Meta Question

funkdaddy's avatar

Are the majority of questioners looking for an answer?

Asked by funkdaddy (13378 points ) May 23rd, 2014

There was a question here yesterday that was actually solved with an answer. Everyone walked away happy and life was improved by some tiny measure. Go fluther.

I realized that I can only think of one other question in the last several months that unfolded that way. Question, answers, and happy resolution.

Am I misusing the site? Participating in the wrong questions? Or are most folks looking for discussion, disagreement, support, or something other than an answer to their question?

I’m not saying there is a right or wrong way to use the site. I guess I’m (respectfully) looking for perspectives on what motivates people to ask questions and what fellow jellies find rewarding here.

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10 Answers

jerv's avatar

I think many are looking for discussion, but more than a few are looking for support or are are flame-baiting.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Most people just like to hear themselves talk, then look around for a high five.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Some just want to share thoughts, like when you write a status on Facebook.

Judi's avatar

I like the discussion. It helps me process and figure out how I feel about things. Even if it looks like there is no concrete answers, for me anyway, I have changed and formed opinions as a result of jelly discussions and that’s sort of the same as getting answers.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I go into some questions looking for a clear answer, in those questions, I’ve found for the most part that I got it. I go into other questions looking for a discussion, and again, got what I was looking for. I’ve found over the years the answers you will get depend greatly on the way you phrase the question.

hearkat's avatar

Your question essentially describes the differences between the General and Social sections. General is for when the OP (original poster) wants a more direct response to their specific question without an exploration of the subject at large. Social is for when the OP is open to allowing the conversation to develop and unfold. In both sections, the Guidelines indicate the responses must be respectful, related to the discussion, and not disruptive.

This is a Q&A site, and Facebook-like status messages are not appropriate here, @Mimishu1995, nor are blog-like posts. The chat rooms, profile pages and messages are places where people can link to pictures of their kids and pets, enjoy casual conversation with others, and discuss off-topic matters.

As others have noted, each Jelly’s intentions may vary. There are some who like to call attention to themselves, there are some who only want confirmation of their own views and do not handle opposing viewpoints well, there are some who like to find ways to get others riled-up, and there are some who are difficult to understand. While these behaviors are against the rules, there is a tremendous grey-area when in comes to interpretation of the user’s intentions, as there is great variability and no way to please all members of the collective.

If someone sees something questionable within a few minutes after it’s been posted, the Jelly who wrote it can be contacted via private message (accessed from their profile page) and they might be able to edit it within the 10-minute editing window. In some situations, it is fine to ask for clarification of another person’s content within the thread, as long as it is done in a courteous manner.

The flagging system is how the members of the collective can bring questionable content to the attention of the team of moderators, of which I am a member. With blatant violations of the guidelines, such as spam and personal attacks, it is best to flag the content and move on. If one wants to reach the moderation team to discuss a moderation decision, or to call attention to something that can’t be addressed by flagging, there’s the Contact button at the top of the page that goes to the whole team.

longgone's avatar

Which question was that, did I miss it?

Paradox25's avatar

Roughly about 90% of my questions are about topics that greatly interest or concern me. I’ll ask them to find out how other’s feel about the issue I’m bringing up, and more importantly, why? I don’t consider myself to be a pot stirrer, but I’m just honest about how I feel about most topics, and sometimes my opinions agree with the majority, and sometimes they don’t. I basically want to know why people agree or disagree with issues I find important. These are the questions I’ll usually get involved with, at least most of the time.

The other roughly 10% of my questions are divided between two other reasons for asking them. Sometimes I’ll ask a question just to generate a discussion, and see how other’s feel about the issue I’m bringing up, and usually I don’t get involved with these. The only other time I’ll ask a question is if I really can’t find an answer online. I’m not the best google user, and sometimes an answer based on personal experience helps me more than looking up a topic and getting a crude answer.

ibstubro's avatar

Was the question you saw solved mine? If not, your numbers are off some. I’ve only been active since last Sept., or so, and I’ve seen a lot of answered questions.

By and large, I agree with you that this site is social. However in the last 48 hours it might have rejuvenated a young man’s life.

Crazydawg's avatar

Questions in the General section yes, questions in Social or Meta appear to me to be reasons to get attention or while away the time and score lurve.

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