What questions belong on the meta site?

Based off of everything that is documented on the website these are the types of questions that belong on the meta site:

(From the banner on the top of the main site)

  • Question about the site itself
  • What questions are appropriate
  • What tags we should use

(From the Meta FAQ)

  • Are questions about {subject} on or off topic?
  • What should our FAQ contain?
  • How should we tag questions about {subject}?
  • What should our domain name be?
  • What should our logo and site design look like?
  • Who should the moderators be?
  • How do we promote our site?

Based off of that, it is very clear that a question like the one I asked a few days ago does not belong on the meta site.

If the community thinks a question like that should be on a meta site, the documentation should match this.


2 Answers 2


Electronics.stackexchange.com is for questions about the subject, electronics and robots.

Meta.electronics.stackexchange.com is for questions about the operation of the site itself. Meta was created out of the philosophy of "We don't talk about the site on the site."

Since your question isn't about electronics, but rather asking about the community itself, members voted to move it to meta. Given the chose of one over the other, they made the correct choice.

But, in actuality, it isn't a great question for either site. Marginally, maybe (if you twisted my arm), you could argue there is a small value to building a small sample/profile of the expertise level of members on the site. But, mostly, this is a Getting To Know You (GTKY) question which is generally discouraged.

You can read more about the subject here (particularly in the "guidelines" at the bottom):

Good Subjective, Bad Subjective

  1. Great subjective questions are more than just mindless social fun. The best subjective questions avoid the social pitfalls of “Getting To Know You” (GTKY) and mindless entertainment. Sometimes people just want to poll a community for ideas that might help solve a problem (best book, best approach). These can be okay when there is actual knowledge in the collection of answers. What isn’t okay are the social bonding questions which are designed just to impress others, such as “What is the coolest/stupidest/weirdest/funniest thing you saw/did/tasted today?”, or questions where the site’s actual topic is tacked on as a token afterthought, such as “Favorite food for programmers.” If you removed the “for programmers” part of this question, is it really unique to our profession? Could an average member of our community reasonably be expected to learn something that makes them better at their job from this question? If not, then it’s a bad subjective question.
  • \$\begingroup\$ As for the blog posting, if these are guidelines that you wish for all stack exchange communities to be following, why not make it clear on our communities site. Something like this could have easily been in our FAQ. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kellenjb
    Oct 6, 2010 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ As a note: I am not overly upset about this, I am just trying to get down to the fact that this is not documented anywhere and everyone seems to be completely glossing over this. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kellenjb
    Oct 6, 2010 at 16:11
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Kellenjb: The site is still in beta (i.e. in progress/unfinished, by definition). The moderators are supposed to edit the faq to include what the site is about. But since this is a network-wide issue (recently covered by a blog post barely a week old) I'm sure it will be linked into all the FAQs. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 6, 2010 at 18:19

As both you and Robert stated, questions about the site itself belong here on meta. This is documented. You asked:

What is your level of electronics knowledge?

I've seen several variations of the type of people in this community: [List snipped] So what category do you fall into? How do you think your skill set is benefiting this community. Do you fall into a different category?

[emphasis added]

Answers to this question are completely irrelevant to someone who is not a member of the site, who would be looking for information about electronics. The community is a part of the site, and information about the community does not count as information about the topic of the site. If you had asked "What level of electronics knowledge is necessary for job/project/task X, please support with personal experience", then that question would be useful in the future for someone about to embark on job/project/task X.

I think that this question may be useful at the moment, as we progress through the beta stage and try to resolve issues concerning the level of professionalism and expertise on the site. However, it belongs on Meta, because it is about the site.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I am not sure how to word this and not make it sound like I am unhappy, but please don't take it as I am. I've got 2 points I want to make. 1st, What input does this answer provide that hasn't already been said by Robert? I think this is something we need to watch out for in general. We, as people who answer many questions, should be careful to not post if we can not provide anything more then what is already answered before. If you think there needs to be a slight correction or addition to a previous answer, just make it a comment. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kellenjb
    Oct 7, 2010 at 18:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ 2nd, I was still trying to focus on the fact that what should and shouldn't be asked isn't very well defined anywhere in this community. I am trying to help this community refine things such as this, but I don't seem to be getting much support on that line. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kellenjb
    Oct 7, 2010 at 18:36

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