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I experienced it several times, that beginner questions are closed or downvoted on SO. Now I read the FAQ and found the following.

A question is closed if it is

  • exact duplicate
  • off topic
  • not constructive
  • not a real question
  • too localized

What about if everyone who votes for a close has to submit a comment why it should be closed? The same with downvoting. Most people vote down without saying explicitely why. It would help the questioner to improve the question.

Neverthless, instead of simply providing an answer to a apparantly simple questions you get downvoted and closed. Why they cannot provide a solution even the question is simple?

Last time I made a Google research and didn't found the information I was looking for. So I started a question here. I got immediately two votes for a close. After trying further I found the solution. But this information will never be seen and found by others, because I deleted the question because of down votes. In this case you can say that I didn't made enough research, but the question also included a continuative question which also will be never answered. Why there is no place for beginner questions here? Another time I also asked a questions and searched for hours for an solution. But the solution was so simple that it is embarassing to post the solution. But I never got a clear answer.

Apart from that SO is a good thing and I like it. And now downvote and close my question ;)

share|improve this question
As for your "the question also included a continuative question which also will be never answered": one question per post, please! And here on Meta too. So: what is your question above? – Arjan Jan 14 '12 at 10:50
Beginner questions are welcome as long as they are well formulated, and show research effort. Good beginner questions get positive votes. Bad beginner questions, like all other bad questions, get negative attention. Care to point out some questions where you think the close and/or downvotes were not warranted? – Mat Jan 14 '12 at 10:50
@testing: I'd like to point out that that question initially looked like this – Mat Jan 14 '12 at 11:02
@Mat: You're right. But someone who has experience with this library can answer the question in half a minute (with the information that it was about radio buttons which was missing in this question). So I tried to add code examples and so on and still got no answer. Than I answered it by myself. – testing Jan 14 '12 at 11:04
@testing: voting works differently here. – Mat Jan 14 '12 at 11:57
I had same concern… people here are less encouraging the beginners I always vote for downvote with reason.I got 9 downvotes for my question within a day – Balaswamy vaddeman Jan 14 '12 at 11:59
It's worth mentioning at this point that downvotes on meta simply mean "I disagree with this". To answer your questions about your question on stack overflow: you're asking people to spend some time and effort when you post a question. And looking at your question, especially your original one, I can't help thinking "Why should I spend more effort answering this than you spent asking it?" It does take hard work to ask "good" questions on stack exchange sites, but if the help of the people here is that important to someone, the effort should seem worthwhile to them. – RobM Jan 14 '12 at 12:06
@RobMoir:In generally you are right. But the solution consists of six words (For radio buttons there is no arrow). But I'll give it up posting on meta. I also would avoid posting a link to SO because people like to downvote. They even downvote if the question is well formulated and hours of efforts have be put in. – testing Jan 14 '12 at 12:17
@Balaswamyvaddeman: I see what you mean. There are many such questions here. But it does not mean that if there are many downvoters out there that they are right. – testing Jan 14 '12 at 12:18
This is the most originalest idea evar! I'm glad you took time to check on meta to see if anyone else has ever proposed anything similar regarding closing/downvoting and comments! – JNK Jan 14 '12 at 12:24
@JNK'sMetAccount: I never really visited meta. Sorry for my finding. But hey I know beginner questions/findings are not allowed here. Because they bore more experienced user ... There are not only master and noobs out there. There is also something in between. And those can answer the questions which the master will not. – testing Jan 14 '12 at 12:41
@Mat and testing: my downvote is first of all because the above question does not show a lot of research here on Meta, and it is not clear to me what is being asked (except for things that have discussed here many times before). With my first comments I tried to trigger improvement; the rollback to first revision eventually made me downvote it just now. – Arjan Jan 14 '12 at 12:45
@Arjan: Thanks for explaining your downvote! What do you think which research I should make? I read the FAQ, I read the related questions. I think this more than others do. And this is not a real question. It is more a conclusion that you cannot ask simple question in the stackexchange network. Perhaps there would be less noob questions out there if these question would appear in related question. I made the rollback because people don't really read or understand my viewpoint. Instead I get more and more downvotes. I also made this because I don't care therefore more on meta. It's useless. – testing Jan 14 '12 at 12:58
A little less time choosing to be personally offended because you were downvoted and a little more time looking into why downvotes happen would be time well spent. You're choosing to take the downvotes on both this and your original question as personal insults because you're a "noob", instead of considering them as comments about the questions themselves, which is how they're intended to be. All the "masters" you speak of here were once new to the site too. All the regulars here give and receive up and down votes on our posts and take them in the way they're intended. – RobM Jan 14 '12 at 13:20
A few things that you could have done which would probably have resulted in no DVs. Include code (see to show what you've done, explain where the problem is and give examples of what you expected the output to be. Jon Skeet also has a blog post on writing a good SO question if you wish to learn. (btw I work with JQuery everyday and I needed more context anyhow) – Rune FS Jan 14 '12 at 21:44
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Some of the problems I can see with your example question are:

  • You initially had too little information, and you proabbly accumulated a few close votes before you even added that information.

    Solution: Add enough information to begin with. Don't just describe the problem, show the problem. Before you post the question, put your neutral observer hat on and read the question, and ask yourself: "Is this enough information for someone unfamiliar with my code to give me a detailed answer?". Once you've accumulated those close votes then they cannot be undone unless the question ends up closed and then people vote to reopen it.

  • You linked to an example on an external site, but the person following the link then has to perform an action on that page to see the example, and you didn't mention that action.

    Solution: Minimize links to external sites, only have them if necessary. An inline screenshot of the example site would have been better - pictures are worth a thousand words, and the reader would not have to have gone to an external site and try to manipulate the page to see the example.

  • Your question is like a sales job, you need to sell your problem to someone interested in answering.

    Solution: When your question is a wall of text, a wall of code, or poorly described then readers give up and move on. Even when you edit the question they will probably never come back to see your edits – you've lost them forever. Write the initial question, proof read it, criticize it, and then write it again. Make sure your problem and the situation is clear and unambiguous, and well formatted.

  • You have included the solution at the bottom of the question.

    Solution: At least you provided the solution. However it should have been written as an answer (not as an edit to the question), then marked as the answer. This makes it a lot easier for others to find the answer to your question, and you might even get some upvotes for it if someone finds it useful in the future.

share|improve this answer
"Performing an action": This is a matter of dispute, because it is in the context of form validation. But you're right, picture are more than 1000 words. "Adding solution": This is not possible when closed. Also I risk a second downvote (question + answer) when giving a solution (but which is not a real solution for others). – testing Jan 14 '12 at 11:46

When voting to close a question there is a popup to select the reason for closing.

close reasons

The reason that most closers selected will appear at the bottom of the question.

This should be enough information to help the asker of the question improve later questions.

share|improve this answer
E.g. I got closed as not a real question. And than further It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form.. But in the end the question was too simple and not the reason given here. – testing Jan 14 '12 at 10:49
@testing - Without seeing the question (next time, link to it), it is impossible to tell if what the actual reason was. – Oded Jan 14 '12 at 10:50
@testing I agree that there is no good close reason for questions that are too simple. The introduction of an additional item in the list has been discussed, but was declined for various reasons. (See Introduce a "general reference" close reason – Pëkka Jan 14 '12 at 10:52

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