Every now and then, I run what I call a "housecleening task", walking the "unanswered" questions and see which I can answer, which are not answerable, and which might be closed. My actions are following these schema:

  1. If I can provide an answer, I do so
  2. If I think the question should be closed...
    1. ...and I have close-votes left, I vote-to-close
    2. ...otherwise I flag it for moderator attention, giving the corresponding reason
  3. If I cannot answer the question, but maybe enhance it by a comment (asking for missing details and the like), I leave a comment
  4. Everything else I "ignore"

This mental list I walk top-down, and break to the next question as soon as a condition was met (and the described action taken).

Currently, I'm stuck with some questions: I already v-c'd them in a previous run, so I cannot do that again. I marked some of them for moderator attention with the reason "too localized". For most of them, some mod found that reasonable. But for some I've got a "declined" with the comment: Why? What reason is there for this to not be experienced by any other user?

Unfortunately, there's no way to respond to the question -- so I decided to put it to Meta. In this special cases, the question would be:

What makes a question "too localized?"

But that would somehow be a XY problem. The real question to me is:

How useful is a question which is > 6 month old, having no answer (not even a hint in the comments) and a low view count (say, 10 views/month average)? How should we deal with those?

There might of course be reasons why some other user could experience a similar problem. But with no answer, the question is not useful to him. It's quite frustrating if you are looking for a solution, and everywhere you see just the question, never an answer. I wouldn't even dare asking in such cases (what sense does it make? Nobody answered that question for a long time here, so why should they do so now?). Not being helpful, and even being discouraging, and due to the low view-count obviously not that interesting to readers makes them clear candidates to be closed (or even deleted) -- at least to me.

A comparable question is What should happen to old unanswered questions where the OP didn't even care to check?, btw.

1 Answer 1


I think we should work on a common policy that we all agree on about closing questions as "too localized". A new meta post with different suggestions about when a question is obviously of no use would surely help to find reasonable criteria.

  • Exactly. I recently notice someone is marking a lot of new questions (from the very same day) as "too localized" -- where there are not any access stats available, and the question itself at least to me does not appear to be "too localized". Clear "guidelines" would for sure be very helpful!
    – Izzy Mod
    Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 13:09
  • I\ll wait a few days and then create the meta question if there is no objection.
    – Flow
    Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 13:12
  • For the "new Meta post" you suggested, see: What makes a question "too localized?" -- ooops, that was parallelized... Feel free to re-use the linked one (or close it then as duplicate, whatever).
    – Izzy Mod
    Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 13:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .