the first example, but if a later one already has an answer, that's the one that stays open.)

sideburns gravatar imagesideburns ( 2015-04-03 13:38:07 -0500 )edit

@sideburns have you tried the merge feature yet? It's new since the upgrade, and seems useful for this type of thing.

randomuser gravatar imagerandomuser ( 2015-04-03 15:29:18 -0500 )edit

Not yet, as there haven't been as many duplicates posted recently. Next time I see one, I'll try it.

sideburns gravatar imagesideburns ( 2015-04-03 16:10:45 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2015-04-03 10:03:03 -0500

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Last updated: Apr 03 '15