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As you know, many people post questions with insufficient details, when they would have to spend only a little more effort to write a much better question, if only they got some hints. Now it is well known that most posters won't read the hints no matter how much we advertise them. Yet, I think there are posters who would read the hints, but don't notice that we have them.

Our hints are in two places: in the tag wiki for [story-identification], and in the meta question "How to ask a good story-ID question?". Neither of these are very easy to find for a new poster.

In Could we cover hints for asking story-identification questions in the help center? , I tried to think of ways to direct people to the hints from the Help Center, and indeed now we have some links from there. In this followup, I have another thought.

More than half of the posters that ask a story-identification question find the right tag, . If they post a question and they do find the right tag, then they usually see the tag wiki excerpt for that tag on the screen (see example screenshot below). If we're lucky, they even read the excerpt to figure out which tag is the right one.

screenshot showing tag wiki excerpts shown under tag edit input box

If only we could link to the pages giving hints from that tag wiki! Alas, I believe tag wiki excerpts can't contain links. Still, is there something we could put in that excerpt that would guide posters to find the hint pages?

  • There's a lot of ifs here. It would be very interesting to sling a hit counter on a hints and tips page to see if more than a vanishingly tiny number of people ever visit. – Valorum Oct 15 '16 at 15:29
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    I'd rather see this implemented. – phantom42 Oct 15 '16 at 17:33
  • @phantom42 There's a lot of improvements possible if you can get the SE developers to do them. Here I'm trying to find improvements that we (or at least site moderators) can do without them. – b_jonas Oct 15 '16 at 20:17
  • Eg. I'd like a link to the hints from the "how to write a good question" short text that appears in the sidebar when the question textarea is selected, and in scifi.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-ask , but those need SE godly intervention. – b_jonas Oct 15 '16 at 20:36
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    @Valorum I have inquired about hits to help pages before, and let's just say that however bad you think the hit rate is, it's worse. – user31178 Oct 15 '16 at 22:13

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