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I love the idea of a cooking Stack Overflow, but this place is kind of a ghost town. I've been lurking for awhile, participating a bit, and not seeing any improvement.

At the same time, it seems like a large percentage of the posts here get shut down for not being the right type of question. Generally they're not one with a factual answer, but rather opinion questions like "what should I do with this herb mix I got."

I'm afraid that closing these questions is seriously hampering growth. The rules for what is acceptable are probably great for regular Stack Overflow, but cooking isn't programming, and the people who cook (and want to read about it on the net) aren't programmers. A lot of them are just looking for ideas.

I feel we should consider allowing all cooking-related questions. I, for one, am at least as interested in what one should do with some spare marjoram as I am at what temperature I should bake a certain cookie. I think a lot of other people are too.

I hope this is the right place to post this. If not please feel free to put it where it belongs. I know little about how the community works here, I'd just like to see this place get off the ground.

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    It looks like you're new to the StackExchange community in general. Do keep in mind: existence of interest in a topic doesn't mean it makes for a good site. Have a look at area51 to see a lot of discussion of this across a wide variety of topics. – Cascabel Apr 10 '12 at 18:48
  • Related, and basically a duplicate: Is the site over moderated (closing)? – Aaronut Apr 10 '12 at 23:46
  • Separately, this place is nowhere near a ghost town - you're about a year too late to make that claim. There was, at one point, a time where we were struggling to get the questions and page views, but AFAIK we are the second-highest non-computer SE in terms of both Q&A activity and page views (English is the first) out of a whole lot of 'em and have more than tripled in size since this time last year, despite cracking down even more than we used to on certain types of questions. So, I'm not hitting the panic button just yet. – Aaronut Apr 10 '12 at 23:55
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Thanks for sharing your views Matthew.

As a member of this community I feel confident in saying that your concerns are misplaced.

At the same time, it seems like a large percentage of the posts here get shut down for not being the right type of question. Generally they're not one with a factual answer, but rather opinion questions like "what should I do with this herb mix I got."

This type of question has been addressed in detail here:

I'm afraid that closing these questions is seriously hampering growth.

On the contrary, I assure you we are growing.

I feel we should consider allowing all cooking-related questions. I, for one, am at least as interested in what one should do with some spare marjoram as I am at what temperature I should bake a certain cookie. I think a lot of other people are too.

We simply don't try to appeal to the "give me a recipe", or "give me an idea..." demographic. We do this at the expense of "growth", because that is not the type of growth we want. We intend to be a community where amateur and professional cooks can ask objective questions and provide objective answers. This type of content is what the entire StackExchange platform is meant for, and has been demonstrated to work best with.

Chit-chatty, getting-to-know-you, "do my homework", and "give me a recipe" type questions simply do not work here. Sites where such topics are acceptable are a dime a dozen. Feel free to use them, we don't purport to be the only source for cooking information on the web.

I know little about how the community works here

That's fine, again welcome aboard. Please take some time to poke around meta here, particularly the tag.

  • Don't forget the [allowed-topics] tag, which has a ton of documentation and rationale over why various types of questions are on/off-topic. – Aaronut Apr 10 '12 at 23:46

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