Should recommend off site resource questions be off topic (like in SO)?

I've seen this question. It could be easily reworded into a question that could be answered on site. So should it?


I think the question you've given as an example was answered handily without a list of links. The core information was provided in the body of the answer, and clearly adds value to the site. If this meta question is specifically about that question then I say yes it should stay.

If the meta question is more general about questions looking for a list of links then I feel this question is a more appropriate example.

That question wants a list of websites and information about the scope of the website. These types of questions should be closed as off-topic in my opinion because:

  • They are essentially advertisements for the linked websites.
  • They are invalidated if/when the external site goes dark.
  • They don't add value to this site because their goal is to send people off-site to get the information they need. SE sites are made to be a repository for information people need that may or may not leverage external resources for supporting information.
  • It is impossible for one of these answers "to stand on their own" since they are recommendations other sites.

There will always be questions which at first sight might not entirely fit outdoors.se. In general, SO is highly evolved and that allows for a simpler decision making. On sites like Outdoors.se, there will always be questions which can be recommended for other sites (the scope of outdoors is pretty vast). Also, many a times, users might not be able to frame question well enough to make it fit exactly within the boundaries of this site (SO succeeds here as technological boundaries are much well defined). For me, if a question is too off topic, I would recommend for a different site. If it is not too off topic, I would have it reworded to fit the site.

You must log in to answer this question.