Example of what most SE sites consider 'bad' questions seem to be widely acclaimed by users on this site. e.g. recent questions Drinking alcohol as the last choice in survival situation is a theoretical situation that the op does not expect will ever happen to him or anyone else. Refer his comment.

It was basically a thought experiment. All I wanted was a rational answer for the best option.

What sort of rock climbing grade can a goat do is a Gorilla vs.Shark question which fails the "How does knowing the answer to this question make me or anyone else a better outdoors person" test.

As a user of other sites I believe outdoors is being polluted by a large number of low quality questions that other sites would instantly rejected. The community is small, and keen and understandably wants to get the Q/A Count up, but we risk lowering quality of the site, driving away the experts we need, in the drive to get it big enough.

Have I got this completely wrong, and these are acceptable, or should we be encouraging a more critical view of what makes a good question for a SE site. If a more critical view is needed, how do we encourage it?

(Both those questions some values as light entertainment but they both also make the site just another 'Yahoo Answers' - not somewhere I visit for authorative information)

  • Hi mattnz! If you have a minute, would you mind explaining what a Shark and Gorilla question is? It's probably one of those meme things, but I haven't heard of it before. If it's a reference to something on SE, could you just give me the link? I know this is old, but I got here by following the trail (bad TGO pun!) from a current question about price shopping, which is confusing to me. Thanks much! Commented Sep 10, 2016 at 21:54
  • blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/08/gorilla-vs-shark
    – user5330
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 6:17
  • I had a feeling it had to be around here somewhere! It's an interesting blog post, well worth reading. Thanks! Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 19:12

2 Answers 2


My opinion on this having been through the odd graduation, and being fairly active on quite a few sites is that this is not an issue at this stage. Over on one of the other sites I mod we still occasionally close a 'bad' question now, years after it graduated.

They certainly aren't here in enough numbers to make an obvious dent in quality - and are generally not even seen by new visitors, who don't usually come and browse through the questions; they visit to find an answer, and if something piques their interest they may stay.

So, no - at this stage I feel it is definitely a non-issue. They are a miniscule percentage. Happy to hear other opinions, though.

  • 1
    The odd theoretical question isn't an issue imo... You never know when disaster would strike. Also I don't see why the odd funny and obscure question should be closed, if it brings visitors or interest, is about the outdoors and is answerable. The Goat question gained an answer afterall, with a link to someone who had also thought about it. Just because it isn't comparable to humanity doesn't make it irrelevant to the outdoors :) so I agree, certainly at this stage both questions are fine to me.
    – Aravona
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 20:49
  • 2
    I think people get a bit het up on the close this question topic. On sites like SO it's a big deal because they have such high volume. We don't so I feel flexibility is the key, (Like you say) when/if this becomes an issue that is detrimental to the site we should address it then. Right now it's not, so....
    – user2766
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 12:31

I don't think making you a better outdoors person is a very good test for the whether a question is ok or not. If that was the case you would end up closing many questions that currently have perfectly good answers.

Personally I found the goat question somewhat interesting and the answer is not immediately obvious. If the site was inundated with such questions then it might be a problem, but I this isn't the case.

  • 2
    Agreed if we tested my outdoorsmanship on my abilty to post a decent question / answer then I'm boned.
    – Aravona
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 20:50

You must log in to answer this question.