I see a lot of homework-type questions being closed (or at least reviewed) for being "too localized", where the OP really doesn't know enough to be able to effectively generalize the question. Often there are people actively trying to help the OP, and it doesn't make sense, IMHO, to cut that off by closing the post. In addition, closing the post doesn't eliminate it from searching, and that's not good either, when the post is almost certainly just a false hit in any search.

It seems to me that for "too localized" posts, what's often desired is a way to say "no one will ever want to search for this; this post will be deleted after (say) three months". I'm not sure what you'd call this state - maybe simply "temporary". This would avoid clutter but retain the transitory value provided by these posts.

  • 2
    They're definitely temporary. Oh are they temporary. ;) Most closed posts, unless they're really bad, I imagine probably don't get deleted for some time.
    – jmort253
    Nov 9 '12 at 3:48


You want to encourage people to post trivial stuff they can't be arsed to work on so that our contributing users can put time and energy into stuff which--by design--won't make the site better in the future?


  • Well, that's a pretty back-arsed way of distorting what I meant, and a pretty harsh over-generalization of people asking questions about technologies they don't have a good conceptual understanding of yet, and thus are unable to accurately generalize their question. If you mean that closing these immediately is better, that appears to not be feasible - there's a 52K backlog of close reviews - the answerers are already engaged before it gets closed. This clearly isn't your perspective, but if I see a lot of constructive sharing going on in a post, I'm unwilling to close it.
    – Ed Staub
    Nov 9 '12 at 15:03
  • @EdStaub It is--in fact--a rotten way to characterize your intent. But the thing is that the unintended consequences matter, and we already have a endless stream of people posting question that are simply ill-thought out, answerable by a cursory reading of the documentation or a simple Google search. We watch the site grow for four years now. Without some kind of curb, "I'm too lazy to solve my own problem" posts will push out the gems. We've already tossed out widely popular "fun" questions for the same reason--with the reluctant agreement of people who used to defend them. Nov 9 '12 at 15:12
  • I'm especially concerned about "pushing out" in search results, so I was trying to figure out a way to deal with that. I suspect that you're more concerned about mavens seeing an endless stream of newbie questions and being "too lazy" to pick out the questions that would engage them - correct?
    – Ed Staub
    Nov 9 '12 at 15:46

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