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I posted a question titled Make blink(1) blink a specific color about two hours ago, and just logged back on to discover it was not listed in my profile, nor could I find it anywhere on the site. Fortunately I hadn't closed the tab, so upon reloading the page was able to see the message

Your question was removed from Stack Overflow for reasons of moderation.

Now first off, had I not kept the page open, I would never have seen this message at all, which is a really frustrating user experience. But that aside, I'm trying to understand what was so wrong about my question that it merited outright deletion, without (to my knowledge) any discussion or comments on the question itself.

The 404 page doesn't tell me anything more than "reasons of moderation" but it does link to the deletion page of the FAQ, which says "Questions that are extremely off topic, or of very low quality, may be removed" and "if your question generally covers ... software tools commonly used by programmers ... then you’re in the right place to ask your question!"

Now my question was about an issue I had with a new product (or more specifically, the command-line application that came with it) so "commonly used" may not be true, but it's definitely relevant to programmers, and it's not unusually obscure (the product's kickstarter had 2,600 backers who pledged more than 4x it's goal). After doing the research to figure out what I was doing wrong, I wanted to help others who very well might have the same issue. I can very easily imagine people having more questions related to programming blink(1) and it'd be great if SO could be a resource for such questions.

So I'm wondering, what was wrong with my question, that merited moderator deletion? I'm willing to entertain the argument that another SE site would be a better place for this question, but in that case, why not move it instead of nuke it?

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The question wasn't even closed. It was just out-right mod-deleted. –  Mysticial Dec 13 '12 at 6:11
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That's somewhere between NARQ and off-topic. I don't see how it's even related to programming in any way. I don't understand the delete though. Are you sure you didn't get a moderator message? –  Charles Dec 13 '12 at 6:12
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I'm fairly certain I didn't get a message. Could we go into why it's not constructive? I was struggling with this tool, and when I found the answer, wanted to share what I'd learned. Is it unreasonable to think other people might wonder the same thing I did? –  dimo414 Dec 13 '12 at 6:23
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I undeleted the post; it should not have been deleted IMO. Not sure if it's still on topic for the site, though. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Dec 13 '12 at 6:57
    
Thanks very much! –  dimo414 Dec 13 '12 at 6:58

1 Answer 1

Your post probably should not have been outright deleted, not because it's on topic, but just to give you an opportunity to see that it was closed, why it was closed, and to get you feedback from the FAQ as to why. After a reasonable time period, it should of course be deleted, if it hasn't been edited to conform to Stack Overflow How to Ask question guidelines.

Moderators are busy though, and sometimes they have to make snap judgements to move on. (Remember, there are generally over 400 flags in the queue at any given time.)

However, your question is about a product, a hardware device. It doesn't seem to be a programming question, but I could be wrong about the topic (disclaimer). This would make it off-topic on Stack Overflow, assuming you're not engaged in actual programming.

In addition, at the bottom of your post, you say the following:

Meta: I'm posting this question as much to start a conversation about blink(1) on SO as to specifically answer this question. I'd encourage more people to post questions about their blink(1)'s, some that come to mind include "How can I make blink(1) blink for the duration of a process?" and "What do the arguments to blink(1)'s --play command do?".

If your motivation is to "start a discussion", then Stack Overflow is the wrong site. This doesn't fit well with the Q&A model where there's a concrete question followed by a series of answers supported by facts, references, and specific expertise.

However, it is something that Stack Overflow people would likely be interested in discussing, and for that, I can imagine that any one of the Stack Overflow chat rooms would contain people who would love to chat with you about this. Check out the list of Stack Overflow chat rooms.

Additionally, there are many more Stack Exchange Q&A sites where questions about blink(1) may be considered on-topic, just be sure to check their FAQs before posting. Good luck!

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Perhaps I phrased it poorly, but by "start a conversation" I meant that I was hoping to see more programming-blink(1) related questions on SE, not that this question should be an open forum. I would update the end of my question if I could still get to it... –  dimo414 Dec 13 '12 at 6:26
    
I admit it is semantics which can be misconstrued. Can you still see the deleted post with the link or no? If not, I can flag it for you for review and see if a mod can at least undelete it so you can make some edits. Just let me know. If you can see the post, try to edit the discussion part out and make it clearer to people that aren't familiar with blink(1) that there is programming involved. –  jmort253 Dec 13 '12 at 6:27
    
To your "assuming you're not engaged in actual programming" comment, my hope is to indeed write programs utilizing and controlling blink(1), as I was trying to demonstrate by the suggested additional question topics. –  dimo414 Dec 13 '12 at 6:28
    
I cannot presently see my question, when I visit the URL I posted above, I get a 404 Page Not Found page. –  dimo414 Dec 13 '12 at 6:29
    
Sure, @dimo414, and I suspect that wasn't clear to people not familiar with it. I'll flag it for you and reference this post as I agree that this was likely just an innocent mistake. –  jmort253 Dec 13 '12 at 6:30
    
Thanks for your help! –  dimo414 Dec 13 '12 at 6:58
    
You're welcome! If you have any other issues on Stack Overflow, I encourage you to bring them to meta with the same constructive, positive tone you did here. Good luck! :) –  jmort253 Dec 13 '12 at 7:04

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