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If you don’t see your question below, please consult the User’s Guide. If you still can’t find an answer, contact us.

Who can ask a question?

Anyone who is registered. Registration is free. Ditto for answering questions. Registration keeps the spam and trolls down.

To register, do I need to create new username and password?

No, you don't have to. You can login with your Google, Facebook, or Twitter credentials. But if you don’t have one of those, you'll need to create an account here. Login now!

What kind of questions are best?

Questions about tools, tool use, tool tips are best. Following the spirit of the main Cool Tools website, Ask Cool Tools is a place where community members can solicit advice and share their experiences about particular tools or tool-related problems. For example, if you’re looking for a tool or tip recommendation but don’t see it on Cool Tools, this is a great place to ask what other people are using/doing. 

What kind of questions are discouraged?

Advice for blantantly illegal activities, deep personal conundrums, religious and political issues, and questions aimed at making noise. Likewise answers should avoid arguments and personal attacks. We retain the right to monitor questions and answers and remove any we deem detrimental to the conversation.

What kind of answers are best? 

The optimal answer includes the following: a concise explanation of the tool or solution, why you believe it is superior to any alternatives, a description of your personal experience, and where to find it. But less than optimal is okay too. Tell us what you know.

What if I think an answer is incorrect? 

If you have personal experience with a tool, please share it. Given that we are looking for the best answer we encourage community members to offer alternative answers. However, we want to minimize needless debates and expect that answers will be founded on experience and evidence, not opinion. 

How will I know if my question has been answered?

When you ask a question, you are automatically "subscribed" to it. That means you'll receive email notifications when an answer or comment is posted. You can adjust your notification settings by selecting "email notification settings" from the "User Settings" drop-down menu on your user page. You can manage your various subscriptions from the "Manage" tab of that page. You can also un/subscribe from/to a question you've asked by visiting the question page and clicking the "unsubscribe me" link located at the bottom of the page and also in the "Follow this question" box in the upper right corner of the page.

Each question also has a set of associated RSS feeds, so you can also follow the progress of a question by subscribing to one of those feeds. One feed catalogs answers only, and one catalogs answers as well as comments.

Is there any limit on how many questions I can ask?

Not if they are good questions. But this is a community, not a machine. Generally the more questions you answer, the more leeway you get in asking questions.

Who moderates this community?

The short answer is: you. This website is moderated by the users. However, the site will also be moderated by others including publisher Kevin Kelly, and editor Oliver Hulland. The Cool Tools community has already demonstrated considerable self-moderation, and will probably continue to do so in Ask Cool Tools. In addition a “karma system” allows users to earn rights to perform a variety of moderation tasks (see below). The role of these additional moderators will be to intervene if questions become too argumentative, are distracting from the question at hand, or devolve into personal attacks. 

How does the karma system work?

When a question or answer is upvoted, the user who posted them will gain some points, which are called "karma points". These points serve as a rough measure of the community trust to him/her. Various moderation tasks are gradually assigned to the users based on those points.

For example, if you ask an interesting question or give a helpful answer, your input may be upvoted by other community members. On the other hand if the answer is misleading it may be downvoted. Each vote in favor will generate 15 points, each vote against will subtract 1 point. There is a limit of 200 points that can be accumulated per question or answer. The table below explains karma requirements for each type of moderation task.

• add comments -> 0

• close own questions -> 60

• reopen own questions -> 120

• retag questions -> 150

• open any closed question -> 600