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Textkit Answers - Try it Out

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Textkit Answers - Try it Out

Postby Jeff Tirey » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:32 pm

Hey Textkitters

From the comment section of this post http://www.textkit.com/2011/01/hello-world/
, I was inspired by Gregarius to consider a stackexchange Q&A style tool for Textkit.

I installed this morning a php based tool that you can see at http://www.textkit.com/answers/

This style of tool is known for making it very easy to ask and answer questions and unlike a forum which organizes its data around posts, Q&A tools organize around questions and tags. There's even an RSS feed for tags and questions making it easy to follow subjects.

I would be grateful for anyone's thoughts on a tool like this. The feed of answered questions could be placed on the home page of textkit and key tags such as Latin and Greek could be placed elsewhere on the site.

If we adopt this tool, the forum here would need to change as well and turn more to discussion while shifting all questions to the tool.

Thanks,
Jeff
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Re: Textkit Answers - Try it Out

Postby furrykef » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:56 pm

I'm not so sure it's a good idea. I'd probably continue to use the forum and mostly ignore the tool except when I have a question myself.
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Re: Textkit Answers - Try it Out

Postby Jeff Tirey » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:23 am

Hi Furrykef - thanks for coming in on this topic.

That's fine if a tool like that doesn't work for you. My feelings are that a tool like Textkit Answers and the forum fill different needs and there's the opportunity to do different things with the structured data that a Q&A tool provides.

Hope you do answers some questions there though!

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Re: Textkit Answers - Try it Out

Postby annis » Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:43 pm

I have mixed feelings about this. What sort of questions would belong on that, as against the forum? I don't really see our main business here as answering questions — but educating. The forum format seems more flexible for that, even if it does mean questions get repeated.
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Re: Textkit Answers - Try it Out

Postby Jeff Tirey » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:48 pm

Hi Will

the problem is this: Textkit is seeing about 50K monthly unique visitors (it's down from over 100K) and there's very little to show for that traffic in the way of interaction. The forum is slow. Most of it is my fault due to me being so absent from my duties regarding spam. I'm trying to fix that now and I think we've turned a corner on spam but the reality is that 50% of the traffic arrives directly in the forum, usually directly on a post, and then leaves.

So for me when I look at these numbers, I ask myself 'what are the site visitors looking for that Textkit isn't providing?' and "How can Textkit better publish/format it's community knowlege in stickier ways?"

Textkit Answers is an experiment to address these questions. If nobody posts questions or answers questions then I'll pull the tool. Experiment over. I know the project is still very new, but with almost zero activity I'm feeling kinda down on it right now and I'm thinking I wasted a day and the problems with Textkit's traffic are even worse than I thought.

To address your points:

I see Textkit Answers as a useful tool for light 'transactional' questions. I'm hoping they'll be questions that are a hook to the site visitor to bring them into our community. It could be things like, "what are the best New Testament Greek Textbooks?" or "Which book of the Iliad should I try to read first?" or "Is learning Latin hard?" I just don't think for basic introduction questions like this that today's generation of internet consumers want to go through all the hoops of creating a forum account. With Textkit Answers a visitor can post anonymously and come back later to claim their question. The forum certainly has it place and I see it best suited for a deeper conversation - like the one we're having now!

So I can see the two tools co-existing quite nicely and ideally cross referencing each other.

The other aspect of Textkit Answers that I like a great deal is its ability to tag and subscribe to tags by rss. This can mean syndication and monitoring. Because I'm placing all the content under a Creative Commons license, I want to encourage the rss syndication of the tagged content elsewhere. For example, one could ask and answer questions and place that feed on their blog. Combining this with the reputation management and there's the potential to bring in a new audience.

I hope this helps explain it and I am asking for some help with gaining traction for this project from anyone who is willing to make this experiment with me.
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Re: Textkit Answers - Try it Out

Postby IreneY » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:55 pm

Well, anything where questions of the "what's the best way to learn Ancient Greek/the best book for studying X form of AG", "Will modern Greek help" etc are answered has my vote! But since we can do it with either stickies and/or a FAQ section is there any other kind of question to be allocated there?

P.S. Good thing I'm still not sure of the best way to make "Best book/better way to learn Greek" stickies eh? :D
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Re: Textkit Answers - Try it Out

Postby Lex » Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:00 am

I think a sticky FAQ post is a great idea. Maybe we could start by having people post the questions they think should be on such a FAQ. My contribution: "What dialect of ancient Greek should I start with?"
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