A question with 11 votes on Area51 reads:

What are pros/cons of using open source genealogy software/sites (e.g., gramps, wereleate.org) over pay-for software/sites (ancestry, myheritage

JustinY commented:

This question could be acceptable if it were rewritten. Perhaps, "What are the advantages of paying for an Ancestry subscription?" But as it stands the scope is too large.

A similar question has been closed (with support from JustinY) on Beta, currently named: What can be gained by paying for a subscription website such as Ancestry.com?

What is the difference between the two questions to prefer closing?

  • 1
    JustinY can explain any change in his thinking for himself. I initiated the Close process on Question 2917 because I considered it to be seeking opinion on a specific product rather than expertise. Duncan makes a similar point in his comment on the main site.
    – Fortiter
    Commented Jan 7, 2013 at 0:15
  • The question about Ancestry has been improved and re-opened.
    – user104
    Commented Jan 7, 2013 at 11:38
  • Opinions change. Scopes change.
    – user47
    Commented Jan 7, 2013 at 21:52

1 Answer 1


The questions in Area 51 are really just designed to give a high level overview of what the site will be about, and they give the proposed community something to rally around.

However, Area 51 example questions aren't designed to be edited and improved to provide details about a real, actual problem you're facing. Area 51 example questions aren't designed to be answered.

The question you cite, in its original form, was a bit of a poll, and polling questions don't generally have a definitive answer where most people experienced in Genealogy could say "this is by far the best answer to this question". Instead, on these types of questions, every answer is equally valid, and this doesn't really fit the Stack Exchange Q&A format.

With that said, not all of these questions need to be permanently closed. Closing is designed to give the community time to fix the post so it is useful to future visitors. Some of us edited the question to slightly reword it so it's not so much a poll, and it looks like it's been reopened. :) It's still subjective, and for questions like these to work, it helps that we have people answering who provide explanation as to why their answer is the best. Hope this helps!

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .