I voted to close on the premise that this question is too discussiony and doesn't serve the mission of expert q&a.



I agree with your premise, but I think a limited number of such questions can have a small social benefit in the sense that they make the site feel more like a community.

  • Thanks for the input. I'll respectfully disagree with you on this, as I feel discussiony questions devalue the integrity more than they boost community. – Mike Sherov Jul 23 '10 at 16:16
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    I agree that there cannot be very many of them. If SO is any guide, there will be fewer such questions over time, once the obvious "what is your favorite tool" questions have been asked. I'm unsure about the questions of the form "Does anyone have a funny story about [stuff inside walls]?" because one could make up such questions about anything. Perhaps they should be forbidden and funny stories relegated to comments or a third-place site of some kind. – Vebjorn Ljosa Jul 23 '10 at 16:35

I think the community feeling can be grown through comments that would themselves be off topic, but are loosely related to the question/answer they're posted on. I agree that the subject question was off topic.

  • I agree, there are plenty of ways to foster community without asking community building questions. – Mike Sherov Jul 23 '10 at 16:15
  • Intriguing idea, but that raises another question: is it ok for comments to be off-topic? I am not sure because off-topic comments are rare in the tags of SO that I frequent. – Vebjorn Ljosa Jul 23 '10 at 16:33
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    @Vebjorn Ljosa: I always assumed that anything goes with comments, as long as they aren't spam/offensive/made with the intention to start a flame war. If there's a large number of them, they just get rolled up and hidden, unless you choose to look at them. I enjoy reading humorous comments that are loosely related to the question topic/answer. – Doresoom Jul 23 '10 at 19:22
  • That is a good point. – Vebjorn Ljosa Jul 23 '10 at 19:38

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