Could we perhaps indulge in a community clean-up of [tag:identify-this-*] tagged questions that have unhelpful titles? "Identify this Disney movie", "Identify this 80s movie", etc., are all titles that are not useful. They neither attract the attention of answerers on MTVSE nor help those searching via Google.

(I think that a community effort will spread the edits across a period of time without cluttering the front page.)

Edit: Changing What is the name this drama/movie? to Ghost of dead husband tries to play Cupid for widow immediately scored a new answer. I really think that this is a worthwhile effort. So, please update such uninformative question titles whenever possible.

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    While this isn't too bad an idea, I miss the actual real-world value of this given that those are questions that are very rarely useful to anyone else than the original asker. And I fear having a front page full of one year old rubbish just for nothing. But then again given that they are deemed on-topic the idea of making them less stupid isn't a bad one at all, just don't get too enthusiastic about it, as your efforts will most probably end up in nothing. – Napoleon Wilson Aug 31 '13 at 17:26
  • Good point @ChristianRau which is why I stopped after about 5. – iandotkelly Aug 31 '13 at 18:28
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    We should perhaps also have one of our periodic purges of unanswered ones. – iandotkelly Aug 31 '13 at 18:29
  • Did someone say purge? – Tablemaker Sep 1 '13 at 3:44
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    "Changing What is the name this drama/movie? to Ghost of dead husband tries to play Cupid for widow immediately scored a new answer." - Yet I'm not sure that was really caused by the title change, given that the question was just a day old anyway. I'm not saying the argument that improving the title helps answering and finding is wrong, just that this particular example is badly chosen for a demonstration. – Napoleon Wilson Sep 17 '13 at 14:26
  • @ChristianRau Good point. I hadn't noticed the date :) – coleopterist Sep 17 '13 at 14:29

I kind of agree with you (and have cleaned up the title of a few just now) - but I also have doubts about the long term usefulness of such questions anyway. That said if everyone makes the effort to clarify the titles of these questions it cannot do any harm.

  • seems to be the reason why most of our users (read: new users) come here, though... dislike those questions as well, but, we'll probably be best off just trying to clean this mess up :( – Tom Aug 31 '13 at 17:19
  • @Tom - SE sites generally seem to go through a phase where Identify This Thing (ITT) questions become less and less relevant to the site as time goes on. Mainly due to the point that Christian raises: They're rarely useful to anyone but the asker. As a community grows, it starts to refine what is 'on topic', which is a general trend towards focusing more on Questions/Answers which are useful to the wider community as a whole. On Arqade for example, ITG requests are closed unless the user can provide an Audiovisual artifact to back up the question, such as a picture or a piece of music. – Robotnik Sep 2 '13 at 1:41
  • @Robotnik ... I would bet they don't get any of the ITG questions which stick then. Reason I say this is because if you can find an audiovisual artifact to show/hear, you know where you got it from (in most cases). Here on M&TV, there is a plethora of the ITM questions. In fact I would bet a huge percentage of the questions are exactly that, which is what is keeping the site alive. I'm wondering where is the site going to evolve to? What "other" types of questions can be asked? Should there be some type of brain-storming session to introduce question types not yet thought of? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sep 4 '13 at 12:41
  • @Paulster2 - Sorry, I should clarify the part about audio-visual artifacts, I mean questions like "What game is X playing in Y movie? Here's a screenshot", or "This graphics card ad is showcasing a game, what is it? <pic>" is on topic on Arqade. – Robotnik Sep 4 '13 at 13:45
  • @Paulster2 - As for M&TV, I see a trend towards more plot-explanation/lore (how does X know to do Y in episode Q?), genre/tropes (What is the purpose of Y's character to the lead?) and actor/director (Why did Mr X turn down role Y?) type questions, although I'm relatively new to this site and I could be off entirely. – Robotnik Sep 4 '13 at 13:46
  • @Robotnik ... no worries on either count. As of right now, the ITM seems to be the bread-n-butter on M&TV. I'm just wondering how we can encourage more of the types of questions which you bring to light. The types you present seem to be very pertinent. And thanks for the explanations. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sep 4 '13 at 13:56
  • @Paulster2 Your second to last comment really sounds like ID is the most asked type of questions and the site wouldn't stay alive without it as nobody would know what to ask (I know you may not have meant it that extremely, but really that comment sounds this way). While being an often used topic (especially one that drags in new users, for better or worse), ID is in no way the bread and butter of this site. The site doesn't really need to evolve to anything (or a brainstorming on what to ask next) to get a wider range of questions, there is already an extensive variety, even if discarding ID. – Napoleon Wilson Sep 4 '13 at 15:24
  • @ChristianRau ... with all due respect, I really think you should go back and look at what is being posted. I would bet somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 of all questions asked are ID questions of one sort or another (including IDTV and IDM). This to me is a very narrow view of what it could be. I'm just wondering why you think this site doesn't need to evolve? Seems to me you are good with the way it is without the possibility of the site becoming better. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sep 4 '13 at 18:12
  • @Paulster2 I don't argue that the site doesn't need to get better. Neither do I have any problem with it evolving, rather on the contrary. I'm just saying it doesn't need to evolve in order to accomodate for missing ID questions. It's not that the site doesn't feature enough of a variety of questions without ID, yet there is no problem in evolving to feature other types of questions. And you might look here to see that betting for a 1/5 would get you a higher winning chance (and I'd argue myself that this is not the best 1/5 of questions). – Napoleon Wilson Sep 4 '13 at 21:05
  • @Paulster2 "I would bet somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 of all questions asked are ID questions" - That would definitely be quite bad for the site's overall quality. That false assumption might come from different factors. Recent attention due to edit frenzy, ID questions are read by anyone since they don't need to have you watch a movie to read the question, are remembered for low quality, get you guessing and active in answering, often asked by new users, ... – Napoleon Wilson Sep 4 '13 at 21:09
  • @ChristianRau ... Well, maybe my off handed stats are a bit high, but I think my point Is still valid. Nevertheless, my purpose for speaking up is to look at ways to improve the site. I don't want to change the site for changes sake, nor do I want to "put my mark on something". It's just with what seems to be a plethora of these questions lately, I would hate to see the site go down in flames due to it looking like it providing a bunch of boring, non-interesting questions. I am open to help however I can and am willing to sit on the side lines answering the questions as I find one which I can. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sep 4 '13 at 23:29
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    @Paulster2 & ChristianRau - Let's throw some metrics into this discussion. searching for [identify-*] is:question returns 556 results. Our current question count (seen on the Newest Questions page) is 2,988. (556/2988)*100 = 18.6% or around 1/5th of all questions. – Robotnik Sep 6 '13 at 7:58
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    @Robotnik Well, that's what I already said and what is already provided in this answer. But thanks for checking it anyway. – Napoleon Wilson Sep 6 '13 at 8:30
  • Ah, whoops missed that somehow, derp on my part :-/ – Robotnik Sep 6 '13 at 8:45

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