Moderators be aware of what you are approving !
Simply Stop approving unspecific or write-my-code questions,# #send a message to the OP and then [reject] that question.#
Things that we as Moderators need to start implementing and enforcing :
You know what I'm talking about.
I miss the days where I could read this 'site every day and learn something. Yes, the quality of UA has degraded, and all the great minds are leaving, but what is the solution?
It is great that so many thousands of new users download and start using Unity, one thing this world needs is fresh innovation and different perspectives.
But the trend is obvious. More users come in without any obvious attempt to search their question, when it had been answered hundreds of times before. I know there is breathing room for some leniency here, sometimes the correct search string is elusive, and one has to wade through many search results to get close to the desired information.
I found Unity Answers by searching my questions, so I used to wonder "how are all these people that cannot use a search engine finding this 'site", until one day I saw the link to UA in the help tab of Unity. "that must be it" I thought.
Experienced people are leaving, but new enthusiastic people are joining, so giving answers and scripts to people who don't understand them (or even their own question sometimes) perpetuates. Is this how UA is supposed to work?
I used to be one of those people. Everything Unity was amazing, and I wanted everyone to know it. To use an example, there was one obviously very intelligent person on here when I started, but I used to wonder why they were so cynical in their responses. Now I totally get it, they are justified, I've even become harsh and cynical myself.
So what is the solution? How do we clean up Unity Answers?
How do we funnel all the duplicate questions to their specific past answers? How do we stop the write-my-code questions? What do we do when we give advice without code and then get the response "I am a noob, please write some code to demonstrate your answer for me" ?
I only have a couple of solutions, and they are not great. So far the trend has been this year to shut down unspecific questions, asking for advice on general practices, or asking for code, and sending them to the forums. How do we manage this, and send people to where they should be looking, and where all the excellent learning resources are?
There are some amazing blogs appearing, Mike started an awesome 'site that has so much information that your head will spin. Then there's all the youtube channels, even I started recording videos that teach programming uJS from scratch, but it is getting no views, no-one wants to learn, they just want the code.... This is the part of the problem with todays thinking. Most people here are a younger generation and have grown up with a click-for-instant-response environment. How do we guide these people with learning while keeping them enthusiastic about learning and expanding their knowledge?
Ok, so that was a bunch of more questions rather than solutions. So here is one suggestion.
I noticed at one stage, when you asked a question and started filling out the title, there would be a drop-down box of suggestions to similar questions. How about even hit the new user with information and suggestions even before they start typing a new question?
SO, user under 15 karma hits the [Ask a Question] button. The next page should be clearly stated :
Then have another button : [yes, I have searched, and checked the documentation, and I am not asking for code, Continue to ask a new question]
But who am I to say all this. I bombarded UA for 12 months with all my answers and code, I am a problem. I hope it shows I have realized this, and curbed my behaviour.
So this is where I leave my rant, open to suggestions, or to be shot down in flames because I don't have a clue what I'm talking about.
Edit : one more thought, why are users not supporting each other? If you see a good answer, upvote it, that is what the thumbs are for. Apart from a specific few users, no-one here supports their fellow unites. Accept answers that are older than 3 months if you see one, it's obvious the OP doesn't care, they got what they came for and are gone....
Here are some paraphrased lists of all the excellent suggestions from the answers to this question (subjective and argumentative as it is!) :
Things that we as Moderators need to start implementing and enforcing :
I still feel like I have missed a few points, so please let me know what I can add to this list (in point form) so the Unity Employed Moderators can get easy access to all the points without having to read all the answers / comments.
Though if they have the time, they really should, Every single line here is coming from a person who is passionate about Unity and Unity Answers, and only wants the best for and from both Unity and UA.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Thank you sincerely everyone for all your thoughts and responses. I am very much moved by the overwhelming response (yes, I am getting all emotional).
I believe this question has served its purpose and is now getting resolved. I got the opportunity to vent my frustration, all of your voices have been heard in resounding chorus, the message is now out there.
It is up to us to restore Unity Answers. We are the moderators, we are the community, we are Unity Answers.
The most valuable message from this post is :
Moderators be aware of what you are approving !
Simply Stop approving unspecific or write-my-code questions,
send a message to the OP and then [reject] that question.
