I'm sure this will get booted off the site also, but here it goes. There are plenty of options in getting help and answers to questions on the internet. The stackexchange network is a great idea, but it seems like general questions are not ever allowed. Why is this? It is very unapproachable in my opinion.

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This is such a general question that makes it difficult to provide a simple answer. Can you be more specific? –  userabuser Oct 14 '12 at 3:16

3 Answers 3

You can ask simple questions any time. If they are on topic and written properly they are welcome.

Examples:

There is of course a lower limit, and the question has to be new. We are a site for developers and administrators after all.

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While it seems like a great idea to be able to ask anything and everything, there are multiple issues with simple questions and how they affect QA sites. Including, but not limited to:

  1. They are repetitive. The simpler something is the more people encounter it. If their first instinct is to go and ask it that creates waterfall of duplicates.

  2. They are likely beaten to death. Most of the time we are not dealing with cutting edge science or arcane rituals. The total effort from all parties involved to ask and get question answered for simple question can vastly exceed the simple act for googling for long existing answer(s).

  3. They are boring and/or uninteresting. While it is easy to think of QA site as some kind of faceless cloud, its answering power consists of actual people, willing to answer questions. In SE case - to answer questions for free on their own time. Or not willing - at which point site needs balance between keeping them interested and turning into pile of simple question without answers since anyone who bothered to got bored and left.

SE network exists in large to collect valuable knowledge. It seems (and it is to some degree) exclusive, but a lot of simple question and answers to them are far from valuable.

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General questions are allowed if it can produce a direct, relevant, and unambiguously accurate answer. For example, if I want to know if something is possible in Wordpress and it hasn't been answered before in the archive, I can get that answer. (Did that already.) If a general question though is too open-ended or has too many possible answers, it needs revising so the answer can be objectively helpful.

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