Meta Question

phoebusg's avatar

How would you re-design fluther to make older questions more accessible and bring them back to life?

Asked by phoebusg (5251points) November 29th, 2010

I find that many, myself included get stuck in the recency bubble. Looking for ‘new’ questions to answer or asking an old question but in different wording.

I also find that questions I have asked that are outside this recency bubble get next to no further attention.

Could it be that this original simplicity of the thread design makes it near-impossible to maintain and ‘clean-up’ old questions for new input? And if so, what could be some solutions?

Maybe we could apply this design for questions outside the recency bubble – and the old design for newer. What I’m thinking about is a javascript-based hiding of portions of answers/discussions that are off topic. A task that would require a lot more temporary mods, and maybe an internal statistic system. Similar to “adopt a question”. Start off with this or with your own idea, maybe we can help make fluther better.

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70 Answers

FutureMemory's avatar

Make Yarnlady a mod. She known all about older questions.

JLeslie's avatar

I wish I had an option to search just questions I have created or commented on with a word or phrase.

JLeslie's avatar

Also, I wish I could somehow tag questions I really thought were fantastic, and has data and information I know I will want to reference again.

phoebusg's avatar

@JLeslie so in summary: Better search functions / advanced searching. An easy way to manage bookmarks within the site (aside the long and clunky – Q’s you’re following list). I agree and would definitely add those to the development roadmap.

iamthemob's avatar

You can also help with this yourself…look at the siblings, and answer them. Give an older question a GQ so it shows up in the community feed. Scan people’s greatest rather than recent questions. Give older answers a GA.

If everyone does this, it helps keep things going.

phoebusg's avatar

@iamthemob not a bad suggestion. Though in a different order. Your suggestion fits well with casual use. Not so much with thematic use. This is a linguistics and inter-language problem partly. If questions and answers had a secondary/better tag system we could easily follow a theme of discussion.

For example “life after death” discussions, there’s 4 similar questions that can be linked. That also relates to my recent question about life-extension, since some people are against it because of their belief in a certain after-life.

I guess what I’m proposing is a more distributed maintenance system. By not just the authors of a question. Right now it’s hard to maintain anything after you’ve written it. I’d say that it’d be useful if certain parts of a question were still writable aside being able to add more answers. Further tagging, linking.

I also really like the idea of being able to tag answers/content on their own.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t think it can be done. Fluther is of the moment.

iamthemob's avatar

@phoebusg – isn’t this already done, however, when people include topics in the question, to an extent? You still have to have a system that can be effectively re-examined by a second round of observers (e.g., the mods).

For instance, I can tag a whole bunch of answers “racist” or “stupid” or “jackass” and that creates a mess of a relational structure that makes the system more difficult to navigate.

Aethelwine's avatar

I agree with @marinelife. Many older questions include users that are no longer with us. Many people, including myself, remove questions from our activity for various reasons.

Aethelwine's avatar

Here’s a great example. Only three of the users on this question are regular users now. The rest are either no longer with us, or haven’t logged in for quite some time.

phoebusg's avatar

@marinelife and @jonsblond – I disagree. Anything can be done, it’s a matter of how. Thanks for the additional example – but I don’t quite see your whole argument. And @marinelife did not provide one in the first place.

Aethelwine's avatar

@phoebusg It would be difficult to have a discussion with users on an older question if there are very few users that will have that question in their activity. Using my example, you would only have three people that could continue that discussion. The question is, would they? I know I wouldn’t, because I rarely involve myself in the older questions that show up in my activity.

If you want a lively debate, it’s much easier to start a new question. If you are just looking for answers, then looking at older questions is not a bad idea.

phoebusg's avatar

@jonsblond granted – which is why we’re looking for a novel design addition/change. The activity thing is not enough. An easy way to find relevant continuations/relations would be far better. So while you’re thinking about topics in one direction, you can also hit up siblings. The problem arises from only tagging questions and not responses. So many responses fit under different questions as easily with very slight editing.

