Over this question What does the Lively Medical Alert Watch Monitor? (prior to any edits) the following issue has been risen:

Why the upvotes for someone who can't be bothered to Google? The information requested is easily discoverable at the company's site mylively.com or by Googling for reviews, such as yahoo.com/tech/… If I had enough rep to vote to close, I would. This sort of question does not help our site at all

Potential "lack of research" notwithstanding* - what is the level of difficulty for acceptable questions of this site?

So this is again a question about the expected audience of this site. Do we embrace entry level questions that seem easy to the expert and may be easily researched using the right search terms - a thing that is often trivial to the expert but not so much to any beginner - or do we not?

* Don't get me wrong here. It is of course generally accepted that a certain amount of own research effort is expected of users before they post any new questions - with the ever ongoing controversy being about the How much. Failure to provide this research should be communicated to the OP by downvotes, comments, and flags where appropriate.

1 Answer 1


I'll be brutally honest in what I say below, since I think this is an issue which can easily lead to driving users away from the site if we don't handle it carefully.

I think if a question is on-topic (i.e. it is about IoT), well-written (clear, not too broad or opinion based) and is likely to be useful to someone else, it is a good question and shouldn't be closed - after all, 'too easy' is not a close reason, and using 'off-topic' as a catch-all for something you consider simple is not appropriate in my view.

Meta Stack Exchange has a discussion on site-wide policy, which I'll quote for convenience:

The answer to your basic question here, though, is that yes - easy questions are allowed and encouraged, When people type "What is a regular expression" into google, we want them to come here and find out. The individuals whose comments told you to google it or go somewhere else to learn it were not following the site guidelines.

However, the issue I see as even more important is this: discouraging users with comments such as "If I had enough rep to vote to close, I would. This sort of question does not help our site at all" is likely to discourage other users from asking, which harms the site significantly. Imagine you were a beginner trying to learn more about IoT, and you come across the site and ask a (relatively simple) question. If I got that response, I highly doubt I would want to continue, and IoT cannot survive without new users.

If you feel a question could be easily researched, I have no objections to a comment like this:

Have you read [insert reference page you just searched for], and does that answer your question or is there something you didn't understand here?

What helps the site most isn't overly technical, theoretical questions that are difficult even for the experts to grasp, but the simple, practical things that lots of people are looking for the answer to. Failing to realise this could easily alienate enthusiasts, which is exactly the impression that this user had (which sadly drove them away from the site).

In brief:

  • simple questions which help others are great for the site
  • asking what people have researched is fine, but remember to be nice while you do it!

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