A new page is being developed by the Unity employed Moderators which we can all guide and reference the new users to, so there is no excuse for not understanding what the purpose and function of Unity Answers is.
Here is that link : http://answers.unity3d.com/page/newuser.html
Now I shall meekly disappear back into the depths of the night, and watch from there the evolution of Unity Answers and its members' interactions.
Thank you each and everyone for your time and thoughts, you are all awesome people =]
And no, I don't get any karma for accepting my own answer, but I have upvoted you all.
Very interesting topic and I really felt like starting the same discussion. But who am I? I only downloaded unity a month ago. I do have absolutely no problem working with it though and even after my first day on Unity Answers I already felt more experienced than the average Joe here, but that's probably because of my programming background.
What do I think is wrong?
People expect from Unity to be a drag and drop tool, where they can easily build games in without any programming knowledge whatsoever. (And don't care learning it)
They notice that they need code for certain game behaviour, and they actually do use a search engine the first time. They end up on UAnswers and see that some guy just simply asked for code, and also recieved it. So what is their natural reaction ? They make an account and do exactly the same for all their following problems.
Not just close, but DELETE all the malformed questions (including all the old ones). Newbies will then only find well-formed questions and won't even bother making an account if they aren't motivated enough. (Ofcourse this is just an addition to all the other suggestions)
Why does this really bother?
Good questions get less attention and users who are potentional additions to the unity community just avoid this place.
On a side-note : accept-rate
Can't the accept rate be adapted to reflect the rate of a user's questions with an accepted answer, to the total amount of asked questions? (As on Stack Overflow) This can also be used to stop unthankful people from posting questions : if their accepting rate is too low they get a notification that they should first accept some answers on their questions before they can post a new question.
I also advise people to upvote good answers AND questions more frequently.
A moving post, I search thoroughly before I post anything, but then, I am not one of the newer generation ;)
A solution would be moderators that actually filter for something beyond obscenity. It would be quite simple to take some volunteers from the forums and have posts by anyone under 50~100 karma be screened by an individual who wants to clean up the n00b/troll/toenail-chewer posts. ~stares at OP~
Maybe have those individuals, if they decide to block a post, provide an auto message to the user with a reason. One containing a link to a previous topic or google search. Just an idea ^^
I supposed that I am one of the newer generations given that I am about 20-25 years old (not that I am not sure how old I am, just that you can't give away any information willy nilly, right?).
I am very new at Unity, maybe about 6-9 months, certainly not more than 12. However, because I came from a programming background, and I am a sort-of-hobbyist in Blender, using Unity is just adapting to a new IDE to me. I never have any problem with figuring out the logic to do something, the problems I ever encounter in Unity are on the configurations/settings.
OPs that don't know how to ask question
What if the user/OP doesn't have any programming knowledge (some of them are honest enough to claim that they themselves are noob)? What should we do to these group of users? They are interested in developing their own game, but they lack the knowledge/skill to do so; and unfortunately when they asked a question, because they are inexperience, they makes it sounds like they are asking for a script, and on a bad day, they end up becoming a unfortunate soul that we yelled at. Sometimes, I do feel sorry for them because them suffers for other's fault. Whenever I saw a noob question in moderation, I struggled, "Should I let it rot here at the moderation queue? What if I killed someone's passion in making game? If I approve it, what if I just help a lazy moron gets answers for his question?"
OPs that was obviously asking for script
Now comes to those that were obviously asking for scripts and not guides, even if they don't say they want a script, I will know exactly what they want after a few comments. When I answered the question and I say "this is the rough logic/algorithm", "you should look into this" or "you can figure this one out" in a cold/harsh way, usually I mean either one or more of the following:
I am not going to write the whole script for you Example: AI script, FPS-gun-aim script
There are people who have successfully wrote their own script to do the same thing, why can't the OPs? Please don't use inexperience as excuses, we all were noobs and inexperience.
Do you really need me to tell you how to do that?/It has been asked a thousand times Example: spawn random, enable GUI
It is sad that we live in an era that using Google will answer almost any question and it is so effortless that we start not to appreciate how precious these information are, but it is even sadder when there are people that do not want to use Google.
You should know the answer to this because you have asked similar questions
The OP have asked questions of similar topic not long before; if he read the answers and links, he should be capable of solving the question he is posting.