What I’m suggesting I guess is answer-re-usability. And tracking. But done in an easy way. Aka, hiding/showing parts using AJAX or other implementations. So that the user can keep the interface dead simple, but also easily follow similar responses across, or similar questions.

The current tag system is pretty poor, or fails to integrate/connect old/new questions/threads.

Aethelwine's avatar

@phoebusg Who is we, may I ask? I was not aware you were part of the Fluther team. Just curious.

phoebusg's avatar

@jonsblond the people participating in this thread with fluther improvement in mind, I don’t have to work for the company to come up with creative ways to improve it

chyna's avatar

I’m with @marinelife and @jonsblond. Do we really need that depth of answer re-usablility?

phoebusg's avatar

@chyna yes, it would give the service a new life and many more uses than just contemporary notes. Maybe improve the quality of it even more. And I think it can be done in a way that keeps both crowds happy. The contemporary-bubble people, and the researchers.

So, negativity aside – do you have any ideas/suggestions? Cheers :)

chyna's avatar

@phoebusg Can you explain exactly how it would improve the quality and keep crowds happy?
Cheers. :)

marinelife's avatar

@phoebusg Perhaps you should stick around a little longer before wanting to redesign the whole site.

phoebusg's avatar

@chyna this is intended to be a collaborative discussion, not a negative bandwaggon – get your own question for that. If you don’t have any suggestions. I don’t see the point. You’ve made your position known. And I’m thankful for that. Though I’m not looking for negativity, rather creativity @marinelife. Seniority has nothing to do with it. And it’s not about redesigning the whole site, but key parts. Cheers.

chyna's avatar

@phoebusg Really, I didn’t think my last post was negative, just asking you to elaborate. But I see you can’t. I’ll stop following. Cheers!

Aethelwine's avatar

@phoebusg Disagreement is not negativity. We are just giving you our opinion and answering your questions. Your cheers seem a bit condescending.

phoebusg's avatar

I think this thread helps me prove a point. As the asker of this question, wouldn’t it be nice to minimize the off-topic derail? Yes it would. Of course, you can browse with view all. Or view on-topic.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@phoebusg If you want to get rid of off topic answers, flag them for the mods. That’s why we have the flagging system. The mods can remove them. Someone suggested once hiding off topic answers and it seemed like the general consensus was that it could interrupt the discussions that were already happening in the questions.

Personally, when I write my answers, they are directly written for the question I am responding too. I really wouldn’t want to see my answers being cross posted or linked to other questions because it could skew the meaning of my answer if the details of the question aren’t the exact same.

phoebusg's avatar

@Seaofclouds they don’t always go away, this is taxing to mods. You may want to keep an off-topic remark but not have it center-stage derailing your question.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@phoebusg I edited my answer to add something. We’ve talked about something like that (hiding certain answers) before and the consensus was that it could mess up the flow of the conversation if people weren’t paying attention to what was going on. In addition, there’s nothing that says you have to respond to the off topic conversation. You could just answer the question as you sit fit and just ignore the off topic stuff. As far as taxing the mods, no offense, but that is what they are suppose to be doing. It’s their job so to speak and if they didn’t want to do it, they wouldn’t volunteer to be mods. The point still remains that if you are the OP of a question and you feel someone is being off topic, you can flag their response and ask the mods to review it and remove it for being off topic (this has more weight in the general sections than other sections though due to the guidelines). If you strictly want on topic answers, it’s best to post in the general section. Most people post in social because they want the conversations to develop and not just straight answers to the question.

phoebusg's avatar

@Seaofclouds was the previous concept one that could be toggled on/off easily? Per post, or all. Sure, mods volunteer, but making their job too intensive could lead to a poorer content quality. I’d be in favor of a distributed mod system.

