Well, most of you already know this, we're back on HNQ. Yay!

I'm not good in writing SQL queries so I'm unfortunately not able to provide stats to support my claim but since we returned, I observed a significant number of comments not matching our standards, answers that aren't backed up or questions that are either blatantly off-topic or need severe refactoring.

We have plenty of resources to explain what this site is about and how to create good content. As a matter of fact, I have the impression that not so many people take the tour or read the FAQ. Maybe there's too much information to take into account before actually starting to contribute?

I hope (and believe) that this will change once the back-to-HNQ fades a bit, and that we would by then have enough people to lead by example in most cases and incite the newcomers to follow their lead. This assumption relies on the hypothesis that the people that come to IPS after HNQ returned will stick around though, and this we can't know for sure. Again, data on how many Q&As people post on average on the site would be interesting to know.

To help people quickly understand how this site works, do you think it could be a good idea to write a short meta post with the site's main guidelines and feature it on the main page?

PS: this sum-up post would be based on the numerous resources that already exist, the goal is not to discuss or re(de)fine them. Think of it as a entrypoint to these documents and a resume of the most important things to remember about the site.

  • Do you mean something like this: interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/q/3485/21067 ?
    – Ael
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 7:06
  • @Ælis that is still, to me, too complete. I was thinking of a shorter post that would give the general guidelines that we repeat over and over in comments under those Q&As.
    – avazula
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 9:03
  • So, something more like an abstract instead of a table of contents, right?
    – Ael
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 9:05
  • Exactly :) I'm not saying it doesn't already exist, don't get me wrong. But I wanted to ask you people about the potential interest of featuring such a post.
    – avazula
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 9:07
  • If it already exists, I want to know where ^^ Also, I think it's a good idea :)
    – Ael
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 9:09

3 Answers 3


I think an additional version of the FAQ will just add more noise on meta, and won't make people any more likely to read it.

I strongly suspect that the majority of users visiting from HNQ who leave chatty comments or write answers without backup do so because they just happened upon our site and jumped into participating. (Would be great to get data on this!) That is, the problem isn't that the FAQ is too much to read, but that they aren't looking for it in the first place and, if anything, just base their expectations on what others have posted. Writing another meta post won't fix that problem.

Instead, I think we ought to raise awareness of the FAQ that we already have, by linking to the relevant posts when we leave comments on the main site so they and other new readers can click through. (We could also feature the main FAQ post.) If the current FAQ seems lacking or too complicated, those posts can always be improved by editing (either to make them more succinct, or to add a tl;dr or summary section at the top). It's better to have a single starting point for the FAQ, so there's only one post to maintain, and users who do search for it won't get confused about finding multiple versions of the same post.


Initially I was going to point out that we have a tour for this very reason, which we can use for poor questions along with a comment explaining why we are recommending a tour. This seems pretty consistent with the practices of the other stacks.

However, the tour doesn't include examples of a good answer, and I'm willing to bet that a bulk of problem posts are poor answers. I think that a meta post would do wonders in improving answers. Then veteran users could include a link to the post in the comments while also explaining how to improve the answer.

I know that SciFi.SE has a meta post on how to write a good story-identification question since that's their most popular tag. So there's precedent for effective meta posts like this.


I think it's a good idea and someone should definitively try to write that.

In my opinion, the worst thing that could happen is having a bad and useless meta post which isn't such a big deal (people will downvote it and everyone will know that it's not a good post).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .