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They seem to be off-topic, according to real question have answers, and we seem to get a lot of them, and we seem to leave them open for a farily long time, letting them draw at least a few low-quality answers before being closed. These low-quality answers then tend to be upvoted and accepted by the asker, since a closed question is seen as a dead question by new users. Is there a policy we could make that would help improve our treatment of these questions?

Some examples:

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe include the examples of unclosed questions of this type, for comparison? I didn't see the point of this idea until you linked to this one that's alive and kicking; only then did I see that there might be some merit to singling these out, so that we don't have to weigh "broad" and "primarily opinion-based" on each such question. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Mar 12 '15 at 18:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Basically: demonstrate that there is a real problem to be solved, making this a real question. ;) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Mar 12 '15 at 18:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Isn't it better to just downvote the answers to otherwise on topic questions? \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Mar 12 '15 at 18:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @waxeagle Questions that primarily draw spitballing either need to be held pending a rewrite (because they're not working as written) or closed if un-fixed though, right? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Mar 12 '15 at 19:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you guys want more unclosed examples? Acquiring them is pretty trivial; I just search "any ideas", "some ideas", etc. and something like 1/5 questions returned fit this form. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Mar 12 '15 at 21:52
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A new policy is not required because it would be incorrect.

These aren't all too broad/list questions even though someone says the word "ideas" - there's a difference. It's a matter of scope. Questions that really are too broad get closed for that. One of those is an optimization question that describes a build and asks for "ideas" on the last two feats. Like most of our questions, there's no single objectively correct answer, but it's tightly scoped and there are better or worse answers that achieve that build's goals.

A question that says "do you have an idea" is not automatically bad and therefore a policy directed against that would be fallacious. We have rules against pure opinion, unclear questions, and way too broad, and that's all that's required to cover this use case.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So if the request for ideas is not too broad or primarily opinion based, it is acceptable for the site? These are all definitely list questions, the list in some cases is just very short (0 possible things fitting the listed criteria). I'm cool with saying that narrowly scoped, objective/'good' subjective lists are ok, I just want to make sure that's what we're saying. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Mar 13 '15 at 1:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer correct. "I have this specific build, and I want to do these specific things. How can I do this?" is good build question, and would still be good if someone asked "Does anyone have any ideas for how I can do this?" instead. Just that requests for ideas are very commonly also too broad, opinion based, or unclear (including not giving us enough specific details). \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 13 '15 at 3:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, I think we found the elusive 'good list question' then! :) I'm happy with how this turned out. Most of the questions listed as idea solicitation I have favorited so it would have been sad to have to historical lock them. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Mar 13 '15 at 3:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie note that the acceptance of this answer by the community does constitute embracing the opposite opposite of my answer and declaring idea generation categorically on topic. In other words: While idea generation is still often too broad or primarily opinion based, and therefore often close-worthy for those reasons, it should not be closed by virtue of being a request for ideas nor for lacking the possibility for a well-defined 'best' answer as long as the set of good answers is sufficiently small and the 'good' in good answer is not primarily opinion based. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Apr 26 '15 at 1:35
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These questions are already covered well under existing close reasons and no new content is needed to adequately close them.

These questions are either "Unclear what you're asking" because they do not contain a question or "primarily Opinion based" because they don't have an answer.

There is no need for a custom close reason or additional policy on this matter.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's fairly clear what people are asking for, even if it's not really a question. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Mar 12 '15 at 18:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer the point is though, that if you're citing "real questions have answers" as the reason for their lack of topicality, then "Unclear what you're asking" is the correct close reason \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Mar 12 '15 at 18:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ How do the example questions that have been added to the meta-Q relate to the existing close reasons? Should they have been closed under regular reasons, or are they correctly open? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Mar 12 '15 at 20:39
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Why, yes, we could make a custom close question for this purpose, as suggested here. This would allow users to more clearly see that these questions are not allowed and have a way of responding that is generally more helpful to askers in the first place.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that, contrary to a recent comment linking here, the rejection of this answer by the community does not constitute embracing the opposite and declaring idea generation categorically on topic. In other words: idea generation is still often too broad or primarily opinion based, and therefore often close-worthy for those reasons, even without this proposed new categorical close option. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 25 '15 at 22:55

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