Category Archives: introductory
The idea of FAQs is a response to the following phenomenon: when new users come into an established discussion group, such as the commenting community at feminist blogs, they often ask questions that have been frequently answered beforehand. This often leads to mutual frustration, as the established community doesn’t wish to go over old ground (especially when doing so derails an interesting discussion), and the new user doesn’t wish to be ignored. Thus ariseth flamewars.
So, long ago in a USENet far far away, the convention arose whereby discussion groups put together an FAQ, and when one of the oft-covered basic questions was raised, people could just say “Read the FAQ” or, if they were being more helpful , point to the specific answer in the FAQ. This was often known as handing the newbie a cluestick.