I was recently linked the following: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1284680/warning-about-amazon-ec2-urgent-if-you-use-this-service

In looking over many of the questions here, this site seems to have alot of questions About EC2. While the post in question is not directly a question, it should still not simply be "closed" because its not a "real question".

So, my question is: Why close an extremely important topic just because it is not a "clear and concise question"?


4 Answers 4


Because this website (StackOverflow and it's sister sites) is set up specifically for "clear and concise questions".


Someone else had the same issue and he got told rightly for it as well:


Quoting my answer from the other topic:

"Your idea of what you want StackOverflow to be is obviously not shared by the vast majority of the community. This site was set up to be the end-all-be-all source for programming Q&A. If you have a programming question that actually has an answer, posting it will most likely get you an answer.

StackOverflow is not your personal blog. It is not your philosophical discussion and debate forum. If you are constantly posting things that get closed as "Not programming related" or "not a real question" or any of the other reasons, perhaps you need to reevaluate your question asking before you start pointing the fingers at the hundreds/thousands of users who get by perfectly fine under the current community standards."

  • Perhaps it's because hundreds/thousands of users aren't the type to give input like we are. Aug 16, 2009 at 21:15
  • If a large number of users aren't going to stand up and disagree, it is fair to assume that they agree. If the way things are being done now is not enough to cause them to revolt, then that is a silent endorsement.
    – TheTXI
    Aug 16, 2009 at 21:28
  • You're right that apathy is a silent endorsement, that's why I refuse to be silent, because I refuse to be apathetic. Aug 17, 2009 at 1:47
  • 2
    @Lance: Hell yeah you do. Or whatever.
    – Eric
    Aug 17, 2009 at 2:05
  • 2
    Fight The Power! members.cox.net/fantasychamp/power.jpg
    – TheTXI
    Aug 17, 2009 at 2:10

Regardless of how important the topic may be, StackOverflow is not a discussion forum. It is a Q&A site, and you did not ask a question.

Take the time to read the FAQ.

  • @Downvoter: here on meta, more than on SO, you need to say why you downvoted if you want to have an impact. Otherwise, you're a pebble in a lake, and the ripples will stop very soon. Aug 16, 2009 at 21:27
  • @John Saunders: I would think almost completely the opposite. Since more often than not we are taking positions on something, a silent downvote will generally be seen as "No I don't agree with you". Whether that is enough to give you clue about why they disagreed or not, I don't know. And you weren't the only one to get the DV. I am already under the assumption that Lance (since the OP is not on this site) went and DV'ed all of us at once before posting his own answer.
    – TheTXI
    Aug 16, 2009 at 21:31
  • @TheTXI: That was my guess as well, but I didn't want to assume it without giving Lance a chance to explain himself. Aug 16, 2009 at 22:11

Stack Overflow isn't a review site, nor a general discussion board. If you want such information, you need to acquire it from another site.


Because some people don't understand the importance of important information.

Next time, ask a question like "What critical problems are there with EC2?", and then post your own answer to it. This is an SO acceptable way of doing things.

  • 4
    Still not programming related. Aug 16, 2009 at 21:19
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    -1 for using Community Wiki to try and shield yourself from an answer you knew was going to get voted down.
    – TheTXI
    Aug 16, 2009 at 21:24
  • You're second paragraph is possibly reasonable, although more appropriate for serverfault rather than stackoverflow. However I think you're first paragraph is just wrong - it's not about importance at all. Aug 16, 2009 at 21:59
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    "Important information" is about the most ridiculously subjective thing you could have possibly said. Do you honestly believe that the SO/SF/SU community should make an exception to posts because they are "important information"? The thousand other sites catering to this type of "important information" are not enough for you?
    – JP Alioto
    Aug 16, 2009 at 22:56
  • Yah, I would have to agree with TheTXI on the community wiki post. Your not using the site features correctly.
    – Troggy
    Aug 16, 2009 at 23:24
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    "importance of important information" Best line.
    – Troggy
    Aug 16, 2009 at 23:49
  • @TheTXI: I'm sure you wouldn't understand since you're in the outspoken majority, in a true democracy the minority opinions always get clobbered. Aug 17, 2009 at 1:46
  • @lance, what's your point? You don't decide the rules, you simply get the ability to enforce them. SO is clearly a dictatorship ruled by Jeff from his secret base. Aug 17, 2009 at 6:04