From The 7 Essential Meta Questions of Every Beta:

What should our documentation contain?

Much of the sites documentation will be the same as on every other Stack Exchange site: “be nice,” “how to create an account,” “how to ask questions” — it’s all pretty static. Even the sections about “what kind of questions should I (not) ask here?” comes primarily from the Definition phase of Area 51.

But the questions you want to discuss in meta are those issues specific to your site that need to be mentioned in the Help Center.

Take the Super User "About" page as an example:

Super User is for computer enthusiasts and power users.

Ask about...

  • Specific issues with computer software, hardware or networking
  • Real problems or questions that you’ve encountered

Don't ask about...

  • Anything not directly related to computer software or computer hardware
  • Questions that are primarily opinion-based
  • Questions with too many possible answers or require an extremely long answer
  • Videogames, consoles, or other electronic devices, unless they connect to your computer
  • Websites or web services like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress
  • Shopping, buying or product recommendations
  • Issues specific to corporate IT support and networks

These are then elaborated on in SU's What topics can I ask about here? page.

It took almost a year to figure out the list of “we want these sort of questions” and “we don’t want these sort of questions” on Super User. Area 51 gave you a head start but you should also be working out other FAQ-related issues specific to your topic and your community.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Please forget about the “7 essential meta questions” blog post, it's obsolete but unfortunately still advertised. Instead, read The Real Essential Questions of Every Beta. For example, a big “list all we should put in the help” question at this stage is pointless: now is the time to discuss specific issues, with one issue per thread. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 22:28
  • $\begingroup$ I think that this question should be opened. Little bit of editing required maybe. $\endgroup$
    – Josip Ivic
    Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 12:07

3 Answers 3


Do worry about it (at least a little bit).

We need to have at least a rough idea of what is on and off topic to know what the site will be about. Without a least some discussion on this how will mods know when a question needs to be closed? Thats not to say that nothing will change or that we can't refine our thoughts on this but getting a rough draft wouldn't be the worst thing.

Taking the Super User example, we could consider at least a few things, something like this, for example,

On topic for 3D Printing

  • Specific issues with a 3D printer (e.g. My 3D printer keeps failing prints)
  • Real problems or questions you have (e.g. How do I level my 3D printer)

Off Topic

  • Anything not related to 3D printing
  • Opinion based questions (e.g. Which is the better 3D printer?)
  • Shopping, buying and product recommendations
  • Questions with too many possible answers or require an extremely long answer

Things that we need to decide on

  • Legal questions (e.g. Can I 3D print a gun)
  • Software questions (e.g. questions about Blender for making 3D models specifically to print, on topic or defer to the Blender Stack Exchange site)

This is just a sample of some things I can think of, off the top of my head.


Based on the Help Center > Asking | What topics can I ask about here? over on Robotics

$SiteShortName is for 3d printer professionals, hobbyists, researchers and students.

We ask and answer questions about 3d printers, control systems, control theory, algorithms, actuators and sensors.

We feel the best 3d printer questions have links to pertinent datasheets or code, but if your question generally covers …

  • a specific 3d printer design or implementation problem
  • the theory and simulation of 3d printers
  • a sensor, actuator or controller for a 3d printer
  • algorithms or techniques for 3d printing

… then you’re in the right place to ask your question!

Some kinds of questions aren't allowed here:

  • Shopping recommendations: Questions which ask "which product or library should I use" or "Where can I buy X", are considered shopping recommendations.
  • Electronics theory: Questions which are more general electrical engineering questions and have no real relation to 3d printers are better off at Electrical Engineering.
  • Programming: Generic programming questions with no relation to 3d printers should be asked on Stack Overflow.
  • CAD/CAM: Questions about computer aided design and manufacture should be be asked on Engineering, unless they are related to 3d printing, in which they are fine here.
  • Life Questions: Questions about choosing how to spend your time (what book to read, which class to take, what 3d printer project to construct, what career to pursue, etc.) may be about difficult decisions, and they are often important, but they are too specific to your own situation and are unlikely to help future visitors to the site. They would be better off asked in 3d Printing Chat.

Generally speaking, if your question is directly related to 3d printers then even if your question might also be appropriate on another site, we are likely to be happy to see it here.

Please look around to see if your question has been asked before. It’s also OK to ask and answer your own question.

If your question is not specifically on-topic for $SiteName, it may be on topic for another Stack Exchange site. If no site currently exists that will accept your question, you may commit to or propose a new site at Area51, the place where new Stack Exchange communities are democratically created.

For more help, see "What types of questions should I avoid asking?"

This is Community wiki, so please help improve this suggestion.

Also, try to maintain the pure html formatting, so that the text between the horizontal bars can be pasted straight into the What topics can I ask about here? page.


Don't worry about this.

Before you worry about what you're Tour Page, Help Center... and stop is going to contain, you first need to figure out what your site is about. Make sure that you explain every close vote, discuss every controversial question, and so on. If you don't know the details of your scope, documentation should be the last of your worries.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ But we do need to worry about this. The whole point of this question is to try and get people thinking about what needs to be put on these pages. $\endgroup$
    – Mark Booth
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 14:24
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkBooth Save the thinking for later. First you need mods, but before that, you need a well-defined scope. Have you seriously gone through all the twists and turns? I think not. $\endgroup$
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 15:03
  • $\begingroup$ It would be nice if we have a less generic 'about' text before we have our own moderators. Our community moderators are very friendly and helpful, so it should only take a flag to request they update it. Over on Robotics, our equivalent What should our FAQ contain? answer evolved over a few weeks until we arrived at a consensus, and then we continued to use that post to keep track of suggestions and recommendations. $\endgroup$
    – Mark Booth
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ Yep, let's start that when we've got mods then. They're the ones who can do it. $\endgroup$
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 17:20

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