Okay so I asked a fairly broad question with other possible answers regarding what is Wikidata? See here. I agree that this is quite a broad question and there are other places on the internet that attempt to answer this. However, all of the other explanations I have found have been severely lacking, akin to "This programming function is poorly documented, can the SO community explain it to me better?" What I am trying to say is, "the purpose and use of Wikidata is very poorly explained elsewhere on the Internet, can the SO community help explain this concept of Wikidata.org".

Quoting from the FAQ, I feel as I fall into the latter category here:

If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here. However, if your motivation is “I would like others to explain ______ to me”, then you are probably OK.

While I'm not 100% sure as to why my question was closed as 'off-topic', I would like to know what MSO would recommend as a constructive way to ask this question and contribute to the SO community.

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    I don't think it is possible to save the question at all... sorry. It was closed as off topic because it's not related to programming. – ben is uǝq backwards May 21 '13 at 21:20
  • P.S., thank you very much for asking here and attempting to understand. Just in case, votes are different on meta. For instance, in this case a downvote might mean that someone disagree's that your question would ever me constructive or on-topic and I'm sorry about the inevitable downvotes your Stack Overflow question is going to receive now you've brought it up here... – ben is uǝq backwards May 21 '13 at 21:22
  • Thanks for the info! I am confused as to how this isn't related to programming but that may be a meta-meta-issue. Do you think the question be migrated to another more applicable site? – kevinaskevin May 21 '13 at 21:24
  • Yeah I knew I was rolling the dice when I asked the question; however, I think I'll come out more knowledgeable in the end. – kevinaskevin May 21 '13 at 21:26
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    To be honest I'm confused why you think this is related to programming, you're asking about the purpose of a website not how to code one... If the question were more constructive, i.e. you weren't just asking for opinions then I still wouldn't think it would be on-topic anywhere but someone else may be able to give you a better idea. – ben is uǝq backwards May 21 '13 at 21:28
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    You're courting death by Yannis by suggesting that @Adel. – ben is uǝq backwards May 21 '13 at 21:38
  • @benisuǝqbackwards - Oh, so .. hmm OK. nevermind, dont use Programmers then OP :) – Adel May 21 '13 at 21:40
  • Is it ironic that the google link @adel posted on the original question is nearly useless in explaining the question at all? – kevinaskevin May 21 '13 at 21:40
  • Hey! I fully trust in the G – Adel May 21 '13 at 21:46

There's really no way this question can become 'on topic' for Stack Overflow.

You mentioned a part of the FAQ, but you left out a few relevant bits:

We feel the best Stack Overflow questions have a bit of source code in them, but if your question generally covers …

  • a specific programming problem
  • a software algorithm
  • software tools commonly used by programmers
  • practical, answerable problems that are unique to the programming profession

Wikidata is none of those.

So let's try to see if somehow there are other parts of the FAQ that allow your question:

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face.

Nope. You have a 'problem' only in the most basic sense: You want to know what Wikidata is, and you do not. That's not a problem we can solve. Also, 'actual problem' means, "I'm paid to do X, or I'm writing software to do X, but it's not doing X. How do I get it to do X?"

Finally, there's a problem of scope:

Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much.

I can imagine an entire book on Wikidata -- especially since there are entire books about Wikipedia.

All that said, I'm sure there are other places on the internet to ask about WikiData, but Stack Overflow isn't one of them.


Try this. It's a common place for people who don't understand complicated things.

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    You nailed it OP :-) – Adel May 21 '13 at 21:44
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    Today I have gained more karma on MSO than I have lost on SO. I'm winning. – kevinaskevin May 21 '13 at 21:46
  • harsh, but funny – apaul May 22 '13 at 3:19

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