This site has struggled for a very long time over raw idea generation. There can be no best answer for raw idea generation. The OP is asking for the proverbial spaghetti to be thrown against the wall so he/she can overcome creator's block. Unless something has changed in the last year, asking for an infinite list of things (a question that is poorly bounded) is off-topic, but asking for a finite list of things (a question is well bounded) is on-topic.

Part of the problem is that even a finite list of things breaks Stack Exchange's basic premise that a well-asked and specific question will have a single best-answer.

Nevertheless, well-bounded idea generation can be as valuable to the many visitors to this site as any specifically-answerable question. Therefore, to remove the ambiguity around whether or not a question should be considered an idea-generation question, I therefore propose a new tag.


A survey question asks for a list response without expectation of a best-answer selection. Survey questions are required to be finite in nature (see "Catalog of Question Types" - "Finite List of Things" in Meta), meaning they are well-bounded with conditions, limitations, definitions, and specifications.


A survey question asks for a list response. The list may take the form of one answer expressing a list, many answers each expressing one item on the list, or a combination of the two. Survey questions are not expected to have a best answer and respondents answer knowing no such choice may ever be made. This tag is not a license to seek unlimited or unbounded raw idea generation.

Survey questions are required to be finite in nature (vs. infinite in nature, which is off-topic), meaning they are well-bounded with conditions, limitations, definitions, and specifications that keep answers focused on the particular problem proposed in the question. In this case, survey questions may be held to a higher expectation of specificity than other questions. As a general example, "How can I..." and "What would happen if..." questions are frequently poor survey questions as they are often too broad and very poorly defined. On the other hand, Vesrei's question "Fauna evolved to use portals" is reasonably well bounded and an example of a suitable question for this tag.

The tag is not a license to seek unlimited or unbounded raw idea generation. It will be considered abuse to use this tag when asking a question that should have but one best answer in an effort to cause a greater number of answers to be posted. Users are responsible for respecting the difference between seeking a bounded list and seeking a best choice. This tag does not abrogate the user's responsibility to understand how to ask a good question as defined in the Help Center.

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Alternative View Point

Although I'm recommending the creation of this tag, I respect the fact that we may suddenly see 90% of questions using it because people think it will produce a higher quantity of answers — not realizing that the consequence (because the question was not framed for the purpose of a list) is lower quality answers. From this perspective, the presence of the tag has the potential of causing more problems than it solves. If you believe this to be the case, you should down vote this recommendation.


Ideally, answers to this post should posit issues in support of, or in opposition to, this recommendation to help site users better understand the consequences of this tag. Discussions seeking clarification about the use or abuse of the tag should be in comments.

  • $\begingroup$ Not enough for an answer: Obviously, you pose the single best argument for not doing this in para 2. The proposal moves away from SE basics. Another strong argument contra is the high likelihood this tag would be intentionally or unintentionally used to sneak otherwise opinion based or unfocused queries through.A third, while not a specific issue with the proposal itself, is active & conscientious user fatigue. The likelihood this tag will be adequately monitored long term is not very high. There's a risk the tag becoming bloated because of the extra work to determine query fitness. $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Jun 16 '20 at 12:44
  • $\begingroup$ My five cents is that I would definitely support such a tag; WB.SE really needs something like this. I totally agree that this is a major part of the worldbuilding process. $\endgroup$ – The Daleks Jun 17 '20 at 22:40
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    $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 We had a lot of discussion a year ago that resulted in a catalog of question types that identified infinite lists as off-topic and finite lists as on-topic. I'm basing my assertion that they are on-topic to begin with on that and the various discussions that are linked to the question types. $\endgroup$ – JBH Jun 18 '20 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ This tag also seems to serve a similar purpose: codegolf.stackexchange.com/tags/tips/info $\endgroup$ – KeizerHarm Jun 20 '20 at 10:14

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