25

Moderator messages are private, for your protection. You're free to respond and correspond privately, working with the moderator team to resolve the problems without risking your public reputation. ...But since you've chosen to waive that privilege, I'll share a screenshot of my own: As you can see, there have indeed been quite a few questions "which were ...


25

Absolutely it can be downvoted. Even the tooltip on the downvote button mentions a lack of evidence of research as a reason to downvote. Stack Exchange has never looked kindly on gimmethecodez questions, whichever of the network’s sites they appear on. Medica's referred you to the Help text; the supplementary question “So how much research is necessary?” ...


20

TL;DR Single-word requests are not the problem, they are just the kind of questions where some problems (in particular lack of guidance) predominantly manifest themselves. Only addressing these problems will lead to actual progress. Some of the criticism described in the question is specific to single-word requests, but it is either not an actual problem ...


18

The programmers site has a similar problem. Someone suggested that it might be due to the name of the site. The specifics are different, but the idea remains that the community's name may be attracting certain kinds of content. There's a lot of content that fits under the heading English Language and Usage. (NB: I'm not proposing a name change for ELU - such ...


17

Update: This suggestion is now live! You can see the discussion that led up to it here or experience it for yourself on the ask question page. I didn't have time yet to go through all the questions, but it seems like a lot of these questions are single-word-requests. This isn't really surprising considering most of our questions (closed or not) are tagged ...


16

I appreciate everyone's input as to why ELU may be worse than other sites. I was actually looking for proof/disproof as to whether it actually was or not. I believe I have figured out the data explorer well enough to answer my own question. This graph shows the percentage of closed questions (compared to asked questions) from 9/1/15 - 1/3/16. As you ...


14

I certainly wouldn't recommend EL&U to a professor who thinks that if English is not your native language you must have poor English skills believes that correct English arises from something other than use by English-speakers thinks that 'like a dog after the rabbit' refers to something unattainable, since dogs often do catch rabbits, both in the wild ...


14

I don't think your expectations are low enough. The hot network questions are not selected for being the highest quality questions with the highest quality answers—they're mainly composed of bicycle-shed questions where even non-experts feel like they know the answer, questions about popular topics like sex, and interesting questions from the single-word-...


14

Did you search the help section before asking this question? If you did, can you show us what you found, and what you're having a problem with? No? Hmmm... that means I have to do it for you, even though I'm not blessed with more time than you are. Well, here goes... searches... Ah! Here you go. In the help section, under How do I ask a good question?, the ...


13

I don't have hard comparative data, but I suspect we do have a problem most other sites don't (or at least not to this extent): a lack of functional consensus on the purpose of this site. If you've seen me on Meta much then you'll know I often complain about high-rep users who never vote, edit, flag etc, and just answer questions. Other people always ...


13

With regard to point 1, that may well have been me. Spam has a particular definition (it's advertising) and as it carries a large penalty, spam flags are really serious business. Please do not use spam flags for posts which are not spam. There are better flags (eg Very Low Quality) which put the post into a review queue where other members of the community ...


12

My theory: ELU has it worse because it has been successful. Unsuccessful sites (like Travel.SE) mainly get users from other Stack Exchange websites (primarily Stack Overflow), who are familiar with the Stack Exchange model, and know how to ask good questions. Successful sites get people coming from Google. They may or may not know how to ask good questions....


12

Einstein once said, if I had 60 minutes to solve a problem I would spend 55 minutes thinking about the right question to ask, and 5 minutes on the solution. Thinking of the right question to ask requires both effort and research into trying to answer it yourself. So the answer to your question would be "yes," and the reason behind it is that the ...


11

The central problem here is that most of your so-called “questions”: show no research present no theories and expend no effort. That situation alone merits a downvote according to the tooltip guidelines regarding downvotes. To see why, hover over the down-arrow on any question and the following descriptive text briefly appears: This question does not ...


11

While there is the occasional rude individual, perceived but unintended slight, or even an otherwise polite user acting out of frustration, I suspect that the lion's share of the tension comes from a mismatch between who the site says it's for and who actually turns up to ask questions. Who the tour says EL&U is for: linguists, etymologists, and serious ...


