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

I’m planning to jump into in a week or so. I want it for a premium section in one of my communities released in early August.


@erlend_sh, it’s been a while, but do you remember how you did this on the front end? I can use the parameter username_filters to hide the post at the bottom but I’m not seeing a way to do that without a server call in any way.

For those interested, I have the category setting in place and it automatically expands replies. :wink:


You mean where to find it in the front-end interface? I’m talking about this thing:

I used that to show only posts by the user @question-asker. In the cases of the Q&A format you’d want that filter for every post that is a direct reply to the OP.

I’m essentially trying to find a front end way to hide the post at the bottom when replying to a question so it’s not duplicated on the screen. But when you click on the button you mentioned, it reloads the page to get it done. Is there way to hide a post via javascript? I haven’t been able to find that piece.

Hmmm, you might want to repost that query to #dev for more exposure. @david made a PR for something possibly related to this:


@joebuhlig Did this go ahead?

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It turned out to be too complicated to do it well at the time. Might be different now but to answer your question, no.


This morning, I had an idea for a new approach to this that I think could work well for us.

The basic idea is to introduce a limit to how many open questions can exist at any one time. An “open question” in this case would be defined as any reply that is after the latest post by the original. So if the limit were 1, then the original poster would have to make every other post.

This would allow for a “continuous AMA” with the orgiinal poster, but with an implicit rate-limit. When they stop answering, people cannot keep asking.

Implementation-wise, there could be a custom UI behind the gear icon in the composer for a new topic to “create AMA” and set the open question limit.

Or, alternatively, perhaps it could be done via a site setting that associates a tag or category to moderate in this fashion (in which case, the open question limit would be site-wide).

ama_categories: [ask-me-anything]
ama_tags: [ama]
ama_open_question_limit: 1

What do you think?


That is an interesting idea indeed, but would only help if the asker is being overwhelmed by replies. So it kinda depends on the velocity of the AMA.


Not overwhelming the original poster is one motivation, be it also, limit: 1 would force alternating questions and answers, which would make the stream very easy to read as well.

Anywho, I think we may try out some AMAs without any additional technical aids sometime soonish. We may never really need this feature to help. Just wanted to share the ideas…


Not that your experience will be the same or even closely similar, but these few may provide some insight as to what to expect

Topics tagged qa


Thanks for that… Is there any post somewhere describing the “rules of engagement” for the AMAs on sitepoint?

IIRC, there weren’t any special rules.

The topic was started in advance so that others would be aware of the event - a link to a “in your timezone” site was provided in the post so others would know when it would happen

Members were allowed to post questions in advance.

The guests Trust Level was upped to exempt them from New member limitations.

I can’t speak for others, but my impression was that they went fairly well. They weren’t as “smooth” a discussion as a typical topic, but they weren’t as chaotic as a typical chat session. Kind of like “organized clutter”.

A rough analogy might be
a topic is a series of one-to-one posts
chat is a mix of many-to-many posts
the QAs were many-to-one posts.


I posted detailed advice here

The main feature req here is still to reject topic owner replies when they do not quote the post they are replying to. That is the absolute :kiss: of death here, if the AMA / Q&A subject doesn’t do that, it will be disastrous.

Some other bonus stuff we could do:

  • Temporarily grant the topic owner more rights to moderate their topic during the Q&A.

  • Highlight the topic owner replies more than we usually do to make them stand out more.

  • Prevent people from replying more than once to the topic – since they should ask one “question” and no followups.

  • Prevent people from directly replying to any posts in the topic, because they should only reply to the topic itself.

  • Automatically expand “in reply to” at the bottom of replies. (Though this still leaves you unable to press the like button on the replies which I don’t… er… like.)


When I look at reddit they seem to be all into replying to replys and the OP sometimes follows up as well. Eg:

Not sure if this is great or terrible, but certainly out in the wild.

Maybe far smarter auto collapsing can get us a bunch of mileage here?


Yeah, I think that back and forth model sucks. I’m not spending that much time with people asking multiple questions. Either you asked a good question and you get a reasonable answer or… well, try again next time?


thank you this is exactly what I’ve been struggling to explain!

I want to make it look like the second format. How doest that happen?

@Cheryl_Elizabeth and any other future readers, see this official plugin under development:

Maybe this #rfc can be closed now?

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