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The Help Center has a section about on-topic questions for this site, called 'What topics can I ask about here?'. At the minute, it's essentially blank, being filled with only boilerplate information:

Please look around to see if your question has been asked before. It’s also OK to ask and answer your own question.

If your question is not specifically on-topic for Internet of Things Stack Exchange, it may be on topic for another Stack Exchange site. If no site currently exists that will accept your question, you may commit to or propose a new site at Area 51, the place where new Stack Exchange communities are democratically created.

In our previous chat event, there was a discussion about what key points should be included, and based on that, and my observations of what seems to be accepted so far on the site, I propose adding the following information to the Help Center:

What topics can I ask about here?

If you have a question about...

  • controlling, automating and sensing the environment using electronics ('smart devices'),
  • consumer technology used for home automation,
  • industrial applications of the Internet of Things, or
  • the security, privacy, reliability and safety of these devices

... and it is not about ...

  • general computer networking, software and hardware

... you're in the right place!

Please look around to see if your question has been asked before. It’s also OK to ask and answer your own question.

If your question is not specifically on-topic for Internet of Things, it may be on topic for another Stack Exchange site. If no site currently exists that will accept your question, you may commit to or propose a new site at Area 51, the place where new Stack Exchange communities are democratically created.

I want to stress that this is a first draft of what the Help Center could look like; I think it's probably a waste of time to try and enumerate every possible off-topic question at this point, which is why there are only five bullet points worth of guidance. I expect that we'll need to iterate on this (if we choose to accept it at all), which brings me to the point of this meta question.

It's probably helpful to have some guidance to show new users so that they can try to understand the site scope a little better; at the minute, off-topic questions are closed with a link to the Help Center, where there is no guidance at all specifically for this site.

So, what do you all think about this draft? Should we include it in the Help Center now, or wait a little longer until we've got an even clearer picture about what is on-topic?

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  • I might suggest adding shopping recommendations to the list of questions we shouldn't ask. We had a recent discussion about them on meta. – anonymous2 Feb 9 '17 at 21:14
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    also not about simple networking topics – Sean Houlihane Feb 10 '17 at 9:07
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    @anonymous2 Do not forget this discussion. ;) – Bence Kaulics Feb 10 '17 at 9:12
  • @SeanHoulihane: I've changed the 'general computer hardware/software' point to include networking; let me know what you think of the improved wording. – Aurora0001 Feb 10 '17 at 15:48
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    The timestamps give you away. Yes I think that is enough, most people won't read it will they're asked to, so it just needs to be present, not emphasised. – Sean Houlihane Feb 10 '17 at 15:53
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    @SeanHoulihane it's unfortunately true that most people won't read it but it serves a purpose still. It is a good thing to point to using comments to (try to) guide new users. – Ghanima Feb 11 '17 at 11:21
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This draft is fine. We've been discussing it on a chat event and another meta post. I don't see how waiting a little longer will benefit is at all. If we discover that changes need to be made to the text later on, we can always discuss it over again and have our mods change it.

For now: upload it.

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  • The help center is now updated with the new text. Enjoy! – Aurora0001 Feb 11 '17 at 10:31

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