I see the aim of stack exchange sites as creating general resources that help others on the Internet. One thing that can get in the way of that is what are sometimes called "self-help" questions or "too localised questions".

A common feature of self-help questions is that the OP asks a question that is highly specific to their circumstances. Such highly specific questions are less likely to create a useful general resource for the internet. Another thing that stands out is that the question title is not sufficient to capture whatever the question is about.

I'd strongly encourage users of the site to try to frame questions in a general way, and actively edit questions so that the general question is made clear.


We want questions to be specific enough to be real, but general enough to help other people. This is a delicate balancing act. We don't want questions to be so vague as to be bland, where every answer is as good as every other because there are no details in the question to differentiate.

We should always ask ourselves "will this help other people?" and "which details here are essential?".

  • I'm curious about the downvote. (No ego; I'd just like to understand the point of disagreement.) Oct 10 '13 at 19:35

These are really good points, but we also want to avoid over-generalization, as well - we want these questions to show up in google searches, for example, but we also want the viewers to have a good sense of what is going to be in the answers as well - we don't want things to become too broad.

That said, we also, as you said, want to avoid incredibly specific questions, as well, as they aren't really relevant to the wider internet audience, as well. It's all about balance!

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