6

Do these questions really provide any value to the community? Identify-this questions are problematic across the SE network. These ones seem especially bad because it doesn't really seem like we're equipped to answer them - most don't have answers - compared to the identification questions on, for example, the Sci Fi & Fantasy site, where there are enough knowledgeable people that most questions do get answers.

I fear the more of these we have, the more likely this site will come up in Google and other search engines when people are searching for Christian cassette tapes, and the more we'll see of them. Can we just purge them all?

  • 3
    Ahh, I see you edited it. I can't wait till this post becomes the defacto index of obscure 80's Christian cassettes. – Peter Turner Feb 20 at 15:34
  • @Peter Only if the questions are actually being answered, and many aren't, which is a big part of the problem. – curiousdannii Feb 22 at 13:18
  • Nostalgia is a powerful force ... To those experiencing it, yes it's worth it. – fredsbend Mar 16 at 21:48
  • If we implement a rule, what is the dividing line? Is it really just "identify this" questions dealing with cassettes? Or is it any song or album, regardless of era? How about Christian movies? Books? – Nathaniel Mar 19 at 17:49
  • @Nathaniel I can't think of a good identification question I've seen here. I'd be happy to scrap them all. – curiousdannii Mar 19 at 21:15
  • I think support for eliminating cassette-tape questions is going to be a lot higher than eliminating other types of ID questions, particularly ones that start to get into "reference request" territory (is this an ID question?). Thus I don't want to take the conclusion of one discussion ("cassette questions are bad!") are apply it more broadly – especially since meta consensus has allowed for some ID questions in the not-too-distant past (e.g., verse identification). – Nathaniel Mar 19 at 21:52
  • @Nathaniel True, reference request questions are generally good. And I wasn't looking to ban all ID questions, just these ones. And honestly, if it seemed like we were equipped to answer them I wouldn't even want to do that. But we're not the right community for these questions. – curiousdannii Mar 19 at 22:06
  • Is there another SE site where they would be on topic? – Ken Graham Sep 29 at 14:32
  • @Ken No I don't think so. – curiousdannii Sep 29 at 21:55
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The only reason I'd say no is because:

the more likely this site will come up in Google and other search engines when people are searching for Christian cassette tapes, and the more we'll see of them.

and this means people are asking questions on the site that probably don't have answers elsewhere, which is a good thing.

But for all your other reasons, spot on analysis. If we burned them now, nobody would shed a tear.


However, I must attest that there are more kinds of Christian scholarship than Dogmatic or Systematic Theology. For instance, I've spent the last few weeks on Spotify analyzing Newsboys songs to identify exactly what makes 90's Newsboys awesome and 2000's Newsboys passe. It seems to me that it was precisely because they were also released on cassette that they were awesome.

  • I'd argue that music is emblematic of the theology. In my opinion, this record of it is a dataset of prevailing views. In other words, it's immensely valuable to the right theologian/ worship leader. – fredsbend Mar 16 at 21:50
  • @fredsbend If the questions were about analysing the lyrics of the music, or how the songs were used in churches or missions or ministries that would be one thing. But they're not. Nor do the questions themselves form a useful dataset. – curiousdannii Mar 19 at 4:04
3

Do these questions really provide any value to the community?

Given this statement about the Reason for Existence of the Christianity SE, it seems perhaps too obvious that these questions are of no value, and should be deleted...:

Like any library, Christianity Stack Exchange offers great information, but does not offer personalized advice,

I think being asked to search for antique cassette tapes for people falls under the “personalized advice” subcategory of “personal shopper.” I am actually shocked at the quantity of these requests. I agree with @curiousdannii that “the more of these we have, the more likely this site will come up in Google and other search engines when people are searching for Christian cassette tapes, and the more we'll see of them.” Which I don't see as a necessarily good thing: people seek this site for intellectual reasons, and I don’t see erroneous SEO as a genuine tactic for PR.

And to curiousdannii’s question,

Can we just purge them all?

I say, we must!

But purging them may not prevent this from continuing to happen. One characteristic of this site which I as a relatively new user have found difficult, is that access to the Welcome Tour, Help Center, etc... may seem perfectly obvious to seasoned users, but to a new user, that little tiny grey dot with a question mark in it, does not scream “come hither to learn what is and isn’t an appropriate question on this site!”

It’s been awhile since I first came here, but is there (and if not, could there be?) an automatically prompted link that takes new viewers to the tour and help center as soon as they come to the site?

It just seems to me that our Casette Shoppers are very sweet, well-meaning people who stumbled upon this place and have absolutely no idea where they are and what this place is for. When what they are really looking for is ebay.

  • Unfortunately, you're far from first to note that the help center is not easily found or well advertised to new users. SE staff continues to ignore this ... – fredsbend Mar 16 at 21:53

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