Off topic chatter more often than not derails conversations. Especially in this thread – when you have bandwaggons forming. Not everyone is able to ignore them. And it’s harder to do behavior modification than code :)

BarnacleBill's avatar

I tend to think of Fluther as a lava flow, picking up bits and pieces as it goes along. Improved searchability has always been an issue. However, most of the charm of fluther is that it invites the conversation, as well as provides an answer. Part of the fun of answering a question is knowing that it’s been asked before, and being able to link back. If the same question gets asked 4 times since 2008, so what? Some questions that don’t get answered relate to software or electronics and are so specific that they can only be solved by the asker reading the manual or calling customer service.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@phoebusg The previous discussion was about being able to toggle it on and off, yes. Have you tried flagging responses you feel are off topic to see if the get removed? Meta has the most relaxed requirements, so that makes a difference too. Like I mentioned, that is why the general is for strictly on topic answers and social has more relaxed rules for off topic stuff so people can have conversations. The different sections do a good job at helping people that want serious on topic answers get them while others can have light hearted conversations.

What exactly do you mean by a more distributed mod system? Someone once suggested that OPs be able to mod their own questions (in the same discussion as possibly hiding off topic or unwanted answers). That didn’t go over to well either. The mods on Fluther are chosen specifically by the admins of the site because they feel those people would be good for the site. A lot of the users here are quite happy with the current mod system. Suggesting that anyone could mod their own questions could lead to problems (such as people modding each other just because they don’t like each other or just for pay back), which would deter from the quality of Fluther because of their actions.

phoebusg's avatar

@BarnacleBill I see where you’re coming from. I think just improving searchability would enrich current conversations though. If you could include the good bits of a previous identical question – or even a similar question.

For example, I’ve made a similar question a while ago, very focused on a couple of fluid improvements. I don’t even remember all the content. I can go back and find it, I don’t remember what the question was called. It requires a lot of work right now if you were to do this manually. It’s cumbersome, so people don’t/won’t do it.

If you could compare the two threads thematically, you’d be able to very quickly find which one it was. link the bits that you find relevant and integrate them in your new answer.

@Seaofclouds have you ever used slashdot.org ? They use a distributed mod system. Users rate and mod answers. The answers get a -1 to 5 rating depending on usefulness, relevance etc. But you can surf at -1 if you want to see everything. This allows for a good conversation to happen, you read your bit of news, discuss it – see the good stuff. Move on with your day. I love that.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@phoebusg Nope never used it, but the aspect of giving responses “bad answers” or “thumbs down” has also been discussed before and what that comes down to is that the admins of the site want to focus on positivity, not negativity. Having a system were people can give each other a “thumbs down” (so to speak) could just lead to problems between users and a lot of retaliation that could lead to good answers being put in the dark because someone doesn’t like that user.

As far as search-ability, that is something the admins have been working on for some time now. Within the past few weeks they upgraded the search feature and while some work could still be done, it is quite an improvement from what we had before.

phoebusg's avatar

@Seaofclouds sure, I just used slashdot as an example for the modding. Don’t have to use their implementation exactly, but parts of it.

BarnacleBill's avatar

@phoebusg, have you ever had a conversation with someone that at the moment the conversation was going on, it was so incredibly funny or a major AHA! moment? Then, when you try to recount the conversation to someone else, they don’t see the humor in quite the same way, or are bewildered as to why the conversation was such a revelation? Part of the charm of Fluther is the “in the moment” nature of the question and answer. It is more a conversation than it is a Q/A, and reflects the users personalities and interaction styles. It’s not just about the answer.

phoebusg's avatar

@BarnacleBill can’t we have both? Why the black and white thinking :) Question is, how? Hence the call to brainstorm.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Because slashdot is slashdot and fluther is fluther. Why would you want to genericize one or the other?

