I was just browsing, for no reason at all, the Tour page, and noticed it's in the same infant state as it was in the beginning of private beta.

Having a an informative tour page is important, because that's where we divert new users to be acquainted with the mechanics of Stack Exchange network, and with the scope of our own Stack.

We've had a positive experience with filling in the "Help" -> "On-topic" page - I think we can fill in the tour as well.

  1. Starting with the example question, since I know it can be changed by mods. There is (as described in this meta on SFF, and in this main meta post and this announcement) an automatically-generated list of questions that are eligible to become example questions - due to their length, score, etc. Mods could post a list of those questions here, after which point we could choose one and use it for the tour. - the list is currently empty :(

  2. The "Ask about" and "Don't ask about" fields need to be filled as well. My understanding is that it has to be a condensed list of things that are on-topic and those that aren't.

    • A source of inspiration is the newly-filled "On-topic" page; one other source is this whole meta, specifically questions with the tag.

    • One thing to remember is that both ("On-topic" and "Off-topic") lists have to be concise but still give a clear idea of this site's scope.

Propose both an example question and "on-topic"/"off-topic" items in the answers below.

  • 2
    We can't actually edit the example question. The software will select a question from our site if the question and it's answers are (1) short enough to display, and (2) have a positive score (or something like that). There currently aren't any questions or answers that meet these requirements, which I suppose is a good thing: this site shouldn't be encouraging one sentence answers.
    – user111
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 14:22
  • @Hamlet See this meta - it looks like there's a pre-defined list of eligible question, of which you (the mods) can choose. In any case, I this has to be done, with CMs if needed, because not having a tour page is embarassing. Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 14:33
  • 3
    Yeah, exactly, there is a pre-defined list. And there aren't any questions on that list, because none of the questions meet the criteria. Hence why we can't change it.
    – user111
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 14:43
  • @Hamlet Surely we can still fill in the other parts of the tour? Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 14:44

1 Answer 1


Example question

As noted by @Hamlet in comments, there are currently no possibilities available for an example question for this site. Let's keep monitoring this Data.SE query so that we can spot if one appears.

Unfortunately, the criteria for choosing example questions aren't really optimal for sites such as Literature. As clarified on main meta, the answers need to be short and free of formatting, which means no long detailed explanations and no block quotes - two of the things that indicate good answers on this site. Perhaps at some point we'll find a good questions with good answers which is still eligible for the Tour, but don't hold your breath waiting.

Ask about / don't ask about

For this, the most obvious place to start is the list we've already installed on the on-topic page.

How does this look? (Feel free to edit or make suggestions in comments.)

Ask about ...

  • interpretations of specific passages or aspects of a work of literature
  • the history or context around literary tropes, conventions, awards, etc.
  • identification of stories or quotes you can't place
  • other specific questions about literature

Don't ask about ...

  • reading recommendations
  • questions about creating literature yourself
  • questions about languages in general, not just as they relate to literature
  • So glad that my patrol found this question and answer. It evokes a potential third branch of SE. 1) Strict Q/A. No holds barred. No wounds bound. 2) Meta. On to: 3) Opinion. Likely to be ignored, but a politely potential slough for half of the questions that crop up under 1, strict Q/A.
    – lauir
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 1:21
  • 2
    @humn - it's called Literature Chat.
    – Mithical Mod
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 9:41
  • Just a suggestion, and you've probably already thought of this, but might you want to suggest writers.SE or other SE sites under your second and third bullet points on things not to ask? Just an idea, so take it or leave it. :)
    – anonymous2
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 19:43
  • 1
    @anonymous2 I did think of that, but it would add text which isn't strictly necessary to the running of this site, and I'm not sure what the length limit is on these things. Writers and the English language sites are already mentioned on the corresponding help centre page anyway; this is just the very minimal tour page.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 19:47
  • Went ahead and posted this on the tour. If you want to make changes, just edit this answer and ping me.
    – user111
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 17:09

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