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The top two reasons have now been implemented. You can check them out in the flag dialogs!


We remember over here: Custom close reasons for this site?

Sites have the ability to have up to 3 custom close reasons, when multiple instances of off-topic questions have been seen. Custom close reasons allow sites to send a more specific message to askers stating why their question is off-topic.

We've compiled some statistics to help us understand what questions get closed. Most of this information is provided with the moderator tools, and more information is available, and can be made pretty with graphs, using data taken from the Stack Exchange Data Explorer.

Here is some of the stats that we've found:

Within the last 90 days, we've seen 252 questions asked, of which 79 were closed (31% closed)

Close Reason | Number closed | % of closed | Number reopened | % reopened
-------------+---------------+-------------+-----------------+------------
  Off-topic  |       28      |    35.44    |        1        |    3.57
   Unclear   |       12      |    15.19    |        1        |    8.33
  Too Broad  |       20      |    25.32    |        5        |   25.00
   Opinion   |       5       |     6.33    |        2        |   40.00
  Duplicate  |       14      |    17.72    |        3        |   21.43

Anyways... That's just basic close data.

  • Many questions that have been closed are recommendations of some sort: software, hardware, website and license recommendations

    • Most license recommendations are normally reopened.

So how do I propose a close reason?

  • Provide strong arguments

    Anyone can propose one, but make sure that you present a strong argument for why it should exist. Provide us with multiple use cases where it could (and would've) been used.

  • Make sure that it is clear, concise and to the point:

    Close reasons don't have to be overly verbose. Make sure that anyone can understand them. You can emphasize certain words, as markdown is also supported. Keep close reasons short, and provide a link with where you can direct users for more information. This brings us to our next point...

  • Provide additional resources

    Make a meta post, Q&A style, that specifically explains why a particular question is closed. If a question is off-topic, explain why, and provide them to other sites where their question is accepted. Don't just redirect users, help then improve so that better quality questions can also be asked on the destination site. Once this is done, a moderator will come and provide the tag, and the close reason will be updated.

  • Critique others

    Provide constructive feedback and criticism on other suggestions, and ways that they can be worded better. If people start up meta posts, then help out with those, and plan them in chat.


Have fun!

  • 2
    Can you get stats on the whole time the site has been open? (ie another 20 days) – curiousdannii Oct 12 '15 at 0:51
  • 1
    @curiousdannii I just used the 10k tools for this, and I don't really think that there's a moderator tool for this. You could probably get the entire data on SEDE, but everyone knows how I fare with data queries.. – Zizouz212 Oct 12 '15 at 1:01
  • 1
    One thing I thought might be common was "if you want to know how to use some software, or how its code works". Did we end up closing many/any questions for this? – curiousdannii Oct 12 '15 at 1:03
  • 1
    @curiousdannii Hmm... I don't remember seeing many things like that (I think one or two at most) when looking through the closed posts... Yes, I went through each closed post manually... – Zizouz212 Oct 12 '15 at 1:05
  • 1
    I don't think we should ever allow individual recommendation requests (what's a Perl YAML library under 6kb / where are some public domain images of 18th century samurai armour), but should we allow general questions (where can I find Perl libraries / where can I find public domain images)? – curiousdannii Oct 12 '15 at 1:07
  • 1
    Alternatively we could have one giant Meta post which has a list of such places, and the close reason could link to it. That would probably be the best solution actually... – curiousdannii Oct 12 '15 at 1:08
  • 1
    Yep, exactly. Explain why it's off-topic, what to do about it, and where they can find an answer :) – Zizouz212 Oct 12 '15 at 1:09
5

3 November 2015
 This close reason has been added and is available to use.

Here is one for questions that ask for external resources (i.e. Software, Hardware and Website recommendations).

Examples:

Here is the close reason:

Questions that ask for off-site resources, or for a recommendation of an open source service or product are off-topic because they don't directly concern an issue related to open source development. For more information: please see What's wrong with "External Resources" questions?.

A few notes:

  • I'm explicitly not linking to Software Recs or Hardware Recs out of concern that we will be "migrating" low quality questions there. Ideally, I would want some mention of quality guidelines into the meta post that we would link to, if this reason is implemented.
  • 1
    I'm somewhat concerned about abuse of this close reason. There have been questions which had debate and disagreement about whether they were on topic, and some of those who were eventually were kept open or reopened might be closed if we adopt this close reason. – Martijn Oct 11 '15 at 18:00
  • 1
    @Martijn I here you. I was a little bit shaky over the words "external resources", especially since it can be very relevant to open source development. I'm debating just keeping to software/hardware recs. – Zizouz212 Oct 11 '15 at 21:11
  • 1
    What's an "external resource"? That's not very clear. It should also include media, not just software. – curiousdannii Oct 12 '15 at 0:50
  • 2
    @curiousdannii External resource would be like an off-site website or product. It's fairly mainstream: SO uses it as well. – Zizouz212 Oct 12 '15 at 1:12
  • 1
    @Zizouz212 How's that different from a 'service or product'? – curiousdannii Oct 12 '15 at 1:13
5

3 November 2015
 This close reason has been added and is available to use.

Here's one that I made for license recommendations:

Examples:

Questions asking for the recommendation of a license must include sufficient information on the desired effects of the license and the current details of the project. Questions that do not include relevant information, or are unclear, will make it difficult to make a well-informed answer, and will be less likely to assist any future readers. Questions that specifically look for proprietary licenses are off-topic. See: How do I write a license recommendation question?

  • 2
    Doesn't this just fall under "Unclear what you're asking"? Seems like a waste of a custom close reason. – RubberDuck Oct 11 '15 at 17:00
  • 3
    @RubberDuck It sort of does, but the same could really be said for close reasons on other sites within the network. Recommendations are somewhat distinct, and I want people to be able to have a general guideline for how to make a good recommendation question. – Zizouz212 Oct 11 '15 at 17:02
  • 1
    Fair enough I suppose. – RubberDuck Oct 11 '15 at 17:03
3

Questions that ask us to recommend Free/Open software, libraries, media, services, or other resources are off-topic, because in general no one will be able to find what you're after faster than you can yourself. For help finding what you're looking for, please see our list of websites where you can search for these things.

The linked meta page will contain a large list of links for every useful site, as well as explaining about Software/Hardware Recs and linking to pages on those sites explaining how to write good questions for them.

  • 1
    The first sentence is a little better than mine, but it's just too verbose for my liking. The second sentence doesn't really add much value, and you should replace the third sentence with a meta post that provides more information on-top of the close reason. – Zizouz212 Oct 12 '15 at 1:24
  • 1
    @Zizouz212 Sometimes verbose is good. I modelled this one on the SO close reason: "Questions asking us to recommend or find a book, tool, software library, tutorial or other off-site resource are off-topic for Stack Overflow as they tend to attract opinionated answers and spam." Maybe tutorials could be removed because it's probably the least likely to be asked. But I thought I'd change from talking about spam to that it's a waste of everyone else's time. I'm working on a meta post now. – curiousdannii Oct 12 '15 at 1:25
  • 1
    Alright, sounds good :) – Zizouz212 Oct 12 '15 at 1:26
  • 2
    If you downvoted this can you please explain why? – curiousdannii Oct 12 '15 at 21:19

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