So when a user asks a question, they get a helpful sidebar that looks like this:

HOW TO ASK sidebar

The things that are linked are:

  1. Meta
  2. The Help Center
  3. How to Ask

Apparently I already knew this and wondered if it could be edited.

Spoiler Alert!

It can be edited by devs only :(

In the 10 months since asking that on meta, I hadn't given it a thought until one of our distinguished users asked an off-topic question and then made this delightful comment:

you should put that information in the sidebar next to the question - would probably be better than putting it in the help center. I don't visit the help center before I ask a question.

Now while we could get on our high horses and tell users to RTFM, we know they don't, which is why we have all sorts of systems in place to nudge people in the right direction.

It may be a good idea for us to revisit this sidebar, and perhaps request the devs to take a second look at letting us lowly individual communities edit the sidebar to make the user experience better. This may save us a lot of headaches in the long run.

  1. Do we want to be able to edit the sidebar?
  2. If so, what the heck should be in there?


1 Answer 1


jmac has flagged a couple off my answers as off-topic so I thought I'd put in my two cents. based on the on-topic center that he has linked both times, here's my attempt at putting the contents of that page in a concise form for the sidebar (in addition to what is already there):

- questions involving a specific job 
- legal questions
- questions regarding your CV/resumé
- questions about how to do a job
- questions regarding salary
to see why these are not appropriate, 
see the [help center][1]

or something along those lines

  • 3
    Welcome to Workplace Meta Cole! Thanks for participating. Our community is 100% volunteer, and is made better by people who are willing to improve it (like you're doing here). We really appreciate it, and hope you stick around!
    – jmac
    Apr 3, 2014 at 6:34

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