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HansonKerman

What's the difference between a "question" and a "regular forum post"?

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So, I was growing around the forums on my second day here, and I noticed that there are different kinds of threads known as Questions, and they have Answers and Best Answers (aka Solutions to me).

 

So, now that I've posted this, what is the difference between Questions and Not Questions and what makes something a Question/Not Question?

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Technically speaking, a question is a post posted in the forums where posts are questions. A non-question is a post in every other forum.

Practically speaking, if you have a question that has an answer to it (a specific answer, like "how do docking ports work" or something) then you should post it in the appropriate forum and it will be a "question" post. Then when people answer it, others can vote those answers up and when voted up they move to the top of the page, in order of number of votes. When one solves your problem, you can mark it as correct and it goes to the very top no matter how many votes it or other posts have. Then, people know at a glance if the problem's been solved. If you're just curious what people's opinions are (with no specific answer like "what do you think about SpaceX going to Mars" or something) then you should post it in the appropriate forum and it will be a regular post. People can reply and "like posts" but there is no sorting other than by date.

Realistically speaking, we as users frequently treat both the same, for better or worse :)

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It's all the same, except the Gameplay and Technical Support sub uses a variation on the basic forum layout. 

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20 hours ago, HansonKerman said:

So, now that I've posted this, what is the difference between Questions and Not Questions and what makes something a Question/Not Question?

Just to elaborate on the answers above:  The forum has a couple of different types of "layout".  Most of the forums here (such as this one, Kerbal Network) are in a "standard" layout.  A few, however-- basically, "Gameplay Questions" and the various technical support forums-- are in a "Q&A" layout.

The main difference between the two is that for the Q&A layout, the assumption is that the original post is "somebody needing an answer to a question" and that the various other posts will be attempted answers to that question.  So for the Q&A forums, there's a "vote" button that people can click on when they think "this is a good answer to the question"-- and the original poster has the ability to click on a button that means "this post here answered my question!"  That has a few effects:  first, posts that get voted up are displayed at the top of the thread (regardless of chronological order), and if any post got marked by the OP as "the" answer, it will be on top.  Second, if any post has been marked as "the" answer by the OP, then when people are looking at the list view, they can see a green check mark next to it meaning "question answered!" so they know they don't need to go looking to provide an answer themselves.

Philosophically, the idea is that for Q&A forums, they're very OP-centric:  the OP poses some problem or question, and the various posts tend to be focused on trying to answer that one person's question, with the idea that when it's been answered, then the thread is pretty much "done".  Whereas all the other ones (the "discussion" forums) are more about ongoing discussions where people are posting back and forth at each other, and there's not really any "done", per se-- the discussion keeps going as long as people are interested.  We've got some discussion threads here, for example, that are lively and active and have been going on for years and have literally thousands of posts in them.  (The "What did you do in KSP today?" thread is one such example.)

Note that posts in the "discussion" forums can be questions, too-- but they tend to be open-ended what-do-you-think questions instead of how-do-I questions, e.g. "What's your favorite type of rocket?" or "How do you like to design your Duna missions?" or "What's your favorite moon?" or what-have-you.

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