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I notice that a lot of First Posts get referred to the tour via a comment like the following:

Welcome to SFF. I recommend you take a look at our tour to get an idea of what sort of answers we are looking for.

I am guilty of doing this as well. But something about this was bothering me so I went to look at the tour again and the issue is that the tour doesn't really talk about answers at all. Only questions. So we either need to add something to the tour about answers or start directing First Answers somewhere else.

Can the mods edit the tour? Or should we find/make an FAQ for such occasions?

  • 4
    Hmm. I was sure the tour had a section on how answers should actually answer the question and commentary is for the comments section :-/ I guess the closest is "This site is all about getting answers. It's not a discussion forum. There's no chit-chat." – Rand al'Thor Oct 31 '17 at 16:04
  • I use those statements sparingly these days. They're too broad and blanket-y. It's better to get to know the poster and their issues so that you can direct them to real solutions. – Möoz Oct 31 '17 at 22:14
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Can the mods edit the tour?

Yes, moderators can edit some of the content of the tour. However, the overall structure cannot be modified so we can't add a more extensive section to it for answering.

Or should we find/make an FAQ for such occasions?

I usually link to the help center instead (you can use the [help] magic link for it) since it has a prominent section on answering (and I find it far more helpful in general than the tour).

There's also an FAQ on meta with advice for writing story ID answers. I don't think we need a separate FAQ for writing good answers in general since the help center already covers that pretty well.

12

The tour is a good resource. It's got general information about SE and how the system works; it's a good place to point a new user to, usually. But I wouldn't point them to the [tour] for specific answer guidance. Instead, point them to the How to Answer page for specific answer guidelines.

This page has its own magic link - type [answer] and it'll automatically expand to How to Answer. It also has a question counterpart, [ask].

So generally, point new users to the tour for a general overview of how the site works, and the How to Answer page for specific guidance on answering questions.

Side point: you asked if mods can edit the tour. The answer is yes, but only certain parts - like the example question that's shown there, and the list is subjects to ask about/not ask about.

I'd suggest leaving a comment more like this:

Hey, welcome to Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange! Thanks for contributing an answer; new answers are always good! However, your answer could be improved by [...]. I'd also recommend that you take a look at our [tour], which has some information on how our site works; and [answer], which will provide some help for writing good answers. See you around! :)

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    "new answers are always good" - citation needed ;-) – Rand al'Thor Oct 31 '17 at 16:05
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    @Randal'Thor - I just assumed it was a typo – Valorum Oct 31 '17 at 17:10
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I would point them to both.

Hello, and welcome to the site! In order to help us better answer your question, I would recommend you read the help section on how to ask better questions. The tour page will also give you a better idea of what Stack Exchange is about, and our question/answer format (As opposed to discussion style).

Obviously, edit slightly for answer vs. question, but this gives them an idea of how SE works, and gives them a question/answer resource as well. (And the above text with links does fit in a comment space with a couple hundred characters to spare).

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