Here is a new question asked today: How many people joined the ICO?

This question is related to IOTA, but do we need this kind of non-technical question ?

In my opinion, non-technical questions often bring mainly opinion based answers, and opinion based answers are most of the time not very useful at the end (especially in the crypto-world-of-desinformation).

Should we focus on mainly technical questions or should we also include more 'general' questions ? (and if we do, what kind of 'general' question ?)

(For this particular question, it seems impossible to give a definitive answer because we simply can't guess who are the individuals behind some addresses, therefore it should be closed.)

2 Answers 2


General questions are okay, trivial and guesswork questions are not

I don't know about need, but if the goal is to create a Stack Exchange site around IOTA banning all non-technical questions doesn't seem like a good way to go. The Area 51 description doesn't give an indication either way. I agree with lex82 that there are certainly some non-technical questions out there which would be a good fit and deserve an answer. Of course, they should meet the basic criteria of a good Stack Exchange question. There's guidance in the help center about asking good questions in general as well as asking in private beta.

The second has two very important points.

  • Avoid easy questions
  • You get the site you build

A lot of trivial or easy questions aren't based on an actual problem. If you pair no actual problem with non-technical there has to be a very good reason why the question should be on a Q&A site. If the community let's trivial questions stand trivial questions will pull in more trivial questions. This is non-technical and it's answered within the first few Google results. There's also no problem. It's essentially asking for a list of information available elsewhere. Same with this—luckily closed—question.

You seem to want to draw a line in the sand for "mainly opinion based" questions based on the criterion non-technical. That's not necessary. Every Stack Exchange site has the primary opinion based (POB) close reason baked in. We used it already on this question. The line is already in the sand and it's the job of the community and future moderators to enforce it. Which—in my opinion—isn't happening very well currently. Either way I don't think that the criterion technical is a very good one to decide on-topic-ness.

The question should be related to IOTA and it should be a good question. A specific question regarding IOTA addressing a specific problem looking for an answer that solves the problem which is hopefully relevant for more than the one person asking.

If it's not a good question we shouldn't answer it. We should give constructive notions in the comments. If there's no change we should vote to close it. We can give pointers in comments but shouldn't use the answer function, even if the early and easy reputation maybe tempting.


I would argue that such questions are relevant and should be asked and answered.

Non-technical questions are not necessarily answered with opinion-based answers. I can imagine many non-technical questions for which factual answers exist (history of IOTA, partnerships with companies, non-technical barriers to adoption, just to name a few). I don't see a reason why such questions can't be answered here. Actually, I even have the impression that opinion based answers to technical questions are frequently upvoted, but that's another issue.

Even if a question cannot be answered precisely, you can either state this in the answer or you rephrase the question. In your example this would be "Are the identities and number of participants in the ICO known?"

  • If a question cannot be properly answered it shouldn't be answered at all.
    – Helmar
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 18:27
  • I think I know what you mean. However, I think there are questions for which the desired answer cannot be given, maybe due to a lack of public information. This can be stated in an answer because it helps other people having the same question/problem as the OP, even if it is not the answer the OP had actually hoped for.
    – lex82
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 19:23
  • That could be true but depends on the case. Either way any open and especially answered question is a signpost and precedent for those questions to be welcome.
    – Helmar
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 22:15

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