What specialised additions to the standard StackExchange FAQ do we need to append to our FAQ?


A vital statistics blurb could be beneficial to our faq. This might help us get the details we need to keep some questions on topic.

This name and format is an example only, it will need to be tweaked:

  • Have you given us your pet's vital statistics?

    • Age?
    • Sex?
    • Neutered?
    • Breed/s?
    • Nature: placid, nervous, aggressive,...?
    • Background: rescue? breeder? puppy mill? rehoming?
    • How is your pet homed:

      • indoor, outdoor, apartment, house, rural...?
    • If it is a training issue or behavior problem:

      • Do you have other pets?
      • General behavior
      • When does the problem occur?
      • Where does the problem occur?
      • What have you tried?
      • What were the results?
  • This seems somewhat long and drawn out, and I don't think it will be entirely beneficial to insist the information be with every post. For example, people didn't need to know that much about my cat before being able to answer why he was patting my face. THe more information we insist people MAKE SURE they put in every question, the more complicated we make the process, and the less likely people will want to go through all of that to ask questions here.
    – Ash
    Oct 13 '13 at 19:32
  • @AshleyNunn it is a guide to help keep questions on topic like sscce.org It would not be applicable for all questions, but if the question is specific a situation with a pet it is useful and will only assist in raising the quality of answers, and help prevent the revolving door of closing/reopening questions. As we go public, it is better to minimise this the off-topic debate so as to encourage newcomers to stay.
    – user87
    Oct 14 '13 at 1:36
  • I understand that, but I don't agree that it needs to clutter the FAQ. It might be good as a meta resource we could point to, but even then, people can often ask the right clarifying questions in comments, and usually people will give us as much information as possible.
    – Ash
    Oct 14 '13 at 1:38
  • @AshleyNunn what would be the problem with drafting something, as how to write a good question -> link to -> vital statistics, tips for keeping questions on topic. Most people are not aware of the Meta resources, we want to give people the info when they land, so they understand clearly what is on topic. This is why we have the opportunity to append to the FAQ, as every site is different
    – user87
    Oct 14 '13 at 1:43
  • I realize we can append the FAQ, but we can only change the "what sort of questions should we ask here" section, and I am not sure that really fits into that category. I may be wrong though.
    – Ash
    Oct 14 '13 at 1:44
  • @AshleyNunn this is what I am proposing. Maybe I am confusing you about where to place it in the FAQ, I am not suggesting we change SE, I am suggesting we insert it into the appropriate place SE allows in the FAQ. If we want to inform people about the site in the FAQ of what is on topic, it woul dbe a good idea to append it, don't you think? Or would you prefer people go by the stock SE FAQ, then come to Meta for guidance? I prefer the idea of adding clarity, as some people need simple steps
    – user87
    Oct 14 '13 at 1:52
  • 1
    I totally understand a need for clarity - the more we know, the more we can help them, and that totally makes perfect sense. I think that both the FAQ and Meta should be used together to help guide users, as one does not and should not replace the other. We do want to try to avoid a long drawn out FAQ, though, as it will quickly discourage askers from attempting to use our site. I am not saying this is the case here, I am just concerned that this long list of required bits might be a turn off in some cases. Not all of them, certainly, but the risk may be there.
    – Ash
    Oct 14 '13 at 1:53
  • 1
    I think having the FAQ provide a more consolidated sample set of factors a question poster should be expected to be able to provide about their pet is a good idea. And to have it known that providing these beforehand could expedite an answer is also a good idea. I agree with at least age, gender, breed, training, known health issues, and presence other animals and their A/G/T/H. So far it's been very common to have to ask to have several of these things from posters.
    – JoshDM
    Nov 8 '13 at 5:03
  • @JoshDM very interesting timing of this comment, I was about to propose a meta question, do we need to keep emphasizing the use of other tags in our tag wikis? I think a link to FAQ might be better.. /would u like to propose this Q?
    – user87
    Nov 8 '13 at 5:06
  • Too late. Burma shave.
    – JoshDM
    Nov 8 '13 at 5:15
  • @JoshDM Burma shave? huh?
    – user87
    Nov 8 '13 at 5:17
  • lmgtfy.com/?q=burma+shave
    – JoshDM
    Nov 8 '13 at 5:21
  • @JoshDM how did you do that? ^^
    – user87
    Nov 8 '13 at 5:29
  • 2
    – JoshDM
    Nov 8 '13 at 5:40
  • @JoshDM hahahahahahhahahahahahhahaha too funny
    – user87
    Nov 8 '13 at 5:42

One thing to remember is that most of the FAQ (now the Help page) cannot be edited - we are only allowed to edit (if I remember correctly) the "what questions are allowed here" section.

Keeping that in mind, some sort of over-arching definition of what we consider pets might be useful (whether or not livestock are included in the definition, and so on), along with any question types we have deemed completely unanswerable (because they are too specific, or because they are out of the depth of knowledge that we can legally provide, etc). Basically, I can see that it might be helpful to avoid any sort of question that could lead to a pet owner actively blaming this site and its community if anything should happen to their pet based on specific advice they got here. It is important to note that we are not a replacement for veterinary care.

Once the community determines those sorts of things, it will be easy to create a useful guide to what sort of questions we want on our awesome site!


No lolcats or other pet meme images in posts. That's what chat is for.

Exception: unless the image is explicitly used to demonstrate a behavior or symptom. See a valid example in the chosen answer to Why does my dog sing along to Final Jeopardy?

enter image description here


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