There are many questions which are basic and probably will be asked sooner or later on a site about Portuguese. Should we try to post these questions now, to make sure we have questions for everyone once (or if) we "go public"? Or should we wait until someone else posts them?

(Also see Sobre questões superficiais)

  • 1
    I found this (old) blog post, which talks a bit about this: Your New Site: Asking the First Questions
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 22:52
  • This is when Robert Cartaino had power and he would pursuit quality. Today it's a new dark era at SE.
    – Maniero
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 22:57
  • 6
    @bigown Let's not be too pessimistic here and hope we can get some guidance. We can also vote to close (and downvote) bad questions, which is also an important part of beta.
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 23:00

2 Answers 2


This is my opinion on it:

Experimenting? Sure. While in private beta, we can try out a variety of questions and use them as examples when discussing what is on-topic. If exploring the boundaries of what is on-topic, I'd say:

  1. post just one "fake" question;
  2. see how it is received; and
  3. bring your findings to meta for discussion if necessary.

Seeding? No. However, I don't think "to make sure we have questions for everyone" is a good reason. Filling the site with many fake questions would dilute attention to real questions; and on a language site, I think we do not need to worry about having too few questions. (I have no statistics to back that up; it is just my hunch.)

Guessing? No. If you know the answer to your question already, there is a good chance that you aren't asking a question that is useful to others. I am a learner, and I don't think I would ever need to ask Conserto ou Concerto?, for example. I don't see much reason to have such a question unless the OP really doesn't know (which isn't clear to me, but might be the case). I don't mean to argue against canonical Q&As, but they should have some grounding in questions people actually ask.

  • I think it's pretty obnoxious of me to post in English... I'll work on a crude translation if people agree that this is the right approach (as indicated by votes) so that everyone can read it.
    – Frank
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 23:11
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    I don't know if it still applies, but meta sites should preferably have at least an English translation (or be conducted mainly in English): meta.french.stackexchange.com/questions/78/…
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 23:15
  • @Earthliŋ Oh wow, thanks for the reference. That runs counter to my expectations.
    – Frank
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 23:16
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    @Frank "Filling the site with many fake questions would dilute attention to real questions" — not if the community doesn't forget to vote. And in both directions, not just up.
    – JNat StaffMod
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 16:35
  • @JNat Yeah, that's true. Just to give an example of a good "X vs Y" question by the same user: portuguese.stackexchange.com/questions/143/… That's a question I've had, as a learner.
    – Frank
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 16:38

Trying to demystify some jargons:

In my humble opinion, of course.

It can be easily found on a quick search on Google

So what? Others sites across the internet usually don't have any kind of quality control. We do! If you copy and paste the first result for a simple answer here you'll probably get some rep points, but if a better answer is written especially for that question it will be better ranked than the previous one.

So, who is lazy now? The OP that didn't care to search on Google before or the ones that don't want to spend their valuable time to answer a better answer than a copy-and-paste one?

Let's make Portuguese Language the site that everyone loves to look for the content they're interested, due to the high amount and quality questions and answers they can find here. This happens to me when I'm searching for some programming question, I give full preference to StackOverflow, because in most of the cases it has the best and direct answer, I prefer to not spend time looking in other sites.

It's too simple for this site

Simple for whom? A simple question for one might not be as simple to others. Argumentations that the question is so simple that should be closed, for me is lack of humbleness. What about people that don't know the answer? How would they feel if they ask a simple question that community consider that it doesn't deserves to be answered? Where are they going to look for this information?

Furthermore, what damage does it cause to the community?

The OP knew the answer beforehand

Who cares? When you answer you're not helping an individual, you're helping an incountable number of anonymous visitors that visit the site every single day.

Accordingly to the Area 51, 90% of the traffic comes from search engines, these people deserves an answer for what they're looking for.

Answering your questions

Should we try to populate this site with questions?

Hell yes! This is an Question & Answer website, right? Sure we have to populate it with questions. Or does anyone think that is it a better idea to populate it with pedantic comments?

High quality ones, please

There are many questions which are basic and probably will be asked sooner or later on a site about Portuguese. Should we try to post these questions now, to make sure we have questions for everyone once (or if) we "go public"? Or should we wait until someone else posts them?

If the OP spends effort enough to make them high quality, why not to ask now?

My considerations

Let's cut the crap out and start to answer questions instead of discussing on what is the better way to make the OP feel more miserable.

Questions are what make the site moves, without them we can't go on. Let's make effort on "How to make this question more adequate to the site", instead of the exactly oppose.

  • 1
    Excellent. As I already said I think we should avoid "ease" questions on private beta. We need populate (seed) the site with high qulity questions to show to newcomers what is appropriate here.
    – Maniero
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 16:54
  • Here's what I meant by guessing: Suppose the OP knows the answer beforehand and the question is absurd and of use to no one, like "Does mês mean the same thing as the English word mace?" or "What is the difference between sem and se and e?". Nice way to get and give some rep, and certainly doesn't meet normal closure reasons (like too broad), but to be discouraged in some way (like downvoting or at least not upvoting), right? There will be enough real questions to go around; don't y'all worry.
    – Frank
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 16:55
  • 2
    @Frank in that cases we should put the quality control system to work better: the vote. If absurd questions are getting high voted, it means that there is more problem with the community instead of only the OP.
    – Math
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 16:57
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    Absolutely great answer. A question's difficulty and its quality are not the same. Those two factors should be analyzed differently, because they affect the site in different way. Having easy but useful and high-quality questions is incredibly benefitial to the site and community. It brings people into the site and into the community, people that learn to value the quality and help that they're given here, and pass it on forward with their own answers. Conflating quality and difficulty is incredibly dangerous and can seriously hurt a young community.
    – Gabe
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 19:28

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