Release update: Snippets, search tools and more

alien invasionYou may have noticed some extra activity in the WikiAnswers search box… or tiny badges on your bio page. Not to mention little snippets of text here and there.

No, aliens have not taken over WikiAnswers (this time). We’ve rolled out a couple of great new features that we hope will make asking, answering and searching a more pleasant and effective experience for you. Our goal with these features is to bring information more directly to you so you don’t have to search for it – and we hope you’ll let us know if we’ve achieved that goal. Now, without further ado, an overview of said features:

FAYT (Find As You Type)

Asking a question? Looking up a person, place or thing? No problem – before you’ve even finished typing, we’ll show you if there’s a matching reference article – or if someone in the community has answered your question.

Just click the “All” radio button and start typing. Reference articles are prefaced by a book icon (book), and community Q&A are prefaced by a bubble icon (bubble). Or, choose just “Community Q&A” or “Reference Topics” to limit your search to one type of information. Our suggestions will appear in a list – click an item on the list, or hide the list if you’d rather not see it. (But we think it’s pretty helpful.)

Try looking up “Why is the sky blue?” The find-as-you-type results look like this:

Find as you type

Snippets

Snippets are a short previews of current answers. By looking at snippets, you can get a sense of the answer before you click through to see the question page and question history. Snippets showed previously on the search results page, and now we’ve added them to the recent site activity pages and the category pages. If you’re watching for vandalism, you can now comb the snippets for spam and other bad answers without opening each question.

This is what snippets look like on the recent site activity page:

Snippets

And on the category page:

More snippets

Snippets are also a convenient way to determine on the spot if a question is answered or unanswered. No snippet? It’s unanswered.

Stats box redesign

Stats box

Stats box tools

Do you like peeking at other contributors’ contribution stats (or your own)? We’ve tweaked the design to make it even easier to see who they are and what they’ve done.

Visit anyone’s bio page and hover over a mini-badge to see the full badge in all its glory. Also, if you’re a Supervisor, look for a brand-new toolbox at the bottom of the stats box.

Batch revert… turbo style

And, finally, a power tool for Supervisors: turbo Batch Revert, so you can undo weeks of vandalism in just one click. We have lifted the one-week limit on reverts, so go do your thing and catch those vandals!

Survey says?

Check out these tools and tell us what you think. They’ve been a long time coming, and we hope you enjoy them!

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