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Allow admin to post questions under faked accounts

When reddit was starting, the two redditors posted lots of material under faked accounts. They had a special form for admin users that asked for

  • title;
  • url ;and
  • username

and if that username didn't already exist it created it.

They credit this with kickstarting their community. The day they didn't need to fake content is the day they were happiest because they knew the community was taking off.

Is anyone interested in doing something similar with their askbot installations?


Anyone that wants to follow along, this fork has a working implementation for:

  • questions
  • answers

but not

  • comments
  • autosuggest


Here it is in action!

Jtrain's avatar
asked 2012-07-10 08:13:56 -0500, updated 2012-07-12 05:22:09 -0500
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Yes this a good addition to get initial traction for any new-forum.

pajju's avatar pajju (2012-07-30 14:00:21 -0500) edit
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3 Answers


I'm sure this is one of the best options to make a Q&A website popular.

If I would have a question I wouldn't register and ask on a website with no activity.

I think askbot needs this tool.

Toms's avatar
answered 2012-07-10 09:06:58 -0500, updated 2012-07-10 09:07:37 -0500
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If I were to write something that does this (since I need it myself) where is the best place to put the code?

I'd like for it to be contributed back into the mainline - if we agree the feature would be a useful part of askbot.

Jtrain's avatar Jtrain (2012-07-10 12:33:57 -0500) edit

This is a very useful feature - like in the video you've linked - the input probably is good to place in the "ask", "answer" and maybe "comment" form. It will be harder to implement this feature for the comments, easier to start with questions and answers. I think at the minimum the "post as" field must have an autocompleter to select the user.

Evgeny's avatar Evgeny (2012-07-10 12:41:49 -0500) edit

User actions are made by calling functions like User.post_question() so in that case - instead of request.user user will have to be pulled out of the database.

Evgeny's avatar Evgeny (2012-07-10 19:18:11 -0500) edit

Thanks for the pointers @Evgeny. Will start small (Questions) and build from there.

Jtrain's avatar Jtrain (2012-07-11 02:02:56 -0500) edit

Why is it necessary to hack the code, rather than simply creating multiple users? There might be a workaround which makes it easier to switch between multiple existing users?

Joseph's avatar Joseph (2012-07-12 04:59:56 -0500) edit
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Available in the repository, will be in release 0.7.44. Thanks to @Jtrain for starting to work on this feature.

Evgeny's avatar
answered 2012-07-30 01:35:58 -0500, updated 2012-07-30 01:38:35 -0500
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Yes this a good addition to get initial traction for any new-forum.

pajju's avatar pajju (2012-07-30 13:51:10 -0500) edit

@Evgeny I like what you've done with the code. Thumbs up

Jtrain's avatar Jtrain (2012-08-10 04:44:52 -0500) edit

any updates on the option of adding a photo also after creating fake ids?

It should be available for admins. :) for a lot of good reasons - @Jtrain @Evgeny

pajju's avatar pajju (2012-08-10 05:25:28 -0500) edit

@Jtrain - thanks and thanks to you again. @pajju the avatar will wait until we add a "switch accounts" feature is implemented for the admins so that you could do everything else under faked accounts. I don't want to complicate the UI too much.

Evgeny's avatar Evgeny (2012-08-10 07:33:13 -0500) edit

yes, the admin switching is a great idea! ;)

pajju's avatar pajju (2012-08-10 07:40:50 -0500) edit
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I tried this feature for a while now and i feel - it is nice to have an option to also upload some photo for those faked accounts.

Let us not forget that we have photo fields in many places - when a question is posted, answered and in home page i.e contributors. It looks very ugly to see only gravataars showing up everywhere, in any early asbot site. :D

Also Not having real photos in any early forum is going to affect its growth also lose much credibility.

pajju's avatar
answered 2012-08-06 14:09:35 -0500
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