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Where can I ask questions that don’t fit or are off-topic for Stack Overflow?

I know the Stack Exchange Q&As are a place for people to ask questions that have definitive answers. I had to put that out there in advance.

My question deals with what the best way is to address how it makes someone feel to contribute something, maybe even for the first or second time, and be met with overwhelming rejection. I don't mean someone asking for solutions to their homework through the Q&A, but users who contributed something that is off-topic, but that would make a very nice blog post.

Being a freshman in the Stack Exchange Q&As myself, I vividly remember an experience early on that almost put me off Stack Exchange for good.

Inspired by some of the questions that where the most popular at the time ("Great programming quotes" and the likes, which seem to have been deleted since,) I contributed an off-topic question that was met with harsh words telling me what Stack Exchange is and what it isn't. At the time I felt like there was a double standard, where seasoned members could get away with contributing off-topic blog bits, and newcomers where publicly hanged for it. It seems like that double standard is being addressed since those very popular questions like "Great programming quotes" are being deleted, but aren't we losing something in the process? First of all, we lose those posts that many users found amusing/entertaining/eye-opening. But we also might lose new talent, that maybe haven't figured out what exactly Stack Exchange websites are for specifically, but want to give back to the community with a well-thought-out comment/joke/..., maybe because they can't answer questions themselves yet, since that in itself is quite competitive, at least on Stack Overflow.

So here comes my question:

Could you guys envision a place where clever questions that are flagged as off-topic or not-a-real-question can go to be appreciated (maybe without gaining experience for them?) Posts that new talent has created could be moved to that place, without hurting someone's feelings, and we could all enjoy the posts.

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marked as duplicate by dmckee, kiamlaluno, ChrisF, Servy, Bart Jan 22 '13 at 20:56

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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Oh, man. Here we go again. –  Robert Harvey Jan 22 '13 at 20:33
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Programmers! [just kidding guys]. –  Lance Roberts Jan 22 '13 at 20:34
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99.9% of the internet is for crap that random people find funny. SO fits into the .1%. There are lots of better places for your OT content. –  Servy Jan 22 '13 at 20:35
    
Notice the top question in the "Related" side bar? Now read down to a few more like "Should there be a new place where you could ask all the off-topic questions?"... –  dmckee Jan 22 '13 at 20:35
    
@RobertHarvey: Thanks for proving my point. –  DudeOnRock Jan 22 '13 at 20:36
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Tim Post actually put up a site called Boat Programming as an experiment to try out this very concept. It was a disaster; he should have called it icanhaztrolls. –  Robert Harvey Jan 22 '13 at 20:38
    
@dmckee: Part of my question was addressing how it makes people feel to be met with rejection, especially new talent. –  DudeOnRock Jan 22 '13 at 20:39
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@DudeOnRock: How would it feel to have your question kicked into the equivalent of the Stack Exchange Recycle Bin? –  Robert Harvey Jan 22 '13 at 20:40
    
@RobertHarvey: Now you are being rude. –  DudeOnRock Jan 22 '13 at 20:41
    
@RobertHarvey Would they feel better if we called it the Honey Trap? –  dmckee Jan 22 '13 at 20:42
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@DudeOnRock Experience has shown that people with questions to ask will tolerate a lot from their site in order to have access to high quality answers. People who provide high quality answers won't. By removing questions from the site it improves the experience for the quality answerers, and with the quality answerers being here and not on other programming forums, people who want answers will tolerate the stricter guidelines for asking questions. –  Servy Jan 22 '13 at 20:42
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@DudeOnRock: I'm not being rude. See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/73382/… and meta.stackexchange.com/questions/89169/… –  Robert Harvey Jan 22 '13 at 20:42
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@DudeOnRock No he's not. It's a perfectly legitimate question. Instead of "We don't take those questions." you suggest we say "You question rides in the short bus.". Is that actually any better? –  dmckee Jan 22 '13 at 20:43
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The phrase "How would it feel to be kicked into the equivalent of the Stack Exchange Recycle Bin?" could be interpreted as a threat (that's how I read it at first) - maybe that's why DudeOnRock felt it was rude. –  AndrewC Jan 22 '13 at 20:49
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@dmckee Re: Honey Trap: New site proposals belong on Area 51. ;) –  Bill the Lizard Jan 22 '13 at 20:50
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1 Answer 1

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Could you guys envision a place where clever questions that are flagged as off-topic or not-a-real-question can go to be appreciated (maybe without gaining experience for them?)

You answered your own question.

...but users who contributed something that is off-topic, but that would make a very nice blog post.

As to

...how it makes someone feel to contribute something, maybe even for the first or second time, and be met with overwhelming rejection.

Closing a question isn't overwhelming rejection. The reason that a question is closed is spelled out along with a link to the FAQ, so new users who don't quite get what Stack Exchange is about yet have a chance to learn. They are encouraged to try and improve their question to fit within site guidelines so that it might be reopened and answered.

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As I mentioned in the comments to my question, I am also asking if there should be a discussion on how new talet feels when met with stark rejection. –  DudeOnRock Jan 22 '13 at 20:45
    
@DudeOnRock You posted a feature request with a given proposal, and that's what's being answered. If you would like to also discuss another (possibly related) issue, then you can start a discussion question. –  Servy Jan 22 '13 at 20:46
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@DudeOnRock: How people feel is a straw man anyway. If we had to constantly evaluate whether someone's feelings might get hurt, no question would ever get closed. We already adhere to the rule "Be Nice;" closing off-topic questions doesn't violate that rule. –  Robert Harvey Jan 22 '13 at 20:47
    
@Servy thanks! I'll retag it. –  DudeOnRock Jan 22 '13 at 20:49
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