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There's one single thing on SO, I really hate: The limitation of "allowed questions". I really don't see what's wrong with "questions having no answer", "too argumentative", etc. For sure, not everybody is interested in such questions, but there always question, I'm not interested in, no matter how many search criteria I use. I consider closing such questions or moving them really strange.

Something like the tag "normal question" could filter them out, while they'd stay more easily accessible for those who are interested. There are also questions on the edge (sometimes I'd ask something like "Do I really need to it that complicated in Java, is there a better language for this?" which could be answered by "there's a simple solution" or "language XXX is much better in this respect". I really see no reason why I should log in into multiple sites when I'm interested in different aspects of one thing.

Don't get me wrong, I actually find SO fantastic, I'm quite new here, but I see the unbelievable speed and quality of answers, the really nice editing and formatting, everything is much better than I've seen anywhere else.

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And blog.stackoverflow.com/category/stackexchange/page/5 (search page for "Yahoo" for the more-or-less official position on sites that accept any kind of question) –  Pëkka Jan 23 '11 at 13:08
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I see, Yahoo answers is really funny. However, it's all a matter of filtering. I'd strongly prefer a have a tag "SUBJECTIVE" placed on a question, which would hide it for those people who do not like it. It could be even the default. It's all just a matter of better search form: 1. allow negation (in order to get rid of "subjective"), 2. provide search query base (which gets combined with the typed in expression). It's quite trivial to do. –  maaartinus Jan 23 '11 at 13:24
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indeed, it is so very "easy" that almost every community on the internet has completely and utterly failed to achieve this "easy" thing. –  Jeff Atwood Jan 23 '11 at 13:30
    
Did anybody try? I agree that it's necessary to separate "factual" and "argumentative" questions somehow, but the splitting into many sub-sites is a terrible solution. Instead of simple filtering based on e.g., "FACTUAL", "SUBJECTIVE", "FUN" tags, there is a multitude of sites, the search is more complicated, googling across all SO-sister sites impossible, etc. Users need multiple logins (which would be much worse without OpenID). Some users do not know where to place a question... –  maaartinus Jan 24 '11 at 4:41
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1 Answer 1

Don't get me wrong, I actually find SO fantastic, I'm quite new here, but I see the unbelievable speed and quality of answers, the really nice editing and formatting, everything is much better than I've seen anywhere else.

Did it ever occur to you that the thing you enjoy most about the sites might be a direct consequence of the decision you are complaining about in the paragraphs directly above this?

I am continually amazed how people don't seem to understand that some of the things they think they want -- namely lots of "fun" discussion -- are actually harmful to a community of experts.

http://scobleizer.com/2009/11/02/the-chat-roomforum-problem-an-apology-to-technosailor/

The thing is in the early days of a community having serendipity, which is what Facebook and FriendFeed’s forum features bring, make things a lot of fun. After all, it makes finding people who are like minded with you easier.

But eventually the experts (ie, people who are teaching you stuff) get drowned out and you are left with an experience that looks more like the magazine rack at a grocery store than a book shelf at Harvard.

We demand signal and suppress noise. If you find that onerous, then, well, the internet is a big place and there are lots of other sites to spend time on.

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I am continually amazed how people don't seem to understand that some of the things they think they want -- namely lots of "fun" discussion -- are actually harmful to a community of experts. That's quite possible, but this is not my case. I'm not saying, that SO should allow all "fun" and "noise". I've always thought noise suppression is important and you answer makes it even clearer to me. However, you missed my point: The split is wrong. The idea of separating "hard science" and "argumentative" topics is good, the realization is wrong. –  maaartinus Jan 24 '11 at 4:31
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