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How to maximise engagement with questions posted on ROS Answers?

asked 2021-05-18 02:13:37 -0500

Py gravatar image

updated 2021-05-18 02:31:17 -0500

I've been posting questions on ROS Answers for a while now and I have found it to be an amazing resource. It's helped me a great deal and it is vital part of the robotics community. However, I'm sometimes unsure whether I am following best practices as some questions I post seem to get a lot of views, comments and answers and some don't.

My question is, what do I need to do to maximise engagement in a question?

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answered 2021-05-18 11:44:48 -0500

A question I've asked myself a few times! It can definitely be tricky, when you maybe aren't even sure what the problem is, to write a clear engaging question.

Disclaimer: I'm definitely new enough to ROS answers that I won't claim to have the answer, and haven't looked at your past questions so don't take this as personal advice, but my general tips are as follows:

DO:

  • Have a clear and concise title; it doesn't need to have all the details, but should give people a good idea of what issue you've run into
  • Use appropriate tags so the right people can find your question, or know to click in when looking through unanswered questions
  • Make the question as readable as possible; USE CODE FORMATTING please. I've .
  • Let us know what you've tried; people don't want to do your homework for you. Show people you've exhausted basic google search results and tried solutions from existing questions or github issues, or tell us why they don't apply.

DON'T:

  • Post lengthy, single format blobs of text and code and console output that make the whole thing unreadable
  • Post vague, unactionable statements and try to pass them off as questions; if you're looking for discussion and input from several users, I've found ROS Discourse to be a more reliable resource

The last comment I have is that the speed and quality of the help you can find on ROS Answers is strongly related to the popularity of the topic (see Kathrine's comment here). There are a ton of people on ROS Answers qualified to help with core ROS behaviors and popular packages like Nav2. But lots of unanswered questions are in niche areas where you're rolling the dice a bit with your question, in the hopes that someone qualified sees it. You can increase your odds of your question filtering to the top of the right person's feed by updating/commenting to "bump" the question if it goes unanswered for too long.

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Thanks very much for this. Great example of community support :) I'm currently going through some unanswered questions and checking them against your guidance. I'm wondering if there's a way to understand the popularity of certain tags? In particular, I'm looking for some help on RobotWebTools (specifically ros3djs) but the questions I have aren't attracting much attention... maybe this topic is less popular in the community? I think I'll do some updates to see if I can improve the question and stimulate some interest.

Py gravatar image Py  ( 2021-05-19 03:59:04 -0500 )edit

Alas, popularity begets popularity... There's definitely a bit of a positive feedback loop on that front.

Funny you should mention RobotWebTools though - it looks like they had a bit of a lapse in active maintainership and there may be a new working group dedicated to supporting it in the not too distant future. I'm not involved with it myself, but that working group might be a good place to seek guidance? Especially if you're willing to contribute back to the community. I won't speak for them though :)

shonigmann gravatar image shonigmann  ( 2021-05-19 10:41:44 -0500 )edit

That's great. I'll check that out :)

Py gravatar image Py  ( 2021-05-20 05:00:47 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2021-05-18 02:13:37 -0500

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Last updated: May 18