There has been a lot of back and forth about scope and broadness in TGO questions.

The conversations tend to focus around how a particular question, then another does not meet someones vision of what the site is trying to accomplish.

We have a Tour and help center that people on different sides of an argument about the same question will both claim support their position.

I propose that we start listing specific goals of TGO to establish community consensus.

Please post one goal per answer. Posting more then one in answer, is an agenda list and is not helpful to the process. We need to be able to address each item individually as a community.


3 Answers 3


Goal: Build a library of detailed answers to every question about outdoor activities

This is in the intro paragraph of the TGO tour with a similar version on pretty much every SE site. As such I believe it is a core goal of all things SE.

  • Posting one as an example to the process started. Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 9:31
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    I think this is the only goal. Although I'd suggest rewording to "every well defined question that fits within our scope and the SE framework"
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 10:05
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    +1 I would add authoritative after detailed. Many, perhaps most, questions on TGO get at least one (often many more than one) authoritative answer, but some do not. And I don't mean they are necessarily bad, just answers that come neither from long, deep experience nor thorough research, and thus are superficial. Occasionally, a question will get only superficial answers. I suspect we could all come up with examples if we devoted the time to find them.
    – ab2
    Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 17:08
  • @RoryAlsop while I don't disagree with you. How do you define "well defined question that fits within our scope and the SE framework" that is the hurdle that seems to leads to the majority of meta posts on TGO. Can you write a goal that limits questions to that criteria? Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 18:21
  • @ab2 ^^^^ Same comment and question to you as to Rory. Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 18:21
  • "I don't know how to define it, but I know it when I see it.". Potter Stewart, Supreme Court Associate Justice, on obscenity. Oops, maybe that doesn't work anymore.
    – ab2
    Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 21:37
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    James, thanks for this! I agree we should use the "library" reference, as in the tour, as a baseline for expansion into a fuller definition. Do you, @RoryAlsop, or ab2, think, whatever the final version, the word "activities" should be changed? The tour says "For people who love being outdoors enjoying..." I feel like we have questions that are about "enjoying" without necessarily being "active." Does this make sense, or am I looking at it the wrong way? Commented Oct 6, 2018 at 23:46

I agree with the answer of @James Jenkins, especially if authoritative is added after detailed, as I explained in a comment under his answer. However, I think we need another goal:

To foster love and respect for The Great Outdoors, and to promote ways to defend and protect TGO.

Naturally, addressing this goal is not applicable to every question, or perhaps most questions. For example, one would not write an essay on the importance of insects to an ecosystem in answer to every What Bug is This question, although there might be such a bug question for which a short statement is appropriate.

This goal might be better advanced by asking questions about, e.g., threatened or endangered species, the routes of litter into the oceans, dying coral reefs, causes of wildfires....all of which are valid TGO questions even without the added goal of protecting TGO.


Goal: Strive to answer every question about outdoor activities, without regard for existence of the answer at another site.

Some questions seem easy, like the most basic of search on google, would find the answer easily. Our help How do I ask a good question? Specifically directs question posters to look for an answer before posting questions.

Have you thoroughly searched for an answer before asking your question? Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs. This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and above all, it helps you get a more specific and relevant answer!

Then there are the nearly conflicting posts at meta.stackexchange How should we deal with Google questions? & Embrace the non-Googlers

I believe the test to resolve this is conflict is; Does the question/answer exist on The Great Outdoors? (More extensively discussed at this post)

  • If yes, we do have the answer to that question; Then address it as duplicate question
  • If no, we do not have the answer; Treat it as you would any new question.

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