(meta) can we make stickies for questions that are repeatedly asked?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 26, 2012 at 6:37 PM

It seems like new visitors to Paleo Hacks don't always search the database, and that there are numerous questions that are asked over and over. They've been answered beautifully in the past, and I'm wondering if there's some way to highlight them at the top of the screen where any new visitor could see and read them? Has this already been considered and rejected?

I imagine some questions might be: Trying to jump start your weight loss Feeling crappy during early days IF basics



on June 25, 2012
at 11:03 PM

FAQ is fine but better to say Start Here (if new)



on April 27, 2012
at 07:41 PM

WCC Paul has written and edited a "getting started" thread ( http://paleohacks.com/questions/28585/meta-what-are-some-good-threads-for-people-who-are-new-to-the-site#axzz1HAnWOdzd ), which is linked to in the FAQ. While I don't expect new users to do extensive research before asking a question, the FAQ is a common-sense starting point for new users.



on April 27, 2012
at 05:11 PM

well said, balor123.



on April 26, 2012
at 08:35 PM

I dislike stickies, but I do like the idea of having a page dedicated to these questions. Maybe as a box at the top (near the Badges and Unanswered boxes)?



on April 26, 2012
at 07:05 PM

Yes Please!....

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3 Answers



on April 26, 2012
at 08:10 PM

I think that's a bad idea. The list of similar questions that pops up is a better approach for a few reasons. First, it gives the person asking the question a chance to review previous answers and decide if they want new answers. Maybe the previous answers were stale or they want a new sample of answers. This is not a forum - it's a Q&A site. As such, part of the value is getting a human answer quickly to questions without relying on search. Second, stickies are static. Everyone has to see them all the time, even if you've read them all. No one does that though, which means they take up valuable screen real estate and don't provide much value. As the list of commonly asked questions goes up, the stickies have to get bigger and they become even bigger targets to ignore or people start asking the questions that drop off the list again. Third, asking the same questions repeatedly but slightly differently improves search engine visibility. The more hits we get the more interesting the community is so we want that traffic.

Perhaps a solution exists however. My guess is you're not annoyed by people repeatedly asking the question but rather by having to read and provide answers to the same questions, as I can't imagine why you would care if someone asked a question that you never knew existed. Recognizing that position, a simple solution would be for the website to keep track of which questions people have viewed and/or answered and provide an option to not show the same questions repeatedly or throttle the rate of repetition (say, no more than once a month). Those questions might sit under a "Duplicates" tab at the stop instead.

This website seems to be part of the stack exchange network. My guess is that it was created during the brief period that anyone was able to open a new one up because it's not listed in network. Anyway, that software seems to be the most successful on the market today and I think they have a pretty good formula for it.



on April 27, 2012
at 05:11 PM

well said, balor123.



on April 28, 2012
at 03:59 AM

Stickies would use a lot of usable screen space for the site. Given the layout.



on April 27, 2012
at 02:58 PM

Yes please! As a new person to the site, I can tell you that searching previous answers is not quite so easy. I asked a question last night but had to flip through eight pages of previous questions first to see if mine had been asked. I don't know what the answer would be - better tagging? A "most popular answers" section?

I know that this site is run by a few hard working people as a labor of love, but I can empathize with people who ask questions without realizing they've already been answered. I know this annoys the senior members. The flip side of this is that sometimes a new person will ask a question that SEEMS like it has been asked a million times but it hasn't and they are written off or directed to a post that is on a similar topic but doesn't answer the specific question.

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