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I was wondering (prompted mostly by this: Where can you buy a generic (no OS) desktop PC?) about questions that are, to some extent, bound to a specific geographical area. These include, most notably, "where to buy" type questions on Super User.

Should localised questions be allowed in the first place, or should all questions be formulated somehow "universally"? (I have no strong opinion on this, but am posing the question as I know there is the seldom-used too localized close reason in existence, and I've seen ".NET user groups in Austin, TX?" type of questions being closed on SO.) Region-specific "where to buy" questions would probably work much better than trying to fit all in one... but where to draw the line as to how localised questions can be?

Now, if such questions are allowed, would it be ok to tag them with geographical tags? Or would some other practices be useful for making it more manageable? (I for one would like to ignore content that could only ever be useful for those hailing from US or Canada, and I'm sure most of you would rather not waste time with questions about best computer stores in Finland.)

Also, to state the obvious, when the asker specifies no location in this type of question, and assumes that by default it's understood as "in the US", that's slightly annoying from a non-US perspective. (In similar vein, I hope we won't default to a policy that "US-only is ok; specific to any other country/region is too localised" — even if clear plurality of users are Americans.)

Any thoughts?

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These are exactly the kinds of questions that usually get closed as "too localized."

See the questions What is too localised? and What questions should be closed with reason “too localized”?

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I don't know if there is a way to force people to specific global locations. Maybe tags, but most new users wouldn't use/know about them.. Maybe a quick drop down when a question is asked to at least specify broad region?

For the time being, we can just comment to specify/clarify the question location preferences. Most of the questions I have seen have been online orders, but helpful to at least know the continent. We do have the location portion of the user profile, but that is not required or always accurate.

  • Yep, even when asking for online stores it's gonna be localised, as most computer stores don't ship globally, afaik. They might ship all over North America, or across most of European Union, but not much more than that. – Jonik Aug 17 '09 at 17:16

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