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How are these questions off topic?

I understand that according to the FAQ "a shopping or buying recommendation" is prohibited.

But are they not questions that relate to super users that are trying to find the best solution for a problem?

If they are considered bad, then what site should they be posted on?

  • I wouldn't say those are off-topic, but rather "Not Constructive". – ale Oct 2 '12 at 16:56
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https://superuser.com/questions/47150/does-anyone-use-elephantdrive-online-backup-for-personal-use

This is simply polling for opinion. This is not a question that has a correct answer, but one that invites everyone to post their thoughts. We've had lots of these questions in the past and we noticed that they'd either attract a large number of answers – which simply isn't digestible for the average reader – or invite extended discussion. Not a good fit for the site and could have also been closed as not constructive.

https://superuser.com/questions/368225/online-backup-that-keeps-locally-deleted-files-forever

This is in essence still a very simple shopping question. It's better because it at least shows what the OP has tried, but then it still goes asking for recommendations instead of simply describing the problem and let those answering figure out how to handle it.

https://superuser.com/questions/358973/online-backup-plan-for-a-home-office-with-servers

Not a terribly bad question, if it weren't for the OP asking:

So, other than those, Jungle Disk (at 15c per Gig) or ZManda (also at 15c per Gig) what other options are there? what are other people using?

They already found an answer, but are simply polling for more options.


Don't just read the part about shopping recommendations in our FAQ. Scroll a bit further and you'll find:

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where …

  • every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite ______?”
  • your answer is provided along with the question, and you expect more answers: “I use ______ for ______, what do you use?”

That all being said, Root Access is a wonderful place to drop by and ask such questions, at least to get a first idea.

  • Good answer, but for the last link, should it just have been edited to remove the questionable content rather than closed? – Petah Oct 2 '12 at 7:24
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    It depends. Some questions can be easily salvaged, others might still be closed by the community as a shopping request. In that case, the question probably has other problems, involving pricing and a very localized situation. If you see something that could be generalized or rewritten, please do so, but sometimes it's not worth the effort. – slhck Oct 2 '12 at 7:43

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