Based on this question.

I don't really like "Idea Generation" as a reason to close. It seems like too much of a subtle reason to me, since really this entire site is about ideas.

Even the accepted answer about "What is Idea Generation" seems to indicate this:

We have an "Idea Generation" close reason, but it's important to apply it reasonably. In particular virtually every question on this site is asking for ideas to be generated in some way or another. The key thing that would cause a question to be closed with this reason is that the question is too open ended. In particular the main reason to close as "Idea Generation" is:

  • There are too many possible answers to the question (Idea Generation is a subset of Too Broad)
  • There is no objective way to evaluate one idea as better than others

The too many possible answers is already covered by Too Broad. So really the only reason to close as Idea Generation is because a question doesn't have an objective measuring stick.

If that's the case, shouldn't we rename it something like "Too Subjective" or "Not Objective" (or something else along those lines)? That would be clearer and is less of a judgement call. It also makes it very clear to the original questioner what changes they would need to make for their question to be re-opened.


1 Answer 1


The text of the idea-generation close reason is:

Questions about Idea Generation are off-topic because they tend to result in list answers with no objective means to compare the quality of one answer with the others. For more information, see What's wrong with idea-generation questions?.

The top-voted answer on the linked question talks about breadth and subjectiveness, and also includes this:

Storytelling and plot building are off-topic because this site is not a content generation machine. To steal the examples from Robert's post, "What conditions have to exist in a world to explain giant insects?" is definitely on-topic, while "What would the world be like if it were ruled by giant insects?" is far too broad. The long and short of it is that you can ask a question here to see if something is plausible, but we won't write your book/game/movie for you.

As written, the idea-generation close reason doesn't cover anything not already covered by existing close reasons, specifically too broad and primarily opinion-based (too subjective). I think we should get rid of this close reason.

If storytelling/plot-building questions are a problem, then we might want to create a close reason for that. If somebody wants to propose that, please look over our questions to see if this has in fact been a problem, and then propose it if so.

  • $\begingroup$ Exactly what I was thinking. If the question is what does this character do in this situation it is totally off-topic. If the question is what could realistically happen I feel we have mostly considered that on topic. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ The problem with using too broad is that while idea generation is a subset of too broad - it's a specific subset that we commonly run into and for which we have guides for people on how to spot them and how to fix them. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 22:36
  • $\begingroup$ How many questions have we closed for this reason? How many of them benefitted from the info in the link, as opposed to just leaving a comment and using "too broad"? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ Here is a good example where Idea Generation is much more meaningful than Too Broad: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/21613/… $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 8:19

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .