I was updating my blog by installing wordpress on a server of mine, and I had a particular question.

As it seems, it is not allowed to ask any questions about WordPress the software, since the question was closed twice by two different moderators (Ivo Flipse and random). Let's interpret the FAQ:

Super User is for computer enthusiasts and power users. If you have a question about …

  • computer hardware
  • computer software

My question is definitely about computer software, WordPress in this case.

and it is not about …

  • videogames or consoles
  • websites or web services like Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress
  • electronic devices, media players, cell phones or smart phones, except insofar as they interface with your computer

And it is definitely NOT any of those; I was just givin an example of how it is configured on wordpress.com, but nothing else to do with it.

On the other hand one of the most common tags is Gmail (half questions closed, but still).

The most questions are operation-systems related. So:

  • "how do I change my windows theme" would be allowed
  • "how to change my wordpress (installed on my machine) theme" would be closed

This hardly makes sense to me, and it appears that too many questions are being closed on Super User for allegedly being offtopic. This is definitely not welcoming for users.

What could be done? Well, don't close so many questions, and make clearer definition of what cannot be asked; let's say "Everything that is on a computer of yours and is configurable by you is a proper subject to ask about".

Update: As per Ivo's comment (linking to Jeff's post) I'd propose explicitly mentioning in the faq that web-applications are out of the scope of Super User.

Update2: As limiting the scope via closing questions is not (imo) a good way to achieve "purity", why not introduce forbidden tags. I.e. whenever you tag wordpress, the system will pop a message "Wordpress is not allowed, see FAQ"

  • 1
    Closed once. But if it gets reopened, then it will be closed again. You say your question isn't about WordPress, but then it's all about WordPress. – random Mar 30 '10 at 8:09
  • @random I'm not sure you make the distinction between wordpress.com and wordpress.org – Bozho Mar 30 '10 at 8:11
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    For the policy of on-topic questions for SU, there is no distinction, WordPress is WordPress is WordPress. – random Mar 30 '10 at 8:12
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    @random sorry, but I still fear the difference between wordpress as software and as service is not clear to you. See en.support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org – Bozho Mar 30 '10 at 8:15
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    No, it's clear. It's still out. – random Mar 30 '10 at 8:16
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    If I could only be introduced to the rationale behind your stubbornness. What makes wordpress different from firefox, except that one is installed as desktop app and the other as a web-app? Explain. – Bozho Mar 30 '10 at 8:18
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    The solution to your problem lies here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/42373/… Not in cluttering Super User – Ivo Flipse Mar 30 '10 at 8:22
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    Clear then. I'd propose explicitly mentioning the exclusion of web-apps. – Bozho Mar 30 '10 at 8:25
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    Well, whether it's mentioned or not, they get closed anyway ;-) Plus the FAQ already says: "and it is not about … websites or web services like Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress" – Ivo Flipse Mar 30 '10 at 8:48
  • The FAQ already states that WordPress it out. Doesn't matter how you try and slice it. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/41570/super-user-questions – random Mar 30 '10 at 8:49
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    but it isn't clear that way, obviously. I assumed the wordpress service, as probably others will as well. – Bozho Mar 30 '10 at 9:01
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    WordPress is out. WordPress is out. WordPress is out. – Daniel Daranas Mar 30 '10 at 9:36
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    @Daniel that has become clear to me, but I insisted on clarifying it in the FAQ. – Bozho Mar 30 '10 at 10:28
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    possible duplicate of meta.stackexchange.com/questions/39615/… – fretje Mar 30 '10 at 16:53
  • Lol yup that was the confusion @Arjan, I didn't really get the relation between Jeff's question and excluding web-apps. But they couldn't launch such a site soon enough... – Ivo Flipse Mar 31 '10 at 9:10

The problem I have is that it stretches the grey area we have on web-related questions.

If we give them an inch and they'll want a mile next. Claiming that if we allow your question, theirs should be allowed as well. Only because they had a different shade of grey...

Yes you do control the server, but how is that different from me controlling WordPress on a hosted server somewhere? I still get to pull some strings to change whatever I want (if I knew how!)

Your problem is that (at the moment) there isn't another Stack Exchange site, specifically for these kind of questions. While I'd love to answer these kind of questions and even have some of them myself, I don't think these questions should clutter Super User any further.

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    Thanks Ivo; the difference between having wordpress hosted somewhere other of your control (at wordpress.com) is that you can't do almost anything there. Especially install random plugins, what my question was about. – Bozho Mar 30 '10 at 8:20
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    i'm not sure "give you a finger" is the expression you want there, Ivo. maybe you mean "give you a hand" -- giving someone the finger is rather impolite. – quack quixote Mar 30 '10 at 8:57
  • Hey let's ask you again. Why aren't you a mod on Meta yet? @quack – random Mar 30 '10 at 9:04
  • @random - this kind of procedure takes 6 to 8 weeks? Or simply Jeff is worried that if he does that, he has to give your same rights, and, you know, end of the world and such. – Gnoupi Mar 30 '10 at 9:07
  • Definitely end of the Meta world and such. @gno – random Mar 30 '10 at 9:09
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    No it's some dumb expression we have in Dutch, which I couldn't find the appropiate translation for! "If They Ask for a Hand, Only Give Them a Finger" but then the other way around. I meant to say: if you give them a small piece of bread, next time they want to whole bread instead. People are never satisfied... – Ivo Flipse Mar 30 '10 at 9:10
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    It's also "give them an inch and they'll take a mile." – random Mar 30 '10 at 9:13
  • Edited your version in :P – Ivo Flipse Mar 30 '10 at 9:16
  • @random: no idea. nobody asked me about being a mod on meta. i've been trying to figure out how to dump a bunch of points so i don't have edit rights on meta anymore; becoming a mod here doesn't seem like it would help that goal... – quack quixote Mar 30 '10 at 9:50
  • @Ivo: i like the dutch expression but the english means something completely different... the inch/mile is probably truer to what you mean. :) – quack quixote Mar 30 '10 at 9:52

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