10

Normally, I just up-vote the previous comment and recommend deletion; is this the best course of action? What do you do? My only worry with doing that is if it skews the analytics of which option has been chosen. I almost always upvote comments I agree with, and then choose "no comment needed" when I "recommend deletion". If there isn't one already, I'd ...


10

(I'm not sure that this'll count as an answer. Or even be useful. It's just my ramblings based on the question.) Yep, I totally agree that experienced users commenting can come across as condescending. I know I'm guilty of it - hell, two out of your three example quotes are mine! (That said, I thought I'd done a better job than normal on those of avoiding ...


9

The reason given in the closure message can be fairly arbitrary. It's the majority reason. That doesn't necessarily mean that three out of five voted for it, though. There could be 2+1+1 votes for three different reasons. If the last vote is for reason A, then the voting is 3+1+1 and reason A is given in the box; if it's for reason B, then the voting is 2+2+...


9

A few thoughts: I realize the suggested language comes straight from the Help Center, but the word "thoroughly" jumps out at me as sounding kind of, well, cranky. As far as I'm concerned, SE is part of the process of conducting thorough research. We don't want to make it sound like we don't like being asked questions at all. Along the same lines, I ...


9

You have a right to be here, and you have a right (it is not off topic) to post questions about Shakespeare's writing. You've gotten upvotes (including mine on occasion) and answers (including mine once). Other people have a right to be here, and to express their (whatever). They have a clear right to express themselves with anonymous downvotes, with ...


9

The creation of ELL was supposed to help alleviate this problem, but it seems like ELU gets as many novice/basic/learner questions now as it ever did. Many of these come from new users who appear to be English learners (or are English learners – one recent question began with First of all, I am a french secondary school pupil so I am sorry for every mistakes)...


9

I need a word that means such-and-so. (a) But I'm not going to tell you what I've considered so far. (b) Or: I'll tell you what I've considered so far, but I won't tell you why that word doesn't do the trick. (c) Or: I won't give you an example sentence to show you how I want to use the word. I have a very basic grammar question which with 99% probability ...


9

Everyone is welcome on ELU, not just advanced users of English. Quoting TimLymington, Stack Exchange, as a network, does not discriminate between users. If you ask thoughtful questions and give useful answers, you will gain reputation, acquire privileges, and become more respected; it does not matter whether you are still at school or are a university ...


9

UPDATE I go through swings (or is it moods?), some days I feel more optimistic about EL&U's future and permanence on the Internet, other days I feel the website is just doomed. The last week or so has been simply awful. The flood of not low – but extremely low-quality questions – is just too depressing for words. Hmm... maybe I should post that ...


8

I think Andrew Leach hit the nail on the head. If we look in other areas that I visit things seem to be a bit different. For example, on the mathematics forum most of the questions and answers are handled in a different way. Take this question, https://math.stackexchange.com/q/679712/262555. It is a question which could be googled or looked up in a third ...


8

TL:DR - The SE system breaks down when there is a lack of comradery throughout the community. Our proactive options are: change the system or try to change people. Systems are a lot easier to program... but that's not to say that the community can't improve as well. Note: 1 reps are not part of the community and even though they may be the cause, they're not ...


8

You've already been given the actual stats. Yes, you've had a few highly rated and viewed questions. But you've had overwhelmingly more that are voted negatively or deleted. That is a rare accomplishment. Now voting and closing are for the most part done by multiple people, not by single autocrats. And the temporary suspensions are done automatically, ...


8

I accept that we see a ton of bad SWRs every day that show almost zero research effort. Those bad apples shouldn't make us ban the "requests" concept entirely. Sometimes even tech-savvy users like me find it difficult to google certain things. So it's very helpful to ask experts in the language. IMHO, SWRs, and the like, should remain on ELU. And we should ...


8

The idea appeals to me, but in practical terms, I don't think it is really feasible, for various reasons. Mechanical: as far as I know, there is no existing Stack Exchange system that would be ideal for this purpose. The closest I can think of is a list on this Meta with answers that we vote for, as was done with Please vote for the most exemplary single-...


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