As a beginner who has experiences of vBulletin forums, I have some questions:

1) what is difference between a forum and stackexchange?

2) How can I recognize moderators?

3) is there any PM system?

4) are downvoters unknown (and don't have to explain)?

5) do moderators see deleted posts?

6) do they know downvoters?

7) why answers are not sorted? How can one sort it?

8) is there any sort of signature? (like vBulletin/MyBB/..)

9) Can the system recognize one single user with mutiple IDs? Deos it violate rules?

10) Ask Once - Answer Once? How about discussions?

11) Is there any personal blog for a user? (like codecall.net)

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    $\begingroup$ In general, if you have additional questions, then just start a new question instead of editing your already existing question. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Jan 30 '13 at 18:56
  • $\begingroup$ For 11, you may see my profile for a quick start to set up a free personal math blog, or view my answer to this question for detailed explanations. $\endgroup$ – GNUSupporter 8964民主女神 地下教會 Dec 4 '18 at 21:44

9. See the previous thread, Could I have two accounts? My understanding is that this is not particularly encouraged, but it is also not treated as a violation of rules unless you do things in bad faith like upvoting yourself, getting around rate limits, etc.

10(a). "Ask Once - Answer Once?" I'm not sure I understand the question. The SE system is designed with the aim that there is a single canonical post for any question, so that the best answers to that question can be found in one place. So if you ask a question that is the same as an existing one, it will be closed as a duplicate. If you've asked a question and it has not received any good answers, you shouldn't make a new post with the same question; instead, see How to grab users' attention on an old question? On the other hand, it is certainly acceptable to post more than one answer to a single question if you have found multiple different ways of solving it.

10(b). "How about discussions?" They are explicitly discouraged on the main site. StackExchange is designed for questions with definite answers, not for discussions. If you want to get into a discussion with other users of the site, please use our chatroom instead.

11. No, SE does not provide a blog for you. You can host your blog anywhere else and link to it in the About Me section of your profile.

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    $\begingroup$ Re (9): I am not sure what multiple ID's mean. It could mean "multiple accounts", which is addressed in the answer here already. But it could also mean "multiple OpenID log-ins". In which case: "Yes, you can associate multiple OpenID credentials to the same StackExchange account." $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Jan 31 '13 at 8:22

First, try to look through the FAQ: https://math.stackexchange.com/faq

  1. https://math.stackexchange.com/about The key thing (IMO) is that this site is not a site for discussion, but for providing answers.

  2. The moderators have a diamond next to their username. See here: https://math.stackexchange.com/users?tab=moderators for a list of mederators

  3. You can raise a flag on any post or comment. If you do that, then a moderator will read your flag as explained here : https://math.stackexchange.com/faq#flagging

  4. Yes, downvoters are unknown. I don't know if moderators know how people vote You can (in theory) see if a persons reputation all of a sudden drops by one point. If that happens around the same time as a downvote, you can make a guess of who downvoted you. In general, don't take downvotes personal. Some consider it good practice for a downvoter to leave a comment on why they downvoted you (as I did on one of your recent answers). But they don't have to comment. See here also: http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/8328/is-it-ok-to-try-to-identify-downvoters/8332#8332

  5. Yes. Moderators and all users with over 10,000 reputation points can see deleted answers. They all can see deleted questions when the URL is given. It is easier for moderators to find the URL to deleted questions (than other members).

  6. No. Moderators are not privy to that information. More precisely, moderators do not know who casts what vote on which post. But moderators have access to some aggregate information (who cast an abnormally large number of votes for/against a given user) which allows them to see if someone is abusing the website.

  7. You can sort the answers by active, the oldest, and most votes. You see these options to the right of where it gives you the number of answers.

  8. No. Posts are all automatically signed with your "card" (that's the little box containing your user name and reputation that shows up on posts you posted or recently edited). Using additional signature or tagline is frowned upon.

For what people with different levels of reputations can do see here: https://math.stackexchange.com/faq#reputation

To all: Please feel free to edit this answer to correct mistakes.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "You can (in theory) see if a persons reputation all of a sudden drops by one point. If that happens around the same time as a downvote, you can make a guess of who downvoted you." This doesn't work for questions (and is a waste of time regardless). $\endgroup$ – Jonas Meyer Jan 30 '13 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ @JonasMeyer: I agree. Indeed it is a waste of time. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Jan 30 '13 at 17:56

7) They are sorted by

enter image description here

and even more funny: I think the sorting stays till YOU change it. Check this where I sorted it by "oldest" and change it. The next viewer should see your sorting option (maybe you post it as a comment to keep some track).

It least this is what I found by using my PC and tablet in parallel...

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ No, the sorting doesn't "stay". Changing the sorting changes your default sorting for your account. It doesn't affect what other users see on their own computers when logged in using their own accounts. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Jan 30 '13 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ @WillieWong oh true, which at least settles another of my outstanding meta questions.It seems to be the same for user pages, right? $\endgroup$ – draks ... Jan 30 '13 at 19:56
  • $\begingroup$ Aye, that be the case. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Jan 31 '13 at 8:20
  • $\begingroup$ Good to know... $\endgroup$ – draks ... Jan 31 '13 at 10:12

Most of your questions are answered in the new About page., specifically #1, #2, #7, and #10. The list of moderators is available from the USERS page.

3) is there any PM system?

No. However, if you reference someone by @username in a comment or in the Mathematics Chat (note, you need 20 reputation points to participate in chat) they'll get a notification. (see notifications and messages by clicking on the StackExchange bug/icon in the uppermost left hand corner of the page)

4) are downvoters unknown (and don't have to explain)?

Yes, but a comment with an explanation is requested in a pop-up, and is considered polite.

8) is there any sort of signature? (like vBulletin/MyBB/..)

No, however, if you reach the privilege level of established user, you acquire an expanded user card: image


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