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What features are missing in Wikianswers

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Forums: Index > Watercooler > What features are missing in Wikianswers
Note: This topic has been unedited for 160 days. It is considered archived - the discussion is over. Do not add to unless it really needs a response.

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  • Voting on questions -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 14:19, 1 May 2009
  • Voting on answers -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 14:19, 1 May 2009
  • Better auto or manual categorization of questions -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 14:19, 1 May 2009
  • Better auto or manual categorization of answers -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 14:19, 1 May 2009
  • Tangible benefits (aka points, credit toward some other benefit, etc.). -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 14:19, 1 May 2009
  • Easily added question details (beyond one liner) -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 14:19, 1 May 2009
  • Centralized feedback -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 14:19, 1 May 2009
    • There is project:feedback. --—Preceding unsigned comment added by Angela (talkcontribs) 00:26, 4 May 2009
  • Other way to research an answer besides Wikipedia --—Preceding unsigned comment added by Angela (talkcontribs) 00:26, 4 May 2009
  • Better user profile capability -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 14:19, 1 May 2009
    • Could you please give an example of what would improve profiles? Angela@Wikia (talk) 15:56, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Easy access to a list of all questions asked by a user for that user (better than generic wiki contribution list). -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 14:19, 1 May 2009
  • Easy access to a list of all answers answered by a user for that user (better than generic wiki contribution list).-- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 14:19, 1 May 2009
  • When searching for a question, instead of automatically creating it as a new question, performing a search so that it looks for similar questions first, and then asks the user if they wish to add this new question... It could help prevent thousands of similar questions being asked (like I've done :D) Siegfriedschtauffen 15:01, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Improve Categories - see the variational spelling of geography, Geografi, Geograhy, Geographi, Geography, Geograpy, Geogrhpy, and finally Geogrphy / history. Piandao and Scooby! 18:41, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
    • I took care of geography, so it's a bad example now :) there are otheres :( Piandao and Scooby!
  • Wiki tools under the summary bar (why are they not there) - useful for math, nowiki, and | (pipe, I never find it on my qwerty).. etc Piandao and Scooby!
    • I've added this. Are there any symbols missing that you need included? Angela@Wikia (talk) 11:26, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Could someone add some basic symbols to the Wiki tools? I think I have asked 5 times now. If a user edits a lot, they probably will either not bother to add references, fix articles, etc. or just stop editing if they have to constantly type in the same symbol when it can easily be in the Wiki tools. Rolandius Paladin (talk - contr) 09:43, 26 August 2009 (UTC)


Voting on answers

But the aim is to improve a single answer, not to have multiple ones that are voted on. Great answers can be listed as Featured answers. --—Preceding unsigned comment added by Angela (talkcontribs) 00:26, 4 May 2009

How will you know to improve an answer if there is no easy way to tell if it is even remotely good or bad? Until there is more parity between Q'ers and A'ers, there isn't much chance alot of answers will be revisited. Also, it isn't about choosing between multiple answers, it's about voting whether an answer was any good in the first place. It's alot quicker to vote than to re-write a bad answer. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 5:24 PM PST 12 Jun 2009
Some wikis have rating stars on articles. One problem is that you don't know which revision someone voted on so it's not incredibly helpful. A tool Flagged Revisions would probably cause too much backlog to be helpful. So, I'm not sure if there's any easy solution to this. Do you think the rating stars would be ok? Angela@Wikia (talk) 15:54, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
That's a good point. But a star system is better than nothing. At least a it gives some feedback about what questions to re-look at for improvement. If an answer stays at 1 star for a long time, it should probably just be cleared and the question reset to unanswered. There is always the opportunity to "game" the system, but hopefully false positives (incorrectly low starred or high starred) will tend to drive toward the middle. 1 star answers will get attention to be reviewed for improvement or clearing and 5 star answers (or maybe even 4 star) will get attention as featured answers. Otherwise sorting for quality is like a needle in a haystack search. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 4:47 PM PST 24 Jun 2009

Tangible benefits

There is Special:Editcount and Special:Listusers displays edit counts. --—Preceding unsigned comment added by Angela (talkcontribs) 00:26, 4 May 2009

That is stretching the meaning of "tangible". A user has to discover a place that shows them a number that gets higher. Not terribly exciting or compelling. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 5:24 PM PST 12 Jun 2009

Additional info in question

Fandyllic raised an interesting point in this discussion. In summary it was "how can we have additional info in a question?"

As it stands, once a Q gets asked, it is tagged with the "unanswered Q" category. As soon as a response it made, the category is automatically modified to "answered".

One solution is to add a new option to the question asking facility giving the user an option of "Add more detail to my question". This would technically be no different to a regular answer, but would leave the category unchanged (ie. still "unanswered") and (ideally) put a HR underneath the extra details. Manning Bartlett 02:27, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Another is category "Detail required" or template "detail". Template requires insertion by edit (action panel would be easiest way to do that) Piandao and Scooby!
Using a "Detail required" category doesn't help with the actual details. Using a template would cause the question to change to "answered" unless a code change was put in to ignore the "detail" template. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 2:47 PM PST 25 Jun 2009

Centralized feedback

There is project:feedback. --—Preceding unsigned comment added by Angela (talkcontribs) 00:26, 4 May 2009

I guess what I meant was "centralized and organized" feedback. No offense, but Project:feedback is just a big blob and it is difficult to parse how feedback was acknowledged or addressed. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 5:27 PM PST 12 Jun 2009
Do you think a third party site might be better for this? I was wondering about Google Moderator. I've set up a demo there. Angela@Wikia (talk) 16:07, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
I'd prefer it stay inside Wikia. I don't want to have to login to Google to give feedback about Wikia. I was thinking more of "Feedback", "Action items", and "Resolved items" forums. Issues would start in Feedback, move to Action items if Wikia folks agreed to make a change based on the feedback, and to Resolved items when some change was made. It's sort of like a bug handling system somewhat like Special:ProblemReports, but less formalized and more discoverable. I'm not sure what the mechanism for moving thing between forums, but WoWWiki uses a Forumheader template at the top of a forum page. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 4:32 PM PST 24 Jun 2009

Improve Categories

It looks like trusted users need to apply categories to prevent questions not being found. Prevention of adhoc categories too.. there is an endless list of randomness that deflects questions from the wikiaanswers and real categories, now they are in a wikia abyss! Piandao and Scooby! 18:41, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

The category select tool helps since it suggests categories to you when you start typing. Once this same feature is added to the category box at the top of the page, a lot of these odd categories should stop. Angela@Wikia (talk) 15:58, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Let's not confuse variational spelling with just straight misspelling. Spelling should follow the language of the Wikianswers wiki. If a category is spelled wrong, it should be re-directed (and merged if necessary) to the correctly spelled one and eventually deleted when it has no members. Also member questions in an incorrectly spelled category need to be put in the correctly spelled category. This is not an issue of improving categories or the mechanisms by which they get used, but more of a cleanup process similar to how bad questions are handled. In WoWWiki we use a Correct2category template to tag bad categories. Other wikis may have something similar. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 4:40 PM PST 24 Jun 2009
It appears that anyone can provide a new category - I have cleaned up the geography misspelled categories, but I manually had to make adjustments by editing the answer to delete the wrong one and add the correct one. So now only the correct one will show in the predictive text pop up. There has to be an easier way. I could not use the action box in the category list - that's a painful mission if not :( Piandao and Scooby!
Definitely could use some tool automation. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 11:24 AM PST 25 Jun 2009

Bring on the bots - Joeyaa? Take out the caps, numbers, dates and those with more than two words. That would be a start JOEYAA *he shouts* ?? Piandao and Scooby!

Another thing that needs a bit of improvement --by Molokaicreeper

Will paste what I wrote in the page Forum:How can we make Wikianswers a success to follow Angela's recommendations about listing these here:

"A lot of people don't seem to be aware of question talk page (discussion). I myself hardly ever check the discussion page when I visit a question. If anything needs a big improvement is the way the talk page of a question is portrayed. I was thinking about a message telling people something like "this question has details in the discussion page, click here to see them" or something of the like. And it has to be visible. The talk page needs to have a link saying "answer this question" so that people wont mistakenly answer the question there.

Another way to portray the talk page could be including the first lines of text contained in the talk page in the question page with a link saying "more details..." which will direct the person to the talk page. Askers should also be aware that they CAN give details to their question, when they make the question, with perhaps a link that will show only to the creator of the question saying something like "add details to your question"

I know that this requires a lot of work, but if anything can be done to Wikianswers that will improve the way questions are portrayed, this is probably the best."

--Molokaicreeper 00:54, 11 July 2009 (UTC)


Why is categorization of questions so haphazard here. The "AUTO" category has several subcategories of questins relating to different makes of cars. But the "LEGAL" category shown on the Home Page has no subcategories., even though there are scores of law related categories, like Bankruptcy, Contracts, Court cases, Criminal procedure, etc. When I first came to this site and saw the box for "Popular Categories and saw "LEGAL" listed there I went to it and found less than 200 questions. It made me think this was not much of a serious site if no one is looking for other legal questions. Later I found out about all the other categories and found the many law related categories. Why aren't all of those categories organized under one main "Popular Category" so that clicking on "LEGAL" would bring me to a number of legal areas with questions within them? Shouldn't "Popular Categories" be categories having all of the related subcategories within them? If not all "popular categories", then at least "Legal" should be. RoibeairdW 16:28, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

I actually asked a similiar question myself awhile ago. Here are the replies. Rolandius Paladin (talk - contr) 09:30, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
The nice thing about Wikis is that you can fix most thinsg that you don't like yourself if you learn how; you could have found and placed all those legal categories into the big Legal cat yourself! --◄mendel► 08:06, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Questions within questions

I sometimes run into a question that actually has more than one question. For example, there was one that asked "Why are there sidecars on cars? Is it to see the person behind you?" or something like that. When I tried to "improve" the question, it would not let me put more than one (?) in the new sentence. For instance, I wanted to write it as "Why are there sidecars on motorcycles? Is it so you can see the person behind you?" to try to keep as much of the original question(s) as possible. Instead, my improvement kept showing up as "Why are there sidecars on motorcycles Is it so you can see the person behind you?" and you can see that the first (?) wouldn't show up. Rolandius Paladin (talk - contr) 01:29, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Two observations. First, the improved question seemed fine to me because it still comes across as two questions even without the middle question mark. The capital "I" in the word "Is" is enough to signify a new sentence/question is beginning and that indicated to me at least that the first part of the entire question was a question in itself. Second, such "double questions" can be converted to "single questions" by making one or another of the questions into a phrase or clause that narrows the focus of the question. It could have read "Are there sidecars on cars/motorcycles in order to see a person behind you?"RoibeairdW 02:49, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I did something like that. I wrote it as "Why are there sidecars on motorcycles; Is it so you can see the person behind you?" I think. Rolandius Paladin (talk - contr) 05:41, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
I think that works fine.RoibeairdW 08:01, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Ok. Rolandius Paladin (talk - contr) 11:30, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
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