The other mods and I have gotten together and written a first version of the topic page for this site. Please look it over. Feel free to suggest minor edits in comments. Major changes can be submitted as answers.

We have tried to take into account the wishes of the community as expressed in voted answers to topicality meta questions. However, please keep in mind that this is a living site and so some evolution as to what is or is not on-topic may occur over time.

One of the jobs that you, the community, must take up is voting to close questions that are off-topic. Mods can do this, and we will for questions that blatantly violate the topic guidelines. On the other hand, moderator votes-to-close are a Big Hammer, one that should be wielded sparingly so as to allow the community to grow and evolve. Also, please (politely) comment on the questions as to how or why you feel to question is off-topic.

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    Will identification of elements within a song (samples, instruments) be on-topic? It isn't clear from the meta or the topic page. If it's not going to be on-topic, add at the very least "samples" and "instruments in a song" or something along those lines to the off-topic/identification section to avoid further confusion. – Anton dB May 20 '15 at 4:18
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    Perhaps someone should post a meta question about that. – Donald.McLean May 20 '15 at 11:44
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    What about the tour? – Unihedron May 21 '15 at 3:25
  • Thank you for pointing that out @Unihedron. – Donald.McLean May 21 '15 at 3:38
  • @Donald.McLean I don't really care enough to get into a meta discussion about it. But hey, if it's going to eventually come back to bite someone, it's going to be you. Just thought it would be in your interest to clarify, not mine. – Anton dB May 21 '15 at 5:13
  • @Donald.McLean it will look better if you blockquote the bulletin point. – Ankit Sharma May 21 '15 at 12:59
  • @AnkitSharma: I'm aware, I'm pointing out a developer / CM has to be notified for the tour to be changed to reflect the help center article. – Unihedron May 21 '15 at 13:07
  • @JCPedroza - It will actually be all of us mods who gets bit, not just Donald. ;o) After all, we are the Three Amigos (hands, hands, turn head, cough, hip-thrust)! – Johnny Bones May 21 '15 at 17:08
  • @JohnnyBones and Dom: can we get an update on Meaningful Username's answer? What's the status on those type of questions? – Anton dB May 22 '15 at 3:13
  • @JCPedroza from everything we've gathered from the community and meta they are off-topic and that's why it was put into the FAQ. We'll enforce whatever the community wants. If the community wants it changed a new meta post addressing this will help show what the community wants. We're trying very hard to make sure the FAQ accurately reflects the community and the meta as best it can. – Dom May 22 '15 at 14:01

I thought recommendations in the form of "Where to go next if I like X from artist Y" was on topic. They are ruled out by the recommendations clause.

  • We do have some of those questions that weren't closed. Can the mods update us on the status of this rule? – Anton dB May 22 '15 at 3:12
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    Per this question they are currently off-topic. However, this is one of those cases where the mods are not necessarily going to close them, so it's up to the users to enforce the policy if that's what they really want. – Donald.McLean May 22 '15 at 4:39
  • @Donald.McLean: If we are allowing them, it should be on topic. The community can always decide anyway. It's interesting to note that a mod has asked exactly this type of question... – Meaningful Username May 22 '15 at 9:07
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    Well, I asked that question before I became a mod. ;o) However, as Donald said, we're still a young site and we're growing/evolving. The Meta question linked above indicates that those questions should be off-topic, so we went with that indication. However, as Donald said, if people ask those questions and they get upvoted, we're not going to remove them and if they're consistently upvoted then we'll change the policy accordingly. – Johnny Bones May 22 '15 at 12:06
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    How about evolving first and adding rules when problems arise? – Meaningful Username May 23 '15 at 20:12
  • Like Donald said from this question and this answer it seems obvious that the community deems them off-topic. You can always bring this up a new meta discussion for this. Without a new meta discussion or just some signal from the community that these questions are now on-topic, there's no reason to remove it from the off-topic section and put it on the on-topic section. – Dom May 24 '15 at 4:03
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    The community is changing, and it's not sure that old answers are valid. I'm not up for some more meta-meta-meta discussions though, so let's forget all about it and keep it off topic. We're drowning in traffic as it is... – Meaningful Username May 24 '15 at 7:49
  • @Donald.McLean When asked more recently in this question, recommendation questions seem to be more welcome than they were originally. – Darrick Herwehe May 26 '15 at 12:56

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