There are VERY many questions on Stack Overflow nowadays that are being closed when they are possibly legitimate questions, and the community has very little part in this. I am not satisfied with this current system, as I believe that we should actually let users debate and discuss what they think about a particular question, and then let people with enough rep to close questions decide based upon what points people are making.
This may seem like a very tough and unneeded thing to accomplish, but haven't you ever felt that a question has been closed when it shouldn't have been, denying the asker the right to get some good answers? I have thought of a method of implementing a system that would let this happen.
First of all, in the UI of a question that has been closed or is about to be closed, this can be added:
- If it has already been closed, we can add an "appeal" button onto the "closed" box. What this link will lead to will be discussed next.
- If the question hasn't already been closed, we can just add a "Submit to Closing Discussion" (or other wording) link next to the "flag" button.
These buttons (which will require some amount of rep to use, maybe 100?) will lead to a new section of Stack Overflow, called "Closing Discussion" or something similar. A general link to this could be located in the main navigation, in the mini-navigation (which has the Featured tab, etc.), or in the page footer (this would probably be the best option).
This new section will look similar to the normal questions interface on Stack Overflow, but the questions will actually be about discussing questions. The votes system will be a bit different, where voting is basically your opinion on the topic (whether to close or not, or to reopen, etc.) and voting would require a certain amount of rep, say 100. Answers would then be added to the "question" and they will explain opinions why the question should or should not be closed (comments will then be added to the answers as discussion).
Question creation will be automatic, through the "appeal" and "submit to closing discussion" buttons. The questions will link back to the question being discussed, so that people can easily see what the issues are. The people who are going to be casting the real closing/opening votes on the real question itself will then read what the community is saying about the question, respond accordingly, and just understand the points of both sides. With this, we can actually cut down on the rate of inappropriately-closed questions, and the community will have an even bigger say in how Stack Overflow works.
Some of this may already be accomplished with the present architecture, but I think that we should have a user-friendly, streamlined, and dedicated system for this. This is, of course, a big feature suggestion, as it proposes adding a whole new section to Stack Overflow. However, I think that the community would really benefit from this. What do you think? Please tell me (and more importantly, all of us!) what your opinion on this matter is - do you feel that many questions are being incorrectly closed too? Do you feel that the user body isn't getting a say in this?
By the way, I will be adding some mock-ups of the designs soon (I'm leaving right now...)!