If you’ve asked a question on Answers before, you know the drill. In the preview stage prior to posting, five proposed categories pop up and one will be automatically selected as the likeliest fit. If it’s not quite right, you can choose one of the others on the list or click on the Browse Categories tab to grab one from the entire hierarchy of Answers categories. It’s important to get it as close as you can during this step because you can’t move a question once it’s posted.
Who cares about categories? We do—and so should you. Putting your question in the appropriate category increases your chances of getting a quick and sensible response, especially from an expert or top contributor who may be focusing on that particular subject area.
Correctly categorized questions are a timesaver — whether you need some quick advice or you’re just scanning for something to answer in your spare time. We don’t want to see your guacamole recipe (no matter how good it is) while looking for dry skin treatments in Beauty and Style. An avocado mask, however, would be most welcome there.
It’s not always easy to find the perfect place to put your question so an occasional mismatch won’t earn you a violation. However, if it happens over and over again people will talk—and then they’ll report you. In other words, it will definitely raise some red flags and a violation could be coming your way.
Now let’s talk about what not to do with categories. If you’re using them as a shortcut to areas where you want to stir up trouble—please stop. If you really must ask if vegetarians eat crab apples, I’m guessing you meant to post this burning question in Jokes and Riddles, not in Vegetarian and Vegan.
The same goes for trolling other targeted categories: Women’s Studies, Religion, Global Warming, Soccer, Politics—there are more, but you get the idea. Categories were not created to make life easier for malcontents who like to cloak attacks in the respectable clothes of a genuine question.
The Yahoo! Answers community has contributed a ginormous (to use a technical term) amount of useful information to share with everyone, and categories just make it a whole lot easier to find what you need when you need it. So please take a little extra time before you post that question to make sure it’s going to be filed in the right place.
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