Meta-PokéBase Q&A
2 votes
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There are only so many questions possible that actually follow the rules. Dumb posts along the lines of "Why is Charizard a dragon?" exist because users are running out of good questions to ask that actually adhere to the "No polls/opinion questions" rule. So, I think it would be beneficial to incorporate opinionated and open-ended questions into this site somehow to help promote activity that is not dumb questions.

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Opening the floodgates is a bold move, not sure if we can cater to all of the demand. We'd be overrun with trolls (you know best, <3 ) and further it'd be very hard to moderate.
I think it's the age old question of Quantity v/s Quality, and we have to wait for PM's word till we decide otherwise. Personally I felt it boiled down to whether or not the site was making $$$, but that's also PM's call to make.

Honestly though if we do said those type of questions were okay, we'd need a near constant input from more experienced users (such as yourself) who can actually answer properly. With so many of the older and more experienced users gone indefinitely (DT, Mew, Josh, Will, PB, Hex, Ninja, and even JJ but he keeps popping up with troll questions so he's forgiven) for example, the answers just won't compare.
From what I can tell slightly more open ended and subjective questions are being allowed as long as they're not completely useless or directionless, at the discretion of Mods. It's more up to the individual Editor/Mod to whether or not something is allowed. I obviously don't have any insight into the quality/quantity of stuff that's being hidden, but I assume that what goes through Pokebase is what mods/editors want to go through pokebase.

Rather than opening the floodgates, maybe we can just appeal to Mods to loosen up on their guidelines a little.
I thought the whole point of this site is to post easily answered questions. Unanswerable questions may be a problem, but why do you hate easily answered questions so much?
I doubt that allowing subjective questions will decrease the amount of dumb questions that come through. There will always be dumb questions; maybe a rule can be established where 'unanswerable and trivial' questions (such as 'Why is Mew pink?') are disallowed?
I’ve been thinking along the same lines for a while Indigo. Expect some more stuff from me at some point that covers this and a bunch more things.

1 Answer

1 vote

Trust me, I've wanted to crack down on stuff like this for a while. It's just that nothing is really formalised in the rules, so I can't really click a button and say 'sorry, your question was dumb so I got rid of it'. Maybe I'm soft -- say it outright if you think we're not doing it right.

This is a really good discussion to have though, since it basically concerns our quality control and what content we allow which I don't think we talk about enough. I guess the thread I made yesterday was me trying to break the mold.

In fact, allowing open-ended threads in moderation has probably sustained our entire community to be honest. Those in-game team and moveset threads pull millions of hits and probably drive a massive potion of the traffic around here. It's just that if we make the move and allow all 'opinion' questions, we're changing what this site is fundamentally.

The whole point of the platform is that we don't have long, sustained discussions (which opinion posts would attract). It's supposed to be solutions and explanations for specific issues, as opposed to debate over subjective matters. If we remove the one thing that makes us distinct from a standard forum or a site like Reddit, we just become another face in the crowd. Is the strict question-only format enough?

And to be honest, introducing content like this isn't guaranteed to stop trivial and silly questions from existing, either. Opinionated posts will bring about their own kind of crap. And I agree they'll be a nightmare to moderate, as again they twist the purpose of the site and give precedence for even more vague and directionless stuff to exist as well. Also, we'd need a way to deal with threads constantly being bumped to the front of navigation, which is big enough of an issue as it is.

Completely open to more discussion about this, but if we were to allow this kind of content, we'd need to scrutinise it and figure out how to formalise a system that won't corrupt the core of what this site is.

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I agree with all this. That's why I'm not advocating "opening the floodgates." That would be a total disaster without some serious preparation. To get to the heart of the matter, I don't believe that the current format alone can sustain a healthy amount of non-garbage activity. It sure isn't doing so now. There is a reason why almost all experienced users don't bother with the Q&A anymore and stay(ed) just for the community.
I get what you're saying. It's just that it is difficult to create a new system when we don't know in advance how it will play out or if it will work. In particular I'm curious to know what kinds of 'polls/opinion questions' you think would increase the quality of content here, and how they can be implemented without compromising the site's purpose entirely. Personally I think the solution to low quality content is to make a clear rule that outlines what counts are garbage content and bans it, but it would take time to develop that.
I've fully come to terms with the fact this site is a lot smaller than it used to be, and I completely agree with you that its age and rule set has restricted the amount of new threads we can allow. It's just unclear whether this calls for an entire reform of what content is allowed here.
Not necessarily "polls", but open-ended discussions that are not necessarily objective. For example, if someone wanted to ask something such as "Have Pokemon designs become more lazy over time" or something along those lines I think that would be ok.