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I try to answer as many questions as I can, and when I am not doing that, I am going to the 'review' section and doing what I can there and when that is done, I read through as many questions as possible (flagging if necessary, commenting as necessary) - is there anything else I can do to help?

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    $\begingroup$ If you are good in editing and improving posts, you could try to do what nobody else does: try to improve almost good, interesting, salvagable closed questions and get them reopend by pinging a mod or stating a reopen flag. Closed questions can be found by typing "closed:1" in the search window and sorting them by vote brings the non crapy ones the community likes to the top. $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Jun 18 '13 at 0:30
  • $\begingroup$ I once used to edit interesting closed questions to try to get them reopend, but I have personally given up on this since with my edits it did almost never pan out ... Nevertheless, I think this task is still important (even though or maybe because nobody seems to be interested in doing this) and maybe you would be more successful than I was ... $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Jun 18 '13 at 0:35
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If you have time to waste, you may want to read this guide I wrote to helping moderate the site.

However, if you already are commenting/flagging things and going to /review, then you probably have that covered.

You may want to try editing posts to improve grammar/formatting as well (I think you already do this too)

I guess the best thing to do is look for more questions to answer (or ask some good ones yourself!). Sometimes, scouring through the back end unanswered section sorted by votes helps; there are many good questions that got neglected by accident there in the later pages.

You're also welcome to participate in chat. This doesn't help the site, but it's fun :)

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  • $\begingroup$ Sounds like a good plan! Funny-ish story - as a school teacher, I have been proofreading reports, so editing posts is becoming 2nd nature (and I find I can pick grammatical and spelling errors a mile off). I will definitely look at the unanswered posts as well, see what I can come up with - on that, is there any time limit of how old a post is that I can reply to? $\endgroup$ – user24901 Jun 17 '13 at 10:53
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    $\begingroup$ @DamienIgoe: Nope. No limit. The primary purpose of Q&A here is not to help the OP, it is to create a Q&A page that others will find useful. (Helping the OP is important too, but secondary). So it doesn't matter if the OP isn't around to be helped, there are other people who will Google it, find it, and be helped :) (Also, there are a bunch of badges for answering/editing old posts, like Necromancer. The ones for answering can be earned multiple times) $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Jun 17 '13 at 10:59
  • $\begingroup$ @DamienIgoe: Also, yeah, I get that urge too. Nowadays I'm a bit too busy to fix all the posts, though :) $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Jun 17 '13 at 11:02
  • $\begingroup$ @DamienIgoe not only random people who google, but other members of our physics community too, will probably enjoy reading new answers you add and appreciate other improvements you can do. $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Jun 18 '13 at 1:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Manishearth I dont like it when you downplay the needs of the OP or more generally the community of active physics people who actually does the work of filling the site with useful content. It is important to have a nice cummunity here to make knowledgable people and longterm users stick around and keep up the quality of the content of the site. Sohe needs of the physics community or people who come here to contribute should be taken more seriosly compared to what is important for random visitors who google than it is sometimes done in certain situations at present. $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Jun 18 '13 at 1:58
  • $\begingroup$ That people who come here to contribute can enjoy learning together and help each other understand learning physics is at least (if not even more) equally important as the needs of random people who find the site via google or other coincidences. $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Jun 18 '13 at 2:07
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    $\begingroup$ "If you've time to waste" physicists are always busy, "welcome to chat" who'll come to that old useless always-empty crappy-like room..? (except you) :D $\endgroup$ – Waffle's Crazy Peanut Jun 18 '13 at 6:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Dilaton: Just because the primary goal is not the OP doesn't mean that the OP isn't important. And this is the SE model. There's a reason for this; most traditional forums get filled with useless posts that only help the OP. This is one of the main reasons we close homework posts. Not because they are too basic, but because they don't help anyone. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Jun 18 '13 at 10:47
  • $\begingroup$ Well, my reason for posting this was indeed looking for ways I can further help develop this site for everyone - I assure you that I have no ulterior motive for myself. At this stage, I am quite wary to answer any questions and very reluctant to post the questions I have (would be in the same vein as my first question). I am contributing by editing, reviewing (as much as my rep level allows), commenting (leading questions as necessary) and flagging (if necessary). $\endgroup$ – user24901 Jun 19 '13 at 7:56
  • $\begingroup$ to clarify: I am jut going to be in the 'background'. $\endgroup$ – user24901 Jun 19 '13 at 10:14
  • $\begingroup$ @damien I really don't think you need to be wary of posting; that was just a misunderstanding sprouting from a vague question and shouldn't be taken personally :) But it's OK if you don't want to post... $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Jun 19 '13 at 10:53
  • $\begingroup$ I have not taken it personally, I am just wary that I may not 'get' the implied meanings of some posts, and thus 'short change' a reply - which is not fair for the questioner nor the site. $\endgroup$ – user24901 Jun 19 '13 at 10:56
  • $\begingroup$ @DamienIgoe If you feel a post is unclear, comment on it asking for clarification. And short answer>no answer :) $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Jun 19 '13 at 13:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Manishearth ironically, there could be a post of mine being migrated here from one of the other sites I belong to. $\endgroup$ – user24901 Jun 19 '13 at 19:03
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Okay, it seems I am not even flagging right... that, on top of still not being sure whether to reply to a question as stated or what we perceive the question is asking, I will just do lead-in comments (unless I am screwing them up as well) and edits.

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    $\begingroup$ I really think you're taking this way too seriously. It's perfectly OK to incorrectly flag something. The reason we decline flags is not to give the flagger a slap in the face. It's to tell the flagger "next time, don't flag such things". That's all. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Jun 21 '13 at 14:48
  • $\begingroup$ And regarding answers, again, if you misinterpret the question or answer wrongly, the comments will let you know, so you can fix it. If you don't want to fix it, that's fine too. Everyone makes mistakes, no need to shy away from participation just because a few were pointed out. (And in the case of the sun-earth question, that wasn't even your mistake, that was just a conflict of interpretations of a vague question) $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Jun 21 '13 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ so, do we answer to what is written or what we perceive should be written? $\endgroup$ – user24901 Jun 21 '13 at 20:25

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