What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 127 Stack Exchange communities.

It would be good to have some easy to follow guidance for how to get a question reopened that is on hold or closed. What I would find useful as a user with a couple of months experience of contributing to the site are some fictitious example questions that illustrate:

  • typical reasons why a question is put on hold or closed; and
  • suggestions as to how the shortcomings could be addressed.

I couldn't find any help in this recent blog post as to what I should do to make my on hold question better. What I did was edit my question to make it more specific and although I got a few reopen votes (and, ironically, one downvote), my question hasn't been reopened. I feel like I've wasted my time and don't feel particularly motivated to try to edit any future questions I have that are on hold (especially as I got some decent answers in the comments to my original question and I feel my edits have made the question a worse fit for those good answers).

In summary, I'm not asking for a reference guide or a better FAQ. What I am asking for is some examples of good practice that I can use as a model to improve my use of the site.

share|improve this question
    
Do you have a link to the particular question. If you follow the "on hold" message into the help center, you will ultimately get to stackoverflow.com/help/reopen-questions. Is that not sufficient? –  Bart Jul 1 '13 at 9:41
    
@Bart Thanks, the question is here. I looked at your link but that page was primarily about what to do if you disagreed with the question being put on hold. I respect the community decision to put my question on hold, and would like suggestions as to how to make my question better. As a software developer I find "use case" style material easier to understand than "specs", so that's why I'm asking for examples. –  TooTone Jul 1 '13 at 10:16
    
you're not going to be able to "improve" that question the way you could one that was missing detail or was asking too broad a question. It's just the kind of philosophical, opinion seeking, no provably correct answer, open-ended question that isn't a good fit for SO. If you already knew part of the answer, you could ask "what is the workaround or substitute in Python for [R feature]? but the list of differences is just never going to be a stackoverflow question, even before the "extra butter" of "that are important to someone doing X kind of work" –  Kate Gregory Jul 4 '13 at 22:07
    
@KateGregory Point taken, but I still find as an SO user with ~2 months experience that it's rather unclear how I might go about improving questions. I've seen this on other people's questions that have been put on hold too. And fair play if I just got my question plain wrong, but seeing some examples of what kinds of things can be improved might still have helped me avoid wasting time on a lost cause! –  TooTone Jul 4 '13 at 22:15
    
@KateGregory Also, I've come across questions which do seem to be open-ended and seeking opinions. (The one I remember, because I enjoyed it, is "What is the worst gotcha in C# or .NET?", but I'm pretty sure there are others). The point I'm trying to make is that it's actually quite hard to tell what's an acceptable question and what isn't, whether a closed question can be saved, etc. Or at least, I find it hard to tell! And that stops me making my questions better and helping to make the site better. –  TooTone Jul 4 '13 at 22:27
add comment

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .