I think a majority of the questions that have been coming in are pretty poor in quality, and I think the problem is that people aren't asking questions about problems that they're actually having. It's all one giant quiz, and if we aren't trying to be formatted like Code Golf, then we need to have some sort of quality control.

If you hover over the downvote button, it even says:

This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful

I think we should require questions to share what solutions they've tried, and why they haven't worked, that way we won't have these questions that aren't being asked in good faith. More importantly, it will show that the most common solution isn't the answer. It would be a guarantee that it's a question that requires a different approach, or a hack.

What do you think, should we require a certain amount of research from people asking questions?

1 Answer 1


Research: No

Effort: Yes

If you're going to ask how to cover a nail hole effectively, you had better specify why spackle will not work for you. - Robert Cartaino (Director of Community Development for the SE) in this meta post.

As defined in our lifehack definition (implemented in our new scope) and other meta posts, in addition to a detailed description of the issue, questions will need to include why the "more standard approach (as defined by that area's experts) or a product is either unavailable or undesirable".

To be completely honest, there is usually some type of resource on most all questions being asked on Lifehacks on the internet. If we require that research is done before hand we'll get a lot fewer questions I feel because some type of answer can be found in a good search.

However, the resources people find are usually one off articles or videos, providing one or a few approaches. Lifehacks can become a good center for providing feedback on various methods and encouraging a community to explore the area of everyday lifehacking in a way that no site currently does.

To summarize, we want to require effort and encourage thinking but not require research.

  • 2
    SE is not a good fit if "discussing" stuff is what you want to do. Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 10:56
  • @AngeloFuchs Agreed, rephrased some Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 12:50
  • How do you enforce the effort? Closing as off-topic? Comments? Answers with standard solution? In other words, how not to become a general howto-site?
    – holroy
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 21:25

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