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So, I realize we don't actually have a consensus definition of what a recommendation question is at this point, but bear with me.

A question was asked recently about how to get feedback on a homebrew pokemon/D&D crossover class. The question was put on hold, not because the question was asking for reccomendations of sites, but because the querent expected that a recommendation to a site would probably be the best solution. That seems bizarre.

To wit, the question was essentially as follows:

  1. I have a homebrew thing, and I want feedback on it.

  2. I have tried asking people about it locally, and that was useful, but I want to get feedback from a broader and more diverse and experienced audience.

  3. I don't think posting it on a random forum would be helpful, because in my experience that follows a particular unhelpful pattern

  4. How can I get good feedback?

It's true that what the OP thinks they want is a site or lists of sites that solve their problem. But the OP was open to the changes that made this about feedback in general, rather than sites in specific, since it's still about solving the problem they want solved. And it's true the best answer may well be "go to X community, which was established for providing feedback on pokemon/D&D crossover classes and has an active userbase with a similar playstyle to you" or whatever, but our prohibition (at least, as of the last time the moderation team for this site talked about it) is on content in questions, not answers.

It seems like "How can I get a certain kind of feedback on X specific thing?" is a question we really ought to handle, since it's entirely in line with the purpose for which Stack Overflow was created (sharing insider tricks by experts for common-yet-niche problems experts face), and I see no reasonable way that can be understood as a shopping question, whatever the querents preconceptions about what a good answer would be.

There's little point in ropening the question now, as the querent was a volatile user and I'm pretty sure they've abandoned it after the most recent changes, but this is yet another casualty of our seriously flawed tool-rec situation, and the ongoing fallout from that meta-fiasco. I think it's something to be aware of.

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Asking for how to get feedback is fine

How to get feedback is fine. Asking how to get feedback is fine because it's something we can handle, with voting for the objectively best experience-backed solution on how to get useful feedback.

The question never asked for how to get feedback though — it explicitly, and later implicitly, asked where to get feedback. In your list of the core parts of the question, you left off the core part #5 that directly lead to the mod-blessing of the community's closure, and which I partially quoted in an explanatory comment under the question at the time. The question said:

“I'd like to present it to a more public domain for revision critiques[…] An online community seems like it would be ideal, but I don't know which ones will have the qualities I'm looking for.”

Asking where to get feedback is asking for a site recommendation, which is off topic

So this question was asking where quite clearly, and very much not asking how. We could interpret that where as a how instead, sure. But we can't make every answer-writer reinterpret it too, without making that reinterpretation explicit by just editing the question.

Asking where to go to do something inherently requires us to recommend a place to go, and that's what it was asking for.

(Briefest review of the history of rec questions here: Recommendations were restored to their SE default of being explicitly off-topic after our experiment with making them on-topic, because they proved to attract a supermajority of opinion-based answers [a standard close reason] rather than experience-based answers.)

Since asking for where to go is a straightforward PoB close target, it was closed by the community. (But closed with our custom shopping reason, which is more helpful than the standard PoB banner due to having links to alternative places they can ask such questions.)

It's true that what the OP thinks they want is a site or lists of sites that solve their problem.

Yes, and that's a problem. If a question is explicitly or implicitly asking for recommendations… that what people will answer with. (Remember that closing is to prevent answers that are inappropriate.)

But the OP was open to the changes that made this about feedback in general, rather than sites in specific, since it's still about solving the problem they want solved.

Which is great, and an attempt at those changes have now been made that erases any suggestion of looking for recommended sites.

We're just waiting now for the OP to explicitly bless the result, in case the result is something they really hate and/or don't find useful. They've yet to weigh in, and we can afford to wait for them to.

Is this a casualty? (No.)

There's little point in ropening the question now, as the querent was a volatile user and I'm pretty sure they've abandoned it after the most recent changes, but this is yet another casualty of our seriously flawed tool-rec situation

This is actually the site working as designed. Either they actually want to ask a question that is on-topic, or they don't. If they do, great — we will have an on-topic question after the hold is lifted. If they don't, then great — we haven't lost an on-topic question because there wasn't one in the first place. Either way, there's no question that's become a casualty.

Unless you mean the casualty is a user who's put off the site. In which case, again, that's the site being unfriendly to unsuited users by design, to save the site from friction and problems that would drive away the people it is designed for. That's not a casualty, that's the site helping that user in the best way possible: helping them not waste their time here, being frustrated that RPG.se isn't what they wish it was.

This user may simply be the sort who doesn't actually want to be here, but hasn't accepted that fact yet, judging from their statements across their multiple previous accounts. Or they might not — but luckily, that's their job to figure out and act on, not ours. We just have to follow our content rules and let the chips fall where they may.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, so it sounds like my version of the question was being read as still asking where to get feedback despite the fact that it totally wasn't asking about that at all. Since the OP sanctioned that edit, I'll roll it back to that + some formatting to make it clearer that the 'online community seems ideal' part is part of showing the querent has made an honest effort to solve their own problem/done research and not instructions to ignore literally the entire rest of the question and title and just post recommendations. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Dec 5 '17 at 5:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ The casualty is a valuable, on-topic, narrowly scoped and objective question, which has been there since the question was first posted even without the edits, beneath the wording a new user wasn't able to realize would trigger incorrect identification as a recommendation question. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Dec 5 '17 at 5:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ On review, I guess I can see how my edit didn't go far enough. I've edited your edit instead, so it's still asking the same question. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Dec 5 '17 at 5:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't believe the identification was incorrect. As you said, they did want a site or a list of sites. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Dec 5 '17 at 15:07
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They can get their question reopened once it fully reads as “how do I get home brew feedback” (though that is a dupe IIRC) instead of being a site-rec. We’ve discussed how to ask about your problem instead of asking a rec question plenty, I fail to see anything new or interesting About this instance of the issue.

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