Mi Yodeya has a beautiful, new About page, and our moderators have the new ability to edit some parts of it. One particularly flexible power is that they are able to edit the initial paragraph, which currently reads:

The current initial paragraph is:

Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about Judaism.

Would it make sense to add some form of our professional advice disclaimer in this opening paragraph? I believe that the distinction between a rabbi who provides personal professional advice and a crowdsourced information community is an important part of what we are about, and that this could therefore fit there, thematically. In addition, I maintain, as I have in previous meta posts about this disclaimer, that it's important to display it as prominently as possible, to try to keep from misleading readers.

If you disagree with this suggestion, please feel free to downvote and/or to post an answer explaining why.

If you agree with this suggestion, please feel free to upvote and/or to post an answer with suggested wording that would fit near the top of the About page.

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1 Answer 1

I recommend following the initial paragraph with something like:

Like any library, Mi Yodeya offers tons of great information, but does not offer personalized, professional advice, and does not take the place of seeking such advice from your rabbi.

In addition, it might make sense to add a line to the "Don't ask about" section, below (Which the moderators can also edit), like:

Requests for personal, professional guidance.

(It occurs to me that this stance conflicts a bit with the general Stack Exchange directive, expressed in the uneditable part of that section of the About page, to "Focus on questions about an actual problem you have faced. Include details about what you have tried and exactly what you are trying to do." In fact, while this directive is perfect for the behemoth programming site that Stack Exchange grew out of, it doesn't fit very well for any of the more intellectually-oriented, rather than practically-oriented sites. Some examples would be Skeptics, History, Philosophy, SF&F, and Movies & TV. Perhaps we should suggest a change to this language for at least some sites to Stack Exchange. UPDATE: This concern has now been raised on Meta.SO by Shog9.)

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Have a look at C.SE's version of Do and Don't Ask: christianity.stackexchange.com/about –  Double AA Jan 20 '13 at 2:03
    
@DoubleAA Thanks. Their formulation of this concept there looks good, too. –  Isaac Moses Jan 20 '13 at 2:59
    
I'm particularly fond of the two pictures approach. –  TRiG Jan 21 '13 at 20:44
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@TRiG, Nice parable! What's missing from the second picture, at least from MY's point of view and in my opinion, is canonical literature. I won't try to torture the parable to make a version that includes it. –  Isaac Moses Jan 21 '13 at 20:50
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I've effected the change to the opening section. I have not (yet) made the change to the list of good/bad questions, which probably needs more editing than mentioned in this answer. –  msh210 Jan 29 '13 at 19:07
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...by which I mean... –  msh210 Jan 29 '13 at 19:09
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