Is a question which would be applicable only to those in a certain country too localized?

For those wondering, in this case, I'm thinking of a question about the distribution (by the employer to the employee) of tax paperwork in the United States (for which I've been unable thus far to find an answer via Google, etc.). However, I am asking this about anything which might be specific to a given country.

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I've always considered "too-localized" as "applies to just the OP". I would not consider a question that applies to an entire country to be too-localized, however potentially a question about someone's specific situation within a country may be too-localized. –  Rachel Jan 15 '13 at 14:33
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"This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet." So "localized" here doesn't necessarily mean geographically, it could simply mean "extraordinarily narrow". –  Joe Strazzere Jun 11 '13 at 16:37
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3 Answers

I would not consider a question that applies to an entire country to be too-localized, however it is possible that someone's specific situation within a country may be too-localized, so be sure you phrase your question in such a way that it could apply to more than just you or just your company.

I only consider a question as "too-localized" if it is unlikely to ever apply to another person or another company.

Here's a quick list of what I would consider localized and not/localized (feel free to add to it if needed)

  • Only you - Too Localized
  • Only your company- Too Localized
  • Only your profession - OK
  • Only your industry - OK
  • Only your country - OK

Note that all of these still have to be Workplace-Specific and are subject to all other question standards for this site :)

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too localized

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, see the FAQ.

The key phrase here is "extraordinarily narrow situation", which to me means that it's so narrow that no one else can relate.

A good example of a too localized question might be something along the lines of how to create an environment of helpfulness between colleagues on the International Space Station and avoid the effects of low gravity from affecting their moods. There are so few people working in this environment to where only a handful of people may benefit.

However, there are arguably lots of Java programmers who have bosses who still believe in Theory X style management that the answers would be helpful to others.

How many Java programmers are there in the world compared to active astronauts? The difference is likely merely hundreds for the astronauts vs millions for the Java programmers.

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+1 for the exact quote from the too-localized close reason :) –  Rachel Jan 15 '13 at 21:05
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I would not consider a question that applies to an entire country to be too-localized...

I agree with @Rachel, but I'd also say: 'Don't take it personal' and 'Don't be surprised if it's still closed as 'Too Localized''.

I've seen questions which apply to the entire Western world abruptly closed as 'Too Localized'.

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I know what you mean. That said, I believe q's that get closed pick up the reason given with the last close vote, so if that person clicks wrong or just has a different idea of "too localized", they win. FWIW, (even though there were legal aspects also) my q didn't get closed (yet!): workplace.stackexchange.com/q/8882/2317 –  GreenMatt Jun 10 '13 at 22:37
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This is one of the reasons Stack Exchange eliminated the too localized close reason. In order to ask questions about real, actual problems, sometimes details and specifics are important to getting at the heart of the underlying problem so that a viable solution can be found. I'm hoping the elimination of this close reason will net positive results for our site! :) As an aside, @GreenMatt, the close reason chosen is actually based on what the majority chooses, or whatever a moderator chooses. –  jmort253 Jun 14 '13 at 5:18
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@jmort253: I didn't know that, but it makes complete sense. Way to go StackExchange! –  Jim G. Jun 14 '13 at 10:53
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