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I don't think one should get or lose reputation from example questions. Example questions are meant to define a proposal:

Discussing whether questions are on-topic or off-topic helps figure out what the site is about, and, more importantly, what it's not about.

I sometimes wanted to show a proposal that they really don't want a certain question, but didn't post it because it would get downvoted, probably. However, the quote says that downvoted questions are useful too, even more important. So why take a user's rep when he substantially contributes to a proposal by asking questions that would be off topic?

To avoid people asking questions that have absolutely nothing to do with the proposal, we can use flags to get them removed.

What do you say?

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The premise of purposely asking off-topic questions to define what the site is NOT about has been largely deprecated. We don't do that anymore. But if you're genuinely interested in exploring those edge cases to see if a topic will be well received on the new site, you have to ask the question to have the discussion.

Honestly, the entire concept of reputation is kind of wonky in Area 51. The reward for providing good content is not reputation; it's having the better site that those contributions create.

I understand the objective for detaching reputation from voting process, but reputation still drives a lot of the behaviors allowed on this site. I'm afraid once you start pulling on that thread, the whole thing will start to unravel with unintended consequences. Our site-creation process needs a much more comprehensive work over, and I'd rather not devote developer resources to improvising piecemeal improvements to this site.

But thank you for the suggestion.

  • Shouldn't the description quoted in my question be changed then? – Keelan Mar 14 '13 at 19:08
  • @CamilStaps No, users are supposed to ask questions as they would on the actual site. So still... "Discussing whether questions are on-topic or off-topic helps figure out what the site is about, and, more importantly, what it's not about." The purpose of Definition is to narrow down the scope through trial and error and voting. – Robert Cartaino Mar 14 '13 at 19:12
  • Right, you convinced me. Thanks! – Keelan Mar 14 '13 at 19:12

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