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A place for the subjective, fun questions

EDIT: I'm not talking a catch-all site for any Q&A, I mean questions still related to SE. But, perhaps the community option for a question (can't remember what its called) would make this suggestion completely useless.

I was thinking, so many questions are closed on SE it is becoming a finely tuned art to craft a question which isn't abused with downvotes and eventually closed.

Too general, too specific, open-ended, shopping.

I understand maybe SE isn't begging for more traffic, but would a section for semi-policed questions make sense? Each website on SE, or a website in itself, would be for any and all questions, and questions would only be removed if recent duplicates were found (same question can have entirely different answers depending when it was asked)? This would increase content on the site and give the users who, like me, cannot be bothered with thinking about the question to the point where we find the answer from analyzing it.

The vote could be something like "Throw to the lions", and people might be more inclined to click that instead of close. The asker at least has some answers to go from, people can be more casual with their answers, and SE builds more content and likely more users.

Let me guess..you're going to downvote and vote to close?

  • 4
    I think such a site exists, answers.yahoo.com ... Your welcome ;-)
    – maple_shaft Mod
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 18:48
  • 1
    I guess only they know the reality, but there is no way I'd suggest any beginner programmers come here for answers, specifically because out of the 40 or so questions I've asked, I have a handful of answers, and a bucketful of votes to close. I've come away not with answers to questions, but answers to why those questions were not valid, and I feel wholly unsatisfied with the entire experience because of it. Worst thing is, I know I'm not alone. SE is driving away beginners..it is for experts, but people asking questions are generally people who are not.
    – user9682
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 18:49
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    @Zenph If you have specific questions that you feel were closed improperly, feel free to raise them for discussion on meta or in chat, and you'll probably get feedback on how to improve them so they can be reopened or how to best reask them if they can't be reopened. However, this site is not for beginning programmers, but professional software developers. Some sites, like Stack Overflow, cater to a wider audience (professionals as well as novices and even hobbists).
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 19:01
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    Oh, I didn't know that this was for professional software developers on both sides - questions and answers. That answers a few of my confusions.
    – user9682
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 19:10
  • @Zenph There are plenty of questions from people about personal projects or who aren't professionals. However, the questions are typically about things of interest to people who are professionals.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 0:54
  • I'd rather see the actual SE site be for the general everyday user, with an voting option or a filter for experts, so a question can get sent to the actual experts on a subject for an expert answer, while the everyday user could get their common questions answered by other everyday users. You don't need an expert to know the answer to a question
    – Rachel
    Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 15:12
  • @Zenph - I'm personally OK with trying to help someone more than the site really encourages, by answering a question that will be deleted in the comments. And I don't down-vote for being outside the guidelines. I do down-vote people who seem like they can't be bothered to think about the question, or research it. It's just rude, and wastes the time of people who read the question (even if someone out there is kind enough to answer it). I don't recall your specific questions, so if this doesn't apply to you - well, then it doesn't apply to you.
    – psr
    Commented Apr 26, 2012 at 0:22
  • @psr It doesn't apply to me. I am an avid researcher, completely self-taught, and I understand the importance of learning things, and in my situation, learning things largely by myself. So I only ask questions here when I'm absolutely desperate and have at least tried to fix the issue for half hour via other means..to have a question deleted at that point..well, hopefully you can understand the frustration. The reason I see SE as a last resort is because personally, from my experience, I rarely receive any decent help.
    – user9682
    Commented Apr 26, 2012 at 17:43

2 Answers 2


The scope of the site is for expert answers on conceptual questions regarding software development, so it is essentially a Q&A site.

The catch is that the "asking questions" part is there primarily not to serve an immediate and singular persons needs, it is there to serve an entire community and an entire web full of software developers who are scouring the internet for answers to their conceptual questions.

If you ask a good question and it helps you personally, then GREAT! I feel good about that, but it absolutely has to be unique to some degree and not drown out exceptional content. Basically, we don't want this site to become StackOverflow, where every day there are hundreds of new beginner Objective-C questions that can be answered by the first result in a Google search, and meanwhile an exceptional question that could benefit many gets drowned out.

It is nothing against beginners, but if you are having beginner problems then the site best serves you by searching it for questions similar to your issue. I consider myself a "beginner" when it comes to Sci-Fi/Fantasy, so I opened an account on the scifi SE site to ask a question, only to find that nearly any question I had was already asked and answered in exquisite detail. I spend a LOT of time on that site just reading.

And that is ultimately what it comes down to. Beginners at any discipline must really learn to read more and talk less.

  • Thanks for the thought out answer. I am a typical silent type, and I've been soaking info for years off my own back. So when I come to SE it is because I'm desperate for an answer to a question I have. I guess I need to understand what SE is for, and what it is not for.
    – user9682
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 19:14
  • @Zenph No problem. If you have a question and you are unsure if it is a good fit for the site, then come ask one of us in chat and we will lead you in the right direction. Also please keep in mind that closing is just a temporary state to prevent new answers. We like to close things so that one day we can possible save them from deletion through editing the question. Don't get too hung up on this, it is not a personal attack.
    – maple_shaft Mod
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 19:53
  • ... also if you feel the question wouldn't fare well or you just need to discuss a problem you are facing then we can help you in chat as well.
    – maple_shaft Mod
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 19:55

I can't find the post right now (it was either on MSO or on the blog), but the idea of a general purpose Q&A site is beyond the scope of Stack Exchange. The idea of Stack Exchange is to get a group of experts on a particular topic in one place to answer specific, relevant, useful questions that people have on that subject. The whole point is to have a place for those thought out questions.

As an aside, even if you analyze your question and come up with an answer yourself, you should still post it on the appropriate site, and even provide an answer for it - that behavior is encouraged. There might be other answers out there that others will post that might be more useful to someone else. People might also help you refine your answer through comments.

  • But I don't necessarily mean a place for questions which are general, I mean a place, also, for grey-area questions where they are largely valid, and a very small portion rallies the troops to close.
    – user9682
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 18:43
  • @Rachel The post I'm thinking of is by Jeff or Joel, probably around the time they let others start using the SE engine.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 18:44
  • @Zenph A place the every-day user can go and enjoy themselves without worrying about providing questions that the experts don't want to be bothered with?
    – Rachel
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 18:45
  • @Zenph That has also been discussed on MSO before. Stack Exchanges are for questions about a topic. Either they meet the guidelines for a good question (which are the same for every site, regardless of their topic) and the topicality of the site and they remain open or they don't and get closed.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 18:46
  • Yeh, like SE:Beginners - A place to learn how to program, not learn how to ask questions.
    – user9682
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 18:55