I just read a very nice little GD thread, “Word” up, Christians, in which Czarcasm asked the meaning of the word “Word” in the Christian religious context, and after a few other comments, Polycarp gave a long, funny, interesting and detailed answer which would seem to cover the subject entirely. I expect that, other than a few more congratulatory posts, there won’t be much more to say in the thread and it will drop into oblivion. As good as this answer was, the thread probably isn’t a good candidate for threadspotting because it doesn’t invite further participation like most of the threadspotting threads.
Now, were this a question put in to Cecil, Polycarp’s response would have been a pretty good staff report (though perhaps one a bit short on citationos). Were it so, it would have been indexed with the staff reports and readily available to be cited if the question came up again. I find that there are some types of perennial questions that get long and thoughtful answers, but when the question is repeated, it isn’t particularly helpful to link to the prior thread(s) where this was discussed.
If were looking for more front page content to draw people in, perhaps we can pick up some of these well answered questions from the SDMB and reformat them into the Staff Report question and answer format (with appropriate disclaimsers), and index them with the Cecil’s Columns and Staff Reports so they may be referenced later.
I think this would be a relatively quick and easy to get additional new content, and to recognize the great answers so many of our members provide.
I don’t see it. The only cite for that entire post was basically “Because Polycarp said so.”
There are many people who read the column but don’t read the board. They have no idea who Polycarp is or why anyone should listen to his opinion. I agree it has the makings of a Staff Report but Poly would have to put in a lot more work. I may have missed it but I don’t see any citations.
It’s a question for Christians. If all the Christians give it a mad props, citations are pretty secondary. In the post-Catholic-only world, it’s not like there’s any one entity that can answer for the current state of Christian doctrine. Citing any one schism’s theological work is problematic unless it is universal. If it is universal, you just need the agreement of the Christian masses.
There is another word for those “mad props” you mention. It’s called a citation. The only way that the answer would be considered a primary source for an answer to a question of Christian philosophy is if the author were a renowed expert in the field (even then there would be cites). Instead we have an answer by an anonymous message board poster. You and I may trust the answer do to our interactions with the poster but the proposal was to make it part of the column.
Polycarp: assuming you spent lots of time working on the answer, and would like to expand to provide some cites, and want to submit it as a potential “Staff Report” or “Special Report,” then please email me. I’d be glad to put it in front of Ed (the Boss of the Staff Reports) to see what happens.
I don’t see how we would go about setting up an authority for who determines what the “well answered” questions are. If the PTB do see a well answered question they can do further research and write a Staff Report on it. That would be their was of declaring a question is well answered.
What I would support is a database of frequently answered questions. A sticky in GQ that would link to questions that come up over and over again. If people have something new to add to the subject they can bring up the old thread.