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The On-topic section of the Help Center (which is new, for those of you who just noticed) is the defining point of any Stack Exchange site; it is, in essence, exactly what a site here is. I've combed through the Area51 proposal and the questions on the main site, and I've drafted an FAQ scope below, but it's up to us as a whole to refine this, perfect it, and graduate from private beta (done) after finishing this and establishing a base of users.

Keep in mind that this is a draft. It's up to the community to finish this; post away with comments, suggestions, alterations, and so on.


Now that we are using the Help Center (instead of "FAQ"):

For: https://freelancing.stackexchange.com/helpcenter/on-topic

What topics can I ask about here?

Freelancing Stack Exchange is for Self-employed and freelance workers. If your question covers...

  • Agency work while freelancing
  • Selling services to different employers without a long-term contract with any of them
  • Client responsibilities to freelancers
  • Cross-border requirements and laws for freelancing

and isn't about...

  • Working in a part-time of full-time setting for a company
  • Asking for life experiences or opinions on freelancing

...then you’re in the right place to ask your question!

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

Edit: In addition, we need to think about custom off-topic closing reasons. Which of these are the most commonly asked questions so far?

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  • The legal aspect of us not being lawyers should already be fulfilled by the "legal" section of the Stack Exchange footer. – Amelia Jun 6 '13 at 7:23
  • Hey @Hiroto, where did we leave off on editing the Help Center? I noticed it's still quite vague. I like what you have here and think this is a great first edit to the on-topic list. – jmort253 Feb 20 '14 at 7:52
  • @jmort253 I'd go for it, and have another look through our current questions to help define our scope better – Amelia Feb 21 '14 at 17:19
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I'm not sure I'd explicitly put work laws in the FAQ. The law is a very complicated animal, and even people who have what seems to be a very similar problem may in fact have different results due to a wide variety of factors. Moreover, federal laws may preempt local laws. Contracts may contain loopholes, or they may supercede rights that would be reserved to one party had a contract not existed.

Some of these questions may have answers that won't apply to future visitors, and it may be difficult for those visitors to determine what does and doesn't apply to them.

However, I wouldn't list them as off-topic either. Let the questions stand on their own. If the legal component is too strong, we can suggest edits to reword the question, or close the post if it is too localized to the specifics of the asker's legal situation.

If we do feel we need to list work laws, perhaps there's a way we can word it so it's clear we aren't experts on interpreting the law.

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    in my answer about law questions I touched on this, and I just went with what I had for the draft proposal. I'm all for adding a clause at the bottom about us not being lawyers, too, and specific people's specific legal issues at a specific point in time are textbook too localized. – Amelia May 23 '13 at 5:10
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Looking at the current questions that we have on the main site, we might want to add "Advertising and Marketing" as an on-topic subject. However, we would have to make sure that we don't evaluate specific marketing campaigns.

Example On-Topic Questions:

Example Off-Topic Questions:

  • Look at my marketing campaign; what do you think? (either too localized, not constructive, or in particularly bad cases, spam)
  • How to approach Hechinger's for a bid? (too localized)
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  • Given the updates to closing, you may want to go back and reword this to fit the new model. – Amelia Jun 28 '13 at 19:47
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I would add to the topic questions about rates (how much can you earn on given type of freelance/contractor activity in given country).

Such questions are time-localized, but so are most questions on Travel.SE for example, and there's always the date the question was asked and the answer was given.

Example questions of that kind:

  • rate per page for translating book/newspaper article from French to English
  • rate per hour for oral translation from French to English
  • rate per hour of IT contractor (Java developer, 5-10 years experience) in Paris/French big cities
  • charge for installing SalesForge/CMS/web shop for small company (10-50 employees) in big city in France

The questions which are important for contractors are also the costs of accommodation in given city. They could easily run off-topic, but taking good defined criteria adapted to contractor work specific:

  • short time-rent of apartment
  • with furniture/internet/equipment
  • small size/1 person adapted
  • public transport costs

they should be accepted as well.

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  • on the contrary, these kinds of questions can go out of date very quickly and I don't really think they would be appropriate, unfortunately. – Amelia Jun 6 '13 at 7:38
  • @Hiroto how do you define quickly? 2 years is quickly? How it than applies to Travel.SE or SO? – Danubian Sailor Jun 6 '13 at 16:44
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    asking for work rates boils down to price shopping, and I don't really see these kinds of questions taking off – Amelia Jun 6 '13 at 17:46

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