10
\$\begingroup\$

When I have a series of questions that are unrelated to one another, how much time should I let pass before asking the next/each question?

There are several options that I could take. For example, I could ask all of them after I typed them, which would flood the activity page with, in this case, six questions that I have regarding rules of spells from the new book Acquisitions Incorporated for D&D-5e within a span of about 20 minutes.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I mean, they're somewhat related, in a "you bought this book and it's not especially well edited" kinda way. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Jul 7 at 13:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman they are loosely related, I suppose, but so are all questions regarding the rules of an RPG. These are slightly more related because they come from the same source (which has places that are egregiously imprecise, but others that are well-edited). \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu Jul 7 at 13:16
11
\$\begingroup\$

Let questions pass rather than time.

My general rule of thumb is that no one asker should make up 50% (or more) of the ten most recent questions. In practice, this means pop out as many as 4 questions however fast you can type them. Once those are out in the wild, though, you should wait however long it takes for other users to ask some of their questions, ideally 1.5x the number of questions you asked, before asking more questions. In practice this can mean a wait time of anywhere from 10 minutes to most of a day.

This keeps the front page from being dominated by a single user, which can both irritate people and flood other new questions off the front page before they've gotten sufficient attention.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This sounds like good advice. I will follow it, but I am also interested in other input. \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu Jul 7 at 13:22
10
\$\begingroup\$

Letting more time pass can be helpful

From a site perspective there is nothing wrong with posting multiple related questions together. Oblivious Sage's guidelines are a good reference point for the etiquette of doing so to avoid frustrating other users, but that certainly isn't a policy.

I think there is another factor to consider in posting related questions. How truly related your questions are will impact how useful this advice is. The more related the more relevant it will be.

If you are asking a related question then the answers and advice given on the early questions may impact how you ask about the later ones. This applies to both what you are asking and how you ask it.

Consider the case where you want to ask about a group of spells from the same source. Likely you would use a similar question format and structure. Potentially something in this format is unclear or confusing. If you ask all of the questions in a quick-fire manner you will then need to go and edit each one individually. It also creates more work for reviewers and commenters trying to help you. Alternatively, if you had only posted one question and waited before asking the next that revision process would already be complete and the second version of the question may not need as much work.

Also think about overlapping answers to your questions. It is entirely possible that an excellent answer to your first question may also answer, or partly answer your second question. That may impact how (or even if) you ask the second one.

Don't take this as a policy or advice against asking multiple questions. Instead when you want to ask multiple just take a second to think if the answer and comments on one of them could impact how you approach the second one. If so it may be worth waiting some time before asking.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your second-to-last paragraph, I've found this in practice myself. I've asked a question, with another question in the back of my head that I planned on asking some other time, but then the answers, or sometimes just some comments under an answer, have then cleared up some confusion that resulted in me not needing to ask that question anymore. Of course, you could argue that now no-one else gets to benefit from the question I never asked, but on the other hand, "they" (whoever they are) can always ask it themselves in the future. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Nov 15 at 11:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think this is good advice. I get good answers to my questions here extremely rarely, and when I do manage to get one it's usually because I successfully get a question under the radar so someone with actual experience stopping by the site a year or more later sees that there are no upvoted answers and posts one that is actually insightful, so behaving as though an answer might actually resolve some confusion or in any way be helpful within the first month my question is posted seems foolish to me, but it's probably better to try and act like that might happen. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Nov 15 at 17:40
9
\$\begingroup\$

If you feel your questions are good, right away.

It is part of the culture in Stackexchange that I appreciate: the quality of the post matters. Who posts it? Not so much. Even the game designer can make an account and post here, but we will have no way to prove the credibility of the post and thus will have to judge by the quality of the post itself.

There's no consensus here. Oblivious Sage's answer is a good self-guideline, but there's nothing wrong with posting several questions right away. Just make sure each question is good:

  1. On topic
  2. Properly defined
  3. Well formatted

I rarely write a post less than 5 minutes, so at least I have a 5-minutes gap between posts, and sometimes 15 minutes. Plenty time for anyone to post a question or answer in between. In those times, I do my checklist on those three things, and once more before I hit the post button.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I think it's generally fine as long as you don't flood the front page all at once and crowd out most other discussion. Generally speaking, if you're asking good questions, it'll automatically be spread out by at least a few minutes just by the time it takes to write the question. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 7 at 21:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ I might add "Pressing" as a fourth criterion in the particular context of "I have a bunch of questions." If it's not an actual problem arising from, about to arise from, or likely to arise soon from play and there's already two or three of your that are similar and in the recent queue, maybe it can wait a bit. \$\endgroup\$ – Novak Jul 9 at 19:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Novak 'pressing' is never an issue in stackexchange format. The way I see it, 'good' or 'suitable for stackexchange' only consists of those three. \$\endgroup\$ – Vylix Jul 10 at 4:00
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Vylix Relevancy is part of the RPG Stack good question guidelines. I find wholly theoretical or hypothetical problems to be a lot less relevant than a problem one is actually facing or about to face. \$\endgroup\$ – Novak Jul 10 at 7:08
4
\$\begingroup\$

This started out as a comment on one of these five questions about water, but I thought (since the comment had a few upvotes on in after a few hours of being there) it ought to be added here as an answer (although it's somewhat of a fragment of an answer).

An argument for...

The OP of the aforementioned questions about water suggested that asking the questions all at once and getting it over with all in one go minimises the effect of the flooding of questions.

Certainly in this case, there were only five questions, and I think this argument stands up in this case, whereas if someone had twice as many, this argument might not scale up to that quantity of related questions (although if someone has that many questions about one topic, that may be indicative of a greater issue...)

An argument against...

For me personally, asking many closely related questions in one go creates the problem that I get bored going through them all, meaning I'm less likely to read each subsequent question properly as opposed to just skim-reading, and less likely to post or vote because I'm getting bored with the subject matter.

If others feel this way as well, then asking all the questions at once may encourage users to skip them (or some/most of them) resulting in most of them not being read, and since they were all asked at once, they will all swiftly drop of the "new questions" page all together, resulting in most of them being largely ignored. If you want these questions to actually get some attention, it would be better to ask them with reasonable time gaps, since asking them all together might not end up being too different to not asking them at all.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's also likely that there are more 'foundational' questions that will answer the latter if understood first. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Nov 15 at 14:23
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Yes this is true, I recently wrote a big comment on linksassin's answer, which mentions that exact thing, since this recently happened to me (first question resolved unasked second question) \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Nov 15 at 14:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are actually a bunch more questions, I just stopped posting them to let it die down, as per comment advice and this meta. I'll try again in a month or so to hopefully dodge the participants who took interest this time. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Nov 15 at 17:43
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Pleasestopbeingevil I don't think you need to wait a month. A few days (or even just one) should be enough for followups. Once your initial questions have left the frontpages and activity on them has died down a bit you can proceed with the next ones. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Nov 18 at 5:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .