Rant incoming...

I think this fracturing of SO into a 'subjective' and 'non-subjective' version is the worst idea since New Coke. Its idealogical nonsense in the face of what made SO great, i.e. a sense of community and the improving thereof. What was unworkable about stucking 'subjective' tags on subjective questions and letting people who wanted to participate in an active discussion of subjective topics do so, leaving people who didn't with the ability to stick 'subjective' in their list of ignore tags? One minute spent by a user trying to decide if a question should be on Programmers or SO is about 59 seconds too many. I've watched questions come in on SO in realtime and participated in closing down the egregiously stupid or redundant ones, of which there are quite a few. I don't see how it could have been such an insurmountable burden to stick subjective tags in the actual subjective questions at the same time.

Rant complete.

FYI, this is NOT a duplicate of 'what the difference between this and SO?'. This is 'what was actually broken in SO?'

Update: So my question is an exact duplicate of a question that has been closed as an exact duplicate of a question which I explicitly said is not what I'm asking? The blog post referenced in the top response to that question seems to me to boil down to 'I don't like meta-tags'. So I reiterate... aside from being annoying to some subset of users, what was wrong with meta tags as a division of questions? There are always going to be N dimensions along which we could divide questions. Just because some of those dimensions feel unnatural to some people isn't a good enough reason to split the site (even if that someone is one of the site founders).


2 Answers 2


We tried to agree on a set of guidelines for asking and marking overly-subjective questions on SO... And failed.

We tried to agree on a set of guidelines for creating "list" and "gtky" questions... And failed.

We tried to agree on a set of guidelines for using Community Wiki on SO... And failed.

So now subjective, list, and GTKY questions are off-topic for SO, and CW is no longer an option for question authors.

This is why we can't have nice things...


I didn't think there was anything wrong with the subjective tag, but there is a problem with subjective questions. Stack Overflow was made great because you could come here and get a good quick answer. I love being able to get my questions answered quick.

I also like to answer questions, but with all the subjective crap it really bloats the front page. We need to keep SO focused so it will maintain its usability as a Q&A site.

  • It's too late now, but go look through some of the old data dumps. Everything got tagged [subjective], but not consistently.
    – Shog9
    Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 17:50
  • @MrC, I agree that usage wasn't consistent.
    – user1842
    Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 18:21

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