How does one help a new user reformulate their first question, when the question needs serious work, when they have no reputation?

The question Do I just suck as a DM? Players are too powerful! was rightfully put on hold as too broad, but there might be a specific, answerable question in there. There are various permutations of helping a user with a question including:

  • Asking for details in comments. I think that's not viable, here, as the Q+A session would be very long.
  • Inviting the user to take it to a chat sessions. That is not currently viable here, as the user has insufficient reputation to chat, and it's not likely that a question which needs work will get them over that hump.

Those are then combined with one of:

  • The user goes back to edit the question themself
  • Someone who likes editing questions on behalf of people does it for them

Then the question goes to the reopen vote. As noted above, though, both of the first paths seem unlikely to be successful. What is the best practice here?


1 Answer 1


Trust the Stack =)

Go ahead and ask for details in comments. I suggest, though, asking only for the two or three most-important-seeming details. Avoid help piling. I think it's important to get a few clarifications and edit them in to give the user a taste of the system working than it is to present them with a litany of their imperfections.

Wait for the response. This, then, can go a couple of ways:

  • User never responds, question ages to [closed] rather than [on hold], eventually gets auto-deleted as abandoned. That happens, and is a Good Thing.
  • User responds by editing. This is a Good Thing.
  • User responds in comment, and someone else edits. This is a Good Thing.
  • User responds, that occasions further comments, further responses, and eventually comments are auto-blocked and what appears is only the "comments are not for extended discussion, would you likek to move this to chat?" message. Here's the great thing: that chat room gives the OP explicit write-access to the room, by dint of being attached to their post! They can chat about the question, and get clarification. And this is a Good Thing.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Aha! The last bullet contained the information needed: That access to a particular chat room can happen without the rep requirement. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novak
    Jun 11, 2017 at 1:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Novak and for the life of me I'm not finding the MSE post that explains that... [back to rummaging] \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Jun 11, 2017 at 1:37
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Novak I'm having enough trouble finding support for that assertion that I'm starting to doubt it... might want to hold off on that check =\ \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Jun 11, 2017 at 1:53

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