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While I like stack exchange sites there a few things I'm frequently butting heads with moderators about and it's causing all sorts of grief. I need your help.

Frequently, I have a question that needs no further description. For example, let's say I'm on a questions about life site, I would ask, "Why is the sky blue?" and in the description, enter the same text, "Why is the sky blue?". The first thing would happen is the post process would flag my post and would indicate that my question does not meet the quality standards of the site. This is infuriating. If a title is the same as the description it does not mean it's low quality.

The second is the comment system. It requires that comments must be 15 characters in length. This also, is infuriating. If someone asks a questions, PC or Mac in the previous comment. I can't reply with just "PC" or just "Mac". So instead of writing out, "PC", I have to type out "I am using a personal computer". Instead of trusting me, the user, to write only what I need and not more, my freedom to use as many characters as I need and not more is taken away. I feel like I'm forced to fatten up my answer.

The third is when people come along and close my question as general reference. It is infuriating. I come to these sites to find answers and get thoughtful feedback. Some of the guys on these sites are experts. Experts at their art or craft, while others are expert at searching online and others are expert assholes. Someone will find the answer, on somewhere like wikipedia, and another guy will come along and close the question as general reference because the first guy found it on wikipedia when I couldn't find it. I and many others need help finding things online. When others close our questions it's like a slap in the face. That's the response it gives. It's really rude. Of course it can probably be found on wikipedia! But so what? I couldn't find it. Just because the answer is out there somewhere doesn't mean you shouldn't ask the question. If you understand that then I have hope.

NOTE: Asking the question gives the search engines a chance to index and find that answer on stack exchange sites even if it is a link to another resource.

I need someone to finish this thought as if they were me.

~~~ UPDATE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Let me add another. When people are honest about grievances and the bring them to those that are grieving them and then their grievances are dismissed and voted down it makes the person feel unimportant. It makes them unappreciated. Let me make clear that I'm not here asking to be appreciate or asking to be made to feel important. Let me make it clear that that is the feeling I get when these things occur. That is how it makes me feel. I didn't come here expecting to feel like * just from asking a question. BUT this is how this choice of behavior has felt. You may or may not care. I don't really want your explanation. Just an FYI. Something to think about. I'm your visitor. Before you say it, I'll say it, maybe I don't "fit".

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closed as not constructive by Yannis, Josh Caswell, jmort253, jonsca, Diago Oct 24 '12 at 6:28

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Kate pretty much summed up most everything I was going to say, and she did it quite nicely. The only thing I'd add is that you should consider approaching these problems a bit more constructively. Instead of trying to understand how SE sites work, and trying to learn, the majority of your post is a large rant that is likely to be closed. In other words, ask how you can be a better SE user, and what can you do to make the transition from random-snapshot-of-the-Internet forums user to organized, high quality SE sites contributor. ;) –  jmort253 Oct 24 '12 at 2:43
    
I will ask myself that if you ask yourself how you can be a better SE representative and what can I do to make the experience of SE better for the people that feel that what they have to share is so important to SE's success that they join and leave feedback on the meta site. –  1.21 gigawatts Oct 24 '12 at 4:02
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On the chance that you don't know: downvotes are different on meta. They don't mean that people think this is necessarily a bad question, or that it is ill-posed but that they disagree with you. –  dmckee Oct 24 '12 at 4:20
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Out of the many purposes of the Stack Exchange network of sites, exactly zero of them consist of building up your self-esteem. Get over yourself. –  Jack Maney Oct 24 '12 at 12:16
    
Oh, and @1.21gigawatts, asking a question on Meta SO isn't exactly a high barrier of entry for expressing concern. Please stop acting as though it is. –  Jack Maney Oct 24 '12 at 16:57
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@1.21gigawatts - "I need someone to finish this thought as if they were me." Why are you seemingly unwilling to finish your own thoughts? –  Jack Maney Oct 29 '12 at 2:59
    
@JackManey your type of cold responses are the reason i hate using stack exchange –  1.21 gigawatts Jun 8 at 11:56

1 Answer 1

Let me give you the shortest piece of advice first. The culture and norms of the SE sites are not going to change. Play along or play somewhere else.

Now some more details so it all seems a little less harsh and unfair.

Why shouldn't the title be the whole question? Because a good question is longer than can fit in the title. A good question is about a real problem you face, so "why is the sky blue?" is a bad question. So is "why is my houseplant wilting and drooping?" if that's all the information you provide. It's a good title, but to be a good question it needs lots more detail. If you can't think of more than 5-10 words to fully lay out your question, tell people what you know so far, and give people a good idea of what you want to know, then that means you can't write a good question for the SE network.

Why can't I just comment "PC" when someone asks a question in a comment? Because you shouldn't answer those comments that way. You should go back and edit your question. Stick the letters PC into the middle of some sentence or another and now you made your question better. (You might go so far as to add a whole sentence if you like.) Comments are supposed to be useful on their own, and a response comment is only useful when the question is still there. If someone asks you a question in a comment, they are actually prodding you to edit your question and make it better.

Why is my question closed as general reference when I don't know the answer? Because some sites are drowning in "is is true that 2+4 is the same as 4+2?" or other questions that are just plain not interesting. Not all sites use this close reason: for more insight into the reasoning behind it on the sites that do, I encourage you to read the per-site meta sites. If your question is more about some subtle nuance, then we're back to "you need to write more than 5-10 words", aren't we? Explain your question fully and it's more likely to stay open and get answered.

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"Because you shouldn't answer those comments that way. You should go back and edit your question." This. This. This! –  dmckee Oct 24 '12 at 3:12
    
Hi Kate - Thank you for your response. The statement, "(We) are not going to change." remind me of the RIAA. "We are not going to adapt or change." That's fine. My purpose here is to give you feedback. It's up to you what to do with it. Regarding why shouldn't the title be the whole question you say that that a "Good question is longer than can fit in the title." Who says? Have you used quora? The description field is optional. They think it's OK to only have a question. –  1.21 gigawatts Oct 24 '12 at 3:49
    
Another thing is line breaks removed from the comments section. This makes all the text run together. –  1.21 gigawatts Oct 24 '12 at 3:49
    
In response to Why can't I just comment "PC"... I understand that point and but it's too rigid. Not all comments are because the question isn't clear. What about this conversation? Should I write the response back into my own question or does it make more sense to put it here inline in a readable format? –  1.21 gigawatts Oct 24 '12 at 3:55
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@1.21gigawatts Because the questions should stand on it's own, without requiring a reader to parse a bunch of comments to figure it out. Recall that your questions is also expected to be a resource for future visitors. Edit, please. –  dmckee Oct 24 '12 at 4:19
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Yep, this is, more or less, the answer that I was formulating (and was about to start writing). Especially "The culture and norms of the SE sites are not going to change. Play along or play somewhere else." –  Jack Maney Oct 24 '12 at 12:14
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"Regarding why shouldn't the title be the whole question you say that that a 'Good question is longer than can fit in the title.' Who says?" The community. Either follow the guidelines set forth by the community or go elsewhere. It's that simple. –  Jack Maney Oct 24 '12 at 12:18
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@1.21gigawatts your paraphrase of "we" are not going to change is not what I meant. I meant "they" are not going to change. I'm not SE and I don't speak for the culture; I have however been observing and participating for a while. I like this network because the questions are well written (eventually) and I get a sense of the quality of the answers. Yes this means more work for askers. Yes this means some questions remain unanswered, even unasked. I'll take it because I like what this site provides for questions that are good fits for it. –  Kate Gregory Oct 24 '12 at 18:41

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