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Technical Q&A Rant

Am I the only one that gets wound up with people not rating or closing Technical Q&A questions. It is like they get the answer and then just dissapear...

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no, you're not - many, like me, have gotten so fed up

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Technical Q&A Rant

that we rarely visit the Q&A area now. When I first joined TR it was where I spent most of my time, and one of my main recreational activities. Now I can go months without visiting Q&A.

I think that TR should give people a resonable amount of time to rate questions then automatically close them and share the points between the responders. It is one thing is someone posts a question, then goes back a week later and rates the answers as no good as they didn't solve the problem. They give the reasons for rejection and the question stays open getting more answers.

But when no answers are rated after say 8 weeks, then it is clear the poster has forgotten them. So they should be auto closed and points shared. They can ahve a rating of No Action Rating Closure. If the person doesn't get the answer they want, well stiff, they should have rated the ones they got.

After so many infringements of not rating answers the person should be banned frm Q&A.

If we got rating and closure on questions we would be encouraged to answer more. I still have unrated responses from years ago, and it's VERY annoying.

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They used to do that

by maxwell edison In reply to no, you're not - many, li ...

You said that you think TR should give people a resonable amount of time to rate questions then automatically close them and share the points between the responders. Well, they used to do that very thing.

After some predetermined amount of inactive time (I don't recall what that time was), the question would be automatically triggered to close and divide the points evenly between all answers -- but only upon receiving one additional answer. Some people were wise to this, and they went into all the old questions, and they posted some nonsense answer just to trigger the closure so they could share the points. A lot of people got bent over that, and maybe for good reason.

TR's only option is to have a moderator to sort through them and decide what to do with the questions, but that's something they don't really want to do. Short of that, regardless of how they structure it, some people will be unhappy for some reason. In my case, having 16 percent of my answers ignored means that 84 percent are not ignored. In this case, 84 percent success isn't too bad.

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I'd be happy to accept employment as moderator.

by Too Old For IT In reply to They used to do that

... espeically if I can telecommute.

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by Tig2 In reply to Technical Q&A Rant

You are one of a growing number.

I'm not real big on answering questions for just that reason- you only find out if your response was valid if the poster is someone like jdclyde- someone who knows the importance of accepting the answer(s), awarding the points, closing the question.

Welcome to the frustration zone- there's lots of company... unfortunately.

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TT and others - I remember TR

by j.lupo In reply to Unfortunately

saying something about Tech Q&A getting a complete re-do. Is that my imagination or did they say it was on their list? Anyone remember?

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you're right, j, it's on their list

by gadgetgirl In reply to TT and others - I remembe ...

but I think it's quite a way down.

They did "straw poll" a few of us, but the barrage of heckling they got about techpoints (and what you could exchange them for {nuthin'})and the amounts of unrated answers out there made them rethink what they were wanting to do.

As far as I'm aware, it's still on the burner, but on the back one.

watch this space!


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Hmmmm, I thought they took the discussion

by j.lupo In reply to you're right, j, it's on ...

off the main boards to continue thinking it through. I know they want to do something, but there have been a lot of other really important things for them to do first. Like the My Workspace, the Server Migration, and so on.

Thanks GG for reminding me that it was discussed. I think a lot of really good ideas were provided to TR, but it is a big job for them to tackle.

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TR is considering site enhancements

by Tig2 In reply to TT and others - I remembe ...

And Tech Q&A may be in that list. They have not, to my knowledge, said that they would do any specific thing.

They did request opinions. They have not defined what they intend to do nor when. Likely nothing prior to the completion of the server migration in September.

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That would make sense. I just remember

by j.lupo In reply to TR is considering site en ...

the topic coming up once or twice before.

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Tech Q&A is getting revamped.

by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to TT and others - I remembe ...

We're relaunching the entire TR site (or nearly that) this fall, and the Q&A revamp is tied up in all that. I don't want to get too specific on dates at this point, because there are several infrastructure dominoes that have to fall before we launch the new TR. The good news is that the project specs require 10-14 days of a stable soak before we launch, so you won't see the new site until it's as bulletproof as we can make it.

I can get a little specific on how the new Q&A will work. Mostly, it's just been streamlined, so that asking a question gets easier. TechPoints have been thrown out. The category structure has been pared down and precisely matches the discussion categories--and you can place a question in multiple categories. Best of all, the Start a Thread form has a toggle, so you can decide whether your post is a Question or Discussion as soon as you start it, which should clean up the tech questions posted as discussions.

Now the "bad" news--we're not going to force closing and rating. Why? Because we can't. Every rule we put in place to "require" closing and rating just makes Q&A harder to use, and encourages people to start new accounts or just post to discussions instead. We can't force people to be decent to each other--there's just no cure for the common jerk.

First, Questions will now use a tree layout, just like discussions. And just like Discussions, Questions don't get closed. There's no sense having a function that almost no one uses. There will still be rating, but it will be far simpler. The Asker can mark any response to his question as Helpful (much like you can digg a story on Not solved. Not rejected. Either it's Helpful, or it's not. Period.

Is it perfect? No. But it's much cleaner, and once the system is underway and sorted out, we're going to start building a user recognition system that highlight those of you who contribute to Q&A--whether your answers get rated or not.

Hope that answers the burning questions. If you have any more, feel free to ask.

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