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I came across this question today: Can I store a fresh turkey in my garage for a few days?, and it just made me wonder if questions like these should be closed. It is such a specific and localised question that I don't think it helps any future readers.

On StackOverflow, when a question is too localised and most probably would not help future readers, it tends to be voted and closed. Why don't we have a a "too localised" close reason here on Seasoned Advice as well?

If adding another reason to the list is not possible, can we at least please add an option as other, so we can specify why the question is being voted to be closed?

  • Out of curiousity, are you from the US, or somewhere else where everyone doesn't go crazy about turkeys in November every year? Essentially any question about turkey looks to me like the kind of thing a ton of people will find relevant. – Cascabel Nov 25 '15 at 0:19
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    @Jefromi: From Australia. And I agree, its probably just that the question was badly formatted and looked like a very specific temperature and location (being the garage), which to me sounded like being localised. – Divi Nov 25 '15 at 0:23
  • Even before the edit (and much more after) this is a type of problem that is actually more general than you might think. While I (in Germany) rarely make a turkey, goose is a common Christmas staple. A bit smaller, but with the restricted fridge space... So as long as the answers focus on the principle it can be easy transferred and is quite helpful, IMHO. – Stephie Nov 26 '15 at 6:14
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I think you might want to have a look at that question post-editing. It's actually not that localized at all; this is the kind of question a lot of people might ask during the holiday season. Turkeys are huge, and no one ever has enough fridge space to store them and everything else they want to cook.

So this question seems like a clear example of something that can be helpful to future readers, and is not terribly specific and localized. Yes, it was asked badly initially and needed editing, but the core question seems fine. If anything, this question was a really good example of how easy it is to leap to a harsh judgment based on initial appearances.

Side note: it's true that it's possibly a duplicate of one of our canonical food safety questions, but I chose not to close it because it's possible to add some additional information about what you actually should do given that it's not safe in this case.


But to address your general question about a "too localized" close reason, I'm not really in favor. It was removed network-wide for good reason:

Too Localized was, by far, the most misused close reason in our surveys, with both Community Managers and Moderators deeming over 50% of randomly sampled TL closures to not have merited closure (including on SO).

and while StackOverflow may have had good reason to add it back in a limited form (despite it previously having been misused more than it was correctly used), I don't think we need it. StackOverflow really does have a lot of potential for totally localized questions that are useless to everyone else, because there are so many specific details that are part of programming questions. They also have a strong incentive to weed out the less-good questions, because there are just so many questions it's hard to answer them all well, so they might as well answer the better ones.

We have neither of those issues: our stream of questions is very manageable, and while questions can be fairly localized, usually if one person runs into a situation it's possible for someone else to hit basically the same problem.

So we can certainly try to take all variants on common questions and duplicate them against a more general question, avoiding having to answer all the extremely specific localized versions. But if questions are clear and answerable and aren't duplicates, I don't see any reason to close them. We might as well still help that one person, and if one person asked, there may well be another eventually.


Finally, should anyone ever feel the existing close reasons are insufficient, there is an "other" option on the close reasons list, under off-topic. I believe it's not part of the flag as off-topic dialog, but if you actually have full close vote privileges, you'll see it. If you don't have those privileges, you can probably just not worry about it - others will cast close votes - but if you see something that you believe is clearly off-topic but remaining open, and none of the usual close reasons apply, you can always add a comment and flag.

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