It is just past midnight on the 21st of May. Especie de Medusa had a quick question she wanted to ask the Board at large:
Q: Dear 100 Hour Board,
What are some common misconceptions you'd like to set straight?
-Especie de Medusa
Seems simple enough. After previewing her question, it went out of her hands and into ours. First stop: the Board Inbox.
Much like the Board in the Wilkinson Center, the online version of the Board has a drop box where all of the questions first go. Sorted by when they were submitted, questions are presented in a list format for the Writers and Editors to look through. A short blurb is listed so that everyone is not inundated with a long listing of questions. From here, questions can be claimed by individual Writers, changed into a comment, viewed, or flagged for review by the Editors.
Today, our question is viewed and is first assigned a category at 11 hours.
Before a question can post be posted on Today's Posts, it must first be assigned at least one category. This category is meant to reflect the general topic addressed by the question and its potential answers. A lot of work went into going through all of the archives prior to categories were implemented to make sure that each one had a category assigned to it. As Editors find the need, additional categories are added to help organize the questions the Board gets.
Our question is assigned the category "Rumors/Myths". At 20 hours, our question gets its first response.
When writers find a question they feel they can answer, they can bring up a field which allows them to select their preferred alias for the response and then give an answer. Before a response is considered complete, the writer must check a box saying that they are done with their answer. There is an additional box provided for them to designate that they answered the question and it can be sent on for review.
The first response to question #25358 is not marked as having answered the question since it is asking the general writership for their ideas. As such, a message is sent by one of the Writers.
One of the necessities of the Board is the ability for the Writers and Editors to communicate back and forth. Much like an email system, the Board has its own internal messaging system which allows us to send messages about questions, parties, new features, basically whatever we want and without the need to actually use email. It also keeps us from having to remember everyone's email address in our individual address books. Internal to the Board, Writers are also able to receive alerts via email when they get a new message or when a new question is posted to the Board.
At 21 hours, the message is sent requesting additional thoughts and the question sits in the Inbox until someone finally marks that the question is complete at 42 hours.
Once all of the aforementioned criteria are met, a question is sent on for review. At this point, Writers and Editors are asked to read through the question and each of the answers to make sure that everything is spelled correctly, all responses are completed, and that the content is appropriate to post. Once read, both a Writer and an Editor must sign off on the question and each of its responses before it is considered ready to post the next day.
While questions generally will not be put up for review until they are at least 76 hours old (any question hitting 100 hours the next day), comments will immediately be placed up for review. If a question is not reviewed prior to the daily posting at 4am, it stays in the review state and is placed higher up in the listing (oldest questions are placed highest in the review listing) to make sure it is seen for the next day's review. Although in review, a question can still be sent back to one of the Writers if something needs to be fixed in their response or flagged back to the Editors for content problems.
At 52 hours, our question moves along for review since it has already been marked as having a completed answer. Not more than ten hours later, a response to the question gets flagged.
As previously mentioned, a question can be flagged so that the Editors can review it. Writers also have the ability to flag a specific response and send it back to the original Writer so that they can review and revise as needed. An explanation is always required here so that the exact problem with a response can be fixed. Once finished, the Writer can then mark the question as complete again and send it back for review.
Second to required research, a flag on the question/an answer is one of the primary reasons questions do not get answered within 100 hours. As it happens, this minor setback is enough to push the post date of the question back a day (beyond 100 hours). Flagging is an effective system to helping us provide a well-polished experience for those who ask us questions.
With the offending response fixed, our question is placed back in for review. At 91 hours, our question is marked by both Writer and Editor as ready to post the next day. Because or timing issues, the question does not post until it is 123 hours old. This is a slight miss in posting time, but with everything that goes on, hopefully you can see why.
All questions and comments sit in their ready-to-post state until the next day's push is done. At 4am, the Board rotates postings: posts older than three months are archived, yesterday's posts are moved to being "Recent Posts", and Today's Posts are generated with all reviewed questions and comments. Our daily RSS Feed is then updated to also reflect the change so that those who use RSS will get their dose of Board, too.
Now posted, our question is easily visible between a question about LING 540 and another about ActiveX controllers on the Board. In three months, this question will also become part of the archives here at the Board, there to be remembered by all who think to look at the posts on May 26th, 2006.