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In the tour an example question (and example answers) are shown. Ideally, that should be an example what is considered by the most of MSE community as a good question.

The question which is currently shown has, at the moment, four close votes. So it probably has some shortcomings. I did not voted to close and the users who did so did not explain their reasons in comments. However, the close reason they chose is "This question is missing context or other details: Please improve the question by providing additional context..."

In connection with this, two question comes to mind:

  • How is the question shown in the tour chosen? Who makes this decision? Is it chosen by some automated process?
  • Is it the same shown there for all users? Does the same question stay there, or is it changed repeatedly?
  • If the question is further edited, will the changes be reflected in the way it is shown in the tour? (For example, if it is closed, will [closed] be added to the title in the tour, too? Will the question be updated in tour if somebody edits it to add the context. In my opinion, in this case adding context might be a simple: "I have tried the following substitution. However I got stuck after the following few steps." Or something like: "I am able to solve similar questions with an integer instead of $\varphi$, since it is a rational function.")

The question which is currently used in the tour is:1 How to compute $\int_0^\infty \frac{1}{(1+x^{\varphi})^{\varphi}}\,dx$?


1I hesitated whether to add a link to the question, since that might attract more close votes (which might then later lead to repeated reopening and closing of the question). However, anybody who sees the question in the tour can easily google it, so I would not achieve anything by not including the link. Moreover, if this question is supposed to be shown in the tour as a showcase what a good question looks like, then bringing some attention to it might lead to some improvements of that question - which is probably the good thing. (Especially if the close votes for that question are deserved.)


Here is a screenshot showing how this part of the tour looks at the moment:

screenshot from the tour

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  • $\begingroup$ From what I see on meta.SE, it seems that this question is chosen by modes from some list generated by the SE software, see: What determines the questions available for selection in the about-page?. Perhaps some of the moderators could confirm whether this is correct. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jun 18 '15 at 7:42
  • $\begingroup$ Even a SEDE query which should return possible candidates is mentioned in one of the answers, Of course, as data in SEDE are only updated once a week, some question might not appear there. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jun 18 '15 at 7:43
  • $\begingroup$ I see that since I have asked this, the question shown in the tour was changed at least twice. I suppose this was done by an automated process and not manually. (I have asked in Mod's Office whether it was change by some of the mods, but so far I have not received any response.) $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jun 19 '15 at 17:04
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The question is chosen automatically by the software at first, but it can be changed by a moderator. The question choice is rather severely limited as the question has to fulfill several critera as linked in a comment above.

I suspect that the question is thrown out when closed, and another one is automatically chosen. But it would be easier to just choose a better example now.

The question can be changed on the following page: /admin/about/choose-question

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  • $\begingroup$ That math.stackexchange.com/admin/about/choose-question mentioned in your post is visible only to moderators, right? Are the questions shown there similar to the results of the query I mentioned? (Taking into account that it will not show very recent questions, since SEDE is only updated once a week.) $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jun 18 '15 at 8:36
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak It's mod-only, and as far as I know the SEDE query should be the same as the mod tool. $\endgroup$ – Mad Scientist Jun 18 '15 at 8:43

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