There have been several questions about web services and applications recently, and some have received close votes, so I think it'd be helpful to discuss whether these questions are on-topic for the site.

Some examples:

So, are these questions on-topic, or should they be closed (and, in future, potentially migrated to Web Applications if it is clear that these questions will not be on-topic here)?

2 Answers 2


I would add this question1 to the list of questions which in my mind are potentially mis-understanding the specific meaning of Internet of Things. Even without a specific, clear definition, we accept this term means something in the context of , , , , .

My example, and the Google email question seem, to me, fairly clearly off topic. There is nothing in these questions to give them a specific IoT context, they are simple things on the internet questions.

Questions about IoT cloud services seem on-topic, particularly the ones detailed in this answer. Various providers have come and come in this space in the past few years, as opposed to the more generic rent-a-server cloud offerings. If we want expert answers, we need questions which appeal to low-level developers.

Questions about an application of IFTTT are not automatically off-topic, although I imagine some questions might be borderline depending on the subject. More likely, I'd expect could attract too-broad questions or no-research rather than off-topic.

1: Question is deleted and is only visible with 4k reputation.

  • 1
    Using IFTTT to link various web services to each other is probably off-topic; using IFTTT to link hardware gadgets to web services is likely on-topic. Jan 11, 2017 at 16:29

This is a poorly stated question, as it imagines a category of "web services" that is entirely orthogonal to anything which matters for fitting into this this site - and groups three entirely distinct things for common attention, which they are simply too different to receive.

  • Rather obviously the google business email question is blatantly off topic.

  • "What IoT services are available for storing/sending/publishing generic data in the cloud?" is a site-related area, but pretty much all Stack Exchange sites reject as too broad questions which seek a list of what is out there - Stack Exchange sites are for questions that can have a specific answer, not for making lists.

  • "How delayed can IFTTT triggers be?" This seems like an IoT question, and at least from the title an appropriate one (though as in the previous go-around, not all IFTTT questions will be device related)

The diversity of answers for the three examples should demonstrate why it's hazardous to encourage thinking in terms of inapplicable categories - what matters not is if these are "web services", what matters is if they are about IoT and additionally if they are questions fitting the Stack Exchange model.

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