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This question:

Best online source for spices

I'm looking or good online sources for spices. Good selection and good prices.

can definitely produce useful information, but is a bit spam-prone. (Even good answers would look like spam if they're posted by a new user.) Should we try to keep it and curate things a bit better, or just get rid of it?

  • Would another viable option be to protect it so that you need a reputation of 10 to post anything? – PeterJ Oct 11 '14 at 0:47
  • @PeterJ I dunno if it really needs protection; it hasn't ever actually gotten a spam answer, and one of the current answers came from a 1-rep user. It actually looks fine, I just wanted to gauge what the community thinks about having that kind of question. – Cascabel Oct 11 '14 at 0:50
  • @Jefromi Idon't necessarily have a problem with the question but it is a bit arbitrary. So, we're back to opinion and what the OP is looking for in price and quality. And as you note, it is spam-prone. Re the comment about needing a rep of 10 to post, 10 rep really isn't that hard to get and still includes new users, who still may have good info to share. I think it is subjective and should be treated that way. The only other thing I can think of is to maybe edit it so that it is more specific. – Cindy Oct 11 '14 at 1:26
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I am against keeping it open.

We have a "too broad" closing reason which starts with "There are either too many good answers". This is a pattern recurring throughout the whole Stack Exchange network. What is the question about? If I'm looking for the needle in a haystack, then it is a good Stack Exchange question. If what I need is a single straw of hay and can't decide which is the nicest of this whole stack before me, then it's not a good question. Enumerating every "straw" and thus describing the haystack doesn't help anybody.

This is also the bottom reason of us not accepting recipes, pairings, and so on - there are heaps of them, and each is good enough for somebody. Just removing "the best" from the title isn't enough to turn the question about spice shops from a "I'm overwhelmed, make a choice for me" scenario to something acceptable.

I don't think it has to be deleted outright, especially seeing that we don't bother to delete most old closed questions. But I'm be against the community wiki idea suggested by Aaronut: it makes it a loophole against what we are trying to prevent. While I don't think it will be used very often, if at all, it defeats the principle to leave a loophole just so somebody can beat the rules.

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It's a giant spam magnet, but potentially a useful resource.

I say close it, but don't delete it; consolidate all of the answers into a community wiki answer, and delete all of the original answers. Being closed will prevent spam answers and new users thinking it's OK to keep asking questions like that - but if anyone is really dying to add an entry to the list, they can still edit the answer.

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Personally, I like Aaronut's solution, not just for this question but also for 'what cookbooks', 'what knives', and I'd like to ask 'what gadgets'.

There is a lot of utility/usefulness to these kind of questions. I say start with a wiki, keep them open for for a few months; clean them up, consolidate the answers (preferably a task for the OP), then close them with a good, clean wiki answer.

IMO, the utility of these questions outweighs the iffyness within the SE network.

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