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This question was a little bit problematic as it asks for one type of information (how many) but implies a host of other questions that could or should have been asked on MSO. Also, it's a question about StackExchange, and people think those should be asked at MSO, even though it's a question about UX.

The observation was, and I probably didn't explain that correctly, that there are a number of notification mechanisms. Why add another for the moderator election?

Another implied question, that was answered by Vitaly, is: are all these notification systems needed?

As it stands, the original question is not good and has generated a lot of discussion. I'd like to see if somebody could edit the original question to improve it's meaning and make it a good fit for UX.

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You've already asked the question right here better than you did in the question itself: "Why add another [notification type] for the moderator election?"

The problem I had with the question is the only question you asked was "how many notifications on SE are there?". This question is not a UX question in any way. That is definitely a question for MSO, not UX.SE.

Even trying to infer what question you meant led to confusion, because as you stated, Vitaly answered a completely different question from what you were going after.

Implied questions are not good for a site like UX.SE. You need to ask specifically what you are looking for. Likewise, people need to answer the question asked, not what they think the question is. That can lead to just as much confusion (as another recent meta thread shows).

  • Charles, where did GUI Junkie state that I answered a completely different question from what he was going after? All I see is "another implied question, that was answered by Vitaly, is". I think it actually means that that was the implied question and I had read it correctly. – Vitaly Mijiritsky Feb 17 '12 at 15:20
  • @VitalyMijiritsky - He stated that his intended question was "Why add another [notification type] for the moderator election?" Therefore, any other question (implied or not) was not the question to be answered. This is exactly why questions need to be spelled out well and answerers need to stop interpreting questions into something else entirely from what was asked. Your answer, accepted or not, does not answer the question that he intended to ask. – Charles Boyung Feb 17 '12 at 19:10
  • @VitalyMijiritsky - You are inferring what was intended here, just like you did in the original question. If you read everything he wrote here, it is quite clear what he stated his intended question was. – Charles Boyung Feb 17 '12 at 19:13
  • Have it your way :) – Vitaly Mijiritsky Feb 17 '12 at 20:19

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