So we are building up a good foundation of questions.

A concern is that the vast majority of the questions are very specific and biased toward the more technically oriented individual.

I would (to increase search engine traffic and bring in new users) suggest we find a way to get people to ask/answer what many of us would consider simple questions. For example:

  1. I need a notepad program that provides language syntax support (Notepad++ or others)
  2. I need a browser that allows me to xxxxx
  3. I need a free version of MS word

Simple but could generate a lot of traffic in my mind.

  • 7
    I'll quote Kalina/Flyk in saying "we would much rather have 10k awesome questions than 100k average questions". The fact that quote has ten stars in chat speaks for itself. Dumbing things down isn't the route to go, even if you believe it may generate more traffic. Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 19:32
  • 2
    I am not talking about bad questions but questions our current user base, limited as it is, may consider common knowledge. The users here are not the average human looking for software. If that's the route the user base wants to go so be it, but I don't see more inclusion as a bad thing.
    – James
    Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 19:46
  • 3
    Anything that's common knowledge is effectively a "bad question" as it shows little to no effort or research on the part of the user and a lack of understanding of their own question. If a simple Google search can easily find it for you, you shouldn't be asking it here. That goes for all of Stack Exchange. Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 19:50
  • 2
    My point is that what is common knowledge to us may not be common knowledge to all but it appears that is not the standard or expectation so...lock this up I suppose.
    – James
    Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 20:13
  • 1
    If people can ask a well-written question asking for one of these trivial apps, they can do so. But questions that lack effort and detail in the question itself are not worth keeping.
    – user98085
    Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 22:02
  • @James When we say something is "common knowledge" this does not mean "everybody knows", it means the information is already readily available. There is no point (and much to be lost) in regurgitating what a simple Google search for the question title will turn up. We want to hone in an the problems that need solutions, not just repeat already readily available lists and generic suggestions.
    – Caleb
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 13:53
  • 1
    James, you wrote "yes my examples were perhaps overly simplified". Would you mind editing your question and inserting real examples (think hard before so that they are really representative of what you want to convey). That would really help the discussion. Thanks!
    – Nicolas Raoul Mod
    Commented May 16, 2019 at 1:00

1 Answer 1


While you're at it, we should change our question titles to things like:

You'll never guess what syntax this notepad replacement highlighted!!!

In all seriousness, this is exactly what we don't want to do! The internet is full of generic reviews and recommendations for people that don't know what they are trying to accomplish. We don't need to generate more of that blather. What we can do better that the rest of the internet is solve specific problems.

Generating traffic is secondary and an object that will happen naturally if we provide quality solutions to specific problems real people actually have. If you make generating traffic a primary goal everything will go out the window.

P.S. About your #2 example, you need a browser that does what, makes coffee? Browses the web?

  • 1
    Rereading, yes my examples were perhaps overly simplified...but I don't think the often superior attitude around the site does it any favors. A simple question does not equate to bad and a user that is not technically savvy should be just as welcome as the rest of us.
    – James
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 13:06
  • 2
    @James You seem to be conflating "technical" or "detailed" or "specific"' with "superior attitude", which is not at all the same issue. If you want to suggest something about attitude, do that, but don't try to say we should let a bunch of generic questions through in the interest of traffic.
    – Caleb
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 13:24
  • What I am suggesting, and I could have been more eloquent, is that we find some common questions from around web, questions that are less technically savvy and ask them (with our standards for a good question) here. My thoughts around the initial post are evolving as we discuss...does this make more sense or am I still out in left field here?
    – James
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 14:00

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