This site seems ideally suited for a "big-list" tag. I am therefore surprised not to fine one.

Examples of big-list type questions would be :

  • What are the issues with faster than light travel and how might they be overcome?
  • What are the issues with time-travel and how might they be overcome?
  • etc... there are many more examples.
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This isn't a [feature-request] question, it's a [discussion] question. The [feature-request] tag is reserved for Stack Exchange software feature requests. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Oct 17, 2014 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling Point taken. I've updated the tag. Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – abcdefg
    Oct 17, 2014 at 21:47

1 Answer 1


Because “big lists” suck on Stack Exchange. If a question calls for one item per answer, then you get a large collection of mediocre answers. Older answers get to have more votes and newer answer remain largely ignored: voting reflects pretty much only age, also popularity if you're lucky, but forget about quality.

Good answers are comprehensive. They discuss the relative merits of different approaches, the different environments that could lead to different scenarios. They seek to cover the problem as a whole, not to exhibit one tidbit. If a question calls for that kind of answer, it isn't a “big list” question.

If something calls for a big list, it's better suited on a wiki, such as TV Tropes.

I once thought that list questions were fine. And then I saw them at play on Science Fiction and Fantasy. (You can see our best one preserved for posterity.) And then I happily burned the lot of them.

Questions like “What are the issues with faster than light travel and how might they be overcome?” are too broad. You could write a whole book about that. More focused questions, about e.g. what the irruption of FTL technology would do to a particular society, or what FTL technology could enable a particular plot, are perfectly fine and welcome here.

Oh, and the tag itself would be a meta tag: it doesn't help to categorize questions in any way.

  • $\begingroup$ Well said. That is an excellent reply. I think it works well on the maths site because it minimizes the number of duplicate postings. But the points you make about quality of answers, etc. these are rock solid for a site of this nature. +1 for the informative and informed point of view. $\endgroup$
    – abcdefg
    Oct 17, 2014 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ I saw several requests for meta tags here on meta (pun intended :) IMHO a post discussing them might help $\endgroup$
    – user4239
    Oct 23, 2014 at 19:28
  • $\begingroup$ @DVK What do you want that the blog post doesn't address? $\endgroup$ Oct 23, 2014 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Gilles - blog post clearly isn't being read based on how many meta tag discussions I saw here. It's not the content, it's the visibility $\endgroup$
    – user4239
    Oct 23, 2014 at 22:55
  • $\begingroup$ "it's better suited on a wiki" Like a community wiki? $\endgroup$ Oct 27, 2014 at 3:35
  • $\begingroup$ @tepples No, a wiki site, not on SE. $\endgroup$ Oct 27, 2014 at 14:11

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