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Look at this proposal: http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/1288/

It's about food and cooking yet 2 people have voted for "not a good example" for "Are there particular uses for every kind of pasta?" and many many others. In fact I'm seeing a lot more votes for "not a good example" than "great off topic question"

Is it possible that some people are misunderstanding the purpose of Not a good example? It seems like everyone is voting for Not a good example if the question is anywhere in between definitely on topic and definitely off topic. Should we encourage this behavior? The thing that concerns me about this behavior is example question deletion

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Your link to the question itself got dropped, you're just sending the person to the proposal. –  Margaret Jun 5 '10 at 7:29
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I think that the key issue here is that the current system is confusing folks, and seems to discourage boundary-hunting (at least relative to using your five questions for the easier, "on-topic" ones), and proposed a name tweak here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/52645/… –  Jaydles Jun 8 '10 at 16:49

4 Answers 4

The new voting system is intended to go hunting for the boundary, as some people say in NLP classification software. If you imagine a giant space of dots representing questions, and a plane that splits it into on-topic and off-topic, we're supposed to be finding dots that are near the dividing line: questions that illuminate the distinction.

However, this gloss, to me, reveals that the instructions need help. In entering a proposal, we're told to describe the site and create questions that will attract experts in the field.

Well, experts won't be attracted by borderline cases, unless the subject is psychiatry. At least, this suggests an asymmetry: the good questions should be very good, but the bad questions should borderline, so as to illuminate the distinction being drawn. By that logic, lots of 'pretty good' and 'really bad' questions are, in fact, 'meh'.

I really doubt that ordinary humans can handle this, but we'll all see.

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It seems like everyone is voting for Not a good example if the question is anywhere in between definitely on topic and definitely off topic. Should we encourage this behavior?

No, you shouldn't encourage the behavior. I don't believe the intention of "not a good example" was to apply it to EVERY question you do not vote for. It's supposed to be used to dismiss frivolous and boring questions as "way too mundane. This question shouldn't even be in the list. Push it to the bottom." It should be somewhat rare (like, maybe, 5-10% of questions... maybe).

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Given that everyone has 10x votes for that compared to the on and off, I fear that your view is not that of the management. –  Rosinante Jun 5 '10 at 13:29
    
I agree this is a problem, I am getting voted as "not a good example" for perfectly valid on topic questions in the astronomy proposal. Perhaps it should be clarified –  jmfsg Jun 8 '10 at 15:40

I agree this is a problem, I am getting voted as "not a good example" for perfectly valid on topic questions in the astronomy proposal. (example, example, example, example, and many more)

Perhaps the intent of this vote should be clarified, and perhaps it should cost 1 rep to vote to discourage excessive use.

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It's the nexus of the crisis, and the origin of storms... –  Shog9 Jun 8 '10 at 17:38
    
some of the votes were rollbacked after posting this –  jmfsg Jun 8 '10 at 18:11

This is a carry-over from the old system that just got dropped a day ago. Now it matters if you add a question that is not a great example, whereas before, it didn't so much.

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