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Should we move to close old, abandoned questions with not enough detail? asked about old questions that are probably abandoned. I note this question https://gis.stackexchange.com/questions/57422/wms-c-with-osmdroid where the user has asked a question, moved on before getting an answer (or any feedback) and now says "leave it for now".

I don't expect that they're coming back to this anytime soon.

Should we try to always close questions off quickly when there is this kind of explicit "don't care any more"?

We've had maybe/maybe-not views on a new "reason" box: Do we need new Reason to Close old Questions when Originator appears to have lost interest?. Is there a way (standard / preferred wording) to handle this won't come across as offensive / arrogant to many first time users? (I'm not so naive as to think we will never offend anybody, but some of those users are potential future GIS experts of the future, and we'll need some of those later).

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Voting to close as "too localized" is non-pejorative and works as a splendid catch-all for such situations.

  • +1 for the word "pejorative," which I had to look up. – Matt Apr 15 '13 at 18:46
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    Unfortunately "too localized" is no longer available as a close reason. – PolyGeo Sep 20 '13 at 20:30
  • @PolyGeo Yes, and I miss it sorely sometimes, because occasionally it's the perfect (and only) response. Would you like to suggest a newer version of it that addresses this thread? Moderators now can (in consultation with the community) create custom close reasons. – whuber Sep 20 '13 at 20:54
  • So what will we use in the meantime? I'm thinking of going through old questions and closing them abandoned ones. – R.K. Dec 12 '14 at 15:04
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As suggested in a Comment by @whuber on an Answer to this Question ...

Moderators now can (in consultation with the community) create custom close reasons

I would like to revisit Do we need new Reason to Close old Questions when Originator appears to have lost interest? and suggest that a good new close reason would be:

Originator of question (and community) appears to have lost interest

I recommend using this when a Question remains Unanswered after a long time with no activity. I have not defined "long time" because depending on how clear and difficult a question appears the appropriate time to apply may vary.

Some questions will undoubtedly be closed sooner than someone in the community (possibly the originator) would like, but remember that questions can easily be proposed for re-opening, and the edit required to trigger that button to appear may add the critical details needed by the community to formulate an "upvotable" Answer to it.

Having fewer and clearer Unanswered questions should assist our aim of providing much better wiki-fied Questions and Answers for casual and professional GIS users alike by letting us focus more on those which are of the most current interest to the community.

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Abandoned, vague, poorly formulated question?

vote it down! (and comment why)

This advice isn't intended as a replacement to flagging for close, you're welcome to do that too. A down vote takes effect immediately, and everyone sees it. A close flag on the other hand is relatively concealed and may not be acted upon by other users and/or moderators (for a variety of reasons).


I up-vote "bad" questions from new 1-rep users from time to time, if I think it will encourage them to engage in the question and community (not being able to comment as a new user is a pain I still remember). I have no compunction whatsoever to down-voting old questions and answers where said engagement has failed to happen.

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    +1 Although I find such downvoting only works once a person has reputation they desire to protect. I suspect someone with a rep of not much more than 1 receiving downvotes will often just abandon their account and start a new one rather than try to repair their reputation. – PolyGeo Sep 20 '13 at 20:28

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