2

I've tried multiple times to ask a question about how to include meta data in a webpage, but whether I ask it on StackOverflow, Programmers.SE, or Webmasters.SE, it gets closed, voted down, and I'm ridiculed for not knowing how things work already. Each time, I politely ask that if I'm at the wrong place, that I be directed to the right place. However, users with high reputation and moderators still say things like these:

meta tags have been dead for a long time. Don't worry about that. You've wasted enough time on it already

I feel that this completely dismisses the point of the question, and doesn't provide any citation for why he made such a harsh claim. In my opinion, a better response would be showing me an article or study on why meta tags aren't used anymore, or which, if any, are still supported and what do use instead of meta tag keywords.

Meta blather doesn't belong in questions; it's your responsibility to determine if a question is on-topic for a site or not.

This was the edit comment (which does NOT work anymore now, but still included here for historical reasons) for removing my request for the proper site.

This even happens after I've moved it to an SE where I think (or have been told) it belongs. Recently, my request for pointing me to the right place was removed before they told me I was at the wrong place!

As I said, I'm new to this, so I don't exactly know the nuances of this. I know questions can be moved because one question I asked was moved from Superuser to Android.SE, and even then received no attention.

Am I the only one seeing this bias? I'm sure I have a bias since I'm new here, and don't know how high-rep users and moderators are treated, or if my questions are as stupid as they're being treated, but it feels like people could be more helpful. After all, I'm here to get help, not to be told I don't know enough and kicked out.

13
  • 1
  • @gnat I'm glad there's an ongoing discussion, but that's been up since 2008... certainly something must have been done since that – Ben Leggiero Oct 23 '14 at 20:35
  • 6
    The first quote of yours is taken entirely out of context, making it very misleading here. The second comment you quoted isn't on any of the questions you linked. – Servy Oct 23 '14 at 20:38
  • 2
    "You are not alone" - Michael Jackson – Ooker Oct 23 '14 at 20:40
  • @Servy Alright, I'll provide context for the first. The second quote was an edit comment from when they removed my move request: programmers.stackexchange.com/revisions/260766/2 – Ben Leggiero Oct 23 '14 at 20:41
  • @Servy I hope that is proper context. – Ben Leggiero Oct 23 '14 at 20:46
  • @BenLeggiero It's better, but still very much out of context. – Servy Oct 23 '14 at 20:51
  • @Servy please, help me ensure proper transparency is represented in my question. I don't want any misunderstandings, here. – Ben Leggiero Oct 23 '14 at 20:52
  • 8
    @BenLeggiero The comment has nothing whatsoever to do with how you asked your question, whether it's on topic, where it belongs, etc. It is not impolite at all, let alone toxic. He's telling you that the problem you're trying to solve isn't going to actually help you. He is helping you out by telling you that you're approaching your problem in the wrong way, and trying to help you avoid wasting your time getting an answer to a question that won't solve your problem. – Servy Oct 23 '14 at 20:58
  • 4
    While the way the question asked he is a little rambling, I agree that when it comes to organisation and admin of the site, StackExchange has a surplus of people willing to tell people they are doing the wrong thing, and a scarcity of those willing to give a helpful pointer towards the right thing. Ironic, considering that in terms of actual answers, the opposite is true, – Jon Story Oct 24 '14 at 1:00
  • Keep in mind that if you're ever uncertain about where in the SE network to post a question, you can ask here on MSE under the site-recommendation tag, or on a specific site's Meta with a [scope] or [on-topic] tag. – MTL Oct 24 '14 at 5:13
  • 2
    @Shokhet he did it. :) – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Oct 24 '14 at 6:17
  • 1
    Please try to change the title to something less rant-like, to something more constructive and related to the topic. – Infinite Recursion Oct 24 '14 at 11:35
28

You were not ridiculed for anything. You were told, politely, that your first question (on Stack Overflow) was off topic, and given the reason why it was off topic.

Someone also took the time to post a comment saying that the technical behavior you are trying to achieve is something that you probably shouldn't be taking the time to support, because it is antiquated. The comment was in no way saying that you aren't allowed to ask about it (if you do so properly).

Another person also took the time to tell you the appropriate place for you to ask this question (Webmasters) when it was closed, since you stated that you didn't know where to post it.

After that you posted it on another wrong site (Programmers); not the one that you were told you should post it on (Webmasters). It was, entirely correctly, understandably, and politely, closed. You knowingly posted it on the wrong site here, I have no idea what else you could expect. You even got a brief answer to your question anyway.

When you stated on this second question (on Programmers), a question which you knowingly posted on thew wrong site, that you didn't know what site it belonged to someone, entirely correctly, removed that statement from your question. They stated, entirely correctly, that the question should simply contain your question, not meta commentary about it, and that it is your responsibility to determine whether or not a question is on topic before you post it, not after. This is in no way being toxic. It is merely improving your question and stating the reasoning for why he did so.

