I noticed that from this post that we have a substantial amount of questions closed...

  • We have 84 questions
  • And 180 answers

Pretty good, isn't it?

Of the 84 questions, 21 are closed at the time of this writing. That's 25%. Exactly 25%.

Reasons for closure: (I likely missed a few...)

  • Too Broad: 10 (~50%)
  • Primarily Opinion Based: 6 (~28%)
  • Off-Topic: 3 (~14%)

So is it just the questions? Or are there other reasons for this?

2 Answers 2


It's worth remembering that on Area51 we only had question titles to guide us in selecting what we did and didn't like.

Fully fleshed out questions may not fulfill the promise of their titles, and we are now actually developing our communal sense of what is and isn't a good question.

I would also expect to see a large number of "kites" being flown, to test the community's reactions.

It's only by closing out the ones we don't like that we'll get a good selection of "unacceptable" questions to help us write that part of the FAQ.

It's also worth noting that many of the closed questions had attracted both votes and answers before being put on hold, and some have been reopened.

  • Thanks for the insight. It really helps, but I'm slightly worried about the nature of developing the scope, as I feel like it isn't well defined yet. But oh well, that just could be me.
    – Zizouz212
    Jun 25, 2015 at 10:52
  • 1
    Yes "kites" are particularly important during private beta - defining what is off topic is just as important as defining what is on topic. So deliberately asking borderline off topic questions is useful. Jun 25, 2015 at 21:08

It's a bit too early to tell, but by the numbers alone, this is not a problem.

For comparison, the % of closed questions on SO is about 30%. This number is also similar in other popular stacks. Now SO is quite strict, so for comparison, this number is about 15% on SF&F, a fairly lax stack. Programmers, a stack with a lot of subject overlap with ours, is about 40%.

What's a good benchmark closed %? I'm not sure. You could argue that private beta users should be more savvy, but 25% still doesn't seem terribly bad given the above numbers.

Looking at the currently closed questions, there's no clear pattern, just the usual mix of bad questions that are not suitable - too broad, opinion based.

For reference, I used this query here: http://data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/query/69182/percentage-of-closed-questions-per-date

  • But I hope you understand that SO is a fully active, public site. We're in a private beta with what should be experienced community members.
    – Zizouz212
    Jun 25, 2015 at 10:49
  • @Zizouz212: Members that currently trying to define the scope. Questions can also help in this regard. Is question X on-topic? That may lead to some closed questions. So I wouldn't worry too much about that. Scope on the other hand seems not fixed yet.
    – Mnementh
    Jun 25, 2015 at 15:33
  • @Mnementh Exactly. We need to be asking those kinds of questions, when they pop up, and immediately when some dispute arises.
    – Zizouz212
    Jun 25, 2015 at 15:34
  • @Zizouz212 We are all likely to be experienced SE users but not necessarily experienced in open source. We are just the people who agreed to commit. Jun 25, 2015 at 21:11

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