Feedback and then some...
The one suggestion to not have the “queues for asking a question” close will not be considered however. Asktom used to work that way. It was an email link. I couldn’t go on vacation, do my day job, take a break – anytime. That and it just didn’t scale, I couldn’t keep up with the inbound questions. Enter – the queue. I control how many new questions I accept. I try to get a couple of hour turn around if at all possible – a day or two at most (usually over the weekend – or when an emergency comes up). In order to get a fast turnaround, I must control the number of inbound questions.
I did think of a different queuing idea though. Let me know what you think. I’d let people “sign up” to ask a question – this line could be as long as it wants to get. Now, every time I opened the queue up for new questions (I normally limit it to about 10 or 15 at most at a time), I could notify 20% of that number (say 2 out of 10) via email that “you can ask your question now” and give them a link that would let them do so. That would let the other 8 out of 10 questions go to the public at large.
That way, I could tell you “where in line” you were (how many in front of you) and based on the rate I’ve been taking questions over the last period of time – how long it might take to get your slot… Before you got into line – you could see how long it was as well – and how long it might take (that would maybe keep it from growing infinitely long?)
I’m not sold on the idea myself – for if I do the average of 200/300 questions a month, the “line” could get quite large (and full of bad email addresses as they change over time).
I am going to close questions – after 4 weeks – except for emergency bug fixes (sort of a private message you can leave that I WILL read – as I’ll have it notify me). That I’m pretty much set on. To cut down on the use of the followup as a “let me ask the same thing, but differently, with my tables etc….”. I really want to have more “shorter” question/answers out there.
I like the “user metadata tagging” suggestion – that’ll likely be there. You can tag the article with something you thing people might use to “find” it later.
Regular Expression searches – interesting, but a hard nut to crack. I use Oracle Text to efficiently index – regex on the clobs (plural) will be not so efficient I think. Will have to research that one.
But lots to absorb there, thanks much for it all.