Bizarro Stack Overflow

rfc

(Sara Noel) #1

I guess this is what I want.

I want a forum, but with Q&A combined. But I want the conversation to be front and center and the Q&A prominent, but not the primary focus and separated out from the conversations.

Problem: I find it frustrating to go through posts in a thread to find what I want to know. I have a forum and I have a separate Q&A section (Wordpress plugin). Right now the Q&A serves a specific purpose which is to answer reader mail that I didn’t have time to respond to in the past few years. But it’s open to the community to ask and answer questions, as well. They serve two different purposes, but sometimes it overlaps and even I am not sure if I should be adding it to the Q&A (Knowledge Base) or the Forum (Discussion-Based). Then when the responses are really good, I’m like okay wiki post!

Possible Solution: Have a sub-thread of a thread, I guess? Basically, where people can post a question to the original poster or answer in response to a original post. And it can be collapsible and located underneath the first post near the post summary. I get that a question could be continued/started as a new thread and still linked. But that’s not quite what I want either.

So there would be a post a reply button and a post a question button.

Then the Q&A would be toward the top for people that want solutions and not conversation. Ideally, Q&A could be pulled up in advanced search.

I only know I wish these two things could be combined, but in the opposite way of Stack Overflow. I don’t care about votes, ratings, best solution or anything like that. I just wish I could combine these two things, but have the discussion still the main focus and not the Q&A.

Help. I’ve been away from all things technological for a few years now. I took a long hiatus. I don’t know what is available, what does what at all anymore. So if this already exists in some way that I don’t know/understand, I apologize in advance. Lately, I feel like it’s my first day on the internet and I just learned how to copy and paste.

And if this is a lame idea just say so, as discobot says, it won’t hurt my feelings. LOL

But here’s another example, maybe more people would ask questions on a forum, if they didn’t feel like a weirdo because their question was posted, but not prominent. LOL I’ve typed this question like 4 times and deleted it. I sense, as per my usual haha, that I am simply misunderstanding something that’s right in front of me. LOL (But hey, I couldn’t FIND IT!) And yes, I know there’s the plugin with the accepted answer. That’s not exactly what I mean. It’s fairly close, though. But consider if the original poster is not the person asking or wanting a question answered. Discussion first, Q&A secondary, but important for future reference, so prominent location. I just want a knowledge base combined in an easily accessible way. Wiki post is a start to solving one part of this problem for me. Although I wish it was a full wiki.

Thanks for reading all of this. I had too much coffee today.


(Jeff Atwood) #2

The Solved plugin we ship might work for this case? It is fairly lightweight.


(Sara Noel) #3

Am I misunderstanding how it works?

Let’s say the original poster isn’t asking a question. And I don’t need a solved aspect or a best answer because the question would be directed to the original poster that is sharing information via discussion and not asking a question.

Does it work if a person is asking a question in a reply and not as the thread starter? I ask because the examples I’m seeing are in the support forum in the form of original poster asking a question, so I’m unsure at the moment.

In an ideal world, a question could be posed to anyone in the thread, but for starters, I just want a question to be able to be posed to the original poster with a Post Reply and Ask OP a Question button and have it display in an organized way.


[PAID] Give users an option to select if its a Question or an Answer when replying to a topic
(Steve Combs) #4

No. Accepted answers are noted on the initial topic.

For your Q&A section on your site, consider the Discourse WordPress Plugin.It’s really easy to set up.

Questions would be published on your WP site. The Question and Answers would be in Discourse. Doesn’t really solve your current question, but one less Q&A plugin to deal with and the content would all be in Discourse.

For questions to the OP, the OP could just quote the question and answer as a reply.

[quote=“Sara_Noel, post:3, topic:53388”]
In an ideal world, a question could be posed to anyone in the thread, but for starters, I just want a question to be able to be posed to the original poster with a Post Reply and Ask OP a Question button and have it display in an organized way. [/quote]

This is pretty much how Discourse works. The Reply button at bottom replies to OP. Each post has its own Reply button.

For organization/display, there were prior discussions related to AMAs:

Using tags to designate, group, or display the questions/answers might help.

That’s all I can think of. I haven’t had enough coffee.


(Mittineague) #5

I’m not sure about what you’re wanting. It sounds like you want a way for a topic to have multiple questioners and multiple answerers. To me, that sounds like it would be very confusing, kind of like a chat as a topic.

At SitePoint most topics are where the OP asks a question, eg. “How can I do this?” and other members offer possible approaches.
Generally, when a member posts their own question in someone else’s topic, it is split off into its own topic precisely with the intent of keeping the discussion focused.

There have been several topics where the OP was the answerer and other members asked them questions. eg. Topics tagged qa - The SitePoint Forums

The usual way the question and answers have been connected is by the OP quoting the question post or @mentioning the questioner.


(Vinoth Kannan) #6

The Solved plugin + Reply as linked topic feature may give you the solution.

If questioners ask question to a particular post using ‘reply as new linked topic’ button then brand new topic will be created and new topic/question’s link will be added below to the original post. So the new question topic can have it’s own solution by our solved plugin.


(Sara Noel) #7

Thank you everyone for your time because now I have confirmation on how these options might fall short. Saves me the time of trying each one.

I understand where it sounds confusing. But it’s really just the reverse of stack overflow which isn’t confusing at all. I could have been more clear and less text to say it. I think my sub-thread wording is what made it seem confusing. I know what I meant, but wasn’t clear.

I understand how things are currently done and how they’ve been done in the past. That’s the problem. :wink: Well my problem. One of my many problems. LOL Sorry. Just kidding around here.

@vinothkannans The Solved Plugin plus Reply as linked is very close. I understand that I could create a Q&A category to better organize it to build the knowledge base in an organized way and the link would be added below the original post.

But are you saying that a reply in the original thread can START a question by linking a reply to the OP (or anyone in the thread) because it’s a reply but also a new topic, so the solved plugin would work the way I am wanting? I think you did, but I want to clarify.

I have to try it. That’s what I was asking Jeff when he mentioned the Solved Plugin. I just wasn’t sure because I didn’t see any mention of it and couldn’t find any examples and I’m not familiar with this specific plugin. I don’t need all the added stuff with the Solved Plugin, but if it works close enough, then I’ll just stop being greedy over it all.

I’ve seen similar on a cms (not wordpress) for comments and think the solution of WP Discourse could work, too. But this is not as close as Solved Plugin could be to what I want.

Anyway, I will try Solved plugin and see how it works. It doesn’t have to be intuitive. As long as I can explain to my members what to do in under 5 steps, it’s all good.


(Sara Noel) #8

Thank you for sharing this. I didn’t see this before. This is very close to what I mean, but I want it to be in question/answer only and not additional discussion/chit chat. Just the knowledge info, no discussion and separated out.

It’s the getting through the noise problem that I’m trying to solve, too.

ETA Plugin: Ask me anything or Q&A format (threaded replies)

This is also very close. Thank you!


(Vinoth Kannan) #9

I hope it will help you

Now the original topic will have the link of the question under the original post.


(Jeff Atwood) #10