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So, you guys are first. And with that distinction comes some random craziness. We haven't established exactly how some of the community-specific content is going to get created. We know it is going to take some experimentation and that experimentation is going to come from the first communities. So, here's your chance. Make history.

How are you guys going to come up with a functional FAQ page well before the end of the beta?

The process should allow for the FAQ to be iterative (it changes over time), it should be communal (don't expect one person to write it) and the process should be lightweight (i.e. don't ask for a formal, overwrought FAQ-generating web application - see if you can use the tools you have here).

So have at it. Make suggestions about procedure and methods here. Keep on top of this thread: comment, vote, and provide lots of feedback. But don't get too caught up in process. Keep your eye on the end-goal - to have a functional FAQ page with the least amount of rigmarole.

  • Are you calling us random crazies?! I've never been so offended in all my life! :) – x3ja Jul 1 '10 at 23:24
  • Are you talking about the FAQ page or questions tagged FAQ? – Gelatin Jul 2 '10 at 3:08
  • I think we're being given the option of doing it how we best see fit? – nobody Jul 2 '10 at 14:16
  • @Simon Brown: Ah, yes. I definitely meant the FAQ page. I will clarify my post. – Robert Cartaino Jul 2 '10 at 16:35
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    @Robert: it seems like all trilogy sites have the same 9 or so FAQ questions. Are you talking about replacing these ones or adding more to the end? – Senseful Jul 2 '10 at 16:47
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    @eagle: That's entirely up to you, collectively. We could come up with a template for a FAQ with "plug in your top questions here" or something else. That's what I am asking. – Robert Cartaino Jul 4 '10 at 16:37
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I think what you want to discuss here is things specific to webapps that need to be mentioned in the faq.

Take the Super User faq as an example:

Super User is for computer enthusiasts and power users. If you have a question about …

  • computer hardware
  • computer software

and it is not about …

  • videogames or consoles
  • websites or web services like Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress
  • electronic devices, media players, cell phones or smart phones, except insofar as they interface with your computer
  • a shopping or buying recommendation

Probably the most relevant thing to focus on is that topmost section of the /faq. It took us almost a year to figure out the list of "we want these sort of questions" and "we don't want these sort of questions" on Super User, and it would have been very helpful to have that information sooner in the life of the site!

Bottom line, what should be in this site's faq that is particularly unique to this topic (Web Applications)?

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How about setting up a page similar to the one we have for domains where each answer is a proposed FAQ, and then we can choose the top 10 or so FAQ questions.

I started a page here so you can see what I mean.

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    Maybe these would be generated automatically for ALL associated portions of the content? When the closed beta completes, these questions are closed with their content added to the respective locations. To ensure that these portions are accounted for before Open Beta, maybe make these questions a requirement of exiting closed beta. – Michael Jul 2 '10 at 18:06
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However it's done, it needs to happen fast...

The Area51 proposal is a good place to start. Besides, wasn't that the whole point of the definition phase? There are a few concrete concepts from Area51 proposal that are currently missing and need to be incorporated into the FAQ.

For instance, there definitely needs to be an entry that points out that including sources of illegal/pirated content in a question/answer is not acceptable.

See this so see what I mean.

I have already come across one instance where a user provided such an answer and was downvoted but there's no place I can point to in response to why because that rule doesn't currently exist in the FAQ.

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How about we maintain one question per FAQ topic (so that it can easily be found when users type a similar question in the search box) and maintain a single FAQ "aggregator" question (a question with a list of all the the FAQs organised by topics. This single question could have a reserved URL but still be maintained by the same editor as any other question.

Answers on these FAQs would be the discussion about how to improve the FAQ and such.

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