EDIT: Brainstorming is generally called upon for problem-solving. There is no problem to solve here. Fluther is a benevolent dictatorship.

phoebusg's avatar

@BarnacleBill because there’s good parts in other sites. I’m not trying to make fluther slashdot, I just see one good thing there, and a need here. But we’re in B&W thinking again. The black bandwaggon is there: http://www.fluther.com/105344/why-is-it-so-important-to-folks-that-fluther-changes-to/ The white one is here obviously :P

Anyway I’m only joking. Other good ideas to save old threads anyone?

iamthemob's avatar

@BarnacleBill – Brainstorming is not always about solving a problem. Fluther wouldn’t have a Meta section if it thought it was perfect. Brainstorming here is about making something good better, if possible.

I feel like there is often a reticence in the Fluther population when people try to get ideas about improving the site, as if it’s an automatic criticism.

@phoebusg – I haven’t had time to read through everything, but I am excited to see someone with an open-source and IT background considering these questions – cheers!

Seaofclouds's avatar

@phoebusg As I said, the admins of Fluther want to focus on positivity. I doubt we will ever see a system on Fluther were you give someone a “bad answer” or “thumbs down”. Without that, rating answers really wouldn’t work.

Now many people have said they’d like to see answers highlighted once they receive a certain number of GAs, which would be nice because they would stand out. Once again, the focus is on positivity and not negativity.

Unfortunately some conversations just end. If you see an old thread you like and think would make a great conversation, you can try to revive it by answering (once you answer it jumps to the top of the “activity” tab in that category) or you can ask it as a new question and hope for all new responses. Some questions just really aren’t meant to continue on forever.

phoebusg's avatar

@iamthemob exactly – on your responce to barn*.
And for the people that misread call to brainstorming as a “I hate fluther” statement, you’re wrong. I love fluther, and because of that I’d like it to become better. Just like a parent his kids.

Take your time. It’ll take a bit of rehashing due to noise :P

funkdaddy's avatar

You’re thinking of Fluther as a storehouse of knowledge and concrete facts.

It’s more of a discussion and collection of opinions. It’s very much about the people attached to the discussions and their reactions to the questions. There are a lot of people here with a lot of great knowledge, but honestly their combined experience is more what makes the site great.

The current design keeps timely and active questions front and center because they are what’s interesting and current. A news site may have links to old articles, but they don’t try to record history, the old stuff may be there or may not, but it’s just not their goal.

Also, I can understand feeling like you’re just being shut down out of love for what is as opposed to what could be. But not every suggestion for change is a move forward, I think this one would clutter the purpose of the site which is to get an answer to your specific question in your particular set of circumstances. If you just need an answer to a general question, google pretty much locks that down.

phoebusg's avatar

@Seaofclouds I never advocated a band answer system, only a way for people to easily focus on on-topic conversation. See this thread for example. It’s much harder to parse with the big off-topic breaks inbetween. If you could hide them, even manually, it’d be great. So you can read the flow you want.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@phoebusg What you are considering as off topic is just people saying they thing what you are suggesting is a bad idea (in their way). If you silent the voices just because they don’t agree with you, you would be hiding how others felt, and thus making it look like more people agreed with you than what really did.

Without saying an answer is “bad”, how else would a system like that work? Advocating a system where we rate answers -1 to 5 would be advocating a bad answer system in my opinion. Obviously -1 is bad and 5 is good. It’s not that hard to figure that out.

Just because one person think it’s off topic, doesn’t mean others will. What some consider to be offensive, others are fine with. That is why the mods are here so they can review the situation and make a decision based on what’s going on and not their personal feelings because of their stance on the issue.

phoebusg's avatar

@funkdaddy <this one>, we haven’t even agreed on one to be shot down :) – this is an open brainstorming session. We’ll see what comes out of it. But I hear your point(s).

