One of the reasons for closing is that a post is too localized.

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, see the FAQ.

Can anybody post an example of an extraordinarily narrow situation? Just need something to compare against.

  • 2
    Irreproducible software behavior is a classic example. When the O.P. cannot describe their problem in a way that enables others to reproduce it, and/or others cannot reproduce it (implying it likely results from some bad synergy with the whole system), and/or they write back and say "never mind, I fixed it" but won't explain further, then the question is too localized. Another example is of temporal localization, such as questions about some transient or restricted event (a conference, a beta test program not open to everyone, etc.).
    – whuber
    Dec 15 '12 at 21:21

I don't have an example for you, but I think this answer explains the intent of the 'too localized' close vote.

Let me quote from it:

Really, what matters most here is that first bit - "unlikely to ever help future visitors". Everything is localized in some way, but if your problem is so localized, so specific to this place, this time, those people... that even if it is answered, the answer will never again help anyone else... That's Too Localized.

So... how 'bout we focus on that:

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is so specific to you, right >here, right now that no one else will ever have the same problem or be able to benefit from its solution.

This answer from Joel also shines a light on the point behind too localized.

  • Thanks for the example :)
    – R.K.
    Dec 19 '12 at 11:08

Let me play devil's advocate here. Like the devil, successful internet sites grow a long tail. Sites like Amazon are successful because they offer highly localized (or specialized) products. They do this by making the products easily discoverable. Before we remove a question for being too localized, we should consider how discoverable it is. Granted, it may be very localized - but if someone with that particular problem is able to find it with a Google search, we should not close it.

For example, while Joel's example might indeed be too localized:

Why is there a green Honda Civic parked out in front of my house?

This question would not:

Why is there a green Honda Civic VIN 895399345993234 parked out in front of my house?

Someone who is missing a Honda might google the VIN and find that information useful.

  • 1
    +1 on recognizing the Importance of the long tail. Dec 18 '12 at 3:22
  • 1
    Closed questions remain searchable: e.g., Google still reports them.
    – whuber
    Dec 18 '12 at 20:45
  • @whuber I've always wondered about that. Why close a question at all since they remain to be searched? It seems to me that if a question is XYZ-enough to be closed, then it should also be deleted forever and ever, so it no longer clutters, and disappears from search results. I just don't understand what closing a question truly accomplishes besides preventing people from answering it.
    – elrobis
    Dec 21 '12 at 15:08
  • @whuber - But if it gets closed and therefore not answered, what's the point of it being searchable and found by Google? Dec 22 '12 at 2:22

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