Edited to summarise reactions:
There doesn't seem to be any desire to change our off-topic areas, so I propose that we accept the default off-topic close reason, which says:
This question does not appear to be about Genealogy & Family History, within the scope defined in the help center,
with a link to the definition of on- and off-topic areas in the help center.
We can define up to three specific off-topic/custom close reasons which would probably be useful if there was a high volume of questions that fell into a specific off-topic 'bucket' but we haven't had enough off-topic questions to know which ones are most useful yet. Do we want to craft anything specific or wait to see what develops?
As part of the changes to closing (Wondering what's happened to all the proposed changes to 'closing'?):
5. Off-topic closures will include feedback on what specifically is off-topic for that site. (new)
- Each site will have a list of its own specific pre-selected “Off-Topic” reasons
- Each closer will either select one of the site's standard reasons from the list (for instance, “Recipe requests are off-topic, although recipe replacements, etc. are allowed”),
- Closers can enter a free-form reason ("Your question appears to be about 'Cat Grooming', which is off-topic for Stack Overflow.")
Free-form reasons will be presented as comments, but the close dialogue will refer the reader to the comments for more info
- Free-form reasons picked by closers will be available to subsequent close-voters on that question as one of the selections from the list
- These lists will be determined by the communities, and moderators will be able to update them, subject to review by each other, their community, and the SE team
Reasons will need to be specific enough to make it clear to most readers what is and is not allowed (off-topic reasons of the form "Things that are NOT X" will be discouraged).
This is also the place to address any closing reason that applies to one site but not others (for instance, the "General Reference" close reason on English Language and Usage is moving here).
As a community, we don't close a lot of questions as off-topic, but this might be a good opportunity to review the areas we currently have defined as 'off-topic' and add to or subtract from or clarify them if we wish.
Our help currently says:
If your question is about:
- Starting your research or improving your methodology
- Finding a source or understanding how to use it
- Documenting or presenting what you’ve learned
- Breaking down brick-walls in your family tree
- Using technology to support your research
and it is not about:
- Locating identifiable living individuals
- Which genealogy software or website is “the best”
- Developing genealogy software
- Celebrity or biblical genealogy
- General history
then you’re in the right place
So far, we've closed (or migrated) a grand total of 7 questions as off-topic, which have been about:
- Terms of service for Ancestry.com (with the advice that the question should be raised with ancestry support)
- General history with no genealogy or family history content
- Medical implications of DNA testing
- Ethnicity assessments by considering appearance
- Photographic equipment (migrated to Photography site)
- Online sources for buying an LCD TV (yes, really!)
- Soliciting requirements for a college computing project to develop a genealogy 'web application'
So: Are we happy with the status quo for "off-topic"? And if we're not, what do we want to change? And do we want to try to add any "custom" closing reasons?