Maybe that’s the issue with some previous posters – looking for things to shoot down rather add a suggestion. Or thinking I have an overarching suggestion. I don’t – trying to find the best collection of ideas. I’m not the one making the decision anyway. It’s the site programmers and admins. (Thankfully, because I’d get a lot of hate-mail :P k j/k)

phoebusg's avatar

@Seaofclouds it could be me, but it seems you’re repeating your last point in similar wording. I’ve read it, but thank you.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@phoebusg Okay (I actually asked you a question in that response but we can skip it since you feel it’s just repeating my point), so if you really want brainstorming and discussion, what about when I said “Personally, when I write my answers, they are directly written for the question I am responding too. I really wouldn’t want to see my answers being cross posted or linked to other questions because it could skew the meaning of my answer if the details of the question aren’t the exact same.” way back up there a ways? You never addressed that issue of your idea of linking answers together and crossing them with other questions.

phoebusg's avatar

@Seaofclouds I’m not the authority on every suggestion on this thread. You identified a weakness, that is great, your suggestion(s)?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@phoebusg My suggestion is to leave our answers alone and to the questions we wrote them in response to and “If you see an old thread you like and think would make a great conversation, you can try to revive it by answering (once you answer it jumps to the top of the “activity” tab in that category) or you can ask it as a new question and hope for all new responses.” as I mentioned several posts ago.

phoebusg's avatar

@BarnacleBill although I thank you for the linky of a previous fluther-like site. What is the relevance? (Yes I’m too lazy to read the whole article right now:P )

augustlan's avatar

My goodness, guys. Calm down. :)

I just wanted to pop in and say: We’re listening. We’re always open to new ideas.

poisonedantidote's avatar

The format at the moment is obviously a success, so I would not mess with it too much.

If it where down to me, I would keep it exactly as it is, but i would add a new section. General, Social, Just for you, Meta, and “The river” or something like that. Basically, a new section where questions are listed at random, from old to new, every 30 minutes a question that has already been asked gets listed in there.

BarnacleBill's avatar

@phoebusg It over-evolved itself out of existence. Change is inevitable except from a vending machine, but is a progression. Change-for-change sake that adds levels of complexity that are asynchronistic with the natural development of anything never turns out well. The only time it works is if there is a serious problem to begin with. An example of where profound change worked is Alan Mulally and Ford, and even that was more of a return to fundamental business practices.

Devising a solution that requires complexity in the form of what the user is expected to understand in order to use a site is excess complexity. A solution that requires more mods and mod interaction would not seem to fit with the business plan for Fluther. A site that started out in that format could work, because that would fit the persona of that site, and users would be drawn to it if they were seeking that sort of structure.

One user of Fluther created a crowdsourcing site of his own to appease users who were not happy with Fluther.

Ivan's avatar

Have a separate tab that sorts threads by most recently answered.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Ivan There already is one, it’s technically called a filter on Fluther though instead of being a separate tab up top. If you click the active filter in each category it lists the questions by the ones that have been most recently answered. A question that was asked 2 years ago will pop up on top in that tab if it was just answered.

Ivan's avatar

@Seaofclouds

Oh wow, how did I not know about this?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Ivan Lol, I don’t know. I imagine because it’s rarely talked about.

phoebusg's avatar

@poisonedantidote not a bad idea, that’d be a fun tab.
@Seaofclouds That is a useful feature of course. How do we get more people to use it?
As far as the thematic, clicking each topic does not give you an active tab.

More and more I think that the biggest improvement required is an improved search (for finding previous posts, and questions for easy referencing). And simply a fun tutorial – how to use fluther. A video, or selection of videos. For those that take their fluthing seriously.

I still think being able to hide off-topic chatter unless the reader wants to see them increases readability of questions. The question is who will do the sorting. As you said, a mod can – but you may not always want to completely remove something.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@phoebusg The admins have been working on the search for some time now. What we have now is a major improvement over what we had a few month ago. It just takes time to figure out what will work the best, but it’s something they are already working on.

