Question for reference. Canadian Luke suggested we talk about it in meta, so I'm talking about it in meta :)

I'm inclined to say that such questions are probably more appropriately asked on that particular website's forum or to their customer support. We obviously can't be expected to offer customer support for every freelancing website. However, there are a few websites that are fairly commonly used by members of Freelancing SE and some questions regarding those sites may be appropriate.

  • If some are appropriate, why aren't others? (Again, I don't use fl sites, but as a community, we need to come to a firm agreement)
    – Canadian Luke Mod
    Dec 11, 2013 at 19:03
  • Well, personally, I don't think any would be appropriate, no matter how many members here use a particular site. But I'm willing to be flexible if others disagree with me. If Freelancing SE were to sign an advertising partnership with another site, it's fair to say that we'd see a lot of crossover users asking crossover questions; not that I think that would make any of these questions appropriate, but the sheer number would be hard to moderate. And honestly, I might be spending too much time on SF with their very strict policies. I'd be OK if we, as a community, decided to be more open.
    – Thomas
    Dec 11, 2013 at 19:26
  • I'd suggest adding that as an answer below, with all the reasoning you can think of. If people vote for it, we can move to make it a rule
    – Canadian Luke Mod
    Dec 11, 2013 at 19:37

2 Answers 2


In general, our goal as a Stack Exchange site is to become the last, final, expert level endpoint for all Freelancing problems. When folks ask a question here, they should walk away feeling that they got an answer that solves their problem.

Therefore, any questions that we can't answer definitively and with authority probably aren't a good fit for our site. Questions where we aren't the experts don't help us further our mission to be a site where experts come for answers.

It seems like a question about how to use Elance effectively would be best answered by the people who built and who support Elance everyday in their daily work.

To me, it seems that questions about the software, the interface, technical details, and basic usage should be off-topic on our site, but if the question involves a Freelancing problem, something that would be best answered by a professional Freelancer who uses Elance in their daily work, then the question would likely be better asked here.

To be more clear, the question fits our format, it's just a matter of whether or not we as a community feel we can provide value on these questions or not. As far as that goes, I'd say we may have to see more of these types of questions asked here to know for sure.

  • So, in your opinion, the question in question should be closed?
    – Canadian Luke Mod
    Dec 11, 2013 at 23:43
  • @CanadianLuke - I don't know enough about Elance to speak with authority on this specific question, but it is something that's answerable on our Q&A format. The main question is whether or not these questions will be interesting to users here, have definitive answers, and also be helpful to future visitors. If we're competing with Elance's support site, that may be something to consider. Also, some companies do push some Q&A to Stack Exchange, like Ubuntu on Ask Ubuntu, for instance. If Elance did that, it may or may not be helpful.
    – jmort253
    Dec 12, 2013 at 3:58
  • In short, I'd really love to hear everyone's take on this particular question and those like it. Hope this helps clarify.
    – jmort253
    Dec 12, 2013 at 4:00
  • For this particular question, it has a definitive answer. So you're really asking if it is interesting to users here and will be helpful to future visitors. Both of those depend on how many ELance users sign up here. The easiest way to gauge how many Elance users we currently have is to see if anyone answers the question! So far, it's not looking good.
    – Thomas
    Dec 12, 2013 at 21:56
  • @Thomas - If you have any followers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks, we could all try using the "share" link under the question to get the shortened tracker url and share that with our followers.
    – jmort253
    Dec 12, 2013 at 22:57
  • @Thomas - In fact, you could tweet the question to @Elance if they have a Twitter account....
    – jmort253
    Dec 12, 2013 at 23:21

I have to say yes

I think it is important that we don't limit the site unnecessarily and as @jmort253 was saying it comes down to if we can deliver the right answer. But I have to say that is why there is a voting system so the community can decide if the answer and indeed question is accurate, if it is poor it gets down voted simple. I must also say on Stack Overflow for example it is correct to ask questions about Facebook, Joomla or Expression Engine; these are all tools of the trade, as is Elance or 99 Designs for example.

Just to clarify not saying we should work the same as SO but puts it in to perspective.

  • 2
    I agree with the "don't limit" philosophy for on topic posts, but in the six days the question was opened it only got 27 views and no answers. I'm not sure this is enough data to say we can't help here, so I would probably give similar questions in the future a chance to see if maybe things change. Thanks for weighing in let's keep our eyes on this.
    – jmort253
    Dec 21, 2013 at 1:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .