I have experienced a few questions which got closed for being "too localized". I didn't agree with the people who close it and it's fruitless to make an argument with them. I personally strongly believe there are a number of finger-happy-close people on SO. For whatever reason. (I won't be surprised if this question is voted down without good reasons)

There are times when a question saves a ton of time or a ton of frustration or a ton of money for the asker even though maybe there's only a handful of people on earth who really know the answer.

But the question gets closed very quickly and no one anymore looks at the question. WHAT A WASTE to kill a valid question just because the goal of SO (question should be theoretically useful for xx number of people on earth) didn't align with the asker (few people know the answer or who are interested in it).

There are times when a specific question's scope can't be broadened to meet SO's objective because the second you broaden it, generic and general answers start pouring in. Once the question gets a number of them, people start glancing quickly and don't bother to read all the answers and decide not to add to them and that's when the question starts to die.

Reopenining the question doesn't help much either. It's a hassle to reopen it and once it does get opened, most people have lost interest in it. I personally find the people who closed it have already made up their mind.

To make a long story short, I suggest having a sister Q&A site where these questions get a good healthy place and are moved to instead of being closed and die. Or at least I would like to see another Q&A site on the web where these questions get a chance. SO people keep saying they won't to make the Internet a better place. Have another place for those questions to be answered instead of closing them. You will make the Internet a better place by doing this.

What's too localized for someone could be a life saver for another. Let's not be too judgemental.

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New site proposals go on Area 51. –  Bill the Lizard Jul 28 '11 at 19:33
In my experience, questions which are closed as too localized generally don't deserve to exist on any Q&A site. If you post some of the specific examples you had an issue with, we might be able to suggest some ways to make those questions more general. –  Billy ONeal Jul 28 '11 at 19:33
Although to be fair, a "too localized" site proposal won't get much traction. –  Robert Harvey Jul 28 '11 at 19:38
Indeed, it seems like such a site would be full of askers and devoid of answerers. –  Pops Jul 28 '11 at 19:41
Agreed, I think a "too localized" site would be adding more noise than signal. –  Bill the Lizard Jul 28 '11 at 19:50
@Billy Different people have different opinions on what constitutes 'too localized'. It's subjective. Even real 'too localized' questions deserve to live at some place. Not every site has to have a ton of traffic. –  Tony_Henrich Jul 28 '11 at 21:16
@Bill I am not going to bother spending time & energy on that site if the idea doesn't get any acceptance here. –  Tony_Henrich Jul 28 '11 at 21:23
I'm mildly interested in an anything-goes SE site, mainly as lower quality catch-all for questions that should get closed on SO. However, "too localized" is not the same thing as a low-quality (and potentially salvageable) question. It's a close reason that also indicates too much complexity for the S&A format and/or a general lack of interest. Being too overspecific they might never get answered even if left open somewhere. I assume that's the original reason for introducting "too localized". –  mario Jul 29 '11 at 2:02
@Tony: For your first comment, I point out that 5 people need to agree that a question is too localized before that close happens. For your second comment, I think you meant to address someone else. –  Billy ONeal Jul 29 '11 at 19:46
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closed as too localized by Cody Gray, Geoff Dalgas Jun 25 '12 at 14:24

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2 Answers

Programmers.SE started life out as "Not Programming Related." It was supposed to be a catchall for those questions that were closed on Stack Overflow because they were too "soft" (i.e. What is your favorite pencil for programming?)

The original proposal didn't work because Stack Overflow used it for their trash can, sending any questions they didn't like to Programmers.SE. To fix the problem, the site charter was changed, and the site was given new life as a place for "whiteboard" programming questions.

But because Programmers.SE is still sometimes perceived as StackOverflow's "other, more relaxed" site, the moderators are aggressive about closing questions that are off-topic.

Ultimately, these fail-over proposals don't work because they attempt to resurrect questions that should not be asked in the first place. Stack Exchange sites are not like traditional Internet forums; we expect a little more from our users here.

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Would Code Review be a better location for Too Localized questions regarding some specific case within someone's code? It seems like that could be a possible home for some of these wall-of-code questions. –  Brad Larson Jul 29 '11 at 0:01
@Brad: Could be, but "What's wrong with my code" questions are specifically off-topic there. –  Robert Harvey Jul 29 '11 at 1:42
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Questions should only very rarely be closed as Too Localized, and for specific programming/error type problems, should be done after a period of time so the asker has a chance to get an answer.

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I use "Too Localized" for a few specific reasons: 1) A user says they solved the problem themselves without posting the fix. 2) The question can be answered with a simple Google search. 3) For other, more obscure reasons when I don't want to penalize the OP with an automatic downvote. –  Robert Harvey Jul 28 '11 at 20:39
@Robert Why would you close a question as "Too Localized" when a simple Google search can find the answer? That's the exact opposite of too localized. –  Kalamane Jul 28 '11 at 22:04
@kalamane: I don't have the "General Reference" close reason yet, and "Not a Real Question" is really not a good fit. Too Localized is defined as "This question is unlikely to help any future visitors," which is true, since the answer can be easily obtained through a Google search. As such, it is the closest fit. –  Robert Harvey Jul 28 '11 at 22:08
@Robert I guess if that's the closest thing, it's probably the best. Carry on. –  Kalamane Jul 28 '11 at 22:09
The answer can only be "easily obtained through a Google search" until the first hit on a Google search is to the question closed as "too localized". Not too forward-thinking a plan... Seems like the Meta crowd had already agreed on that @Robert –  Cody Gray Jul 29 '11 at 0:31
@Cody: I'm not sure what your point is. Regardless of the close reason, you're still going to get Google matches on it. "Questions that are too basic" is already a generally-accepted principle for closing questions. That said, I don't close many questions this way. The ones I do close generally have other problems. –  Robert Harvey Jul 29 '11 at 1:36
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