As far as a tutorial, that would be nice, but in all honestly, I don’t think many people would use it. There are a lot of references to be found on Fluther if people take the time to look for them Reading through all the old blogs would show new users a lot of what’s happened to Fluther over the years, but it’s up to the individual user to decide if they want to do that. The “help” button at the top provides a lot of information as well.

As far as getting more people to use the active filter, once again, it’s up to the individual user. I prefer seeing the new questions that are posted on my homepage, so I like the way it’s already set up. Once I go through the newest questions, I look at the ones with the most recent activity. If a user doesn’t care about recent activity and only want to pay attention to the questions they are specifically following, they probably won’t use the active tab, just because they don’t see a need for it. We can’t make everyone go answer old questions or continue old conversations.

The main thing about it is that not everyone wants the same things out of Fluther, so there really isn’t a way to make it what everyone wants unless the admins made it so that we could customize fluther to fit us (such as setting our homepage and doing more to decide which questions show up in our “questions for you”). Some people prefer the conversations and the more social aspect of Fluther while others strictly want answers to their questions. There are a lot of people that post a question and never come back. It’s just the way of a Q&A site sometimes.

I understand what you are saying about off-topic chatter, but unless it is already rated in some was as being off-topic, the only way you’ll know it’s off-topic is to read it. Sometimes comments are a bit off-topic while also being on-topic. Hiding answers hides part of the conversation and can get quite confusing if you only see bits an pieces (just look at some of the heavily modded questions, it looks awful). We all have the ability to skip over the answers we don’t want to read.

phoebusg's avatar

@Seaofclouds not everyone uses fluther the same way because of whatever habit they picked up first. Assuming they don’t want to become more efficient, find more relevant questions easily and read more inspiring discussions is just as unbalanced.

Graphical user interfaces by their design alone affect how they will be used. The question is, how do we design things to make all options obvious. Or counter that with a quick and fun video – with animared fluthers swimming about and such – for those with ADD :)

Why does it seem to me that you have more of an agenda than I do? I don’t hear your creative suggestions and solutions as much as “this wont work” in many different ways of wording. This is a call to brainstorming, finding weakpoints and solutions, on the current site, on the ideas posted. And so forth. I’d rather we focused on that, than an attitude of “no change will ever work” @barn* – because one change, once, on this site didn’t.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@phoebusg I get what you are saying, but how would you make people watch your video? Majority of the time, people find fluther when they are looking for specific answers or want to ask specific questions. Someone that comes to the site with the sole intention of asking their questions and getting an answer most likely isn’t going to car about all the inner workings and options of Fluther at that time. The people that come and stick around learn as they go. A tutorial would be helpful, as would reading the old blogs, but we really can’t make them do either.

I’ve never had a problem finding questions I’m interested in. Every day when I come on Fluther there are a bunch waiting for me in my “questions for you” and there are a bunch with new responses in my “activity for you”. Between the two of those things, I keep pretty busy. In between those, I look around and see what else is there (via sibling questions, searching, or clicking on specific topics). I really don’t see why you think it’s hard to find old and interesting questions.

Perhaps you could add more topics to your profile since that is part of how we get questions in the “questions for you”. The more topics you have added to your profile, the more questions you will get. That makes it so Fluther automatically gives you questions you may be interested in. I really don’t think it’s hard to access old questions with the current system.

Some old questions just aren’t meant to keep going. The really good conversations will continue for as long as the people in them are willing to keep going (or until the thread gets so big it takes too long to load and a new question is made).

phoebusg's avatar

@Seaofclouds I knew you’d say that somehow. And already thought a response—we already waste tons of hours on fluther. We may actually be able to watch a short video highlighting features that we were blind to, due to our already solidified habits. People that come for a quickie can also benefit that, or just skip the video really. The option is there, so long it’s visible but out of the way enough.

We don’t know if the old questions were abandoned due to content or quality exactly, or due to instrumentation/design. Both are equally possible and happening. I haven’t been here that long but I remember threads I contributed to that haven’t been touched in ages – very good threads. Who are we kidding? This happens even in the time of a week. Yes, there’s also tons of questions of low interest.

