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10. Creating New FAQs

One of the problems is that there is a lot of redundancy in the data across all FAQs. Worse, FAQs can disagree on the answers to the same questions, because they were maintained by different people at different times, and the site or subject changed over time. Also it has been pointed out that a few of the provider FAQs are bloated with outdated answers. There seems to be a desire in the larger FAQs for the FAQ to grow without bounds as it attempts to answer EVERY question that a particular forum-user has, instead of encouraging them to use the FAQ SEARCH to find the answers in other FAQs.

The guidelines for a good FAQ here should be that the FAQ sections and questions are all highly specific to the FAQ, and on-topic.

It's not really useful to have a FAQ explain what the term NID means, or how to get a gold star, unless the FAQ is, in the first case, a FAQ on network equipment terms, and in the second case, the site FAQ.

(The above is from a post by Justin)

by KeysCapt See Profile

Any registered BBR/DSLR member can start a new FAQ ... however, considering that the FAQ must be approved before it is made "public", or viewable, it is a good idea to ask someone before doing so. There may in fact already be a similar FAQ in progress, and so on.

That hurdle crossed, you will need to go to the All FAQs page to get started. At the very bottom of that page, you will see this box:

In the box, enter the short name for your FAQ. If it was for the Acme Widget forum, you might call it "acme". Then click on the "Create/Retrieve" button, and your FAQ will be started.

Next, enter the following URL into your browser address bar:
/faq/ and at the end, add the short name that you entered above. This will be the address for your FAQ.

On your new FAQ page, you will see these items:

Clicking on "Edit FAQ Properties" will take you to a page where you can start entering your headers. Pay close attention to the info in the section of this FAQ entitled Starting Out, because it's far easier to set these up correctly than to try to re-arrange them later.

If you get stuck, just get in touch with a mod.

by hockeyfun1$ See Profile edited by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2004-06-04 13:48:36

It is highly recommended that before you start creating entries in your new FAQ, you go to the "edit properties" page, and create your individual topics, or headings.

Once these have been created, changing them involves a lot of tedious work, so it's far better to get them right before you proceed with the "meat" of your FAQ.

It is also recommended that you utilize a proven numbering system which will allow you or others to add sections later. To do this, skip numbers as you make topic headings, as in:

5.0Leaving Room
10.0Next Topic
15.0Another Topic

This makes it relatively easy for you or another FAQ owner to add a new topic at a later date, and still have room for more.

In a pinch, if the FAQ you're working on wasn't set up this way, and you find yourself with this type of situation:

1. Start
2. Next
3. More
You can still squeeze a topic header in by using decimals, such as 1.1 or even 1.11.

by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2002-10-15 23:13:11

A recent change to the basic FAQ structure has created an automatic Table of Contents in all FAQs. It's automatic because it picks up each and every topic by number and creates the TOC based upon them.

It's a good idea, when building a new FAQ, to keep this in mind as you number and name your topics and their sub-topics. Topics are indented based upon their numbering; a major whole number like 3 or 3.0 is at the margin; sub-topics like 3.1 are indented. A further "child" like 3.12 will be indented once again.

Careful consideration while naming your topics will result in a useful and orderly Table of Contents in the finished FAQ.

by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2004-02-29 13:19:27

Certain moderators have the ability to make a new FAQ public. Just contact any mod and ask ... they will get in touch with those who can do it.

In general the FAQ should not be made public until such time as it is substantially complete and ready for approval.

by KeysCapt See Profile

Occasionally, when a user creates a new FAQ on the New FAQ page, a problem will develop where that user cannot access the FAQ for editing.

If this happens, notify a mod, who will contact one of the mods who can repair the problem. It may take a little time.

by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2002-10-15 23:13:23

When you are creating new topic headers in your FAQ ... that is, the items that have the numbers such as 1.0, 5.0 etc. ... do not use any punctuation, such as apostrophes in contractions (won't, can't, etc.).
Doing so will cause your FAQ to crash, and a site superuser will have to revive it.

Also, NEVER leave off the decimal after a topic number! Doing so will cause that topic to disappear and/or not be editable.
Like this:

2.0 General Info

Not like this:

2 General Info

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • I don't get you people, I get this systemwide review and I've said nothing rude or untrue. Please look into this.

    2013-01-06 13:47:08 (60632649 See Profile)

by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2004-02-07 14:33:03