If you've read the front page recently, you're well aware that there's a large percentage of total crap on it. Indeed, more than a third of the questions posted in the last 60 days have been closed or deleted. I'm led to believe this is quite a high number among Stack Exchange sites.
This post is about one possible way to reduce the number of of poor quality questions:
Remove the ability of unregistered users to ask questions.
This has been done for some time on SO, Programmers and probably some other sites, with varying outcomes.
A look at our recent statistics shows that 57% of questions posted by unregistered users are "bad" questions. And our resident statistician informs us that making this change could reduce our bad question rate by up to 13%.
But shouldn't we make it as easy as we can to ask questions?
It should be easy to ask a question, but my feeling has been for some time that it is much too easy to ask a question here. We're not meant to be a site which will Google the answers for you or write your configuration files line-by-line or walk you through the finer points of plugging in a network cable.
Requiring registration may discourage poor quality drive-by questions from people who won't even return to improve their question or accept an answer. For those who do register, it gives them a moment in which they may hopefully begin to KEEP CALM and WRITE A BETTER QUESTION. Ideally.
Is this all you've got? This won't have much of an effect.
No, this won't have a large effect on the rate of poor quality questions. But every little bit helps, and I have other ideas which I'll also be proposing in the days ahead.