This is my first ever contribution to a meta in all the SE sites that I participate in. You will see that I'm fairly new here so I don't know the lie-of-the-land very well, but I hope this is seen as constructive criticism from a newbie.

The point is that I check the site virtually every day and, if I'm lucky, there might be 1 or 2 new questions since last time. Almost without fail, the questions have little interest for me and I can't answer them. I consider myself to be a huge Music Fan so it seems bizarre that I am bored by a site for music fans!

Given the lack of questions, I think there is something to be said for easing up on the "off topic" police and letting a few unpalatable questions through.

I think I can understand why there's a dislike of "identify this song" questions. I used to regularly read the "Notes and Queries" site on guardian.co.uk and that deteriorated into "can you name this film". Maybe the way forward is to allow "identify this song" when it is even slightly richer than a simple question. If the numbers start to get overwhelming then there's no reason not to shut it down by making the criteria a little harder to meet.

I'd just like there to be more questions that are either interesting in themselves or generate an interesting answer. At the moment, I'm not seeing a lot of either.

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    Perhaps you should vote on this question: meta.musicfans.stackexchange.com/questions/221/….
    – Donald.McLean Mod
    Jun 3, 2015 at 10:27
  • @Donald.McLean Thanks for that, I've basically gone there and upvoted everything.
    – Lefty
    Jun 3, 2015 at 13:43
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    There's a bit of a struggle to find the balance with non-technical SE sites. Some people think that the rigidity of e.g. Stack Overflow is needed at a site like this too, in order to avoid chaos. I'm not one of them, and I agree with your impression of the site. Jun 3, 2015 at 20:40
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    I can tell you that, for the most part, we don't react to questions until downvotes or votes-to-close start showing up. We've had extensive discussions (we mods) about letting the users dictate what they will and won't allow. We know our vote is a final say, and none of use wields that power carelessly. The important thing is votes. Without those, we have no way to know what the users want from this site.
    – Johnny Bones Mod
    Jun 3, 2015 at 23:38
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    @JohnnyBones This is where my lack of knowledge about the "structure" of the site lets me down so please correct me if I'm misunderstanding. When people vote to close as off-topic, they usually cite the "rules" as being the reason. Does this not mean that the rules themselves need to be tweaked? Right across SE, I see interesting questions with a few answers and even lots of votes and they're closed or put on hold. The impression this gives me is that it doesn't matter whether anyone wants it, the tin-badge brigade want to stamp it out!
    – Lefty
    Jun 4, 2015 at 9:04
  • If I go onto the Physics SE site they have a new question every 10 minutes. They can range from "Resonance in Benzene violating Second law of thermodynamics" to "Why does a grandfather clock keep going". The 2 levels of questions are able to coexist happily, it's just the votes and answers that dictate their fate. I can't believe there are more "Physics Fans" in the world than "Music Fans", yet we, somehow, manage to get 1 new question A DAY!
    – Lefty
    Jun 4, 2015 at 9:13
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    @MeaningfulUsername Thanks for your support. I agree that getting the balance right is not easy - but it's not right at the moment. If we relax the rules and it all goes wrong, we can always tighten them again. It won't end up in court, we don't have to worry about setting a precedent!
    – Lefty
    Jun 4, 2015 at 9:19
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    @JohnnyBones: It's good that the users should decide what questions they want. The problem is that rules were prematurely put in place, and then people will vote to close, just because there are rules. And rules are made to be followed on SE. Jun 4, 2015 at 19:13
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    @Lefty: I'm all for removing basically all rules, see what problems arises, and then fix those. So I'm with you. Jun 4, 2015 at 19:15
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    @MeaningfulUsername It's good to know that my instinct isn't completely out of kilter with all other users of the site. I have to say, I'm a little concerned that a (seemingly) contentious post like this has generated so little debate. Do they not CARE about the site or are they all just so bored with the site the only enthusiasm they can muster is when there's a nice juicy question to close?
    – Lefty
    Jun 4, 2015 at 21:50
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    @Lefty: Judging from the current voting on the new identification question, I'd say that the hardcore SE types have left the community, and that the old discussions does not reflect the current community. Which is why it would have been good to wait with a lot of the discussions and decisions. But that's not how these things usually play out, unfortunately. Jun 5, 2015 at 18:27
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    Maybe you can make your title a little clearer so people that are interested in the id question discussion can see exactly what the thread is about?
    – NPN328
    Jun 5, 2015 at 21:21
  • I hate that I can only upvote this once.
    – sanpaco
    Jul 16, 2015 at 20:26
  • "I'd just like there to be more questions that are either interesting in themselves or generate an interesting answer. At the moment, I'm not seeing a lot of either." - same here. I was initially keen on this site but the many 'suggestions' that my questions and answers were not suitable eventually killed off my interest. I love music (specifically, listening to it, rather than playing it), so I'm amazed and more than a little disappointed that a Music Q&A site is struggling for something to talk about! But, the current mods seem keen, so I live in hope that it will flourish.
    – Carl H
    Sep 14, 2015 at 7:37

1 Answer 1


There's a precedent in Movies SE. They welcome (in theory) id questions, and they have graduated. Is anyone familiar with that site? How has the community handled that specific dynamic? I've read people complaining about the site sometimes being polluted with way too many id questions with low vote, view, and answer count.

I like the idea of just removing all the (vague, based on a flash community that left as soon as they got their participation badges) rules (other than the site-wise SE ones) and see what happens. Maybe not all the rules, but at the very least welcome the id questions (all of them), as an experiment.

There's nothing to lose (other than a little time). If it doesn't work in our favor (whatever criteria is set by the community) we just go back to the discussion of which id questions should we accept. If it works in our favor we keep those rules.

We are still a very small community, so implementing this experiment would be easy with little to no repercussions. As the community grows doing this will become more and more complex. I think we should take the opportunity now that we have it.

  • My one foray into movies SE revealed a very strange group of people lurking there so I backed away quietly. Never returned since. Your thoughts about the rules seem similar to my own naïve ideas. I'm still being deafened by the silence in response to this question though so it doesn't seem as though anyone actually WANTS the existing rules enough to defend them.
    – Lefty
    Jun 5, 2015 at 22:43
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    @Lefty I think it's not that we don't want the existing rules, but that we are not sure which direction to take. All arguments in favor and against id questions make sense and have very good points. That's why it might be a good idea to leave the theory crafting aside and just try it to see what actually happens. We can adjust and build the scope through experience and certainty instead of speculation.
    – NPN328
    Jun 5, 2015 at 23:02
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    I completely agree. I admit that the last thing we want is for a years' time to be debating "Should we change the name to 'Music Identification'". But where I come from, we have a saying, "Beggars can't be choosers", it does seem bizarre to me that someone submits the first question in 2 days and it gets multiple downvotes and eventually closed as off-topic.
    – Lefty
    Jun 6, 2015 at 7:51
  • +1 I think this is a good idea.
    – Carl H
    Sep 14, 2015 at 7:38

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