I know about https://stackoverflow.com/help/question-bans, but that doesn't help me. I only have one question with a score of less than zero, but that question is closed, so there isn't really anything I can do about it. I'm kind of stuck because there really isn't any way to improve that one question. What can can I do?
The Stack Overflow article is pretty much all we can say, as a moderator even I don't know the specific criteria that trigger the system to give people question bans. Afterall SE don't want people dodging their systems to troll and snipe :p
Having said that, you can:
- get upvotes on your existing questions ( not just those with negative votes )
- edit closed questions so that they're back on topic, and try to get them reopened
- give helpful answers that get upvoted and accepted
- Leave helpful comments that get voted up
As a newer resident of a stack you're more likely to run into these situations, but that will very quickly go as you gain reputation. Automated systems are great but when there's little information to work with it's easy for trends to vary wildly, and negative trends that get acted on can appear too.
I can't say much, but let's say I made a marvellous comeback on the network and have provided tremendous value back after some failed attempts.
Until I lost my account due to me forgetting the password and not being able to reset.
I'll refrain from the glamorous, old comments of "Be consistent", "Provide value", "Ask good questions". These are often opinion-based and they're not gonna allow you to apply immediate & actionable methods.
With that being said, what @Tom said works, but it's not concise.
I'm not criticizing his answer, but he said to provide
helpful answers. Well, we all know that, but how do you exactly do it? I'd wage in and say that, yes, his answer looks nice, but it's simply not going to have any effect on you, except to make you feel better for a few seconds.
Actionable. Methodological. Concise.
That's what's you need.
Here's a list:
Provide Images / Visualisations to What You're Trying to Achieve.
Images are extremely powerful and can, at times, provide insight into your problem like words can't. I am not even remotely kidding when I say that my last account had almost no questions with down-votes. Even the arcane ones.
Proper English. Please.
Here's the deal - no one likes to read your post if it's written in rubbish-language. It hurts. I'm studying some foreign languages myself and it always hurts when I try to communicate online, because it's just so bad. But I understand them. Wouldn't blame them either, it's a pain to wait for me to get something out. Your post will get down-voted immediately, because it's not clear what you need.
Use the Built-in Code Viewer for HTML/CSS/JS (more-so for SO).
I've gotten so much negativity for not using it. I'd just paste in my code or link to a codepen and that'd be it. What I started doing was simply paste in my code, provide the built-in code viewer and also link to codepen or jsfiddle for these who liked them more.
The Biggest One, No Exceptions: Provide Working Code
I can't stress this enough: Provide working code. Something to get us started. Even if it's little. Show us that at least you've done research. No one likes a question that comes off as "god, can't this guy look up documentation?".
See my question:
While it doesn't have any code, it clearly states that (1) I've searched for an answer and (2) I've tried to play with something before asking.
All my other questions have code that is usable and is being used by me so that people can paste it in and make it work for themselves. In fact, I was thinking about opening a "dev playground" on my VPS that'd allow people to dive into my code, this way, everyone's on the same page.
Unfortunately, I don't think this method, unless they also post an answer back to Stackexchange provides any real value for the community.
Either way. Accessibility is friendliness on the network of sites.
Seriously. Post code.
Okay...I Said No Bullshit Points But: Be Concise.
I feel as if I ramble a bit too much in my answers / questions. I should probably do that, but ma...
See? I shouldn't keep going. This doesn't help YOU, nor ME, nor anyone. Simply state what your situation is briefly, a bit of empathy doesn't help, don't be a cold asshole, but don't overdo it, then ask the question and leave it at that.
I promise I always ask myself this question when I post something: "Does this look like I'm rambling, can I make it shorter? Is this necessary?"
Hope this helps. It surely helped me get on the right track.
Additions, after the main points:
1) Don't forget to fill in why you've edited your question. This is observational data, but it seems to have an impact. Check this question's edit track.
--I'll update this as soon as I discover more methods of providing value myself!