I was reading Actual Play of Don't Rest Your Head one-shot exemplar and wondered why this makes a good question.

Don't get me wrong: it's well written, I understand the need to find what he's looking for, it's clear and concise, formally, it has all we can ask for.

But what would a good answer look like?

An embedded Youtube video? A link? A bunch of links?

Looking at the other questions tagged , that's exactly the answers they get: a list of links, ordered by popular opinion. Because the answer must by definition be a link, that's the point of the question. And there is no other way to rank them then personal opinion. Apart from spam, there cannot be a good, better or worse answer. One answer is as valid as any other.

But that's exactly what SE does not want to be. A shopping list of offsite resources.

From my point of view, any question rightfully being tagged is most likely offtopic for any Q&A SE site.

Alternatively (I have been wrong before...) what would convince me of the opposite is a possible answer to the above mentioned question, that, if stripped of any markup and links, is still a valid answer to that question. That is the general SE guideline of where the line between "good answer with link" and "bad, link only non-answer" is drawn and we don't have any more specific ruling here.

Try for a minute to imagine the above question would have been asked for instead of the rather obscure system. Would you want to read the flood of answers, would you think them to be SE quality?

Another site in the SE network said in it's off-topic help:

Asking a question that doesn't draw upon the community's expert knowledge [...] but rather asking it to be a crowdsourced search engine falls into this area.

And I think that's a good description. I can feel the pain of not finding something with google. But we are a Q&A site, not a natural-speech-configurable search engine.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It sounds like your topic wants to be, "session summary requests are a poor fit for general Stack principles," not "is it possible to ask a question using this tag which isn't a resource request?" which is what your title says right now. When you removed the request for tag-burning from your previous question you didn't add a new subject or action in its place, so this looks like a rant with a semi-related title. I know that's not what you mean it to be. \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Oct 14 '15 at 18:47
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Is your underlying question something more like “These look like recommendations to me; aren't they shopping questions and therefore off-topic?”? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14 '15 at 20:21
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Yes. \$\endgroup\$
    – nvoigt
    Oct 14 '15 at 20:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay. Is the issue only about questions requesting session summaries off-site, or is it more general? Is the objection more generally to questions that request off-site resources? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14 '15 at 21:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I think requesting s-s is always an offsite resource request for a link (exceptions would be requests for actual s-s in the answer) and I do think that offsite resource requests that contain no answer if the link is removed, are offtopic. Therefore, all s-s that I have seen are offtopic. \$\endgroup\$
    – nvoigt
    Oct 14 '15 at 21:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm really only trying to clarify the scope of your question, not yet (or again) engage with its content. So: no, you're not wanting to tackle any questions more generally outside the category of requests for session summary resources? Is that right? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14 '15 at 21:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I have a stand on them. Meaning I would like to see the general SE guidelines in place as a minimum. But as obviously people don't like or understand those guidelines as evident from the other meta posts in the last days, right now I see no good in fighting battles I cannot win. For the moment, I'm focused on this specific tag's questions, mainly because I saw the question on the main site that to me screamed "offtopic!!!/against SE guidelines" and yet had 10 upvotes. I cannot promise that I won't open up the discussion on a broader scope a few weeks from now. \$\endgroup\$
    – nvoigt
    Oct 14 '15 at 22:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, that makes plenty of practical sense for scoping it to just this type of question. I think we can rehabilitate the deleted meta by making it about that question instead of a support request for tag-burning? (Tags can be pretty easily dealt with once question topicality is dealt with.) \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14 '15 at 22:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Feel free. I won't try to make it fit, for today I had enough tries. I will spend my time more constructive. \$\endgroup\$
    – nvoigt
    Oct 14 '15 at 22:45

The tag is one of those that just describes a noun, which are usually fairly flexible tags. It could describe a lot of kinds of questions: how can I find [specific old actual play series] videos, how do I write a good session summary for teaching purposes, what rules were used that made X happen at 4m28s in this podcast of a Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine session, what RPGs produce written artifacts that look like session summaries as a direct result of core play procedures, etc.

All of those are more-or-less about session summaries, which sufficiently justifies the existence of a tag like on such a question that might exist here. Most or all of those glosses (okay, not the last game-rec one) also suggest an on-topic question. Given a question that's on-topic here, plus having session summaries as a fundamental “aboutness” of the question, a tag like is useful to categorise those here.

  • \$\begingroup\$ For me, the fact that every single question tagged with it is an offtopic offsite resource request beats the fact that it could theoretically be multi-purpose. As a matter of fact, right now it's not multi-purpose. The people using it are using it for one thing only: "Where can I find..." \$\endgroup\$
    – nvoigt
    Oct 14 '15 at 18:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nvoigt If you have a problem with a specific question, we have a feature called “voting to close” that you have enough reputation to take advantage of. It allows you to indicate that you think a question is off-topic or otherwise a bad fit for the site. We also have a feature called Meta.RPG.se where you can bring larger-scale problems to the attention of the community to seek feedback and consensus, to establish clarity of policy and mobilise a concerted effort. Suggesting that asking where to find session summaries is off-topic or problematic may yield interesting discussion. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14 '15 at 18:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ You know, the more I read your answers, dancing around formalisms, the more I think I won't regret leaving. I will not open up a third question on the topic that all questions under this tag are offtopic. Because experience tells me you will find a way to tell me that that question will somehow be wrong also. But I can always open up a fourth question then, right? No. I will simply not open anything anymore. That solves a lot more problems. \$\endgroup\$
    – nvoigt
    Oct 14 '15 at 18:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your focus on the tag appears to be an impediment to actually talking about the questions themselves. May I suggest you talk about your actual problem instead of the site's question-tagging feature? I don't have a problem with the question you're avoiding asking, but I'm not interested in guessing your question through these questions approaching it sideways, so I'm dispatching them literally. If you do revise this question to be about your real problem, maybe that would be productive? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14 '15 at 18:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ So I should VtC for all questions and say nothing? Or should I ask a question for each question tagged [s-s] on meta? \$\endgroup\$
    – nvoigt
    Oct 14 '15 at 18:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nvoigt If you're bowing out on this, then when I have the time to work on it (may take some days), I will try to formulate a specific meta question on the subject. You have some good points on the topic that could be useful to explore, but there's also a few red herrings which obscure them. I'll see if I can get down to the core of it so the discussion won't be sidetracked. \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Oct 14 '15 at 18:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nvoigt If you think that the whole category of questions about sessions summaries is off topic, that's a fine singular meta question. I don't think it would get far though, since your problem seems to be specifically with questions requesting pointers to sessions summaries — that would be a better and more accurate meta question to ask. VTCing each individually is your prerogative, so I won't tell you how to vote. Bringing up each question individually on meta would be excessive, when you can discuss them as a type in one Q. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14 '15 at 18:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ In general though, in any such meta Q, avoid the mistake of equating “question type X” with any tags that might be used for those questions, or otherwise using a tag as shorthand for a question type. Tags and questions are different things, handled differently, involve distinct and separate parts of site policy, and equivocating them when discussing question topicality will introduce more problems than it could solve. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14 '15 at 19:00

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