I asked a question a few weeks ago to help me understand how to find a widescreen computer monitor to match my existing computer monitor's pixel density. I received a great answer, but when I checked it recently, I noticed it was closed as Off Topic by a moderator:
Questions on Super User are expected to generally relate to computer software or computer hardware in some way, within the scope defined in the faq
At first I thought this was odd since my question was very specifically about computer hardware. I decided to read the FAQ and noticed that "a shopping or buying recommendation" is considered off topic. I guess that's the reason why the question was closed as off-topic, but if your read the question (and the thoroughly technical answer that followed), you'll clearly see that I wasn't asking for a recomendation but rather trying to understand the underlying technical specifications of computer monitors. Sure, I intend to use that new-found understanding to make a purchasing decision in the future, but I don't think that using the word "buy" in the title necessarily means the question is about a "shopping recommendation."
I imagine that if SuperUser allowed buying recommendation questions, the site would quickly devolve into another electronic deals site, so I understand why moderators would close questions that are asking for shopping recommendations. However, I think the moderator could have done a better job of handling the question:
- I think if you read the question in detail, you'll realize it's not a "tell me what to buy" question as much as it is a "help me understand this" question. Should this type of question really be closed just because it has the word "buy" in the title?
- Perhaps the moderator could have left a comment about how I could modify my question to make it considered on topic. I would have gladly modified my question so that it was more clearly on topic.
- Instead of closing the question, someone could have edited the question to remove the reference to "buying." There was plenty of technical information in the question that it could have stood on itself without a reference to buying.
To be clear, I'm not upset at the moderators for doing their job of "cleaning up" the content in the community; thier work is very much appreciated. I just think a little more attention could have been paid to this question before it was closed.