I recently collected together our various -tagged meta questions in the FAQ Index for Role-playing Games Stack Exchange, as inspired by the network-wide FAQ on MSE.

Naturally, this raises the question: How do we add new questions to the FAQ index?

The MSE FAQ has a section at the end defining the process MSE uses. We could adopt that wholesale, we could adopt it with modifications, or we could develop an in-house process — say, if RPG.se has needs it doesn't accommodate.

How shall we manage our FAQ?


Not Needed

On meta.SE maybe it's necessary, but here we have only 32 questions easily reviewed by checking the faq tag. And the rate of new FAQs reduces over time.

I believe in not adding more process or work where there's not a compelling need for it so that we can keep our structure here lean. Every extra special process, every extra post we need to curate, is a necessary evil that needs to more than justify itself in terms of what it fixes or empowers.

And FAQs should be lean themselves - we don't want a run on "hypothetically asked questions," we only want things that really are frequently asked and causing user confusion, and we've been filling those rare gaps in fine. The current informal process of anyone puts on a to something that they think qualifies, and if there's consensus and interest in our judgement, it gets the [faq] tag is working perfectly and is low overhead.

So just say no to the Deep State (tm)!


I think we should adopt the process MSE's index uses. That formalises our current process, basically, in which anyone can ask a question, and a combination of community activity and mods judging the proposed FAQ to be mature results in it being tagged with the mod-only tag. It would just be a clearer and cleaner set of instructions for that.

I'd propose adding this text to the end of our FAQ index:

How can a question be added to this FAQ?

  • Ask only the question, stated plainly and simply, in the question body. The answer goes in an answer.

  • Link back to this index. Paste this at the end of the question:

    [Return to FAQ index](/q/7064)

  • Tag as and . When a post seems to have hit a mature state, it will have added by a moderator.

  • Flag for a moderator to mark community wiki. Any FAQ post not yet community wiki should be made into a community wiki.

  • After the post has the tag added to it, add a link in the above table of contents.

(This has minor modifications from the original, just making the tag names and index links match our site.)

A minor con

The one con for this is that, over time, we'd want to rework our existing FAQs to follow the instructions to make the meta Q be just a plainly-stated question and leave the answering for the answer posts. Our current FAQs are all over the place in terms of their structure.

Reworking them is something that I think would be a somewhat low priority though, and wouldn't meaningfully impair the value of the set of FAQs as a whole (after all, they work now), or impede using this process for future potential FAQs. It's something we could work on over time.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This seems like a lot of work where the other option is "just go look at rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/faq". What's the value of unending curation of a post? \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jun 19 '17 at 22:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk The post changing would be pretty slow. The value is mostly in 1) formalising the question “how do we get [faq] on a post?” and 2) having an index structured by topic. (A more formal process also means 3) enabling keener non-mods to take over more of the maintenance of meta. ;) \$\endgroup\$ Jun 19 '17 at 22:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I mean, on meta.SE maybe it's necessary - we have only 32 FAQs here, it's all on one page, and the rate of new FAQ is of course reducing over time. And we haven't really needed a "faq process" so far - just seems like adding more stuff where more stuff isn't needed and there's no active pain point. I favor keeping it lean. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jun 19 '17 at 22:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk That's certainly a valid answer to the question. :) \$\endgroup\$ Jun 19 '17 at 22:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ And in the interest of keeping the FAQ not a bunch of junk, I don't really want more folks to be able to add in FAQs. Too many FAQs turn from really frequently asked questions to "hypothetically asked questions" and then they dilute to where people won't read them and you lose the benefit of what a FAQ is supposed to be, brief. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jun 19 '17 at 22:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk Well, they'd still need to get the [faq] tag before being included, so that keeps mod oversight. I agree that's important. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 19 '17 at 22:48
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Ok, contributed as an answer instead. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jun 19 '17 at 22:54
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Note: On MSO (not MSE), making faqs CW is generally done in order to allow any editing by <2k users. Same with any per-site meta, as there are no edit suggestions except for tag wikis. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    Jun 21 '17 at 20:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TuggyNE Oh-ho, a lack of edit suggestions is something I never noticed. Thanks. I'll put that back in, because that's quite valuable. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 21 '17 at 20:08

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