One more tickle to see if we can move forward. I was hoping suggesting a strawman for the wording of the expanded off-topic reasons would be helpful, but maybe it wasn't a good idea for this format.
I'm not sure how to either move this forward or close it out as not worth pursuing, so I'm going to tickle it and see what happens. I think we need to find some consensus on the points below, but I'm not sure who can "pull the trigger". I'm a little worried that I quashed all discussion by mentioning how distracting some of the discussion is in the current links.
- Do we want to make a thread for our custom off-topic reasons?
- If so, are we satisfied* with the content in the answers here?
- Who can change the current "for more information" links to point to the new detailed guidance and how do we ask them to do it?
- Do we want the answers to remain community wikis in the new thread, or should we make them more static?
* I really wanted to say "content with the content", but thought it would be kind of a jerky thing to do to folks whose first language isn't English.
So I was poking around Workplace.SE and I clicked on a link in one of their custom off-topic reasons and was directed to the appropriate answer in https://workplace.meta.stackexchange.com/q/2693/26699.
I think this handling of custom off-topic reasons is pretty great. Each answer has an explanation of why posts closed with the reason are off-topic and a detailed explanation of how to bring the question back on topic, and each is a community wiki that can be tweaked without a lot of hassle if needed. Because the explanations are all in one thread, folks that have had a question closed get exposed to all of the advice for keeping questions on topic if they choose to scroll around.
Some of our links go to places that have a lot of answers and discussion in the comments that might be a little distracting for a poster trying to figure out exactly how to edit their question, for example: Policy for questions that are entirely answerable with a dictionary.
And some don't explain how it might be possible to bring the question on topic and just suggest other places to ask it, for example: Alternative websites for proofreading
I think it would be useful to have one thread for our custom off-topic reasons with an answer for each reason that goes into detail on why questions get closed for that reason and how a question might be edited to be on-topic. I think making them a community wiki is pretty brilliant, but I know the reputation thresholds for beta sites is somewhat lower for certain privileges, so I understand why we might not want to do that.
I don't mean to suggest that, for example, all proof-reading questions could be on-topic with editing, but I think that we could provide better editing guidance than we are currently, and that a thread with a single answer per custom close reason would be a better way to communicate with learners.
What do you think?
There seems to be some interest, so I'm going to add some community wiki answer stubs that we can use to work out what we might want the explanations to say if we decide to go ahead with such a thread. I don't mean for this thread to be the thread I'm suggesting.