Open Week -- Using Ask Ubuntu -- Marco Ceppi -- Thu, May 5

   1 [15:02] <jcastro> ok welcome everyone
   2 [15:02] <jcastro> today we have a new presenter
   3 [15:02] <jcastro> Marco Ceppi
   4 === ChanServ changed the topic of #ubuntu-classroom to: Welcome to the Ubuntu Classroom - || Support in #ubuntu || Upcoming Schedule: || Questions in #ubuntu-classroom-chat || Event: Ubuntu Open Week - Current Session: Using Ask Ubuntu - Instructors: marcoceppi
   5 [15:02] <jcastro> who is going to talk about the newish Ubuntu Stack Exchange,
   6 [15:02] <jcastro> marcoceppi: take it away!
   7 [15:02] <ClassBot> Logs for this session will be available at following the conclusion of the session.
   8 [15:02] <marcoceppi> Hello Everyone, Salutations!
   9 [15:03] <marcoceppi> I'm Marco Ceppi, a moderator for Ask Ubuntu and I'm here to talk briefly about what Ask Ubuntu is, some potential use cases, and mainly field your questions.
  10 [15:03] <marcoceppi> Ask Ubuntu is a Question and Answer site maintained (infrastructure and code base wise by StackExchange, LLC the same people behind StackOverflow, ServerFault, Super User and several other Q&A sites). Designed to field questions which range from basic user problems all the way to questions around development on/for Ubuntu.
  11 === koolhead11 is now known as koolhead11|afk
  12 [15:04] <marcoceppi> What sets Ask Ubuntu (AU) apart from other Q&A sites is that AU is community operated – instilling powers to those who contribute more, using a metric of User Reputation. Reputation, in short, is provided to users who ask good questions, provide great answers, or help to maintain quality by flagging in appropriate posts and editing less than stellar content. So the more you participate the more
  13 [15:04] <marcoceppi> privileges the site will grant you. From simple things like posting comments upwards of voting to close questions, editing users contents, and the list continues.
  14 [15:05] <marcoceppi> AU works like a Wiki, a Forum, a Blog, and Reddit combined. So voting helps sort poor quality from high quality, users can edit other users content to help improve quality and correct mistakes, and comments allow users to hold small discussions without crowding the entire thread with relatively useless troubleshooting.
  15 [15:05] <marcoceppi> In addition to the main AU site AU has a “meta” site where users can ask and raise issues about the main site itself. Again contributing to the self-regulatory lifestyle of the site.
  16 [15:06] <marcoceppi> Finally AU has it's own web based chat system where community members can take discussions and further troubleshooting into a realtime chat allowing just the final answer to be reposted on the main site - cutting down the noise ratio (and allowing for a general hangout place).
  17 [15:08] <marcoceppi> To really get an idea about the community and power behind the AU platform I would recommend you checkout, take a look at our "How does Ask Ubuntu work?" Guide, and signup to try it out yourself !
  18 [15:09] <marcoceppi> We're pretty big on quality, trying to ensure questions don't become out of date by constantly editing and improving the content
  19 [15:10] <marcoceppi> We're also pretty harsh on off-topic questions, so questions that are subjective or argumentative typically get closed pretty quickly because they're just that - opinionated driven questions which likely can't be objectively answered.
  20 [15:12] <marcoceppi> So things like "Why does Unity stink?" aren't questions we're interested in fielding, whereas something like How do I go back to the old desktop in 11.04? is an objective and answerable question.
  21 [15:13] <marcoceppi> Other questions that don't jive well are questions not relating to Ubuntu, questions which should be bug reports, or posting a "Guide" as a question.
  22 [15:15] <marcoceppi> If you have a great answer to a question, for instance you spent the last 8 hours scouring the internet for a solution and finally pieced together a solution from old posts and research - then asking your original question - then answering it using the Answer mechanism is a valid way to publish your content without having it just a "Guide to do X"
  23 [15:15] <marcoceppi> Here are a few of the more popular and great questions from the AU site
  24 [15:16] <marcoceppi>
  25 [15:16] <marcoceppi>
  26 [15:16] <marcoceppi>
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  28 [15:17] <marcoceppi>
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  30 [15:18] <marcoceppi> For people looking to contribute answers to questions on the site, the markdown for the site is easy to use and popular items like posting screenshots are even easier since AU integrates with imgur - allowing persistent hosting of images in posts - ensuring they will always be there without worrying about bandwidth limits or if an image host disappears.
  31 [15:19] <marcoceppi> As always the interface, and site, is all geared towards high quality content - in an attempt to provide the best solutions for questions regarding Ubuntu
  32 [15:21] <jcastro> (we can take questions before he moves on)
  33 [15:22] <jcastro> QUESTION:Why use AU instead of lets say, ubuntu forums.
  34 [15:22] <jcastro> our first question!
