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I frequent Stack Overflow a lot and there are many questions that get downvoted because they don't fit in the "Code only" question format. There are many users who will immediately downvote people for asking the question in the wrong place, but whoe never provide suggestions about WHERE they should be asking that question.

My question is: Is there a good description of what types of questions are acceptable in each of the Stack Exchange family of sites?

I know there is an FAQ, but this really does not address which types of question is fit for each site.

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@Paresh: FAQ has been superseded by the Help Center (site.com/help). –  Al E. Oct 3 '13 at 13:42
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If you can no idea where to ask a particular question, you might ask a "Where to ask?" MSO question using the site-reocmmendation tag. (However, note that if your question shows no signs of research whatsoever, you might attract a lot of negative attention -- you might list few SE sites you looked into and found unsuitable.) Note from that tag wiki: "Not all questions belong on a Q&A site and not everything can find a home here at Stack Exchange." –  apsillers Oct 3 '13 at 14:48

5 Answers 5

up vote 5 down vote accepted

What questions are acceptable is described in the on topic page of the help on each site. What you shouldn't ask is partially described on that page and partially on the don't ask page

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Is there a good description of what types of questions are acceptable in each of the StackExchange family of sites?

Yes. Each site has both an about page at http://site.stackexchange.com/about and a help center. For new (and anonymous) users, these are linked at the top.

but never provide suggestions about WHERE they should be asking that question

Should they? Why?

What people know is that a question doesn't belong where it was asked. That doesn't mean that they do know where it does belong or that they are somehow responsible for offering that information up if they do.

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Thank you for the information on the About page. On your Why? That's hard to answer. If I see someone lost in my building at work, I don't have a 'responsibility' to help them, but it does help project a better public image. Isn't that what this site is about? Helping others. –  L_7337 Oct 3 '13 at 13:50
    
@L_7337 Why assume we know where something should go? –  Richard Tingle Oct 3 '13 at 13:52
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@L_7337 - We do direct new users to these pages. Before they ask questions. Stack Overflow even has a terms & conditions page that people have to go through the first time (with a checkbox and everything). Should we reward people being too lazy to find out anything about the site they are posting on? –  Oded Oct 3 '13 at 13:52
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@L_7337 - Additionally, I wouldn't know where questions about hair straighteners should go (yes, I have seen such questions on Stack Overflow). –  Oded Oct 3 '13 at 13:53

Really ?

I know there is an FAQ, but this really does not address which types of question for each site.

help page

Every help center have these 2 questions pinned up in the "asking" section.

The link for Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow is for professional and enthusiast programmers, people who write code because they love it. We feel the best Stack Overflow questions have a bit of source code in them, but if your question generally covers…

  • a specific programming problem
  • a software algorithm
  • software tools commonly used by programmers
  • practical, answerable problems that are unique to software development
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All Stack Exchange sites have an about page that will tell you what you should ask about and what you shouldn't ask about.

Take a look at some of the most popular Stack Exchange sites' about pages:

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And... why the downvote? –  SeanWM Oct 3 '13 at 15:12
    
The edit history shows the downvote possible reasons: link only answer, grammar and spelling, inacurate information. Now, it is in very good shape. –  brasofilo Oct 3 '13 at 17:29

The site list at stackexchange.com includes brief descriptions of each site.

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