I just went and looked at the tour for the first time in years.

This is faulty. The tour is explaining that

This site is all about getting answers. It’s not a discussion forum. There’s no chit-chat.

The example question is “Who would command Enterprise D…”

And then it goes ahead with the example answers that start with I would say… and Presumably, …

Basically the examples are expressing opinions and inviting discussion.

Isn’t this exactly the wrong example to set? Where did this come from? Shouldn’t we change the examples?

  • I'm about 73% sure that the example question changes, mayhaps randomly at some given interval. – Möoz Aug 30 '16 at 5:32
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    The example answers, while not extraordinary, aren’t really discussion. Just starting with wish-washy language doesn’t make something an opinion (though these are not well-cited). – Adamant Aug 30 '16 at 5:32
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    You may be interested in What determines the questions available for selection in the about-page? – Möoz Aug 30 '16 at 5:34
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    I agree that the question and answers are not good examples of what we hope to see on this site. Part of the problem is that the screen format in the tour requires very short questions and answers. It would be hard (but surely not impossible) to come up with a good question and a couple of answers that will fit in the available space. – Blackwood Aug 30 '16 at 13:39
  • @blackwood SEDE query with well received question/answer pair, recent, and with a short body. Shouldn't be too hard. – AncientSwordRage Aug 30 '16 at 13:48
  • @AncientSwordRage Don't forget there's only a finite list we can choose from! – Rand al'Thor Aug 30 '16 at 14:15

I don't know who chose the current example, but I just discovered (thanks to Mooz's comment) that site moderators can change it to any other question satisfying certain criteria, of which there are currently 150. Of these, the ones which have accepted answers are:

Take your pick! If there's enough consensus in favour of changing the example question to a particular one of these, we can do it with a single press of a button.

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    Personally I don't think a story-ID question would be a good pick. If possible, it would be nice to choose something that appeals to more than one fandom (e.g. not just a plain Star Trek question or a plain Harry Potter question). – Rand al'Thor Aug 30 '16 at 14:08
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    If you avoid overly specific plot-explanation questions, there's no problem with single-fandom stuff. Everyone knows what Harry Potter is, even if they never read/watched it. And maybe try to avoid stuff like "about the season 5 finale of GoT" or "Why did Kylo Ren do that to this character" for avoiding lynch mobs. – TARS Aug 30 '16 at 14:17
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    I haven't reviewed all of them, but how about How does the holodeck create the illusion of distance?. Stripped of the comments, the question and the first two answers would probably fit. – Blackwood Aug 30 '16 at 15:31
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    This one would probably make a good example; Simple, direct, etc scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/597/… – Valorum Aug 30 '16 at 18:36
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    @Valorum I'd like to see a question which is interesting to as wide an audience as possible, and I haven't even heard of this "Lost in Space" thing. (Admittedly I live under a rock, but ...) – Rand al'Thor Aug 30 '16 at 18:39
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    @Randal'Thor - It ran for about forty years in syndication and spawned a hit film starring Oscar-winners William Hurt and Gary Oldman – Valorum Aug 30 '16 at 18:49

From the list of qualifying questions provided by Rand, I believe that we should be using this question for the tour example;

What was the robot's name in "Lost in Space"?

The question is clear, concise and short. The answer/s are clear, concise and short with a linked reference.

Additionally, Lost in Space is desirable (as a tag) because it's a universally recognised property, having run for more than 50 years in syndication, but not one that raises polarising views.

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    I don't know. The second answer there is still too chatty, IMO. – ThePopMachine Aug 31 '16 at 18:28
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    Sorry, -1. "The question is clear, concise and short. The answer/s are clear, concise and short" applies to all the questions on the list (it's basically the criterion that defines the list), and Lost in Space is surely less universally recognisable than e.g. Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or Game of Thrones. – Rand al'Thor Aug 31 '16 at 18:32
  • @ThePopMachine - It's a reasonable answer though. Maybe before we post it as the sample answer we could tidy up the language a little – Valorum Aug 31 '16 at 19:04
  • @Randal'Thor - I was thinking that instead of going for something that might put people off (e.g. Star Wars vs. Star Trek) we should go for something that's pretty much universally popular – Valorum Aug 31 '16 at 19:05
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    @Valorum: I don't know about universally popular. More likely universally indifferent. I have never seen Lost in Space and I think that's probably true of a huge fraction of sff.se. I would suggest something related to Superman to be be universally known (and popular, in general). – ThePopMachine Aug 31 '16 at 19:53
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    @ThePopMachine - You've never seen Lost in Space? Get on the donkey. – Valorum Aug 31 '16 at 19:55
  • @Valorum How about something that appeals to both SW and ST fans? I would've suggested this question already if not for the obvious conflict of interest ;-) – Rand al'Thor Aug 31 '16 at 20:25
  • @Randal'Thor - Well that was the other thing I was trying to avoid, something that's been answered by a mod or someone in the top 10 – Valorum Aug 31 '16 at 20:46
  • @Randal'Thor: I think that's a good question for this. – ThePopMachine Aug 31 '16 at 23:06
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    @Valorum - are there any questions not answered by you at all? :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Sep 1 '16 at 14:24
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    @dvk-in-Exile - anything Game of Thrones, anything with "Super Saiyan" in the title. – Valorum Sep 1 '16 at 14:30
  • Some of the * ahem * Tolkien questions? Not that I have any interest in those at all. – Matt Gutting Sep 2 '16 at 14:12
  • @mattgutting - Feel free to propose another :-) – Valorum Sep 2 '16 at 14:14

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