  35 [15:23] <marcoceppi> Since everything has an up and downvote button making content not just right - but great - is what helps users to gain reputation on the site. Providing thorough instructions in your solution, linking to resources which could assist the user past the answer,  if it's a software solution using for linking, adding images where appropriate, etc help to create a holistic solution for us
  36 [15:23] <marcoceppi> ers who may also have that problem
  37 [15:23] <marcoceppi> AU and the Ubuntu Forums are both great
  38 [15:24] <marcoceppi> I'm only going to touch on slight differences between AU and the Ubuntu Forums (UF) in regards to Question and Answers because outside of that AU really doesn't offer quite as much as the UF do
  39 [15:25] <marcoceppi> In AU answers aren't linear, they're not sorted by time - but instead by votes of the content. So a great answer may be posted 2 days (and 8 literal posts later) but will likely filter to the first in the list if it's upvoted as such.
  40 [15:26] <jcastro> QUESTION: Would it be useful to have indicators to show if people are able to 'float around' 'available to help' etc or is that already there
  41 [15:26] <marcoceppi> However, we strongly discourage opinionated questions, discussion pieces, and most recommendations - as the site really doesn't work well for questions of that time. In that respect I think that the forums serve an excellent platform as it's a threaded linear view. It allows for discussions and replies and continued conversations around that subject and potentially others related to it
  42 [15:28] <marcoceppi> There's no way to tell who is online or not - but users are regularly on the site, simply asking the question will ensure someone will get to it since there are no "forum sections"
  43 [15:28] <marcoceppi> Instead we organize posts using a tagging system - allowing users to filter in or out topics of their interest
  44 [15:29] <marcoceppi> next!
  45 [15:29] <jcastro> QUESTION: Sometimes I ask a question but the site is so busy it scrolls off, now what do I do? Did I lose my chance to get my question answered?
  46 [15:30] <marcoceppi> Not at all - the question still exists there and if you ask your question on a particularly busy day and it slides off the home page it still exists in the system. If you don't receive and answer in a timely fashion that may mean you need to add details to your question (doing so will 'bump' it back to the homepage)
  47 [15:31] <marcoceppi> So it may not mean that there isn't an answer, but instead the question could be unclear - needs more details - or requires a clean up in general
  48 [15:32] <marcoceppi> "Old" unanswered questions also get added to a special section of the site under the "Unanswered" tab where users regularly can see questions untouched by any answer (or low quality answers) where they might edit the question to make it more clear or attempt to answer the question if they can manage to do so
  49 [15:33] <marcoceppi> No content on the site should really be considered "static" there is usually always room for improvement. Improving questions and answers help ensure that the content stays relevant
  50 [15:33] <marcoceppi> and continues being a solution for the foreseeable future
  51 [15:34] <marcoceppi> In addition to user rep which you get by having good content the site also rewards users with badges - one of which is called "Necromancy" or answering an o"
  52 [15:34] <marcoceppi> ... an "old question" and having that answer upvoted or accepted
  53 [15:35] <marcoceppi> There is a whole host of Badges, and Badges range from easier-to-get Bronze badges, to bit-harder-to-get Silver, all the way to the Really-hard-to-achieve Gold
  54 [15:35] <marcoceppi> Next!
  55 [15:35] <jcastro> QUESTION: Lets say, I have a problem,which is very rare,but a critical one, and other questions tend to be simpler to understand,hence get more upvotes, in the end my question is ignored.Doesnt it seem counter-intuitive.I mean stuff which can be googled get more upvotes than actual good questions.
  56 [15:37] <marcoceppi> I wouldn't say so - upvoting questions should be that the question is either of a good quality, or if you have a similar issue. Critical issues can sometimes be harder to diagnose in the system due to how the commenting system works - but we've had users regularly ask a critical or complex issue on the site and jump into the site chat to further troubleshoot and narrow the scope of the question. E
  57 [15:37] <marcoceppi> ither leading to a better formatted question
  58 [15:37] <marcoceppi> or, in best case examples, an answer
  59 [15:37] <marcoceppi> Having a "complex" or critical question shouldn't be viewed as never getting an answer, but rather a little more of a challenge to the question asker to provide as much details as possible to ensure a quick resolution
  60 [15:38] <marcoceppi> Next?
  61 [15:38] <jcastro> none yet
  62 [15:38] <jcastro> talk about how he can get attention to that complex question!
  63 [15:38] <marcoceppi> Awesome, in that case I'll keep talkin!
  64 [15:39] <marcoceppi> The site also offers other incentives for question askers and on lookers.
