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With the upcoming release of Windows 8 we expect an influx of users and questions. I feel that we need to prep for their coming. With that in mind, the is a nuisance in mine and others opinions. I believe that the general consensus of this tag is that anything that is of a nature needs to be closed and stopped.

BUT!!!

The community wants/needs it's software recommendations. We like them, and we even promote good free ones. So how do we continue to offer suggestions to users regarding software, and yet keep the site uncluttered from off-topic questions?

My solution is two fold:

  1. Teach a Man to fish - I'm not talking about stepping into the trap of help vampires, but rather make sure the resources are there for new users to read, and verteran users to reference when enforcing the rules. These included (but are not limited to):

    • Updating the FAQ to state that software/hardware recommendations are NOT allowed.
    • Create a Meta Post on how to recommend a piece of software to questions whose solution require software.
    • Create a Meta Post on how to ask questions that may require software to be recommended
  2. The Super User Recommendation Blog entries! - I suggest we create blog entries that can be updated as needed on common software that Super User's use/suggest. This would be similar to what LifeHacker does with their software recommendations. If this is instituted then I suggest the following actions:

    • Close ALL posts that are off-topic and remove the tag.
    • Port over any worthwhile questions/answers to the blog.
    • When cleaned up, they can be burninated forever.

By closing all posts as soon as possible, we don't get any confusion like this:

Why was my software-rec question closed?

and allows us time to port over things to the blog at a pace that is doable. This also gives us a heavily moderated medium to recommend software without being closed all the time.

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    Hear hear. Note that a while ago (can't find the link), it was suggested to move the results of our polling questions to tag wikis, but making blog entries would sound like a better idea, since it's moved to the public. We could start by looking at the most popular questions… – slhck Aug 8 '12 at 7:09
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    meh, I'm not too keen about porting to blog. By the time the entries have been moved, the software is likely to be outdated. Editing post themselves are hard enough, I fear the blog entries will gather dust even more. – Sathyajith Bhat Aug 8 '12 at 11:22
  • @Sathya we don't have to port everything just ones that seem worthwhile. – James Mertz Aug 9 '12 at 16:04
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    @KronoS: What would be considered worthwhile? Pushing only software recommendations to the blog can be a pain, it could sink the blog in posts that are continuously of the same type. Tag wikis are in that view a better place, but sadly people don't look there often. Yet, I don't feel like publicizing it necessarily is a better idea. I think it's more worthwhile building up an actual software recommendation site next to Super User than trying to move them into a place they don't belong. Putting that aside, the problem is that users don't search enough for software. Are they able to find it? – Tamara Wijsman Aug 13 '12 at 9:37
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    possible duplicate of Could we finally get rid of [software-rec]? – gparyani Sep 19 '14 at 14:49

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