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So, my question "Colocation Providers in Phoenix, AZ" over at Server Fault just got closed because:

This question would only be relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet.

  1. I'll go along for a bit on the small geographic area since it's targeting a specific city, Phoenix, AZ.
  2. specific moment in time doesn't fit because data centers don't appear and disappear every week.
  3. extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet, uhm the audience is server administrators and I don't see it as being that narrow...

Now, can someone explain to me how my question is so far off topic for it to be closed? Furthermore, if I can't ask about colocation and server related stuff on Server Fault, where else am I supposed to go and ask, some generic forum out there maybe?

EDIT:

Just because it's apperant that people want to give the reason of small geographic area for the closure, I'd like to point out that Phoenix is the 5th largest city in the US. How is that a small geographic area and quite frankly there's a tonne of developers out here who might be having the same question as I...

EDIT:

What constitutes a small geographic area?

CONCLUSION:

Now that I know that a small geographic area essentially means nothing less than a country, I'll throw in the towel. Either way, I'm back to the exact same place I was before I asked at SF, just more aggravated...

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@Alex: addressing your edit, that would make Phoenix somewhere around, what, the 100th most populated city in the world? Wikipedia's list of 61 put Nairobi, 61st city, at 3 million; Phoenix is a good deal smaller than that. Can you imagine (number of cities X number of possible questions per city)? –  Michael Petrotta Oct 8 '10 at 0:11
    
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… says Phoenix is #12 in the US. Anyway, it's still just a local question. –  Greg Hewgill Oct 8 '10 at 0:23
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@Alex clever re-wording can often do the trick. I bet "What's a good colocation provider fulfilling [some specific need I have] in the [my price range] in the US?" won't get closed (unless it has an exact duplicate), and you can add "Ideally in Phoenix or the xyz area" in the question body. (No guarantees though, I don't have much experience on SF) –  Pëkka Oct 8 '10 at 0:24
    
@Greg: that's "metropolitan area" population vs. "city limits" population, FWIW. –  Michael Petrotta Oct 8 '10 at 0:28
    
@Michael Petrotta: I know, that's why I quoted it. City limits usually have little to do with metro area, which is what is actually relevant to people (and not city government). –  Greg Hewgill Oct 8 '10 at 1:09
    
@Pekka, I thought about rewording, but I didn't feel like getting that question closed too just because of the rewording. –  Alex Oct 8 '10 at 3:39
    
I would vote to remove the 'too localized' option. Bad questions do not get views or answers and automatically get out of the public's way. –  abel Oct 8 '10 at 9:09
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4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I sympathize, as there is really no place to ask questions like this on the SO network, which is kind of sad.

But only one of the rules you mention need apply, and your question falls undoubtedly under the small geographic area rule.

It was rightfully closed, and the rule is in place for a good reason - imagine the same question popping up for Clausthal, Germany; The Amazon basin, Brazil; Tuvalu; Southeast russia; and a dozen other places. The question base would get swamped, and people would go crazy.

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+1 for being explanatory unlike @Juan's post. And as I've updated my post above, Phoenix is the 5th largest city in the US, does it still count as small geographic area? Do I have to be in New York for it not to be closed? –  Alex Oct 8 '10 at 0:05
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@Alex from my experience with geographic questions, any city or (US) state is regarded a "small area" in this sense. Anything smaller than a country is likely to get closed. Allowing these kinds of localized questions would simply open the gates for too many questions useless to the greater community. The size of the area doesn't really matter - southeast russia and the amazon basin are way bigger than Phoenix :) –  Pëkka Oct 8 '10 at 0:07
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I know of a few good colocation services for piranha in the Amazon Basin. –  Peter Ajtai Oct 8 '10 at 0:25
    
@Peter Maybe on the upcoming survival.SE or fishing.SE? :) –  Pëkka Oct 8 '10 at 0:25
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I cringe when I even see ANY "recommend me a {x}". "recommend me a {x} in {y}" is even worse. And frankly I think the statements should be included to exclude anything to do with a geographically-specific answer. –  Mark Henderson Oct 8 '10 at 4:12
    
"recommend me a {x}" -- that sounds like Jeff Atwood's chat room on SuperUser! Maybe chat is the place for these kinds of questions? –  The Unhandled Exception Oct 8 '10 at 14:40
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Now, can someone explain to me how my question is so far off topic for it to be closed?

--

This question would only be relevant to a small geographic area

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I'll admit that was obvious, but I'm not just accepting that. Again, where am I supposed to ask about server related questions than SF? SO and have it moved to SF and then have it closed? Seriously, I thought we were helping each other on these sites, but I can't apparently ask a slightly more specific question? WTH? –  Alex Oct 8 '10 at 0:00
    
@Alex: I agree with the close reason, however I think that ServerFault as a community is more likely to close/downvote then any of the other sites. Take for example their highest rep user: serverfault.com/users/7200 vs SuperUser: superuser.com/users/1931 (which stated a few months after SF). –  Dexter Oct 8 '10 at 0:06
    
I guess I can see what you mean, the SU user answered way more questions. I didn't know SF users to be so picky about the questions being posted. –  Alex Oct 8 '10 at 0:16
    
@Dexter also SU has a bigger audience, with less technical questions/answers that more people can understand hence they are more confident voting on them. –  Zypher Oct 8 '10 at 1:09
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Yes, it is too localized ... that is why I closed it.

To address your points:

1 . I'll go along for a bit on the small geographic area since it's targeting a specific city, Phoenix, AZ.

Asking anything along that lines of What X is good in X is too localized. Saying "What is the best Co-location Provider in New York City" would still have been too small of a geographic area.

2 . specific moment in time doesn't fit because data centers don't appear and disappear every week.

data centers may not appear and disappear every week, but the pricing sure does change a lot - heck it will change depending on who you are

3 . extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet, uhm the audience is server administrators and I don't see it as being that narrow...

I guarantee you that Co-location providers in Pheonix are only only of interest of a) Sysadmins in Pheonix and b) Sysadmins looking to setup shop in Pheonix, which is possibly what about 0.01% (pulled outta my arse) of System Administrators in the world?

Now, don't let this discourage you there are a lot of helpful and knowledgeable people on SF, but we really don't want our site cluttered with "What is the Best X in X" questions.

P.S. "What is the best X" are highly subjective questions and they very easily turn into "List of X" questions.

P.P.S This should have been posted on meta.sf :)

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Didn't even know there was a meta for SF, but then my question is why would I post it there. I thought metas were for discussions on the software running SE? It would be more off topic there than it was in general SF. P.S. You gave me a head ache today. >:3 –  Alex Oct 8 '10 at 3:45
    
@Alex sorry about the headache ... Meta.SO is discussion about the engine, the other meta's are discussions about the sites they are meta for :) –  Zypher Oct 8 '10 at 10:06
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May I suggest instead of asking for recommendations, reword your question something like this:

When looking for a co-location provider, what features should I be looking for? What should I avoid?

And based on that, you'll need to make your own decisions on whether or not a colocation provider is suitable for you. Google is your friend for this. If a co-location facility is not locatable with the term colocation in {x} then I would argue that they're not worth your business.

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