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TL;DR

One thing that I did see was that the closed questions, also seem to get automatically deleted. This is a shame because some of them have interesting/informative answers. So this raises the question that whilst, yeah, close the obvious shopping answers, should the associated information/knowledge that resides in the answers be lost, or not displayed, because the question was auto-deleted? Is there a close-but-don't-delete flag?


Preamble

Admittedly, this is a bit of a slippery slope, and I certainly am not advocating that all closed questions get re-opened but I was going through [some of] the closed questions last night and it is a shame that a few were closed due to the narrow (maybe strict?) guide lines that were set initially. If I get time, I might add a new section to the meta post, Game plan - What is on-topic?, for new topics pulled from some select closed questions.

Beachcombing the closed question pile

I have been browsing a number of closed questions and came across a lot of "Best first printer" type questions, which are off-topic, admittedly, but they had some good answers. I think those sorts of questions get people to want to answer, for whatever reason (pride/emotion in demonstrating their own first printer, good/bad experiences, what have you...). Maybe, instead of closing all of them, it is worth having just one example question, such as the example below, so that it has already been asked - then we can legitimately close subsequent similar duplicates, without any loss of information or help.

Taking this one as an example, https://3dprinting.stackexchange.com/questions/5836/whats-the-least-amount-of-money-i-can-spend-to-get-a-decent-printer. It was closed as being too broad. I actually voted to close it as well, although I'm starting to wish that I hadn't. It has some great answers in it and it is a shame that they have been lost.

Since having been closed, it has now been automatically deleted. I'm just wondering whether it is worth undeleting it..?

I am not 100% sure whether, after undeleting it, then leaving it closed will cause it to be automatically deleted again - isn't there some sort of closed-but-don't-delete flag?

If there isn't then would it also have to be re-opened? Which, of course, entails other issues of "Why do we allow certain broad questions to be left open?" or "It's a shopping question!"

Regardless, it does seem a shame to have lost those fine (but subjective) answers.

Summing up

So, the point of this post is, should we save this information somewhere, and if so, in what format? I envisage a number of possibilities:


1 See also Difference between FAQ and Featured tagging

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I've thought about this in the past as well. I'd be curious if anyone from the Stack Team has any issues with the following format:

1) This functionality needs to be explicitly outlined in our On-Topic page!

2) Any of these types of questions should be created by a moderator and immediately "converted to wiki" (see mod options)

3) The question should outline an expected format for the following answers. For example, in the case of "Best Printer" questions:

**Make**: {Enter Manufacturer}

**Model**: {Enter Model #/Name}

**Type**: {Select tag: [FDM,SLA,SLS,DLP, etc]}

**Pros**: {Provide details of benefits}

**Cons**: {Provide details of downfalls}

4) Answers MUST follow the outline provided in the question or risk being deleted.

5) (Optional) Answers should be converted to wiki

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I like this type of idea, especially the template. Two issues I have with blogs: they aren't that easy to find (the blog idea was floated by Markshancock last year, Should we start a 3D Printing BLOG?, but nothing seemed to come of it, unfortunately - maybe due to my second issue), and; they can get overly wordy (not necessarily a bad thing but also people can get put off by the idea of having to write reams of text). Using a template means that the information will be succinct and to-the-point. $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Jun 14 '18 at 23:01
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    $\begingroup$ @Greenonline That's why I recommend that moderators primarily be the initiators of these types of questions, to ensure the tone is set with the template. Otherwise it becomes a s**t show of garbled information. $\endgroup$ – tbm0115 Jun 14 '18 at 23:41

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