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The recent changes in the voting/experience system gave me new motivation to contribute to perlmonks. I sat down and asked myself, where such a contribution would be most helpful (and of course perceived as such).

I believe, that we can improve significantly the value of perlmonks as "source of finding the best answers to perl-related problems" by instantiating a more formal feedback/communication mechanism between the questioner and the answerer(s).

I have - as you might have already guessed - mainly "seekers of perl wisdom" on my mind and am not sure, whether this is applicable to the other sections as well - but maybe it is.

Most of the time when I entered perlmonks with some spare time on my fingertips and the intention to answer now questions especially from people who seem to need it most, very often this plan was undone.

Why? I had trouble to find such nodes. Most of the time there seemed to be already enough answers or the node seemed so old, that it seemed irrelevant to answer.

On the other hand, some friends and colleagues constantly reported about questions not being answered at all, or not satisfactory.

I plea for the possibility of setting a "red flag" on your post. The default will be, that this "red flag" is not set. If you set it, after a certain period (a week?) it will be unset automatically.

This "red flag" will indicate, that you are - in some way - unsatisfied with the answers you got. This can be by having no answers at all, or simply having (in the questioners opinion) irrelevant answers/comments.

To prevent abuse of this "red flag", we could make raising it cost something. Say <level> XP (So it would be cheaper for the lower levels which I perceive as fair). In SuperSearch, there should be a possibility to search also for nodes that do have this flag set.

The advantages:

  • You could also raise flag in some of your old nodes. As this flag has a self expiration, it would be a clear sign, that this topic is still - or again - active and of interest, or that it hasn't been resolved yet. It could also prevent from "writing a new node just to attract attention.
  • Monks searching especially for "red flag"-nodes to answer these, could end the day with the great feeling of really having contributed needful things(tm).
In my opinion, this system would qualitatively enhance perlmonks by providing a dynamic feedback mechanism that is formalized and - because of SuperSearch, the cost of rising a flag, a valid priorization of questions when needed.

    All Perl:   MT, NLP, NLU

In reply to How do you find nodes that need your answer most? by PetaMem

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