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1:23 PM
0
A: Should users be shown some basic information before posting the first question?

Mark L. StoneRegardless of any advice pages, perhaps mandatory before 1st question by new user, how about getting the attention of everyone who views any math overflow page? Include a prominent banner on the top of every page, perhaps (with portions) in bold red. ========================= For research-leve...

I wonder whether the above would be better posted as a separate question - but still it is related to the proposal where it was posted as an answer. And there already is a somewhat similar past discussion:
55
Q: Why is "what is the difference between mathoverflow and math.stackexchange?" not prominently displayed?

Foo BarIt is a truth not-quite-universally acknowledged that a newish Stack Exchange user in possession of the knowledge that there are two sites named "Math Overflow" and "Math.StackExchange" will be in want of an explanation. A reasonably careful reading of "What topics can I ask about here?" will re...

Maybe it's worth mentioning that for unregistered users the page mathoverflow.net contains the text "MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians." near the top left corner. But it is not displayed, for example, once you go to: mathoverflow.net/questions And AFAICT it is not displayed to registered users. Also while asking question mathoverflow.net/questions/ask the sentence "Is your question about research level mathematics?" is displayed in bold on the right under "How to ask?" — Martin Sleziak 12 mins ago
@Martin Sleziak Thanks for the links. The time for talk should be over, it's time for action. It seems pretty easy to implement suggestions along these lines - just do it. — Mark L. Stone 4 mins ago
Quite bold words from the OP. Especially under the post that gained no upvotes so far :-) OTOH the older question is at score +55.
Still, probably only the mods can respond to it's time for action and "just do it* in a reasonable manner.
 
2 hours later…
3:52 PM
@ToddTrimble Hi Todd Trimble, sorry for bothering you again, but this is an issue which probably cannot be moved further without involvment of moderators.
Some time ago I posted this suggestion (at the moment it is at score 21): Should users be shown some basic information before posting the first question?
21
Q: Should users be shown some basic information before posting the first question?

Martin SleziakIn an answer to another question discussing possibilities how to decrease the number of off-topic questions1 it was mentioned that: Perhaps we should force a person to read the rules before posting the first question? By clicking some button "read and understood the rules". Something similar was...

About two weeks ago Federico Poloni posted a new answer - basically suggestion that we should go ahead with this suggestion. (We have also briefly talked about this here in chat, and Federico Poloni mentioned this also in comments on the main site.)
Today also an answer by Mark L. Stone was posted - however his proposal is a bit different and I'd said independent from the proposal to show info to new users before their first question.
Basically I wanted to ask a few things:
1. What do you (and other moderators) think about the proposal with the page for new users/first time askers?
2. If it seems reasonable, could the moderators bring this up with SE staff? (Basically, requesting them to make necessary changes to the page and use it as a page displayed before the first question. Maybe also making the page mod-editable so that changes could be made without the need to involve SE staff.)
3. If you think that there needs to be a bit more fine-tuning and feedback on the suggestion before actually implementing it, could you perhaps for some time add tag to the question? (So that it is displayed in the community bulletin and it has at least some chance that MO users will have a look and possibly add more feedback or even edit the proposed version of the "How to ask?" page.)
4:12 PM
I know that the answer with the proposal of the wording is only at score +3 - which does not show that much support from the community. However, since it was posted quite long time after the question, so it's quite likely that much more users saw the question than this new answer. (And, consequently, not that many users could vote on the answer.)
Still, the question has score 21, which shows at least some support in the MO community for this idea.
 
2 hours later…
6:25 PM
Hi @DenisNardin. If I noticed that you were in this chatroom, I could have asked for a clarification here rather than in the comments.
Should we talk about it here (and maybe I can remove my comments so that we do not make comment thread too long)...?
I believe that the how to ask page should be replaced by the old one you link to. That was removed after the move to the stackexchange network, but it is far superior — Denis Nardin 14 mins ago
@Daniel Well, the page you mention is linked at the end of the text proposed above. If you suggest to use the page from your comment as the page shown to first time askers, to me it seems to be a bit long for this purpose. Still if you think it is a good idea, you could post this as a separate answer. In this way it is more likely that other users might notice your suggestion, vote for/against, say in comments what they think about it. — Martin Sleziak 3 mins ago
@DenisNardin Or maybe you did not mean that as a page for the first time askers but as a replacement of the page "How do I ask a good question?" in the Help Center? (The title is different but the url basically says "How to ask?": mathoverflow.net/help/how-to-ask ) — Martin Sleziak 3 mins ago
Uh I meant as the latter sorry. And I also think that people asking a new question could benefit more from reading it than the generic "how to ask" page anyway — Denis Nardin 1 min ago
If you want to talk it here it's fine, but I don't think long comment threads on meta are an issue
Since you already commented, it probably does not matter that much.
(I actually went to the meta question to upvote it, after I read your previous message, but then got sidetracked :))
So you suggest to use the content of (the accepted answer to) How to write a good MathOverflow question? in this part of help center: mathoverflow.net/help/how-to-ask
At least if I understood you correctly.
It seem that when the question was bumped today by Mark L. Stone's answer, it brough a bit of new attention to it.
6:42 PM
That's what it used to be before the move (I did not have an account at the time, but I was lurking around), and since the how-to-ask page can be customized I don't see why not
The current page is not very helpful in my opinion
Ok, we will see what moderators' say about this. Let's hope they notice also your comments.
As I said, maybe your suggestion would be more visible as a separate answer. (Or as a new question/feature request?)
But that's definitely up to you. Maybe it would be adding too much noise on meta at the same time. (So far we haven't heard from the mods about this suggestion.)
7:00 PM
Only now I noticed that Stefan Kohl suggested something similar to my post quite a long time ago. I have overlooked it since it was hidden in the comments:
I'd rather suggest something like this: when a new user clicks the "Ask Question" button, a box appears which says "You are about to ask a question on a Q&A site for professional mathematicians. Before you continue, it is recommended that you read about the site rules.". Here "site rules" links to a text along the lines of the one I gave, and the box provides two alternatives to choose from: "continue" with a thin frame (and which is greyed out before the user has clicked on "site rules"), and "cancel" with a bold frame. If the user clicks "continue", they can enter their question as usual. — Stefan Kohl Feb 18 '15 at 15:06
Let's hope we'll hear something from the moderators eventually....
 
3 hours later…
10:18 PM
@MartinSleziak Wish I could help at the moment, but I'm deeply buried in other matters, maybe until Monday. Could you see if someone like Francois is available to help? You can ping me again if he doesn't seem responsive.

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