I recently posted this question about how to build a good bridge out basic bricks ( Bridge from just basic bricks? ), which got closed as being too open-ended, apparently. I found this to be, of course, extremely discouraging. I would suggest How to Build X type of questions are acceptable. They are fun, engaging, and don't hurt anybody.

Our community is young and traffic is still light, but I'm confident that there will be more questions like this. The issue is whether we turn users with these question away, or welcome them.

As a practical example, if my bridge question is unacceptable, then I would suggest that following must also be unacceptable:

Personally, I think all of the above questions positively contribute to the community - I would hate to see them go away.

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2 Answers 2

First, I don't think it's a good idea to compare your question to "How does one get a job as a LEGO designer?" or "What is a good ratio to buy bricks in?" These questions cover a totally different topic, and so demand different standards (or different applications of the same standards).

The problem I see is one of scope. A Mindstorms charging station and the pivot-arm suspension (given the wheel sizes as specified in the question) are concrete goals with specific restrictions. "A bridge with basic bricks" is a vast universe of possible designs. How long? How much weight must it support? Beam or cantilever or arch? Even your question varies in whether you allow plates or not.

Good questions about how to build bridges can be written. I just don't think yours, as written, was one of them.

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" I just don't think yours, as written, was one of them" Fair enough, but I think "Zhaph - Ben Duguid"'s approach of suggesting how to make it a better question, rather than simply closing it, is a more profesional way to go, and a better way to grow the community. My 2 cents. –  ascendlyJJ Oct 29 '11 at 21:32
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Questions can be re-opened by the same voting process if they are edited to be fixed; in addition, you yourself can improve the question based on the closure feedback and post a new one. Don't take downvotes and closures personally, especially during closed beta. –  user23 Oct 29 '11 at 22:12

Open ended questions should be allowed, as they encourage engagement, deeper insights, and professional opinions, which will keep the site from being Just the Facts. That would be boring.

If we find an open-ended question that is too subjective, or not specific enough to answer well, then we should tactfully and professionally make suggestions as to how to improve the question.

This would contrast to pure discussion questions like, "what is your favorite set?"

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There are a lot of kinds of discussion questions. "What is your favorite set?" is the mindless social fun kind, and is probably one of the worst kinds. But questions that are too vague also encourage endless discussion of possibilities and alternatives, and in the long term that is just as damaging to a Stack Exchange site. We don't need to keep the site as "Just the facts", but we do need each question on the site to have some limited, answerable scope. –  user23 Oct 29 '11 at 22:14

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