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I suggest EL&U introduce a feature to allow questioners to request a question be reopened. This is especially helpful for users who have thoroughly edited a question after it has been closed.

I originally wrote this question about a specific writing project. It was closed for being "too localized." I've now spent a lot of work abstracting a general question from my original specific one, but I doubt any of the closers have looked at the edits. I would like to reopen the question, but I don't know of any mechanism to make sure it's re-evaluated. A general mechanism is likely to be helpful to many others.

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    This is the mechanism! – Matt E. Эллен May 2 '12 at 12:35
  • What is? Writing a meta question? – Josh Sunshine May 2 '12 at 12:37
  • Yes, write a meta question. – JSBձոգչ May 2 '12 at 12:42
  • Yep! And you can also pop into chat and probably get some traffic that way too. – Kit Z. Fox May 2 '12 at 12:42
  • Okay, I'm glad I now know the mechanism, but it would be nice for future users to be told in a more reasonable way. My question was closed with the following message: "closed as too localized ... See the FAQ for guidance on how to improve it." The FAQ barely mentions meta or chat and certainly not in a way that is directly connected to reopening questions. – Josh Sunshine May 2 '12 at 13:11
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    You can use the @-notation to ping one of the people who closed it, and ask them to reconsider. – simchona May 2 '12 at 16:39
  • The original question is and remains a request for help with creative writing. So I still think firstly that it's off-topic, and secondly that there's no "single, correct" answer, so it's not constructive either. – FumbleFingers May 3 '12 at 1:41
  • @FumbleFingers: Now that the question has been revised, it doesn't look any more of a request for help with creative writing than many other phrase-request questions. (Of course, some of those get closed, too.) Many single-word-request and phrase-request questions don't have a "single, correct" answer. Why do some thrive while others are denounced? There are several factors, but two big ones are how elaborately the OP phrases the question (is it specific or vague?), and how well-researched it appears to be. – J.R. May 4 '12 at 9:06
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Josh, there is a mechanism. Five votes to close will close a question. Five votes to reopen will reopen it.

(If you don't have enough points, you won't be able to vote either way, so the mechanism will be "invisible" to you.)

That said, even with the question reopened, I'm not sure how much more input you'll get. After reading your question, the first thing that popped into my head was "failure to adjust," and that answer has already been provided. Who knows? Maybe someone will think of something that'll knock our collective socks off, but I wouldn't expect a flurry of inspired responses.

One thing that has often surprised me is how some folks try very, very hard to get a question reopened, even when two or three very good answers have already been provided, along with some helpful comments as well. Closure is not necessarily an indictment on the asker; sometimes, there's simply not much more to say.

As for "too localized," don't read too much into that, either. That's just one of five choices the voters have from a multiple choice list. It could mean that your question was "too localized," or it could mean that "too localized" was the nearest fit to whatever was motivating the individuals who were voting to close.

Here's a screen shot, showing what voters are presented with when voting to close. Some questions don't fit nicely into one of these five catagories, but that doesn't mean the question shouldn't be closed nonetheless.

enter image description here

  • The OP doesn't ask for a way to reopen a question, but a way to ask to have a question reopened. – Matt E. Эллен May 3 '12 at 12:24
  • @MattЭллен: Good point, I think maybe I missed that on my first read. I still think this info might be helpful, though; there does seem to be some initial confusion about closed questions from time to time. – J.R. May 3 '12 at 13:41

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