Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

I'd like to think that SO can be a place for newer members to ask questions they are very stumped with. I agree that a user shouldn't just post, "Hey, I want to do X, can you help?". But in some cases, a user provides a little bit of detail and with a lot of massaging the question could be useful to other members. I find these posts a lot for someone learning/starting to learn a new technology or language.

Are posts like this worth trying to salvage with extensive editing to make them phrased in a way people don't instantly downvote? I find people who phrase a question in a way that makes them seem new to SO instantly gets it downvoted. To what degree should I concern myself with trying to "save" these posts for the good of the community, or should I let them just burn and get closed?

share|improve this question
Only you can answer the degree of concern issue... It is a subjective thing. – Oded Mar 5 '13 at 20:44
If you can edit questions to not be open-ended, please do go ahead! If they were closed, vote to reopen. You'll do the OP a service teaching them, certainly. However, you'll find that there is a lot of work to be done. – Martijn Pieters Mar 5 '13 at 20:45
@MartijnPieters I also assume most of the OP are just looking for a quick answer and are too lazy to research, but there are newbie questions from newbie posters that I feel are very hard to find in the sometimes constant posts of, "I want you to do X for me... GO!" So that fixing it to teach them, I assume is falling on deaf ears. – Walls Mar 5 '13 at 20:47
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I often edit questions that have particular value to the site. If it is one of a number of like questions I flag it and move on. If it is special and it enriches SO, then I edit it. No point in wasting your time on something useless, there are enough questions of value in need of your time.

share|improve this answer
it's tough finding those ones needing my time. Sometimes, it's nice to get a softball question to get your mind stretched out for a day of developing. Nice warm ups for the "big" issues. It's good to know I am not the only one trying to save some of these "lesser" posts. – Walls Mar 5 '13 at 20:59
You are not alone. – MonkeyDoug Mar 5 '13 at 21:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .