Recently the community has decided to still try it further with identification questions on the site. So they remain on-topic for now and we'll see how that pans out in the future.

So what to make of this now?

However, the problems they pose for the site, as adressed in that linked discussion and that a large part of the community agree with, still have to be adressed and tackled somehow. As mentioned in the question, a vote to keep them on-topic is not a vote against all the existing measures for quality control. Those still stay in place and now that they won't vanish in the near future have to be undertaken even more so to make the questions that remain on the site look as best as possible to diminish the negative impact they pose for the image of the site as much as possible.

  • To whoever voted in favour of identification questions: Don't rest on your victory but take responsibility for it, as adressed in the answers on the linked discussion! Show the community and the world that those questions are not the ultimate demise of this site. Improve them as well as you can and vote responsibly for those that are below the site's quality and effort thresholds to try and destroy the community's fears of them being dangerous to the well-being of the site.

  • To whoever voted against identification questions: This is not the end of the world. Please do not abandon the site over this decision! The efforts for improving the situation have not suddenly all been cancelled and the community will still do its best to tackle this problem even with those questions being on-topic. And we will be able to keep it under control with your help. So don't ignore those questions and their problems either if you care for this site and its well-being.

So what can we do to improve upon the situation?

  • If you have any general ideas for improving the situation, feel free to share them on the corresponding meta discussion. Also to be aware of are the problems not only with the questions but also the answers they encourage. Share whatever insights you have about handling those on the corresponding meta discussion, too.
  • Try to improve questions as well as you can by edits, be they of mere structural nature, or adding information that the asker gave in the comments, or by improving a less than descriptive question title.
  • Continue to vote responsibly for identification questions that don't suffice our quality standards while trying to guide the asker on how he can improve his question. The community has done a good job on this in the past and we'd encourage you to continue or even improve upon that.
  • Again, don't forget the answers. Try to improve bad answers or vote on them accordingly if they pose problems for answer quality.
  • Try to go over some old questions and answers and improve or vote on those, too. We have a history of 4 years of, often sub-par, identification questions and those existing questions are what paints the image of this site and what new users use to find this site and shape their questions after. In all those years there can be quite some things that merely fell through the cracks. Feel free to go over some old posts and try to improve what you can or vote accordingly if the questions are unsalvagable.
  • Whatever else you feel could be improved, feel free to share it. For example, consider this recent discussion about giving questions that are too bad and have been closed shorter shrift in order to minimize their detrimental impact on the site. Feel free to share your input on it.

Let's repair some broken windows, so people feel less inclined to smash in new ones!



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