What I like about stack overflow was that it was a great resource to go to when you cannot find the answer to your question by spending some time searching the web. I think that having questions on here that are already well covered, such as "What does f-stop mean?", "What is the “Rule of Thirds”", "What do lens acronyms mean?" do not benefit this site and are redundant. It will encourage people to just ask a question on here rather than trying to find the answer themselves and will not add much knowledge.

I am in favour of an addition to the FAQ to request that people search the web generally and not just this site before asking, and that we should be closing such questions as off-topic. What are other peoples opinions?

  • 3
    And an abuse of tags.
    – user167
    Jul 16 '10 at 23:47

This question is already answered by another online resource:

By answering questions properly, instead of saying 'just Google it', you hopefully set up a definitive answer that Google will find for evermore.
If you want to really help with questions like this, post the answer you found and the Google search terms you used to find it.
Post an answer, even if you directly copy from that first easy-to-find search result...

(Note what I did there: quoted a relevant piece to answer your question here and provided a link to the resource.)

  • In the link from your link (joelonsoftware.com/items/2008/09/15.html) Joel said: "You type a very specific programming question into Google and you get back [useless hits] If you’re very lucky, on the fourth page of the search results, if you have the patience, you find a seven-page discussion with hundreds of replies [...] yet some of the replies are actually useful, and someone [...] has posted a decent answer". However that is not the kind of question that I'm discussing. The kind of questions I have seen are answered by the first threee search results.
    – danio
    Jul 19 '10 at 10:17
  • @danio: You picked out a quote from a link from a small piece of the Meta page I linked. That Meta question covers the situation you describe, and even questions easily answered by the first three Google results can get good answers, such as "What is the difference between URI and URL?"
    – user167
    Jul 22 '10 at 23:24
  • The point I am trying to make is that a major rationale of the original stackoverflow site was that existing resources did not answer programmer's questions well. But for a lot of questions on photo.stackexchange, a web search finds the answer very quickly. This has resulted in photo.stackexchange being more of an internet archive than a resource with new content. The majority seem to like that though, which is what I was interested in finding out with my original question.
    – danio
    Aug 18 '10 at 7:10
  • 1
    I think Roger gave a good answer for the following reason. Google will provide many answers of widely varying quality and not everyone has the experience to discriminate the good answers from the noise. When experienced photographers reply they are effectively pointing to the good answers and filtering out the noise.
    – labnut
    Oct 16 '10 at 7:52

I think there should be a question for each of these. Each of these questions can have a definitive answer, and could in the future be the one place to look for the answer.

I would guess that at this point you could say that there is nothing new on this site and everything here could be found somewhere else, but I think you would still argue that the site should exist, right?

I can see these basic types of questions marked as community wiki, but they should exist.

  • 1
    I disagree that there is nothing new on this site. There's always some questions that a simple web search will not answer. But I'm disappointed that most of the questions are not of this type: it seems a wasted chance to create something better.
    – danio
    Jul 19 '10 at 10:25

I think having basic questions on here does benefit the site:

One of the points of SO/SE is that they are what appear when people get told to "just google it." I.e., people search for something, here or generally, and they get a good answer.

We have a chance to correct the persistent but popular myths that do crop up on Google searches, e.g., "18% grey is what meters are calibrated to read" (no, it isn't). Photography abounds with such things, and a great many Google searches are quite useless because of it.

Neither of those things is true about many other questions we're likely to see, e.g., "what's the best lens for photographing my newborn?" or "how to photograph pets in a high-distraction environment?" which don't have good answers, and are subject to an effectively infinite amount of small variation.

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