Ask Ubuntu is different than web forums, mailing lists, and IRC in that instead of chronologically solving a problem you solve it via editing and updating content, even if you haven’t written it. As such there are always things that can be improved on the site to keep the quality and freshness improving over time. 95% of the traffic to the site is from search engines, so constantly reviewing content to be correct is important.
Ask Ubuntu goes by the concept of “reputation” to give you access to different parts of the site. So, like a video game, you need to “unlock” certain privileges, which are earned by gaining reputation, which is awarded to you by peers when participating in the site. The more reputation you earn the more the community trusts you, and the more things you’ll be allowed to accomplish on the site.
The best way to get started is to read the Ask Ubuntu guide. After that you can get started reviewing: Unanswered questions, existing Frequently Asked Questions and the Greatest Hits for quality and freshness.
Tips and tricks
- Answers that earn high upvotes frequently cross reference official documentation, launchpad bug reports, and other official sources. They are detailed when they need to be, and include screenshots and step by step instructions. Any one can answer a question by pasting in a command, a great answer brings in the knowledge a user will need to teach themselves.
- If you’re not a technical user, concentrate on fixing the post’s structure – spelling, grammar, and so on. You can do this on posts that you might not even understand technically! Over time as you review content you’ll start to pick up technical details – one can learn a ton about Ubuntu just by reviewing content for quality.
- Most users don’t understand the importance of being specific. If you see a question with a generic title, like “Firefox problem” or “Wireless doesn’t work” you can update the question to improve it with content from their body. So “Firefox Problem” can become “How do I get Firefox to print?” and “Wireless doesn’t work” can become “How do I get a Broadcom BCM12345 to work?” – and so on.