Questions like these show no research and very little effort in writing a good question:

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It is such a waste of time having to 'educate' the OP (and this user is already active on 10 other SE sites).

OK, that's what we have review queues for (this was in the First posts queue), so should we just try to get more reviewers to lessen the 'burden'? How? The only thing I can think of is 'leading by example', which I maybe did not do a good job of commenting on his question ;-)

I don't want to just downvote.

2 Answers 2


You can't.

As a rule, people who don't do any research into their problem also don't do any research into the site where they're posting. So it's impossible to educate them before they post: posting is the very first thing they will do. The only way to get their attention is to address them after they have posted — sometimes not even then.

The major problem is not so much lack of research as lack of answerability. Research into software recommendations is difficult: even if you've looked into potential solutions, it can be hard to see through the hype in some software's promotional material, and determine whether it would effectively suit your purpose. However, if a question lacks clear, specific requirements and a statement of purpose, it is unanswerable.

What you can do to alleviate the burden is to prepare a few form comments to handle common cases. The AutoReviewComments browser extension can help with that. Do please edit the prepared comment if you have specific guidance to give, such as what kind of requirements should be present for a particular type of software.

  • 2
    Good points, full ack. And thanks for pointing to ARC, which is also available as UserScript for GreaseMonkey/Scriptish. Plus you can find some pre-set "canned responses" customized for our site in my Gist, where I maintain the "copy" I use.
    – Izzy Mod
    Feb 25, 2015 at 18:01

Do what the handbook says: Leave a friendly and welcoming comment and a Closevote.

Recently I interacted with a similar question (1) and did what the handbook said.

The user reacted in one of the more positive ways: He posted a thankful comment that someone explained him the problems in his question and deleted it with the prospect of asking better scoped questions on another day.

Sure that won't happen every time, but every time that happens we may have gained another valuable member of the community who will bear his load of the queues as soon as he has rep enough.

This was the very first time that someone explicitly thanked me for being friendly here on SE, but the point is that with patience and persistence we can build a community where there are many shoulders that bear the load. I think we are on a good way there.

If you are emotionally at the point where you can't stand the crap anymore, take your time off, come back and work the queues when you are ready again. I'll do the same on SO. When I have the time I work the close-queue there, but after a day or two I don't want to see the crap anymore so I stop it and some weeks later I start again.

1 This one for people who can see deleted questions.

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