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Fixing close question descriptions

It seems to me that one of the most common sources of close votes on serverfault is someone asking for a shopping recommendation. Whatever option I choose from the list, will result in a message to the poster that doesn't clearly convey the message that shopping recommendation don't belong here. The user will often complain in a comment or on meta. To avoid that I am frequently adding a comment with a link to the blog post on the topic.

Since this type of question seems to be so common on serverfault and superuser, I think we should add dedicated close option for it so that when it does get close the user will get some specific help about why these questions are problematic. I am getting annoyed at having to choose spend time posting a comment, or see complaints in comments and on meta.

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marked as duplicate by animuson, kiamlaluno, Diago, jonsca, Pops Jul 30 '12 at 19:18

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. - Covered. –  animuson Apr 19 '12 at 0:41
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I am sorry, but very few of the people who complain are able to accept that polling = recommendation. I understand it, but very few choose to understand that those two things are the same. –  Zoredache Apr 19 '12 at 0:44
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Just because people refuse to acknowledge that their question is not acceptable doesn't mean that it is... –  animuson Apr 19 '12 at 0:45
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@animuson, no, but I would like to close their questions using an automatic message, that actually gives them some useful information about why. –  Zoredache Apr 19 '12 at 0:47
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Whenever I close them, I leave the following AutoCommentShopping Questions are Off-Topic on any of the [se] sites because of their very limited lifespan. See [Q and A is hard, lets go Shopping](http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/11/qa-is-hard-lets-go-shopping) and the [FAQ] for more details. –  Mark Henderson Apr 19 '12 at 0:51
    
I like this idea. Makes things immediately obvious and is much harder to argue with. –  Matthew Read Apr 19 '12 at 1:20

2 Answers 2

The Server Fault FAQ explicitly states:

If your question is about…

[…]

and it is not about…

[…]

[…]

…then you’re in the right place to ask your question!

Therefore, closing the question as off topic should be enough (and less debatable than not constructive), since closing as off topic inserts the message:

Questions on Server Fault are expected to generally relate to servers, networking, or desktop infrastructure, within the scope defined in the faq.

That's what's being done on Super User, and the affected users seldom complain (some always will).

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I think that the "not constructive" close reason covers the reasons shopping recommendations are off topic. It says:

This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion.

A shopping recommendation asks for opinion, debate, and polling so I don't think another reason is needed for that in particular.

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I agree, that should cover it. But the comments I see from people lead to to believe that, the 'not constructive' description simply doesn't mean shopping recommendation. –  Zoredache Apr 19 '12 at 0:46
    
It's true: not constructive doesn't mean shopping recommendation, but it includes it. An answer for a question about shopping recommendations is probably giving the opinion of who writes it, as there isn't a definitive answer for those kind of questions. –  kiamlaluno Apr 19 '12 at 4:01

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