Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Problems with Stack Exchange

Normally I don't get too involved with ranting. Most of the time it's counterproductive, but I'm gonna do it today. My rant, I gotta problem with Stack Exchange. I'm not a big fan of people telling me what is a valid question and what is not. So far I've seen some other pinheads tell other their question does not have a real answer, that they are argumentative and subjective questions. *1, 2, 3, 4, 5...* Screw it.

Maybe some people who are involved with the Stack Exchange don't realize a lot of gaming is based on being subjective with hopefully a minimal amount of arguing. Check out the hundreds of blogs out there. There are to real answers. It's all opinion. Unless you are asking for exact information such as how many HD does a troll have in AD&D. Most know this. But if I or someone asks a question that might not be the most intelligent then ignore it and move on to another question. Don't bog me down with your censorship bullshit. Maybe someone will have a great answer that I never thought of.

Second problem is when someone edits my question and makes it ask a question I did not ask. I've asked one question and I already had one guy edit it. He took away two my tags that I wanted and switched words around to make my question different. Oh boy I was pissed. Had to go back and change it back to the way I had it the first time.

Third problem ties in with the second above, where someone decides the tags you have to identify your question, are not correct and need to be changed.

Maybe Stack Exchange is not for me. If I have check on my questions to make sure someone hasn't changed it around or messed with the tags I won't be spending too much time on there. They have a peer review system with votes. If you don't like it vote it down. I'm cool with that. If I ask an incredibly dumb question and there are a lot of down votes than I'll check it out and see what I did wrong.

Okay, feel better now. A little. I'll hang out a little longer. Some of the questions and answers (most of with are opinion OMG) are great. But as for the long run, I don't see it staying in my bookmarks very long.


  1. Good for you, Mr. S. You are not alone. I'm not sold on the combination of Gaming, Groupthink, Dogma, and Technology!

    I'm sure an Open Source advocate will come along to deprogram us soon...

  2. I haven't checked it out yet but I've seen others post about it here and there. There's quite a bit of difference between hardboiled technical answers having to do with the fastest way to set up a linux apache mysql php server vs. say, the best way to do this or that in our favorite game. I guess I'd assumed that the questions were of a highly specific nature - if they're not, or the answers are not, I can see a bunch of folks setting themselves up as experts... which might be divisive and counterproductive.

  3. On the other hand, it's not like one has to take their advice as gospel or anything and maybe it would be helpful... Somehow I see it as a place probably best suited for new players of various games.

  4. Hey ze, I wasn't talking much about the advice itself just the individuals who believe they should police what can and cannot be asked. Plus the 'pinheads' (not sure why I am using that word, never have before but it is fun) who edit my stuff and change the context of the question.

    If done correctly and without the 'pinhead police' the voting will take care of it itself. As for the editing I think it could be suggested and either accepted or declined.

  5. Well, then perhaps Stack Exchange is not for you. There's many other RPG forum sites for people to exchange random thoughts and opinions. That's not the format of Stack Exchange sites. It's fine if it's not for you, but it is what it is. I think you'll find, however, that the format keeps the signal to noise ratio high, making it a more effective knowledge-base kind of site than a social-discussion kind of site.

  6. @mxyzplk The questions I saw being flagged were random opinion or random thoughts. They were questions. Someone wanted to know an answer and I think that is the whole point of Stack Exchange. Sure some may have not been the best, but some were interesting and I wanted to see what some of the answers would be.

    That was just half my beef with SE. When I see edits of questions that don't need it or in some cases changes the intent of the question. Not to mntion changing the tags. Don't you think in that case those are the random opinions and as you've said belong ele where.s

  7. I checked it out for a couple of days. I found it about as useful as, i.e., not very. Obviously, others' mileage may vary.

  8. Agreed, the format is deeply flawed. Personally, I just tried to answer a question about OSR retro-clones that requested links to the games, and after lovingly crafting a long answer with multiple links, was told by the software that I don't have the reputation to include more than one link in my post.

    As Stack Exchange thus actively prevents me from participating usefully, I will not participate.

  9. Hey Babe. Just testing my avatar to see if she shows.