APOD Assessment Poll: Leading Question

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Many APOD explanations start with a question. Do you like this format?

No, I find the leading question annoying.
Yes, I find the leading question intriguing.
APOD images have explanations?
Neither clearly yes nor no. (Feel free to explain below.)
Total votes: 904

Susan H Svenson

Re: APOD Assessment Poll: Leading Question

Post by Susan H Svenson » Mon May 19, 2014 3:02 am

There are two kinds of questions: the formulaic question just so the commentary starts with a question, and the question which draws my attention to the photo or painting so that I am looking at something unique to the photo, or to an action which will show two different sides to a problem in the photo. Read the comments after I wrote the above and was glad to see a selection of answers which agree with me. After reading the other APOD fans, two pictures I remember were the one which gave the regular spectrum and then the ultraviolet spectrum, and the first one I watched which gave the picture, and then overlaid the star chart with the star names on the picture. I also wonder about the astronomers and photographers who give me such pleasure each day with their work. If you want to add another format to your answers, a short paragraph on the workers would be interesting. Thank you for my daily wonder through the universe.


Re: APOD Assessment Poll: Leading Question

Post by blackhole » Mon May 19, 2014 3:44 am

This site displays a wide variety of examples demonstrating the beauty of our Earth and the celestial objects above in the sky. Leading the explanation with a question (like many posts) serves as a reminder of the purpose of astronomical science - to find out why things happen in our universe. I would think that it would be remiss to simply state the facts regarding the images. The question serves to guide, say, non-technical visitors to understand why certain objects are of interest, such as the Great Red Spot as featured in recent APOD showings. (Otherwise, who cares that it's shrinking? You guys would be just wasting time and money!)


Re: APOD Assessment Poll: Leading Question

Post by gcal » Mon May 19, 2014 12:38 pm

I voted yes, although I almost went for the yes/no. "Yes" won out for me because most of the questions have been good introductions to the topic. Today's "What will become of Jupiter's Great Red Spot?" is a very good example. Some of the leading questions have been rather superficial, and distracting.

Whether the answer is yes or no, I always appreciate the gift that APOD is to the public. Keep up the great work! (Please!)


Re: APOD Assessment Poll: Leading Question

Post by mccullo » Mon May 19, 2014 8:19 pm

The opening question can be an effective means of engaging the viewer; I have never found it annoying, though I guess it could be perceived as such by some readers if written in a particular manner. The only thing that has ever caught my eye about the APOD texts is the frequent appearance of the phrase, "of course," which after the first time I consciously recognized it became a conspicuous element thereafter; but even this is not "annoying." The texts are on the whole exceptionally well written within the inherent constraints given by the space on the page and the expected background, or lack thereof, of the intended typical interested viewer.


Re: APOD Assessment Poll: Leading Question

Post by PaulH » Tue May 20, 2014 12:36 am

I answered yes, but could just as easily have answered Neither Yes or No. Everything in moderation, except please please do not EVER take up the format '5 weird things you didn't know about the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation' or similar. Please. :D Seriously - Thanks alot for the great work, keep it up.


Re: APOD Assessment Poll: Leading Question

Post by Ken » Fri May 23, 2014 11:10 am

The only opinion I have on this matter is that it is of no importance whatsoever. The only people who could possibly care about whethere there's a "leading question" in the format are the ageing interweb hermits who've never engaged with the real world since Arpanet appeared. Their knickers are permanently in a twist about all manner of absurdly trivial things, but the rest of us didn't even notice.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:36 pm

Re: APOD Assessment Poll: Leading Question

Post by 1clara2 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:52 pm

Speaking of proofreading, please do...I've noticed, at times, that words have been misspelled...and it drives me nuts. I keep wishing there was a way I could go into the comment and make the changes.