Would a questions asking for suggestions for good online blogs or podcasts where movies are reviewed be on-topic?

There are some questions like this on Stackoverflow, e.g. 'single most influential book every programmer should read'

  • I don't think its a 'bad question' .... if the downvote is because you don't think the proposed question is on-topic - please answer with that opinion.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Dec 3, 2011 at 1:07
  • I agree with the above, there are not that many users on this site currently. The more people speak up instead of voting only (which is in within your privilege you can vote without commenting), the more we can define this site.
    – phwd
    Dec 3, 2011 at 1:11
  • Agreed. Actually I'm fairly open minded as to whether this would be on or off-topic. I can see arguments either way and thought that it would be a useful definition question.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Dec 3, 2011 at 1:15
  • Remember, voting on meta is different than voting on the main site. A down-vote on a question usually means disagreement with the proposal; not that the question was a bad one.
    – Flimzy
    Dec 3, 2011 at 1:26
  • @Flimzy yes, but honestly right now what we need are people to speak up when the FAQ has been decided, the scope has been formed used can freely vote without commenting all they like. They are only about 10-20 of us active on the site currently and what we need are use to address the problems in this site in written format not only votes.
    – phwd
    Dec 3, 2011 at 1:30
  • @Alonzo: What evidence do you have that someone is only voting, and not participating in other ways?
    – Flimzy
    Dec 3, 2011 at 1:32
  • (And of course, even if that is what they're doing, it's their right... voting is anonymous for a reason.)
    – Flimzy
    Dec 3, 2011 at 1:32
  • @Flimzy currently the badges links, the voting summary on a user's profile (and the fact there are so few people on this meta) the difficulty in deducing who votes and who doesn't participate is a lot smaller. This heavily relies on the fact that there are so few of us.
    – phwd
    Dec 3, 2011 at 1:40
  • @Alonzo: There will be more of us in about 5 days :)
    – Flimzy
    Dec 3, 2011 at 1:41
  • @Flimzy Not necessarily ;) the current trend for Private Beta has changed from the regular 7 day window. Some private beta have been in this section for up to 20 days. area51.stackexchange.com/?tab=beta See Game of Go and 3D graphics. It all depends on our activity within Private Beta. Which is why they call us committers ;)
    – phwd
    Dec 3, 2011 at 1:44

3 Answers 3


Please read the text below that question:

This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site, so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here. More info: FAQ.

I think this means that asking "Which reviewers should I read?" is a bad question. And for more than just the reasons the question you've quoted is considered bad for SO:

  1. The reason that question doesn't fit on SO is because there is no single right answer. In other words, it is a "list question." It will solicit multiple, equally-correct answers. It will therefore be impossible for a single correct answer to be accepted.

  2. More unique to a movie reviewers question, the answers are completely subjective. Some reviewers I read because they like the same movies I like. Other reviewers I read because they hate the movies I like, so I always do the opposite of what they suggest. Other movie reviewers are all over the board. It is impossible to recommend a reviewer in an objective way.

TL;DR; It should be off-topic to ask for "reviewer recommendations" because of the list nature, and subjective nature of the question.

Now, having said that, it may be reasonable to ask some questions about reviews or reviewers that are a good fit for an SE site. But they won't be subjective or list questions. If I can think of such an example question, I will add it here.... but I can't think of one at the moment.

  • Yes, I know ..... but if its good enough for SO to have some historical questions that break the rules but are valuable enough to keep - then why can't we.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Dec 3, 2011 at 1:05
  • Which is also why I didn't just ask it - and asked here first.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Dec 3, 2011 at 1:06
  • The community can make whatever decision it wants, but I think this sort of question is a bad fit here, and should be discouraged from the beginning. I believe (an SE mod can correct me if I'm wrong) such questions are kept around for two main reasons: 1) lots of up-votes before they were deemed off-topic, 2) as examples to ward off similar future questions. As such, I think we should avoid similar questions.
    – Flimzy
    Dec 3, 2011 at 1:09
  • Also that is the on-topic rules for SO - a forum with a strict technical question/answer format, unlike (say) Programmers which has a more open viewpoint on discussion - so I'm not entirely sure if that text would apply to Movies. But thank you for your opinion - I will upvote your answer to register the vote that you cannot.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Dec 3, 2011 at 1:12
  • This would be a perfectly valid answer for meta.SO. But as we are defining a new site, I don't see how it applies. I think @iandotkelly was hinting at the fact that the question does encourage people to answer, comment and vote and that there is valid information in there ...somewhere. Some users came online yesterday to talk about lists. I suggest you check it out in the bookmarks of the chatroom chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/1888/movies
    – phwd
    Dec 3, 2011 at 1:14
  • @Alonzo: It applies because I believe the same standard ought to apply here.
    – Flimzy
    Dec 3, 2011 at 1:19
  • I think your edited answer explains it much bit better why reviews cannot work. As more and more SE sites appear, there is going to be a weaker connections to SO as canon. So I think it is better to discuss how you did in your edit why it doesn't work rather than referencing SO as a canon.
    – phwd
    Dec 3, 2011 at 1:32
  • @Alonzo: A fair criticism. :)
    – Flimzy
    Dec 3, 2011 at 1:33

I think that a limited number of 'list' questions are acceptable in a SE site. There are a number in Stackoverflow, which have not been deleted because they serve a purpose.

I agree that they are not to be encouraged, hence the 'is not considered a good, on-topic question' part of the description applied to these questions on Stackoverflow.

The moderators of Stackoverflow have clearly allowed these specific questions to exist, but do not want them to become a model for future question asking.

So, on the specifics of a Review recommendations page, I think that one question of this sort should be allowed.


As I pointed out in the comment to Alternative to IMDB to read movie reviews and check ratings I'm not completely against it. But the focus should be narrow. Because if the question is so unfocused like the example I gave or the example @iandotkelly gave (most influential book for programmers) the answers will hold a wide range of links. To someone else finding this over google it is of not too much use, because he effectively have to check all links to find something matching his needs.

But I think these questions could be all right, if the focus is much more narrow. In the case of the review-site-question it would help, if the question states why IMDB is not good enough.

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