Here is a question


entitled "What are good Q&A websites out there ?"

To me this seems to have nothing at all to do with web applications. Am I mistaken?

2 Answers 2


This is another case of the "List of X" problem. Our engine is absolutely brilliant at surfacing these questions, and they can have some utility ... but they're not really what we want -- they tend to be polls and copy-pasted content, not original contributions.

In the worst case they're like the "Favorite Programming Cartoon" question. In the best case they're like the "New Programming Jargon" question.

The rule I've used in the past in these grey areas is ...

can an average user learn something from this question?

... which is even murkier here. If it's just a list of products with no explanation, then no. If it contains detailed information about the features and how they can be used, and why you might want to choose one over the other, then yes.

"How?" and "Why?" has more lasting value than a bunch of product-feature bullet points, no matter how extensive.

  • Now I know why a certain someone suspects that you're a vampire. What are you doing answering questions at 3:48 AM?
    – raven
    Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 12:58
  • @raven That's ok he's never online from 8am EST - 4pm EST (err, 5am PST - 1pm PST). Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 14:41
  • please see my question here. Commented Jul 10, 2010 at 20:28

At least two people agree with you. It's currently got two down-votes and one vote to close as "off topic".

It's certainly a borderline question - I'm still sitting on the fence.

There are currently two questions here discussing "off-topicness" here and perhaps a more relevant one asking to define the difference between web apps and web sites.

Personally I think it's going to be hard to tell the difference between and application and a site in a lot of cases. A Q&A "site" is such a case. It's fairly certain that such a site is actually an application, but and end user might not see it as such and as far as they're concerned it's a "web site".

We need to be flexible and fair.

  • 1
    At least one person agrees with me, since I downvoted it and voted to close it as well.
    – Kinopiko
    Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 10:08

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