ira wrote:When the noise lever gets too high, the ones like me who've spent 12 years here learning and helping go away and the beginner vs experienced starts to tilt in the way the CG is now... I've watched numerous bulletin boards and forums become non relevant because the influx of beginners asking questions before thinking cause all the people who've been through it all to leave due to boredom.
I've been wondering how to solve this problem for a long time; I posted What to do about newbie noise
in 2009. The number of posts has doubled since then (31K in 2009, 62K in 2018). I assume most of that growth is first-time buyer posts or beginner technique posts, not deep insights from long-time members.
Back in 2009, the Buying Advice forum didn't exist. Creating it was probably the best and worst solution to buying questions that were otherwise spread in every forum: Best because it curtained off the repetitive "What should I buy?" type questions, worst because it encouraged even more "What should I buy?" questions.
Moka 1 Cup wrote:This would be probably solved with a sub forum dedicated to less experienced people (like me ), or where anybody can ask very simple questions that require simple answers.
Based on the Buying Advice forum, creating a dedicated forum for "newbies" would help centralize beginner questions and
encourage even more beginner questions. At least that's what proven true every time a new top-level forum was created -- the number of topics on the subject increased (long-time HB members may recall this site started out with only one forum for reviews).
I see three possible choices for reducing so-called "noise":
- Corral - create dedicated forum(s) so those who are/aren't interested can more easily find/ignore said topic(s)
- Discourage - put mechanisms in place to discourage repetitive questions. For example, on Stack Overflow, moderators aggressively close topics as already answered with a message and link to prior discussion.
- Filter - put mechanisms in place to simplify filtering topics specific to a reader's interest (e.g., tags like #beginner or #advanced)
Did I miss any options?
The above addresses forum topics; as a long-standing goal, I think content curated from the forum in a more friendly form like a wiki
would help "raise the discussion level". Often the reason a question is asked is because the prior answers are buried in a dozen other threads. I proposed it last year for the Summer of Code projects for HB
. Now that Nico is back, maybe consider it again?