5

Looking through Newest questions I only see about 17 in the last 24 hours. If you are saving questions to ask after the public beta launch, you might be disappointed.

Those of us here in the first couple of weeks are pivotal in getting this site up and running. Now is the time to ask (and answer) all of your best questions.

200+ people have logged on to the Private Beta, but we only have 111 questions posted so far.

  • 2
    Not at all, I'm just rubbish at thinking of questions! – Zanna Feb 3 '17 at 15:49
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    @Zanna, then stay great at answering them ;) – Turion Feb 3 '17 at 19:03
  • 2
    What would be a reason to save questions for later? The private beta questions aren't going to be deleted, right? – Turion Feb 3 '17 at 19:04
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    They won't be deleted and they will be available afterwards. We can use new answers and bounties to bump them up after launch, if there is anything that we want clearly displayed once we go public. – Charlotte SL Feb 7 '17 at 0:06
5

Short answer

I was, but I have broken the ice with my first question on this site :).

I do know how others do when it comes to questions, but for me, most of the questions pop up when I am not able to type them. I just put them down on my TODO list. Actual asking comes later, because I always try to search for the information first to create a good question.

Much longer answer

I am very new to Vegetarianism site (as most of us), but been active for a couple of years on StackOverflow. This allowed me to ask several questions and check several thousand of items in the reviewing queue. Conclusion: it is damn hard to ask a good question.

Reading and processing the whole information in the How to ask section can frustrate a new user.

Some of the reasons that make asking decent/good questions harder that it may look:

  • being a non-native English speaker - answering is somewhat easier, because you can use syntagms from the referenced sources. Asking is usually about something you cannot find an answer for and there is typically less information to help you verbalize the concepts.

  • non-duplicate - extra step to look for existing questions related to the subject

  • not offtopic - you have to confirm that the site scope encompasses what you are asking

  • not too broad - this is particularly hard because, you as an answer, should place yourself in respondent's shoes. Is the question answerable within a few paragraphs?

  • not primarily opinion based - maybe the most subjective criteria of all. Ideally, the question should be answerable using high quality (or even scientific) references

  • frustration - some users will be frustrated when their question is closed and will never come again (at least not for asking questions)

  • satisfaction - many users may find answering more rewarding than asking questions and they concentrate on answering, rather than asking.

  • less upvotes - questions tend to be less upvoted than answers. That's why the Electorate badge requires to "have at least 25% of your total number of votes cast (questions and answers) be on questions"

My advice for new users: if you think you have a decent question that fits this community, check at least the duplicate and offtopic criteria, and go ahead and ask it. It may receive some downvotes, even getting closed, but it can be edited to be a good question (e.g. by making it more specific).

It is OK to generate a few poor questions and/or answers at the beginning. Anyway, much better than not generating them at all. We learn by doing.

You will eventually find out that getting an answer and possibly some upvotes will give you satisfaction.

My advice for reviewers / critics: if the question is not really awful, try asking via comments for question improvement rather the directly closing it. Always put a comment for a downvote, if none exists. These little things will make newbies feel more welcomed to the community.

This is specifically important for users who do not belong to other Stack Exchange communities (especially SO), as it is harder for them to get used to the (good) rigour of SE community rules.

Also, if you come across a good answer and the question is good, upvote it. A good answer may not exist, if a question does not exist.

  • I think especially in private beta, it's ok to ask questions that might not fit in (e.g. points 1 to 5). It's the task of the community to find these questions and deal with them. Yes, it can cause frustration, but see it as a learning experience. – Turion Feb 4 '17 at 13:06
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    @Turion - no, it's not OK to leave unfit opened questions. What I am saying is that one should not be shy in asking questions, as long he/she is there to fix them based on community's feedback. Many low quality questions can be fixed if they provide more context or are made more specific. Without questions, there is no community. – Alexei Feb 4 '17 at 13:41
  • If you already know that your question is not good and can't be fixed, then yes, you shouldn't ask it. But if you're unsure, you should definitely ask it, and learn from it. People might comment how to improve it, @Zanna might correct the grammar, etc., and it might become a good question. And if not, it will help to shape the verdict which questions are on-topic and which are not. – Turion Feb 4 '17 at 13:44
  • @Turion - Many inexperienced users will be unsure about what is fit and not (or may not even take the tour of the site, not to talk about the "ground rules"). This may be due to being used to less regulated environments such as forums. – Alexei Feb 4 '17 at 13:50
  • Agree. I'd think that's a distinction between private beta and a public site. Right now, we're still defining the site. Once it's public, people will have to follow the guidelines, but we can and should experiment right now so that every problem that might come up eventually has already come up in private, and was solved. – Turion Feb 4 '17 at 14:14

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