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When a new user asks a question they could be writing from anywhere in the world. It would sure help to provide a good answer if they supplied the area of the world or climatic zone where they lived.

Can the magic of Stack Exchange add a hint for first time users to tell us where they live?

  • I'm fairly certain SE won't be willing to change what they have now, but I'll pass it along to the devs. The best we can do with what we have now, is to add to the FAQ (mods can edit the first section). Please modify this answer with the appropriate wording and I'll include it in the main FAQ. The second best thing that we can do is to comment aggressively and demand location info and edit that info into the question!. Here's some prior discussion on the topic. – Lorem Ipsum Dec 3 '12 at 3:18
  • I added one sentence quickly under the theory that first impressions are closer to the original thought. Revise as necessary! – kevinsky Dec 3 '12 at 3:27
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It is generally the responsibility of the author to provide enough information to get their question answered. The best tools you have to educate new users is asking good questions yourself. Users will generally imitate what they see, so be sure your questions are always complete and include information like your location… and edit any questions that can be made better and more clear.

I could see some element of the FAQ surfaced on the asking-question page. It's not a bad suggestion. But we've got to be a bit careful about adding too much "read this first..." clutter to the site. Long story short, it's mostly ignored by the folks who need it most — those that didn't read the site to see how it works in the first place.

So you're best tools are comments to ask for clarification where needed, and rigorous moderation to improve the content where you can.

  • All good points but most people do not know how to ask a good question. It's all in the context. A new user is unlikely to look around and see what other people are asking. They just want to know the answer to their problem. – kevinsky Dec 3 '12 at 21:43

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