As far as I can tell everyone has treated you politely and done their best to help you out, despite your best efforts to ignore everything that everyone has been telling you about where to ask your question. You have yet to ask the question where you have been told you should have asked it.

15
  • 3
    Please forgive me if this comment is too long, but I would like to respond to your points and hopefully learn how to better use this network. I don't understand why it was off-topic ("because it is about webpage keywords" is... confusing. I don't understand how webpage keywords aren't something a programmer should ask about), and I especially don't know where it would be on-topic. You say that I'm allowed to ask about it if I do so properly, but I don't know how to do so properly. – Ben Leggiero Oct 23 '14 at 21:11
  • 3
    I did move the question to the place I was told to, where it was marked as a duplicate of another question that didn't really answer my question of how to use meta data today (something I pointed out in my first comment). I don't know why you said I put it on a site I wasn't told to, since the comment was Try Webmasters – Matt Ball, after which I posted it to Webmasters. – Ben Leggiero Oct 23 '14 at 21:12
  • 1
    The meat of my problem is that I don't know what the right site is. You say it's my responsibility to find the right site; how can I do that? Is there something telling what belongs where? Certainly I know English.SE isn't the right place for this, but how can I tell the difference between SO, Programmers.SE, CS.SE, etc.? I'm truly trying to learn how to use this network, and am just curious and want to know how to put metadata in a webpage, but just don't know how. I don't feel like I'm getting an answer to my question, or being told where I can get one. – Ben Leggiero Oct 23 '14 at 21:12
  • 2
    @BenLeggiero If you wanted to know why it was off topic I suppose you could have asked; someone may well have taken the time to explain it to you, however I'd think that just knowing the appropriate place to post the question which you were in fact told right when you asked would have been enough. If your question was closed as a duplicate and you feel the duplicate doesn't answer your question, comment and someone will either explain why it applies (as happened for you) or reopen the question. – Servy Oct 23 '14 at 21:16
  • 9
    @BenLeggiero You were told what site was the right site. What room is there for confusion? If you want to know what the right site is for a topic you can spend some time reading through the "about" page and the help center to see what that site's topic is. If you are unsure after spending time attempting to determine where to ask a question, you can go to meta and ask what the appropriate site is. – Servy Oct 23 '14 at 21:18
  • 1
    I think your suggestion to ask where to put it was right on the mark. I'm sorry for causing such a ruckus, I probably was overwhelmed with so much happening at once. I hope this is a better way to approach the situation. – Ben Leggiero Oct 23 '14 at 21:41
  • 3
    Just as a corollary to the 'it's antiquared' comment: There can be very good reasons for needing to modify antiquated software, and I don't think SE as a site should be making judgement calls like that. If one person has to deal with obsolete crap, several others likely do too, making a discussion about it useful – Jon Story Oct 24 '14 at 1:02
  • 3
    @BenLeggiero FWIW, as a Programmers regular, I am there to learn and share on-topic knowledge, not to read off-topic questions and redirect those who don't know – gnat Oct 24 '14 at 5:08
  • @JonStory Not in this context. The idea here is to improve SEO. If Google's crawlers no longer look at a particular metric to determine SEO then that's that. They don't have a bunch of crawlers running around on much older versions. – Servy Oct 24 '14 at 14:19
  • 2
    @Servy in this particular case, yes (although I believe Bing still uses uses meta tags for some purposes) and we need to be careful to not make 'it's old' into a standard reason for something to not be worthy of discussion – Jon Story Oct 24 '14 at 14:21
  • @JonStory Then you should be pointing it out when it done in a context that makes it not appropriate, rather than making a big fuss about it when it's done entirely correctly. And it's not like the user was closing the question, inhibiting answers, merely providing helpful information to direct the user into the direction they should be moving. If they feel that it doesn't apply to them, they can choose to not follow the advise. Refusing to provide that helpful information is making that decision for the reader, which is less helpful for them. – Servy Oct 24 '14 at 14:24
  • 1
    For what it's worth, @JonStory has some good points I hadn't considered, and I don't think he's making a big fuss – Ben Leggiero Oct 24 '14 at 17:11
  • @BenLeggiero So you'd rather not have known that there were potential problems with the approach that you were taking at all? You'd prefer to have wasted a bunch of time investigating an irrelevant point while still thinking you were on the road to solving your problem? – Servy Oct 24 '14 at 17:23
  • 1
    @Servy I knew the potential problems with my approach going in. All my linked questions addressed that. – Ben Leggiero Oct 24 '14 at 18:57
  • @BenLeggiero If you already knew that then it neither helped you nor hurt you to see it again in a comment. To another reader of the question, it may well have been helpful to them. Either way, it's certainly not harmful at all. – Servy Oct 24 '14 at 18:59

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .