I think answers for questions that are "on hold" can be sent as private messages to the users' inbox by 'highly experienced users' like moderators or others with high rep, thereby eliminating the need for discussion and still maintaining the standards. It will also maintain privacy. This can be done especially for users who have less than 6 months of experience at SE. This is probably the best way which still fits into SE.

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    You can't post answer on question which is put on hold to begin with. You can post comments and there's no need to do it in private. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Jul 23 '13 at 13:28
  • Its not about posting answers..Its about sending private messages which can be done easily and has no negative impact. – IndRaj95 Jul 23 '13 at 13:29
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    Suppose this is done - now people will have no incentive to post good questions, seeing as they can always get an answer, however bad their content is. – Oded Jul 23 '13 at 13:29
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    What negative impact can be to comments asking you to clarify or improve the question? – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Jul 23 '13 at 13:30
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    "The moderators can do the work". That's not what moderators are around for. – Oded Jul 23 '13 at 13:30
  • @Oded Then a limitation can be set up:Users who have used SE sites for less than 6 months only can get this kind of personal assistance – IndRaj95 Jul 23 '13 at 13:32
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    How about they just ask good questions, read the helpful material, or ask for support on Meta? That is all already possible. – Bart Jul 23 '13 at 13:32
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    @Oded But, we don't have nearly enough to do now! </snark> – Andrew Barber Jul 23 '13 at 13:33
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    @AndrewBarber - Oh. Didn't realize it. Will see what I can do to address that deficiency. – Oded Jul 23 '13 at 13:33
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    @IndRaj95 Stack Exchange is not about "personal assistance"; it's about building a public repository of good questions and answers. – Andrew Barber Jul 23 '13 at 13:34
  • Support on Meta: People don't get any kind of direct assistance on meta. – IndRaj95 Jul 23 '13 at 13:34
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    You can't ask your crappy off-topic question on Meta, no. You can ask for support when it comes to understanding the site and formulating better questions. – Bart Jul 23 '13 at 13:35
  • @Oded If not moderators then others... – IndRaj95 Jul 23 '13 at 13:35
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    It will take some effort @IndRaj95. That's for sure. Reading the Help Center will help. And if anything is ever unclear, ask on Meta for clarification. There will always be someone who is more than glad to explain it to you. And if we find something that's truly unclear, we can always request that the information is updated or expanded. – Bart Jul 23 '13 at 13:52
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    May I make a suggestion? It appears you have only been here for two days. I would strongly suggest getting to know the community and site better before suggesting more features. If you want to learn better how to use the site, ask that - or search the posts/Help information already here. – Andrew Barber Jul 23 '13 at 18:26

Well, no. Because that's not what Stack Overflow/Exchange wants to be. They don't want to be a site where questions are privately answered. The primary purpose is not to answer the OP's questions. It's to create a quality repository of questions and answers, useful for the wider audience of the internet. That the OP is helped as a result of that is, to some extent, a nice side-effect.

Private messaging has been rejected many times. Private answers wouldn't be any better. If it's not good enough to be public, it simply doesn't belong on the site.

  • It'll be good for the new users and at least help them. – IndRaj95 Jul 23 '13 at 14:08
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    @IndRaj95 You can help them by giving them instructions on how to improve their questions. You won't help them by spoonfeeding them responses. – slhck Jul 23 '13 at 14:09
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    No @IndRaj95. It will give new users the false impression that their poor questions are any good. They still get answers after all. So who cares about improving quality or staying on topic. You seem to be seriously mistaken as to what the purpose of Stack Overflow is. – Bart Jul 23 '13 at 14:17
  • Even instructions on how to improve,as comments,by those who voted against a question,would be useful. But its not common as it may become off topic. – IndRaj95 Jul 23 '13 at 14:18
  • Many times there are such comment. And if not, the user can ask for clarification here on Meta. No new features are needed. – Bart Jul 23 '13 at 14:19

Interesting thought, but I rather disagree with it.

Almost everything you do on Stack Exchange is done in public. This is deliberate; Stack Exchange was built to make a public store of knowledge, and private messages don't add to that. (Also, private messages make it easier for people to misbehave).

When a question is "on hold", we can still comment on it. In this way, the suggestions given to the OP can be read by everyone, and others can expand on the suggestions given.

  • Private messages can also be moderated and besides they need to be sent only by experienced users. – IndRaj95 Jul 23 '13 at 13:55
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    But then the moderators would have to police the private messages. Comments are public, and can be flagged by the community members. This way we have a lot more eyes to warn the mods if someone is misbehaving. – S.L. Barth - Reinstate Monica Jul 23 '13 at 14:04
  • Giving only highly experienced users the privilege to send private messages would take care of that problem. – IndRaj95 Jul 23 '13 at 14:06
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    @IndRaj95 No, trust me, it wouldn't. – Bill the Lizard Jul 23 '13 at 14:07
  • And why is that so? – IndRaj95 Jul 23 '13 at 14:09
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    @IndRaj95 Highly experienced users can also misbehave. It's been known to happen, unfortunately. – S.L. Barth - Reinstate Monica Jul 23 '13 at 14:10
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    @s.l.barth Yup; In fact, some highly experienced users are highly experienced at misbehaving. – Andrew Barber Jul 23 '13 at 14:22

I can think of three reasons one might want to implement this:

  1. The poster still gets the answer even though it should be closed.

    If we did this, what would the point of closing a question be? Why stop posting terrible quesitions when you'll still get an answer? At the end of the day, (most) people who ask those kinds of questions repeatedly just want the answer and don't care about downvotes or rep

  2. It "warms up" newbies to the site

    This kind of goes back to the first point. Why conform to the standards of a new community when you can just get what you want with a slight slap on the wrist? Even if the forgiveness was removed after a while, we'd have this same problem at that point. Besides, there's already a ton of stuff for new users to look at.

  3. The answers could still be useful to other people.

    This is more of a grey area and has been discussed at length. While there is some validity to this claim, more often than not, a question that is closed has a good reason to be. Dup's are linked, off topic's can be migrated and spam is mercilessly terminated. If there really is a good reason to open it, you could always flag your case or bring it to meta for discussion.

  • How can I directly bring my question to meta for discussion? – IndRaj95 Jul 23 '13 at 13:58
  • @IndRaj95 If you want help to make your question better and more on topic, you are welcome to post a Meta question and ask how you can improve your post (be sure to put a link to the question). But you won't get help discussing the solutions for the actual question. – psubsee2003 Jul 23 '13 at 14:50
  • @IndRaj95 but if this is the question you want help with, I am going to say there probably is not a good place anywhere on Stack Exchange for it. It's definately not a Stack Overflow question and does not appear be good for Server Fault either (but I'm not active there so I could be wrong). – psubsee2003 Jul 23 '13 at 14:52

[…] eliminating the need for discussion and still maintaining the standards.

High quality standards on SE sites are maintained specifically by vetting the answers in public. This peer review process centered around voting but also including public commentary is essential to the function of the system. Bypassing it would ruin the entire model.

Instead of destroying this working model, perhaps you should find (or start) a service of your own built around the idea of private answers. I think you will find experts are less interested in participating than you might hope. Perhaps your model would include some other form of incentive, but it doesn't mix and match well with the SE model.

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