• Why are product / resource recommendations and polls off-topic?
  • How can I delineate whether a question should be closed because it is related to being a shopping or poll question?
  • Is there an on-topic way to rephrase these kind of recommendation requests?
  • Is there a Network Engineering resource we can use for polls or product recommendations?

Let's go shopping:

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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Why are recommendations off-topic?

Stack Exchange strives to be an authoritative resource for Questions and Answers. Polls and recommendations wind up being a Compilation of knowledge, which are fundamentally at odds with the structure of SE.

How can I delineate whether a question should be closed because it is related to being a shopping or poll question?

This is a bit subjective, but I usually look at the question and ask myself, "Can anyone give a wrong answer to this question?" If there is no wrong answer (within reason), then the question needs to be closed.

Examples of questions with no wrong answer:

  • What router / switch / firewall should I buy for this project?
  • Which service provider should I use in Central London?
  • Can someone recommend a resource or library for python scripting Cisco routers?
  • At what point does it make sense to roll-out IPv6 on our Internet edge routers?
  • What kind of interview questions would you ask when you're talking to a Senior Network Engineer candidate?

Is there an on-topic way to rephrase these kind of recommendations?

Sometimes there is. (Note to self, some day improve this to be more specific to network engineering).

Is there a Network Engineering resource we can use when discussing subjective questions, such as product recommendations?

Yes, polls and recommendations are very welcome in the Network Engineering Recommendations Chat Room.

A few rules in this chat room, please:

  • This chat room is not a substitute for asking on-topic Network Engineering questions
  • This chat room is not for live support (which of course is on-topic for the main site)
  • It's the same behavior we expect everywhere. Be honest. Be nice. Don't promote your products or spam us.
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