So it's summer-time, and while you may be thinking that means warm temperatures and blue skies (sorry, Southern Hemisphere!), the Stack Exchange network has caught the clean-up bug.
Our sister sites like OnStartups and Ask Ubuntu have proposed cleaning up old questions to spruce up the place, and we thought it'd be a good idea to explore here on Programmers.SE, as well.
Stack Exchange has an automatic deletion system in place (see Jeff's answer for the details), but we've still amassed 2,690 (and counting) closed questions so far. The idea would be to sweep up the hundreds of questions collecting dust because they weren't great fits for our site and were closed or abandoned.
It'd also be a way to get everyone involved in moderating the site, and we moderators would rely heavily on you guys to go through and take a look at what needs to go or what needs to be reviewed. Plus, it's a chance for more flag weight increases than you can possibly imagine!
Criteria for deletion
Our thinking right now is to follow the leads of our sister sites and delete questions that have one or more of the following criteria:
- Have a vote total of -2 or less (Edit: mostly complete)
- Have a very low view count
- Have no answers, or no upvoted answers
With the additional criterion that the question must've been closed, ideally for a decent amount of time to allow the original poster to revise the question and try to get it reopened (let's say, a month).
Additionally, based on Joel Spolsky and Robert Cartaino's suggestions, any questions with have not been answered and haven't had any activity in several months (i.e. the "forgotten" questions).
This is where you guys come in. If you see a question that's worth saving but exhibits the qualities above, fight for it. If a question is sitting around that really doesn't belong here, tell us.
What does that mean?
Identifying questions that could be improved. Some questions were closed because they were bad fits for the as written, but nevertheless had some really great answers. If you think you can get the question into a state that'd make it a fit for our site without invalidating the answers, edit the question or suggest an edit.
Voting on questions. If you have the ability to vote for deletion or re-open, use your powers for good. If you see a question that's wrongfully closed, vote to re-open it. If you see a question that should be deleted, vote to delete it.
Flagging questions that need moderator's attention. If you find a closed question that needs one of us to take a look at it, flag it and let us know what your concern is. If you don't have the ability to vote to re-open or delete but feel strongly about it, let us know.
Finding candidate questions
Programmers.SE search has a few operators to help locate candidate questions:
- All questions that are closed
- Closed questions with -2 score or less
- Closed questions with less than 100 views and more than -2 score
- Questions with no activity and no answers for 6 months
- Others? Post 'em!
Questions and comments?
So what do you guys think? Are there any other parts of the site we should be looking at for some clean-up? Do you have any suggestions or ideas about how to handle this?