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When you come on to EL&U (or any other SE site) and you're not necessarily a member, you are faced with a cold wall of questions and their answers. This is usually very helpful - it is the reason many SE sites have grown so much - but when you want to look in greater detail at a topic SE becomes very opaque.

When someone comes onto the site, looking for extra reading or a way of looking at a topic in more depth, they should not be turned away and told that 'resource requests are off-topic' but shown a source of knowledge, not directly answering their question (that is already the purpose of SE), but providing sources and a springboard for further research.

This is also good from a purely site-selfish point of view; people who find that EL&U gives them extra help, are likely to want to give something back to the community and to spread the knowledge they discover in their dive into the world of English Language. This in turn will provide more springboards and also people to join the community.

I have a couple of suggestions as to how we could go about doing this:

1.

A shadow site, much like chat or meta. Users with an arbitrary amount of reputation can create a discussion post, except it would have some form of structuring, almost like a meta site in that people can vote for the best points and they are ordered slightly as such. It could be made easy to create a discussion post from a main site question

Now, this may be out of the control of mere users or even moderators, but perhaps this sort of idea could become a reality

2.

Alternatively, the following is a more easily creatable suggestion:

Why not create a new tag 'discussion' or 'further-reading' on the main site where questions can be responded to but in a more casual way than the "over-moderated" standard question. This would allow for the Stack Exchange voting system to self-regulate the discussion while keeping them interesting and enjoyable for contributors. Essentially, every time someone mentions a new topic in chat or goes astray in the comments, you could create a new question tagged with this in which their references/extra detail/interesting points could be contained and then archived, leaving behind a question and a series of answers on a given topic which would be tagged and available for people to find online, building extra reference material around a question. This would not replace a question, it would simply provide extra context material.

This is something that we, as an individual site community, could trial, since tags are completely our own business, not that of the official Stack Exchange employees

  • Essentially, every someone mentions Presumably, "Essentially, every time someone mentions". – deadrat Sep 25 '16 at 19:47
  • @deadrat Sorry, fixed – BladorthinTheGrey Sep 25 '16 at 19:49
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There's the blog. You could get a couple people to write contrasting viewpoints in a topic and post it as an article on the blog.

Also, 'meta' tags like 'discussion' on the main site are not allowed.

Finally, please stop using the phrase "over-moderated". We are not over-moderating. We are doing our jobs, which includes removing discussion in comments. The problem is not with moderation; the problem is with community members who want the site to be different than it is. As it has been said before, if you don't like the policy, you should post on Meta.SE and try to get the rules changed. This is not something that EL&U mods can do.

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