ITKE Community Blog

Jul 15 2010   10:29AM GMT

The Case of the Disappearing Question

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

We’ve been welcoming new members to IT Knowledge Exchange by the day, so we figured maybe it was time to update some great pointers on how to get the most out of your community. One thing that new members may run into without knowing why is the mysterious missing question. To avoid getting the reputation of being a black hole, we thought we’d clear up the specific reasons this happens to keep it from happening to you or your loved ones.

To better understand why your question suddenly fell off the edge of our forums, I’ll lay out our process:

ITJoe encounters baffling IT situation.

ITJoe posts his situation on IT Answers.

Your community moderators wade through the questions, including ITJoe’s.

We look through each question that comes into the community; we correct spelling, ask for clarification when needed (for ease of answering), or assign appropriate tags (for ease of search). We also delete questions. But, why? You might ask. The answer’s pretty simple; we delete any question that falls into one of the following categories:

  • Homework or exam questions
  • Sales pitches
  • Basic questions that can easily be answered in a search engine: “What is cloud computing?”, “What does VPN stand for?”
  • Consumer questions: “How do I change the ringtones on my BlackBerry?”
  • Job postings
  • Questions that are not enterprise IT-specific: “How do I format my spreadsheets?”

We do this in your interest, to minimize questions that don’t apply to you, whether it’s in your email topic updates, RSS or your Watchlist, we want to make sure that you’re only receiving what you signed up for. We wade through the junk questions to deliver you the most relevant content.

This is our main objective, anyway, and like it takes a village to raise a child, to run a community you need the help of the community members. See something you don’t think belongs here? Let us know! Flag a question, post a discussion or email me directly. We’ve had some great discussions posted by some of our most active members, so check them out for some great tips on asking and tagging questions, answering questions and general uses of IT Knowledge Exchange.

Want another venue to share your feedback? Here’s your chance: Fill out the 2010 IT Knowledge Exchange member survey and let us know what we’re doing right and where we can improve. (Aside from being an integral part in your community, you’ll get 250 Knowledge Points that can get you ahead in our latest contest.)

Thanks again for being a part of this community and working with us to make it as helpful as possible!

Melanie Yarbrough is the assistant community editor at Follow her on Twitter or send her an email at

1  Comment on this Post

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  • TomLiotta
    It's especially irritating to spend time on attempting to answer a question, only to find the question no longer exists upon clicking 'Add to Discussion'. Some kind of quarantine seems better. Not deleted, but held in a separate queue for a week, maybe. A homework/exam question should lose its value after only a few days. Even some of the basic questions can lead to lively and useful discussions. Tom
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