Is it possible to add a link to the ask question page suggesting users to first test in the current sandbox? This will probably help with visibility because most new users don't know that a sandbox exists and then the question gets edited to the annoyance of many people.
The main problem I see with this is that the only people that will ever read the "How to Ask" message or the various sections of the "Ask Question" page are new users.
Since the sandbox is on meta, new users can't post to it (until they have at least 5? rep, I believe). I can see this leading to frustration.
I'm not saying that a link shouldn't be considered, but we may want to also encourage people to answer at least once before asking. This might not only alleviate the meta issue (most answers get at least 5 rep), but also cause them to see some other, open questions before posting one.
Of course, there's no way to force them to answer first, but a gentle nudge wouldn't hurt.
- A moderator puts a link to the sandbox meta tag in the How to Ask box.
- We then change the tag summary to give folks instructions on what to do.
- Finally, close retired Sandboxes with no new activity using a reasonable close reason that keeps them out of views.