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Proposal: Other

It seems rather often, and to the chagrin of many loyal Stack Exchange users and the entire community, that some questions have no place to go. See What happened to "What real life bad habits has programming given you?" for an example. The question with 157k views was dumped on programming.se and then deleted. These questions need a home!

This idea has been discussed in numerous places before, such as here Building an archive of deleted questions

See also:

The bottom line: ALL QUESTIONS WELCOME HERE

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    No, it does not. 1) Neither question nor answer are voted upon, 2) Users don't get reputation from votes (that don't exist), and 3) most importantly, you can't 'migrate' unwanted SE questions with answers and comments to Yahoo Answers. – Ehryk May 5 '12 at 18:15
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    It just seems (to me anyway) the SE format is 90% of what I want, most of the time. However, I feel even subjective/'bad'/off-topic questions DESERVE AN ANSWER and should be answered in the SE context. I'm not alone in this, by a long shot. – Ehryk May 5 '12 at 18:21
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    The solution to poverty isn't to destroy the ghetto; that just leaves homeless spread all over. It's to give them a place to go and opportunities to improve their situation; this both allows learning off mistakes AND cleans up the streets. – Ehryk May 5 '12 at 18:31
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    @Ehryk: "subjective/'bad'/off-topic questions DESERVE AN ANSWER " Even if that's true, that doesn't mean that answer has to be here. Not everything is or should be served by a Q&A site. Stack Exchange is not the one-true-God of all things; we should not try to shoehorn everything into that box. SE is not intended to "solve poverty". – Nicol Bolas May 6 '12 at 22:53
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    However, if such a place existed, these questions would get migrated to 'other' faster than closed and eventually deleted, with much resentment among other users. My argument is that by having this area, you 1) improve the quality of the rest of the SE sites and 2) answer more questions and have a larger knowledge base with more traffic. It seems to be a win win, in that moderators aren't constantly flagging and deleting, just moving to the 'other' area where it belongs; and I haven't yet seen a convincing argument as to what's so bad about this. – Ehryk May 6 '12 at 23:56
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    @Ehrk - I'm with you. I've had to resort to yahoo too many times when I wish their was a SE site to cover what I'm asking. Despite the differing opinions here, necessity is the mother of invention and the better site\concept\product does seem to win. When SO came into being we saw it consume experts-exchange...God, I HATED THAT SITE. And we're all better off. Point being, if the demi-God's who run SE won't come off their cloud to build a catch all (downvote me to hell I guess) then I guess we're forced to use a poor substitute...bad business model IMHO – javamonkey79 Jul 2 '12 at 5:45
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Creating a 'slush pile' for miscellaneous questions goes squarely against the purpose for which Stack Exchange was created. Our goal is not to create "general sites" for technology or anything else. Instead we create very specific sites for each community's area of expertise.

See About Stack Exchange.

That's why instead of allowing questions on any topic, we bring together individual communities of experts on very specific topics. We cannot guarantee every question will have a home. Most questions wont (at least until the network grows very large). So if you have a field of questions just itching to be asked, the best thing you can do is propose a site on the subject, and rally the experts you need to get those questions answered expertly. A "general technology" site cannot do that.

But thank you for the well thought-out rationale. But we don't want to be Yahoo! Answers. Yahoo! Answers is already available to be, well… Yahoo! Answers.

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    Couldn't ONE SE site be designated the 'slush pile' as you put it, without detracting from the other sites? The 'bad questions' would be sooner migrated than deleted, so it could be argued that it would keep the rest of the sites cleaner. – Ehryk May 5 '12 at 18:03
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    You also wouldn't get so much 'community outrage' from the popular questions, and information loss when people get the 404 when they click a link. Off topic or not, these are interesting questions, and interesting questions is why I'm here. – Ehryk May 5 '12 at 18:04
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    In addition, what you're saying by closing it is; even if the overall community supports this, and I somehow got enough commitment/interest to open the site, SE would refuse to do it because it's being imposed from above? That doesn't sound very community oriented. – Ehryk May 5 '12 at 18:18
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    Since you were there and I was not, could you explain the arguments why it "isn't possible" to do this as I proposed it, as other.SE, and how it would somehow detract from SE so much that it isn't even worth quelling the large community irritation from deleted popular (and unpopular) questions? I'd be very interested to hear it. – Ehryk May 5 '12 at 18:26
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    @Ehryk: That doesn't sound very community oriented. ... and? This is their site. This is their tech. And this is all their idea. If they don't want something, who are we to tell them it's wrong? We can put forth our opinions, but ultimately, they make the actual decisions. – Nicol Bolas May 6 '12 at 22:58
  • @Ehryk: worth quelling the large community irritation from deleted popular (and unpopular) questions? Your statement presupposes two things: 1) that your proposal would in fact solve this problem without creating others. I fail to see how this would do anything more than legitimize it. 2) that your proposal is the best way to solve it. Just because it might work does not make it good. – Nicol Bolas May 6 '12 at 22:59
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    @NicolBolas I presuppose neither. 1) I never said it wouldn't create others, but it would solve the problem I stated. 2) Nor did I say this is the BEST way; just that it is one rather logical way to do it. While it may legitimize some bad questions, it de-legitimizes it on the rest of the SE sites and provides a formal procedure for what to do with these questions; migrate them to other.SE. I don't see how you figure I made either of those claims; it merely is one way to solve the part I (and others) are irritated about. – Ehryk May 7 '12 at 0:02
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    Yahoo Answers have very limited functionality. StackExchange tools are much better. – MKaama Apr 24 '14 at 8:28
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The SE model works well by attracting experts. In short, how do you attract experts on (by definition) the broadest possible topic in the universe?!

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    Some people are or claim to be 'experts at everything'. Other experts in various other communities may be tangentially interested in questions of this broader nature, so they may bring their own expertise area to a more open discussion. That the SE Model works, I agree with you, but I don't suppose (as Ayn Rand might) that without the experts the community is worthless. – Ehryk May 5 '12 at 10:54
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    In other words, I'm not limiting it to 'Experts of Other', as spelled out in the proposal's 'Who it's for' subtitle. Further, a common thread running through 'Experts'/'Geniuses' is curiosity, and not just in their own field of expertise. – Ehryk May 5 '12 at 10:56
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    'Other' is not the broadest possible topic. It clearly excludes 'chemistry', 'programming', 'physics', and any other open SE site, which cover a surprisingly vast amount of the known universe. – Ehryk May 5 '12 at 10:59
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    I'm an expert in certain areas, and I'm very interested in contributing to and answering 'questions that can be answered that don't belong on a particular SE site', even if the question may be subjective / not fit the all too well stamped SE mold. – Ehryk May 5 '12 at 11:03
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    I think there are some 'off topic experts', when not in answering, than at least in asking... – Donaudampfschifffreizeitfahrt Feb 28 '14 at 10:31
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    Curiosity does not make you an expert. If you are looking to attract people who don't know much about a subject, but are willing to give answers anyway, then what you are most likely to get is wrong answers. – DJClayworth Jul 22 '14 at 21:33
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    Polymaths!!! XD – x-x Aug 6 '14 at 1:10

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