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Welcome! Slant is a place for discussing ideas and products we love. Because Slant relies on user contributions, practically everything on the site is there for you to edit and comment on - but always remember that someone took the time to write it in the first place. Being kind and respectful to each other will go a long way towards productive, interesting conversations.
Here are a few ways to get started:
1. Ask awayFirst and foremost, Slant is here to help you find what you're looking for. Need a better font to code in? Or a DSLR camera for a reasonable price? Use the big blue button at the top to hear what our community recommends.More about asking questions.
2. Add your favoritesSearch for your favorite products to make sure they are suggested as options on the right questions and have useful information for others. Simply put: Why do you like the product so much? Add those reasons as Pros. Have there been any issues? Add them as Cons. If the product you have in mind isn't already on Slant and doesn't seem like a good fit for any of the current questions, you can always ask a new question and add your product there.More about adding options.
3. Help answer questionsEvery question is an opportunity for you to offer your insight regarding products you've used. If you're not sure what questions to add to, the "Improve" button on the homepage will show you a list of questions that could use some love.More about Pros and Cons.
4. Edit, edit, editEven if you didn't suggest the product, you can add Pros and Cons, find sources, or edit for grammar and readability. There's no ownership over the content - anything you can do to make an option clearer, more compelling, or simply better is always worthwhile.More about writing on Slant.
Asking and Answering
A good question on Slant does two things: It helps you find what you're looking for, and it helps others who may be looking for something similar.
To meet these two criteria, all questions should:
- Follow the format "What are the best ___?"
Using a consistent format ensures that answers provide good recommendations, and that you're not repeating a question that has been asked already, while at the same time making it easy for users with similar needs to find your question in the future.
- Provide specific context for your needs.
Slant empowers you to ask very specific questions in order to receive the most accurate, applicable recommendations. Take advantage of this by including as much relevant information as you need.
- Have answers that can be meaningfully compared.
Some questions are just too broad for Slant to answer. In order for others to make helpful recommendations, they need to be able to compare the possible answers to one another using similar criteria. Questions like "What are the best games?" allow for answers that range from rock, paper, scissors to chess to Fallout - these cannot be meaningfully compared.
- Poor: "What laptop should I buy?" (The format is inappropriate.)
- Poor: "What is the best Android app?" (Answers cannot be meaningfully compared.)
- Poor: "What are the best laptops?" (The context is too vague.)
- Good: "What are the best Android calendar apps?"
- Good: "What are the best laptops for programming?"
- Best: "What are the best free, cross-platform to-do list apps?"
- Best: "What are the best laptops for programming under $1500 with Linux support?"
Adding options is as simple as typing the name of the product in the title bar. That said, this doesn't make for much of a user experience. To make a suggestion that's really useful, you can:
1. Add visual interestAn option's header is a place to show an image or video that gives the best sense of what the option is like in practice. Videos tend to be the most descriptive; if you can't find one, screenshots and logos can work as well.
2. Add greater detailIn the option description, you can briefly explain what the option is and what it costs. Remember to keep this objective (multiplayer game) rather than subjective (the best multiplayer game). Subjective information should go into Pros and Cons.
3. Help others find itThe "Get it Here" link is a way to direct other interested users to a site where they can purchase the option.
Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons are where you offer relevant information about a product that will help someone else make their decision. All good Pros and Cons are based on two things: a clearly stated benefit/drawback, and objective evidence that supports that claim.
Benefit/DrawbackEvery Pro must include a clear benefit; every Con must have a clear drawback. The benefit or drawback should be mentioned directly in the title. For example, an app claimed to have a "clean interface" can have the benefit of "making it easy to overview information." Even if the benefit or drawback seems obvious to you, it's important that you explain it for others who may not be as familiar with the product.
Every subjective statement must be supported by objective information. Evidence can be provided through examples, references, and facts.
A claim of "beautiful interface" can be backed up with a screenshot; a claim of "good voice acting" can be backed up with an audio recording; a claim of "high customizability" can be backed up with examples of customization options.
Any independent third-party can be used as a source to support your claim. Though the opinion of an expert in a field will have preference, a customer's review or comment on a forum can also be used as evidence.
Anything that can be empirically tested can be listed in the description as evidence.
- The more evidence, the better.
Because Slant is built on the contributions of a community of diverse users, it is important to maintain a consistent writing style across the site. Any time you come across writing that you think is confusing, misspelled, agrammatical, or otherwise distracting, please make the necessary changes to bring it back into alignment with our style guide.
American EnglishAmerican English spellings are preferred across all content areas.
IdiomsCommon idioms and expressions are fine, but ask yourself if there is a simpler, more direct way to get your idea across. Idioms or phrases that are not commonly used in speech, or that may cause confusion, should be avoided in favor of clearer phrasing. E.g., "piece of cake" is well known and therefore fine; "pass the buck" is probably a bit too obscure for all users.
JargonAs much as possible, Pros and Cons should avoid industry-specific jargon that may not be familiar to all users. If jargon is required to describe a product or feature accurately, try to define the phrase within the description.
PlagiarismContent on Slant should never be copied and pasted from external sources. In some instances it may be appropriate to include a relevant quotation as supporting evidence; these must be clearly cited.
ProfanityProfanity is to be avoided in all instances. Posts featuring profanity will be flagged and removed. Consistent violations of this policy may lead to further actions taken against the account of the content creator.
SlangSlang can add personality to your descriptions, but it also changes rapidly and unpredictably. Avoid phrases that can't be found in a reputable modern dictionary. And no, Urban Dictionary doesn't count.
Serial CommasThe serial (or Oxford) comma is preferred. This means that lists with three items should have a comma before "and": bacon, eggs, and hash browns.
Second or Third PersonAll questions, options, Pros, and Cons should be written in the second or third person. This makes it easy for others to add detail or evidence. First-person accounts can be added in comments, but should never function as the Pro or Con itself.
Formatting Text and Linking SourcesMarkdown is supported in all description boxes so you can format your text for better clarity. This also provides a cleaner way to link to outside sources when further reading or proof of claim is beneficial.
- *bold* → bold
- _italics_ → italics
- `code` →
- [link](http://www.example.com) → link
- 2 consecutive new-line characters → new paragraph
In order to make sure Slant remains trusted and useful to our community, we do not allow contributions in situations where there may be a conflict of interest.
Users who have a professional relationship with a product or its competitors may not add their product to any question on the site, add recommendations to said product, add any Pros or Cons, make edits to existing content, flag content for review on those product pages, or interact in any way with their options or those of direct competitors outside the comment section. They can, however, directly edit the spec table and add or remove images and/or videos to their products.
Additionally, we ask you to not solicit others to engage with any products on Slant that you are affiliated with, especially getting people to manipulate the rankings of the options.
Users in violation of the above guidelines are subject to reversion of their actions, account bans, product bans, or other administrative actions, as deemed appropriate.
Products Not Available for Purchase
Products that are currently not available to buy, including all Kickstarter or presale products, are not allowed to be added to Slant unless specifically asked for in the question.
We endeavor to protect the privacy of our users to the greatest extent possible. We do not release personal identification information about any of our users to third-party entities, including those companies whose products appear on our site, unless required by law.
The information that we collect serves two primary functions:
1. AnalyticsWe analyze user activity information in the aggregate to monitor and improve the performance of our site.
2. OutreachWe maintain a secure database of contact information so that we may communicate with our users via email.
There is currently no official policy regarding the institution of moderators. Users who contribute a great deal to our community may be offered the opportunity to serve as moderators if they desire.