Here's a challenging place to start:
- Closing questions that don't fit our model is one of the most important ways we've created strong, expert communities that can thrive.
- Having your question closed is an extremely frustrating, personal-feeling event that turns new users off, and tends to drive (usually incorrect) assumptions that new users aren't welcome.
So we're having a lot of discussions about close protocols internally, and will be sharing our ideas for feedback on some of them shortly.
NOTE: We do not intend to do anything that will reduce quality or significantly curb the ability to close posts that don't belong here.
But here are some preliminary highlights still in broad discussion. Again, we'll share specific ideas we're considering as they develop.
- Some of the close reasons can be improved in either name or description. ("Not Constructive" and "Not a real question" jump to mind as ones that no one accepts as fair observations on their post.)
- Feedback around how to improve a post should be preferred etiquette for all savable questions. We're not talking about mandatory comments ""asdfghjkl", but more of a "one of the five of you should take the time to share things like, "If you explained exactly what you tried, and exactly what you need, this could probably be reopened"
- There should be a clearer, easier way to prevent closures or drive re-opens. Currently, if you spot that rare case where close-voters are wrong, you have little ability to help 'save' the post. And we're looking at review-style ways to allow users to look at closed posts that should be re-opened for some reason or another.
Also, here's a tip that seems obvious, but helps a ton:
You should only cast a close vote if you'd be comfortable with your vote instantly closing the question, without knowing whether anyone else voted to close.
I'm a little ashamed to say it, but I'm much more careful voting to close now that my diamond means that my vote instantly closes than I was before. And that's dangerous - if your vote to close factors that others must agree, it means that in some rare cases, the 5-vote requirement can mean that posts are closed with less confidence than a 1-vote one would be.