For example: If you're building software for chat, should you be able to ask on [moderators] about "how can I recognize that a person is likely coming from the same computer on an IP range to block them from being abusive?"


I had been thinking about this one for a while, because we certainly do have expertise in some fringe areas of this, so I'm going to sum up the other answers and add my own opinion to it:

  • Technical questions about implementation details and code ("is this code going to work for my plans?", "how can I implements this system?") should be off-topic.
  • Questions about the concepts behind a given system, their influence on the community, and how to introduce them in a system ("how do I tell my community about this change?", "what are the effects of this system on user retention/conduct?") should be on-topic.
  • Questions about user behaviour that might be considered while building such a system ("how can I trick a ban evader; what do they miss that I can use to find them again?") should be on-topic.

I believe that asking about how to properly build community platforms requires input from people who have administered community platforms before, so we should definitely be able to suggest how to build better community platforms on this site, if the question is objective and targeted, as per all SE standards.


I've been thinking about this question for a while, but here's what I think: don't focus on the technical side of things. However, that doesn't mean you can't talk about banning. Confused? Let me give some examples:

  • If it is about actually how to ban the IPs (as far as code), it probably is off topic. So How do I detect the IP of a client in PHP to block certain IPs? shouldn't be allowed.
  • If it is Are IP bans sometimes counter-productive? That should be okay.
  • I'm not quite sure about Is this code good for blocking IP a user?, but that might also be a little too much opinion based...

I just got stabbed by this rule, and its rather dissatisfying. There's a lot of interesting ways to design a platform these days for your community that could potentially have profound affect on the interaction and collaboration of the people in that community.

I'm looking forward to employing some new ideas in a new community, but am rather sad to see that this community about building communities building is unnecessarily limited in sharing such ideas.

I'm not sure what people fear about "being technical." We're not talking about programming lessons or software configuration discussions. Its a very normal business discussion to ask "here are my requirements, what is the best way to meet this in a platform?"


No. I think this should be non-technical. I think that there are plenty of other SE sites for technical questions - Stack Overflow, Programmers, and Security are likely to be top candidates.

  • 1
    This answers the specific example in the body of the question, but not the question itself as posed in the title. There are many non-technical questions that could be posed related to the design or development of community platforms.
    – Air
    Jul 29 '14 at 19:18
  • @AirThomas The sentiment stands. Questions about building a community should be in, questions about designing or building a platform should be out. Jul 29 '14 at 19:20
  • 2
    I think the questions shown here are less of how to implement something programmatically, but rather building of the actual platform from a user/admin/mod experience perspective. Jul 31 '14 at 13:21

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