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I can understand that a question can be too localized, but a question with one sole answer should allow some space to multiple solutions (even if one has a lesser coverage or is more localized then the one provided):

ERROR: Could not contact the SSO server

I ran into this problem myself and tried the answer provided. After many minutes of playing around I found out the obvious solution, but even if the solution is obvious sometimes you don't see it immediately. I decided to add the obvious solution, so other users running into the same, had another option of solving the issue.

Then my answer got removed as "too localized". It was very frustrating, because it was my first contribution to the site and I was looking forward too slowly start giving back to the community (You should really encourage people trying to do a contribution and give some space for it).

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Your answer got removed as "too localized"? How did that happen? You got a message stating so? –  Bart Oct 16 '12 at 15:25
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@Bart A mod deleted it, and that was the message given for the deletion. –  Servy Oct 16 '12 at 15:26
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Well there was no message when it got deleted. I flagged it and that was the response to my flag. –  Klaus Stefan Gerber Oct 16 '12 at 15:30
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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Someone decided that your answer was not an answer to the question. (I think it was your flag that got dismissed as too localized, not your answer.) Your answer was a valid answer to the question's title, but the body of the question clearly states

The Enterprise Single Sign-On Service, RPC service, and COM+ System Application service were all started when I checked, but I gave them a restart anyway and it didn't fix the problem.

As a result an answer of "I had this problem when the service wasn't started" is not an answer to that question.

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Thanks! You are completely right, but the thing is I found that question when I was looking for a solution for my problem. The message error was the same, so how could I contribute my learning expierence. But i think that issue has some discussions already open: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4357/… and meta.stackexchange.com/questions/71544/…. –  Klaus Stefan Gerber Oct 16 '12 at 15:54
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It might have been a good case for a comment on the question (if you had the rep for it) eg "I'm glad you mentioned the services were started because that's the exact message you get when they're not started." That would provide a clue to someone else who has the same problem. –  Kate Gregory Oct 16 '12 at 15:57
    
Ok will do in the future... ;) –  Klaus Stefan Gerber Oct 16 '12 at 16:02
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Ideally a question would allow space for multiple answers depending on the scenario. But this question wasn't asking for multiple solutions to different scenarios. It was about a specific problem, which your answer wasn't specifically addressing, especially given that it was already stated in the question to not have fixed the issue at hand.

As a comment on your answer states,

Good! But I think this doesn't help @Biz ;)

There were also a number of flags on your answer to this effect, to which I was responding by deleting your answer, for not really addressing the question at hand.

As for the "too localized" part, I wasn't the one who declined your follow-up flag, but I take it to mean it was tailored to your case and it wouldn't have helped the question asker. Again, this aligns with the comment and what others have pointed out.

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I was the one who said "too localized"; I'm not trying to introduce answer deletion reasons, but yes, it was something that was tailored very specifically to the answerers case and it wasn't specified how it related to the person asking the question. –  casperOne Oct 16 '12 at 15:44
    
Well from that point of view I can accept it, but then there is still the question: How could you contribute from your learning experience, when the error message was the same, but the starting conditions where different and you found out the solution. –  Klaus Stefan Gerber Oct 16 '12 at 15:59
    
@KlausStefanGerber If the starting conditions were different, then you're not really addressing the posters question, no? Don't get me wrong, we want your contributions, but they should be specific to the question being asked. If you're not addressing the question being asked, it can't be considered an answer to that question (which is implied, but usually rarely stated explicitly, we assume it for the answers here). –  casperOne Oct 16 '12 at 16:07
    
@casperOne yes, as I said in my last comment, I accept and understand the removal. I'm asking how I can contribute my solution somewhere else in the site. Currently I'm reading some questions on that, like posting your own questions with answers, etc. –  Klaus Stefan Gerber Oct 16 '12 at 16:10
    
@KlausStefanGerber Ahh, well, it's a matter of finding questions where your answer is applicable to the error in the way that the user is posting. Remember, that you can ask and answer a question in one shot (this is encouraged now), but remember, the quality standards for both the question and the answer still apply. In your case, if it was a matter of rebooting a machine, chances are that the question will be closed as "too localized". –  casperOne Oct 16 '12 at 16:13
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We want people to ask questions here. People ask questions because they can not only expect a useful answer but one where the answers are peer-reviewed and pruned of clutter. Making room for answers which are not specifically helpful to the questioner but might be generally useful to some unknown audience doesn't help, would dilute the value of the answers, make it less attractive to questioners and thus ultimately frustrate your desire to contribute by giving you fewer opportunities to answer.

The primary purpose of the site is a good one. Mechanisms which enhance the primary purpose also help you to contribute. Ones which detract do not. It's that simple.

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Everything understandable, perfect and clear. The user experience for those asking and those giving advice is the most important, but wouldn't it be nice that you don't even need to ask a question because you find your solution on the site. Even if you enter a very specific error message, the environment of each questioner is quite unique, so for the purpose of finding a solution that suits your particular environment you need to do quite a bit of searching. It would be great to have a method of extracting the discussed knowledge and dump it into a symptoms/possible solutions format. –  Klaus Stefan Gerber Oct 17 '12 at 7:06
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