How to fix it
The harsh reality is that those who ask for ready made scripts will never change their attitude; we can ban them, they will just make a new account. I don't understand how can one live like that? How can one does not feel bad about himself when he knew that he did nothing at all but he can enjoy the fruits of other's labor?
In response to @alucardj's "This is STILL happening...I am spitting in the wind" but I'm posting as a answer because it is too long for a comment:
At this point, you are doing more than "spitting into the wind." You are providing leadership in a direction you want UA to move. I watched the list since this post, and there has been a shift. You can see it clearest in the comments like "this belongs in the forums," or "we won't write it for you" being posted by new and low karma posters. A couple of months ago that was not happening. And more questions are being closed. But it likely take more time and consistent effort on your part before the change is as complete and self-sustaining as you would like.
But I have to admit to being confused about the site's standards and your vision. I have a very short history with actively following this list (I started in mid-January). Back in January almost everything other than spam made it through the moderation queue. I left a lot of posts in the moderation queue, but they almost always were published. And after posting, they were almost never closed (and frequently answered). It was sort of like there was one traffic cop and a 1000 speeders. Occasionally someone would be tagged, but there was no practical speed limit.
Early on I understood this was site run by community values, but I saw little consistency in what is closed, and what is published. Things that I clearly thought should be closed were usually ignored by high karma individuals (and often answered by someone). Occasionally something that I thought was clearly out of bounds would be published and participated in by high-karma posters. I've read every closed post that I run across in an attempt to figure out the values, and am still stumped. Note I'm talking about the community values as practiced, not something written somewhere and ignored. So here is a laundry list:
How do I... - The statement was made recently that we should not be answering how-do-I-type questions. Here is question I commented on that was later closed. But to me, this is a good question. It is asking something specific. The likely answer is that it requires a plugin or it cannot be done, but even that has value. I've found the answers to dozens of my personal question of a similar nature by searching UA. An answer to this kind of question has far more value to UA in the long run than the numerous null reference errors we solve each week. So after having this question closed, I started to answer questions this morning and ran across this question and this question. Both of them are of the how-do-I variety. Should they be close? If so why weren't they closed? If not, where is the dividing line? Here is an even more general question. I was tempted to post a shader and a couple of links to get him started, but did not know if it was appropriate.
Off Topic (non-Unity specific) Questions - I remember the first time one of my answers was closed due to being off topic (and the last time until a couple of days ago). I was confused since it did not seem all that much different than many other answers on UA. My confusing increased when an hour later the same person who closed my answer made a lengthy off-topic (in my opinion) answer. Since then I've watched the list with the idea of off-topic questions in mind. Off-topic questions are rarely closed (unless they are way out there) and usually they answered, often by high karma individuals. They come in a variety of forms:
Should they be closed? Where is the dividing line?
Code it for me - Many of these are blatant and are easily closed, but many are more subtle. You give an answer and get back, "I don't understand, can you give me an example script?" Where is the line between help and coding it for them? In addition Karma has gamified UA to a certain extent, so many others will come along and provide the script if I don't.
Duplicate Questions - A good deal of the questions on this list have been answered before...in some form, but I rarely see duplicate questions closed unless they are blatant. I see several driving forces beyond just standards for this issue:
Poorly asked - Frequently questions are asked without enough specific information to be answered in a reasonable way. They are rarely closed. Typically someone asks a list of questions to clarify. Should they just be closed with a reference to how to ask questions? To me this is tricky ground since many posts are by people for which English is not their first language. It can be hard for them to formulate the question. On the other hand, it is hard for us to answer as well, and the questions likely don't meet the standard for the list.
multiple questions - Some questions are really two or more questions. They are rarley closed. In fact the OP is rarely asked to separate the questions. They are less likely to get answered, but often they do get answers to one or more of their questions. What should happen with the questions? Should they routinely be closed?
If there are clear community standards, then it would help to codify those standards into the closing mechanism. Have list of 10 or 20 specific reasons for closure, and including a link to specific suggestions for the OP to either improve the question or where to seek help elsewhere. For example, if we don't do code translation, then that should be a reason for the closure and the message should include a link to resources for translation. It would be much easier and less time consuming for the closer, and user would provide a common experience with respect to the standards.
answered Apr 29, 2013 at 08:04 PM