Have other Stack Exchanges run into this, where activity slows due to the lack of novel questions remaining? Is that even seen as a problem?

If and when it does happen, would there be greater consideration for broadening the scope of this SE to include frequently upvoted yet closed questions?

  • 1
    Several people think Stackoverflow has reached that point (see this blog for example. And IMHO the critics mentioned there are also applicable here to SE.SE. However, AFAIK Stackoverflow did not "broaden its scope", and I would not expect the community here on SE.SE to get consensus on any scope change easily,
    – Doc Brown
    May 30, 2020 at 18:43
  • When every question pertaining to Software Engineering has been more or less asked -- Not possible; and even if it were, we're a long way from reaching that point. Jun 1, 2020 at 20:10

1 Answer 1


This is why we close as duplicate. If we link the questions the new ones act as signposts pointing at the old ones. As we grow that should happen more and more. If you are instead saying we should be more tolerant of say education advice questions or resource requests I'll hit you back with two points:

  1. Closing off topic questions defines what we're about
  2. Closing, say, let's-take-a-poll questions remembers who this site is for

Lose sight of these and we become reddit, or 4chan. * Shudder *

My personal big push here isn't to see us have a wider topic. It's to have a wider user base that understands the rules here. I try to teach people the rules rather than just shut them down. I try to salvage the valuable parts of a question rather than look for any excuse to junk it. Sometimes I go so far as to reframe the question into a valuable one so it can be answered.

But I'm not changing what were about just because we're old. We got old because we did something right.

  • I agree fully to what you wrote, but I think we should work on having a wider user base among the voters who understand that some sensible questions are broad by nature, and still can be answered in a concise manner. Also we should work on having more users who understand that anonymous downvoting (without close voting or a comment) does not improve the site.
    – Doc Brown
    Jun 1, 2020 at 14:20

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