Since I added the Answers page to Mark’s Very Large National Lampoon Site in February 1999, I’ve only added to it twice. Not exactly how I thought it was going to work.
In the mean time, I’ve received literally hundreds of queries. I’ve answered most of them privately—either with the information requested, or with the admission that I don’t know the answer and a vague promise to keep looking. Frankly, I just can’t keep up with all the questions and too many emails have gone unanswered. I just don’t have the time. My apologies to anyone who didn’t get a reply.
Last weekend, I received a message from a guy named James who had asked me a question a while back that I didn’t know the answer to. Well, that was over a year ago and he wondered if I had found it yet. I looked again, and still couldn’t find it, so he suggested—as I had promised on the Answers page—that I throw the question out to the readers. A perfectly reasonable idea and something I should have been doing all along.
Inspired by James’ (understandable) frustration and my own nagging guilt over promising more than I could possibly deliver, I came up with what I hope will be a better way to handle questions.
On the Answers page, you will now find a Comments area below each question/answer. I will be adding more questions to the page—particularly ones I don’t know the answer to. If you know the answer (or disagree with mine), click on the Comments link and take a stab at it. I will monitor the submissions and, when they appear to be correct, I will update the answers.
I will try to regularly add new questions to the page as well as ones I’ve previously answered (or not) privately. Hopefully, this will work much better than the behind-the-scenes way I’ve been doing it, replacing it with something that’s more public, collaborative, and timely.
Update: It’s already working! The question I mentioned above has already been answered correctly.