  65 [15:39] <marcoceppi> One example is to socially broadcast the message via Facebook or Twitter
  66 [15:39] <marcoceppi> Another example is to apply a bounty to the question
  67 [15:40] <marcoceppi> A bounty is a user (not necessarily the question asker) placing anywhere from 50-500 reputation points as a reward to whomever can answer the question and provide a solution
  68 [15:40] <marcoceppi> By doing so you can essentially "pay" a user for their hardwork in solving your question (complex, or otherwise)
  69 [15:41] <marcoceppi> However, you can't put a bounty for more rep than you actually have. So I'll dive into different ways to get rep
  70 [15:42] <marcoceppi> I've touched on asking great questions and providing stellar answers to those questions - that gets you upvotes, upvotes give you rep (typically 5-10 per vote depending on the situation)
  71 [15:43] <marcoceppi> However, rep is also rewarded to users who provide good questions. So if you're a new user, and you see a problem that could use fixing via editing, you can submit that edit to be reviewed by a higher reputationed user - and if accepted will score you 2 rep points per edit. So if you don't have an immediate question to ask and can't seem to provide a solution for some of the questions submitting e
  72 [15:43] <marcoceppi> dits to make that content even better
  73 [15:44] <marcoceppi> Will help to increase your reputation - gaining you more access to site functions!
  74 [15:44] <marcoceppi> Question askers can also "Accept" an answer
  75 [15:45] <marcoceppi> Doing so makes that as the solution which fixed the issue in the question, and tends to keep that answer to the top - regardless of votes. It also scores the answerer 15 additional rep points for providing a solution to the question asker
  76 [15:46] <marcoceppi> Rep is essentially awarded to users who constantly use the site, and participate whether it's providing content, or fixing content
  77 [15:46] <marcoceppi> Next?
  78 [15:46] <jcastro> QUESTION: when using AU iI've always gone to but going to home page all questions are truncated.  I assume this 'NoScript' kic=king in as there is a list of 4 scripts from outside sources being stopped.. why such a list of baddies such as "quantserve & adzerk"?
  79 [15:47] <marcoceppi> Ah, that's probably the "Ads" on the site. Quantserve is the service StackExchange uses for it's in house ad network to promote ads relative to the community and StackExchange community
  80 [15:48] <marcoceppi> So they're "Ads" in that they either advertise ads we've created here: which are all submitted by community members, or they show ads for other sites in StackExchange network:
  81 [15:49] <marcoceppi> These ads are designed for users, not for advertisers to make money. You're probably seeing this as a result of Adblock or some other form of ad manipulation
  82 [15:50] <jcastro> QUESTION: one of the issues I have had is posting images/screenshots to help people but because I am new on the site..I cannot..Is that going to be permanent
  83 [15:52] <ClassBot> There are 10 minutes remaining in the current session.
  84 [15:52] <marcoceppi> Posting images is limited to users who have a certain reputation level (to avoid blatant trolling and spam) If you post the image URL a higher repudiation user can edit it to be displayed or when you gain enough reputation (
  85 [15:52] <marcoceppi> So, to answer your question - yes it's temporary
  86 [15:53] <marcoceppi> After 10 reputation points you'll be able to post images, and majority of the other post actions
  87 [15:54] <marcoceppi> Next?
  88 [15:54] <jcastro> more questions?
  89 [15:55] <marcoceppi> While it may seem rather harsh - it's not very difficult to achieve 10 reputation points. However, the damage of having an offensive or lude picture posted 50 times by a bot would have it's concequences in the quality of the site.
  90 [15:56] <jcastro> ANy other tips marcoceppi?
  91 [15:56] <jcastro> (we also have time for one more question!)
  92 [15:57] <marcoceppi> I'll start typing, feel free to pop one more question in!
  93 [15:57] <ClassBot> There are 5 minutes remaining in the current session.
  94 [15:58] <jcastro> One thing I do is self document
  95 [15:58] <jcastro> if I'm in the middle of a task
  96 [15:58] <jcastro> and I can't find the answer I want on google
  97 [15:58] <jcastro> I post it as a question and answer it
  98 [15:58] <jcastro> in the past I would blog it
  99 [15:58] <marcoceppi> The site is designed to be a quality source of questions and their relevant answers. As I tell most people, when you're asking a question - take your time, write it out, add all the information you could fathom that is relevant. If a user requests additional information from you via comments edit it back into your original question rather then responding via another comment. Cutting down communica
 100 [15:58] <marcoceppi> tion and getting all the content organized in a orderly fashion will help keep the site relevant
 101 [15:59] <jcastro> but at least this way the peer review can keep the answer up to date
 102 [16:00] <jcastro> ok outta time!
 103 [16:00] <jcastro> duanedesign: ready?
 104 [16:00] <jcastro> marcoceppi: thanks for the lesson, cheers!
 105 [16:00] <marcoceppi> I fear I'm out of time - Thank you all for your questions I'll leave you with a few links: and and another example question
 106 [16:01] <marcoceppi> Thanks!

MeetingLogs/openweekNatty/UsingAskUbuntu (last edited 2011-05-06 11:54:13 by dhcp-87-104)