3

Example:

How good is Traffic-Seeker?

I answered, but in a really wishy-washy way.

I think a wiki of "Your favourite SEO tools with reasons" wouldn't be so bad (or at least would keep the bad in one place), but this question made me cringe a bit.

| |
  • I liked you answer, which basically says "Make yourself qualified enough to answer your own question". I did, however vote to close the question, if only to avoid dozens or hundreds of similar ones. – Tim Post Jul 20 '10 at 7:33
6

We're naturally going to see a lot of these, they usually fall into two categories:

  • How good is 'X' ?
  • How does 'X' compare to 'Y' ?

Additionally, the second category can be applied to compare something to itself, i.e:

  • I'm using version 3 of 'X' to do 'foo', is it safe to upgrade to version 4?

I would up vote and (probably) answer the last one. The time that the usefulness of the question remains valid is clearly stated, the intended use of the thing being discussed is clearly stated and the question is narrow enough to deter a protracted discussion.

Now, in the first example, lets make it more specific:

  • How good is Apple?

That would be an instant flame war. You could replace 'Apple' with equally inflammatory subjects like 'Flash', 'Linux Hosting', 'Dreamweaver' or anything else. Additionally, no anchors in the question match the opinions it will garnish (and yes, they will be opinions) to a specific point in time. Additionally, it invites a potentially heated, and quite possibly protracted discussion. That's really not what we want.

The second one, comparing one thing to another can be reasonably answered, if the intended use and requirements are clearly stated. If you say something like "I just want to accomplish foo and bar, products X and Y both do that, can you compare their usefulness in that regard?" - I'd vote for it and again, probably try to answer.

This is also my opinion when it comes to asking for 'reviews' of web hosts, domain registrars, etc. I really don't want this place to turn into another Web Hosting Talk, which many people use to force companies to provide support out in the open while making every attempt to embarrass the company.

Even now, I'm a little disconcerted with a lack of close votes on some of the 'list of X' questions, and 'good domain registrars', etc. But its a community, and the community decides. We had a lot of this type of question on Stack Overflow, many stayed in circulation for well over a year, and now we're having a really hard time dealing with the moderation headaches that they create. I hope we don't have to learn the same lesson all over again on every new beta.

Sorry to digress a bit, I suppose the answer to your question is 'case by case' basis. If the question turns the answer box into a blog / forum 'comment form', its probably a really bad question.

| |
  • Tim - Good point on the close votes for question. I think I have been a bit soft of questions that I thought were borderline. I will take a little more time evaluating and voting for questions that fall into that "How good is X?" category. – Ben Hoffman Jul 20 '10 at 16:13
3

Is there any value in deciding t vote to close any post about hosting that isn't specific? We could go on for days or years and create many a flame war over hosting services. The only really valid ones are seem to be "I am looking for a host that does X specific thing, does anyone know of one" and "Does host X do Y? I can't tell from there site".

I even have some reservations about the second one because people should really be asking the hosting service as they are definitive resource on hosting.

| |
  • I think so. I think close votes will help define the community. Some will be no-brainers, others will polarize and promote discussion. – JasonBirch Jul 21 '10 at 2:31

You must log in to answer this question.

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