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I love the site. I am curious, however, if "recommendations" will remain once the site moves out of beta.

This seems to be a trend with SE websites; once the beta phase is over, "recommendations" questions are prohibited.

I used to be a big supporter of WordPress Answers. Now, I can't stand going to the site. The mods close any question that asks for recommendations... Which, in my opinion, is the absolute starting point for most beginners of anything creative or technical.

Thanks, and keep up the good work!

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  • Could you link to a couple of example questions on the site that you're worried about? – Warrior Bob Dec 28 '12 at 18:12
  • None, specifically. I just noticed while browsing there are quite a few questions asking for recommendations, and those questions are actually being answered. It's nice, since someone who is starting out with AVP does really need to start with a lot of recommendation type of questions. – Travis Pflanz Dec 29 '12 at 15:54
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Thanks for the kind words! Maybe this can clear things up a bit:

Shopping recommendations have always been off-topic here, but there is some wiggle room for asking about tools for a given job ("What kind of camera do I need for this situation?" "Is there an an 'industry standard' microphone for my scenario?" "What do I need to look for in a mixing board for a project studio?").

While there is obviously a lot of grey area, a useful rule of thumb is to consider if the question is going to teach anything. If the question is just asking people do the thinking for you, then it's not a good question for the site, especially if it's asking for a product recommendation that might not be valid in two years. A classic example is the "What is the best X?" question, which is usually only valid at the time of asking and tends to be closed as too localized, not to mention vague - what does "best" even mean, in general?

So there's no hard-and-fast rule against recommendations, but we don't like lazy questions.

Many "recommendation" questions can be more usefully asked as "I'm interested in tool X in context Y, what do I need to consider?", especially if they're worded in a way that's likely to come up in a Google search that a beginner might use.

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  • Thanks for the reply. I hope this model holds true. As I mentioned, on a lot of the other SE sites, pretty much every "recommendation" type of question is closed as "off topic" or "not a real question." Many times, people starting out in a field or with given software simply do know the correct terminology or jargon to properly search for their problem/solution. This is where help from more advanced users can greatly help a novice become more advanced and more eager to help others. Pay it forward. – Travis Pflanz Dec 29 '12 at 15:59
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    @TravisPflanz Yeah, I think there is kind of a knee-jerk negative reaction to a lot of recommendation questions because a lot of them are honestly pretty lazy. Here, we've tried to keep the ones that we feel are honestly helpful and don't bother the more experienced users. Personally, I think this has worked out alright but I'm just one voice :) – Warrior Bob Dec 31 '12 at 16:28

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