Our FAQ and About page each link to material that originated as Q&A here on Meta. This material currently includes:

In at least some of these cases and possibly all, the content we're linking to is not immediately understandable without context, which I think doesn't befit the primary mission of FAQ and About, which is to serve brand-new users. What should be linked to is a clear explanation of more detail, backing up the point on the FAQ, not a precise source in the history of our community-building deliberations. A rough analogy to what we have now would be using Talmud as the source-text in a beginner's practical Halacha class.

So, I propose that we rewrite at least some of this material as dedicated posts on Meta, written with new users in mind, with all of the content in the "Question," tagged ; and then link to these new, canonical FAQ posts. If there's other material that you feel should get this sort of treatment, please feel free to add it to this question.

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You mean like meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/q/1473? –  msh210 Feb 14 '13 at 1:10
    
@msh210, yeyasher kochachem! –  Isaac Moses Feb 14 '13 at 2:44
    
I've now edited meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/q/75 and its answer also. –  msh210 Feb 24 '13 at 6:18

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If we want to really do this right, we should follow Meta.SE's model, found at the bottom of this question: FAQ for Stack Exchange sites

Essentially:

  • Anyone can propose a FAQ question by asking it and tagging it and (and other tags, as relevant).

  • The question should be short and clear, and the answer be in an answer.

  • The post can be voted on and edited by the community, and if/when it is "ready", a mod will label it and mark it community wiki.

  • All the FAQ questions will be listed in one dedicated post, divided into sections as necessary.

That said, I'm cautious of making these kinds of posts so formalized. As they are now they are discussions which are in essence still open for anyone else to post an opposing answer which can be upvoted and become new site 'policy'. If we make them official FAQ posts then the discussion ends.

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I agree with this idea, +1, w.r.t. future proposals, and the question's idea, +1, w.r.t. the proposals linked to therein, but do not share the caution expressed in the last paragraph. It's a good idea to have policy set at some point, and once there's sufficient discussion we can set it. –  msh210 Jan 30 '13 at 15:18
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Thanks for exposing this very relevant precedent. I think many of its elements make sense here, too. Tagging a post as faq-proposal until it's "approved" and retagged faq sounds like a good idea, although I wouldn't wait for as much community activity as a large community like MSO does. Introducing each of these canonical posts with a brief Q sounds like good form. A unified FAQ index linking to the most useful/important/definitional Meta posts does sound like it would be quite useful, but doesn't seem directly necessary to solving the problem I brought up. –  Isaac Moses Jan 30 '13 at 22:58
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Like @msh210, I disagree with your final paragraph. FAQ posts need not end the discussion; they just have to crystallize the current state of it in implementable language, so that it's clear what people should do in practice. As I noted in the question, it's confusing to point to the middle of a discussion as a description of policy, even if it is the valid source of policy. The faq posts could include a line like This policy reflects the current sense of the community in this ongoing discussion. You're welcome to join in! –  Isaac Moses Jan 30 '13 at 23:07
    
@IsaacMoses I strongly support such a disclaimer. –  Double AA Jan 30 '13 at 23:59
    
In case my comment was unclear: When I referred to "the caution expressed in the last paragraph", I meant in the last paragraph of this answer. –  msh210 Jan 31 '13 at 1:33

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