I note that this question implicitly prefers questions with a general topic but in fact very localized content (one's life story + a question of type 'What should I do?').

For example, one I asked a general question (i.e. if one can use his/her personal e-mail instead of institutional) then it was pointed out that in fact there were such question before (as a side part of a compound/story type question).

AFAIK it is not a good practice for a SE site.

First, it makes things less reusable.

  • An answered question makes less sense to others.
  • It is harder to find.

Second, it makes harder to make meaningful answers.

  • If there are more subquestions and answer covering only some may be accepted.
  • As a specific context is given, the answer may not be true in a more general one.
  • I'm not so sure what you want to discuss with this post, as I don't see an explicit discussion question. Are you asking whether that style of question is constructive and should be encouraged?
    – eykanal
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 12:35
  • @eykanal It is a more a comment. And yes, the question asked implicitly is whenever other users agree with this point of view. If so then there is a separate issue what can be done (in terms of dis/encouraging, editing, closing, allowing, etc). Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 13:20

2 Answers 2


Well, academics to tend to talk a lot :)

Seriously, though, there's a balance between providing useful context and writing a blog post. I can think of two approaches to this:

  • We can make use of the beta to try to emphasize conciseness in the comments
  • We can try to emphasize conciseness over extensive background in the FAQ (I'm thinking it would be most appropriate in the etiquette section, but that can be discussed later).

Given our audience, though, this will probably be a problem we'll see often.


Such questions should be closed as too localized. They're not of general use to the readership.

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