The questions for you is a well intended idea, but a lot of the time I find I’m not that interested in a good 80%, even if I have the topics up that interest me the most. You still have to search for the questions. But it’s nice to have I suppose, though I’m a bit neutral on that.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@phoebusg The thing is, the questions, new and old, die off at their own pace, some last longer than others. What’s interesting to you may not be interesting to others. There really isn’t any way to make people participate in older (or even new) questions if they don’t want to. I get what you are saying about the conversations dying off, but we really can’t make people keep responding. You can try to continue a conversation all you want, if there is no one interested in responding, it’s going to die off eventually.

So, I guess my point is that accessibility alone won’t make users participate in old questions/discussions. There really isn’t any way to do that.

phoebusg's avatar

@Seaofclouds I don’t know if you realize it. You’re still saying “this won’t work” in different ways, all over. Do you have any suggestions for “this that could work” ? :)

Seaofclouds's avatar

@phoebusg I’m saying the system itself doesn’t need to be fixed since it is the individual users responsibility to participate on the site. The only thing that will fix it is if more people started posting to old questions/discussions.

phoebusg's avatar

@Seaofclouds but if it could be fixed then how would it? By the way, you also made it blatantly obvious you’re the one with the agenda (as a response to that other thread’s comment:) In jest and laughs of course…

Seaofclouds's avatar

@phoebusg Why make it personal by bringing in something I said in another question (especially when I wasn’t even thinking about your question when I wrote that response.) As I’ve said many times, it’s a personal user issue, not a system issue. You could do many things to the site, but that doesn’t mean people will continue with old conversations once they are no longer interested in them. Unless you have a way of controlling each individual user, the issue is about responses to questions, not really accessibility. You just can’t make people post, that’s what it comes down to. This has nothing to do with an agenda, but since you seem to have it set that I’m in on some agenda, I will leave you with that. Have a good day and good luck trying to figure out how to make people post.

phoebusg's avatar

@Seaofclouds I’m trying to help you see that you’re stuck defending the agenda of “this won’t ever work”. The other comment was just too relevant not to reference. Nothing personal, I do appreciate you and your input. If only it was more on topic. As in brainstorming for creative solutions :)

Again, great, even more rationales for doing nothing. But this is not what this question is about. And again, even hypothetically how would you go about solving the issues you brought to light?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@phoebusg I have no agenda of “this won’t ever work” as I’ve said it’s an individual user issue. No matter what, we can’t make people respond to questions they don’t want to respond to. That’s the issue of why old (and new) questions die, it’s because people lose interest in it for whatever reason. So, unless you have a way of controlling people to make them post, I don’t see any way to solve it.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Okay, “brainstorming” on improving search…
1. Improved searchability of searching questions would come from cleaning up the hashtagging of the old questions to a standardized set of tags, or some sort of hierachal roll-up of tags. Some of this has begun, or at least better standardization of tagging appeared on the horizon a few months ago for new questions.
2. Improved search by date order; ability to seach by date as well as tags.
3. Ability to tag answers, or flag as answer as containing useful information. Not all questions are answered in a manner that provides a concrete solution, but if an answer contains a concrete piece of information, that answer could come up in search. Not sure how this would work, but in the abstract, it would improve search.
4. Tighter search drill-down for questions categorized as general questions. Social questions are more of the nature of having a conversation about a topic. Perhaps keyword search.
5. Use of smart tags to identify key words in answers and questions. There’s enough questions in Fluther that most subjects have been around the block at least once, or in the case of dream interpretation, and “does he like me?” several hundred times.
6. Anchor pages for topical high traffic questions, such as dreams, cell phones, software help, recipes, whatever.

phoebusg's avatar

Thank you @BarnacleBill :) Will reflect on these tomorrow and see how they could work.

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