I propose the ability for the COMMUNITY (ie, not the author) to have the ability to vote to reopen/reassign a "Question" into a "Discussion". Much of what we ask here on MA.SE.com (and SE in general really) are better characterized as "discussions" rather than 1:1 Questions to Answers, and this ability would facilitate the ability to carry these valuable discussions forward.

The Discussions could (and should) be clearly marked as different from the 1:1 Q:A-ish-ness of the rest (maybe even have a different URL prefix for easier Google identification), but I believe that simply closing these discussions hurts the community much more than it aids it.

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    If you want to open a discussion board, go open a discussion board.
    – user15
    Jun 13, 2012 at 4:05
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    And since I think you may be new to the SE model--downvotes on Meta posts don't mean that we think it's a valueless question. It's a way of showing disagreement with the proposal, nothing more, certainly not disapproval of the question being asked. Jun 13, 2012 at 4:16
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    We have that... It's called the chat room. Close the question and discuss it in chat. Et voila.
    – stslavik
    Jun 13, 2012 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


Meta.stackexchange has this pretty well covered. Here's a survey:

The chat rooms are exactly the place to go for discussions. We are still pretty strict about profanity and abusive language in the chat rooms, but that's about it. Subjective discussions are quite welcome.

Stack Overflow is a Question and Answer site. That's a little different than a discussion forum. With a Question, you really want an answer. A concrete the answer to this will help me finish project X type question. Your question essentially asked programmers to navel-gaze. At best, any answer you got would be opinion, and at worst it would devolve into a flame-fest. We have Reddit and Slashdot for those.

Extended discussions are not what this network was created for. This is a Q&A Site. If you have a need for extended discussions, then either a set of question/answer edits is due (thus negating the usefulness of the comments that were indicative of the need for change) or the comment thread is off topic.

Stackoverflow - the technology, not just the site - does not handle discussions well. The voting and answer acceptance mechanism are built to find the best (and most likely to be correct) answer to a question.

Again, the Good Subjective, Bad Subjective article gives some guidelines on how to ask somewhat discussion-like questions while still making the question specific and a question.

  • This is a very good point, and of course there is nothing to stop someone from organising a scheduled chat by posting a statement ("question") here on meta.
    – slugster Mod
    Jun 13, 2012 at 7:47

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