"Evergreen" topics for frequently asked questions on the forum?

There are some questions that get asked by quite a few users on the forum, which results in a lot of new small topics and discussions, such as “why is this observation not research grade?”. Not saying these aren’t legitimate topics, but it all feels scattered, and someone might miss pertinent info from a previous discussion.

Furthermore, many of these questions or issues can often be solved by some small actions the user can take, rather than posting the issue here. So I was thinking of piloting a few “evergreen” topics for these questions that would remain open and anyone with that question can just add it to that topic. The original post for the topic would have advice for someone with that issue so they could try to solve it on their own before posting here.

The two topics (and I’m definitely open to changes in wording) I propose we start out with are:

“Why isn’t this observation included in my project?”

“Why is this observation not Research Grade/Needs ID/Casual?”

Any thoughts? Worth trying out?

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I think it’s worth trying. Maybe make them a wiki post? Something like that?

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I think it’s worth trying too.

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Though, I get the impression that some users don’t search for old topics before posting a new one. So maybe pin them or have an FAQ section

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Yeah, sorry, I was going to say maybe they should be pinned in General.

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I like the idea! I wonder if it would keep things more organized to pin a single FAQ “portal” topic, which would just contain brief statements of the questions, and links to the actual Forum topic addressing each one? Too many pinned topics might dilute their impact, versus a single FAQ portal.

Also wondering if a similar thing should be done for the Feature Requests category, for frequently requested things that have already been addressed (whether or not being considered for development).

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I like this idea. It would also easily allow for someone to direct a user to those pinned topics when those questions get asked (as they no doubt still will). This will avoid long threads rehashing existing topics.

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This is a great idea. In my experience, it can be pretty hard to successfully search the forum even when I remember to try - I often don’t quite have the words/concepts in place well enough to know which threads are relevant!

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Agreed, great idea, given that here are so many threads now on the forum that seem to rehash what earlier discussions have already addressed. And it can be hard at times to successfully search for these previous discussions/answers before posting a new question that isn’t really new.

(At first I thought this topic had something to do with conifers. When did “evergreen” become a word for something that is perennially relevant?)

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Perhaps when someone starts a new topic a drop down similar to the search drop down appears. Not sure if it would need a different algorithm or if it could simply use the search function.
Or focus on key words that present a “Did You Mean…” (or other appropriate phrase) drop down of related topics already covered.

Discourse (the software this forum is built on) actually does have that feature :)

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