As suggested by Suminda in this answer, I think a weekly or fortnightly topic challenge might be interesting, though I'm not sure how much participation would be generated.

Please read: How do weekly topic challenges work?

pick one of the proposed topics and post a question on meta challenging users to ask questions on that specific subject

This meta question, and this top level meta question from another SE site shows a good example.

Example topic list:

  • Parents and children
  • Brahmaviharas
  • Speech
  • Emptiness
  • Riddles #1
  • Mindfulness
  • Nationbuilding
  • Life of the Buddha
  • Similes #1
  • Monastic order and lay people
  • Enlightenment
  • Impermanence
  • Buddhist traditions
  • Intention
  • Health
  • Parables and anecdotes #1
  • Happiness
  • One sentence teachings
  • Daily life
  • Five Aggregates
  • Similes #2
  • History of Buddhism
  • Finance, business and economics
  • Samatha and jhanas
  • Food
  • Riddles #2
  • Three Poisons
  • Humour
  • Social discrimination e.g. racism, sexism
  • Actions
  • Anatta
  • Charity
  • Time
  • Parables and anecdotes #2
  • Dependent Origination
  • Renunciation
  • Desire
  • Teacher and student
  • Precepts
  • Would you like to reread book-of-the-month to see what people had to do to organise that? I don't remember the details of how to organise such a thing -- and I'd like to cooperate with your trying to organise it but I don't think I should take it all on myself at the moment.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Commented Jul 10, 2020 at 14:23
  • @ChrisW OK. In the mean time, I'll just let this sit here and see if it gathers any interest.
    – ruben2020 Mod
    Commented Jul 10, 2020 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


One possible drawback to this idea is that e.g. Ven. Yuttadhammo said he's not enthusiastic about 'seeded' questions -- and this proposal might be (or might seem) similar. Not that you don't want to ask the question and increase the value of the site, but see for example this comment,

Religious questions are not "info only" questions. These questions are "life direction" questions. Every question, if possible, is crucial to the asker.

When I researched Proposal: Self-answering questions is welcome a consistent bit of advice was the questions should be well written:

  • What's the question?
  • What research have you done already to discover the answer?
  • How was your research not enough?

This answer was well-written on that subject, and implies that it's good to know whether and why and how much a question is important to the person asking it -- it includes,

This is a fantastic quotation on how to judge whether or not to ask a question in the first place. "How much do you care about finding out the answer?", "Does the answer nag at you silently as you go about your day?"

Perhaps that kind of insight, into the intent of the person asking, helps to direct a good/specific answer (as well as providing a motive or incentive for answering at all).

See also Yuttadhammo's,

Personally, I find seeded questions irksome; it's generally easy to see that the asker isn't really looking for an answer, so there is no sense of accomplishment in answering.

So one thing that worries me about this proposal is that the following maybe aren't genuine reasons for a question:

  • "Because it's a topic of the week"
  • "Because I want to increase the site's average number of questions asked per day"

I mean they're not bad reasons but perhaps they're only interesting to meta-users who are interested in the site itself.

One the other hand I can see there's a possible counter-argument -- i.e. perhaps there's a good way to use the topics-of-the-week initiative, that is, as a way to encourage people to think of important, useful questions.

  • Can we have a vote?
    – user8527
    Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 20:40
  • @Ruslan Sure, go ahead and vote -- agree with my answer and/or post a different opinion. Do you think there's any minimum number of users who you'd need, to agree, before you start doing this?
    – ChrisW Mod
    Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 20:55
  • 1
    I agree with your answer, more questions would be good but do we really have nothing better to do than making up questions & answers. One bad thing about it is that for every question i fabricate another genuine question might get flagged as duplicate. Furthermore some people will be turned off from answering fabricated questions so the answers will be of lower quality lest there is a bounty of some sort but that is a bad idea imo because people will complain about judging.
    – user8527
    Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 21:16
  • Shouldn't we separate this into Yes and No answers? This answer can be No. Then another answer can be Yes, with the "on the other hand" comment in it.
    – ruben2020 Mod
    Commented Aug 8, 2020 at 17:00
  • @ruben2020 Yeah I don't get why people are voting and doing nothing else. I'd expect some comment, like, "I'm interested", or, "Count me in", or something. Still I think that everyone who voted disagreed with my reservation (except MAGA2020 who agreed) -- so I guess you can carry on unreservedly. I don't think I want to participate myself though, at the moment, for me this month is super-busy.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Commented Aug 8, 2020 at 17:24
  • @ChrisW Actually I see a lack of interest. Only 3 votes without any comments.
    – ruben2020 Mod
    Commented Aug 8, 2020 at 18:27

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