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While some quested have been summarily executed, received close votes, or received down votes as being off topic based on being too open, not specific enough, no "right" answer, and open to list answers, other falling into that category have had no such response and are already getting large lists of answers. I'll paste them into this question as I find them:

We could use this list to help decide the exceptions to the rules or where to find the flexibility or whether some other closures need to be reexamined. Are we being consistent? Does consistency matter? Are we being too easy on these questions? Are we being hard on some closed/downvoted questions?

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    Yes I considering making this an answer to that question but I thought this one could grow pretty large on its own and didn't want to clutter it up to the point of being unusable. We could probably think up a tag for these common issues too. – hippietrail Jun 29 '11 at 11:58
  • What about converting these types of posts to community wiki? – user82 Jun 30 '11 at 12:02
  • The currency question is not a list. Some answers are clearly better than others. In general I think "how do you" with multiple right answers are ok, but "What are all the" with multiple answers all of equal value are not. – Kate Gregory Jun 30 '11 at 14:38
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Lists themselves are not necessarily bad. Itemized lists are bad. This is where each answer is a singular point, often a single sentence. Some of those fit this definition -- for example, the seasonal work question. An answer that includes more than one is still incomplete, and there are virtually unlimited answers.

Questions without one right answer should not be closed. I suspect questions that have been closed as such were deemed unanswerable. Sometimes unanswerable questions are perfectly "answerable" but provide no real criteria for evaluating the answers; if all answers are equally valid, then it's a pointless endeavor.

I think the three questions you listed are answerable, and could in fact have great answers. A particular answer may not be perfect and work in all circumstances, but that's not the point. The point is to help the question asker in their circumstances as much as possible.

  • One pattern I've noticed is that sometimes the deeming is done too soon. Some questions appear open ended but turn out not to be when you know the answer. I have been on both sides of this. I thought "how far can I drive from Amsterdam" is not so open when you know the obstacles. And I thought the question about mobile phone roaming was open but I'm told it's not by people that know about that topic. – hippietrail Jun 29 '11 at 13:49
  • But is this your personal opinion or your interpretation of the SE rules? I also think many of the questions are good but some community members are more sticklers for rules and others are sticklers on some questions but not others. Makes it hard to know where we stand. – hippietrail Jun 29 '11 at 15:32
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    @hippietrail It's my understanding of the rules. I'm a mod on Musicians and I posted a discussion on these sorts of questions there. I got feedback on it from some of the SE team and other mods before posting, so it's pseudo-official :P It's partially in the context of Community Wiki and the examples are focused on music, but hopefully it's useful to you as well. – Matthew Read Jun 29 '11 at 16:03
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I feel that Travel.SE is going to be one site where a bit of leeway will have to be given in allowing 'more than one right answer' questions because that's the nature of travelling. Some like 'When to buses start in Istanbul' will have a single factual answer, but for many other things there won't be. Instead of moderators stepping in swatting out questions, let the community choose using close votes what questions it feels are ambiguous. Meanwhile, we all contribute towards the FAQ.

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