When you posted that, I downvoted and voted to close it.
I didn't intend to cause offense and didn't downvote because what you were asking for was off-topic or was a bad question. I tried to close it with extreme prejudice because it's the early beta and with some of my experience elsewhere on the Stack Exchange network, I thought it would be deemed "not a good fit" for a Stack Exchange site.
Now, I am not saying that I personally am against list questions like this. And in his answer to this question, user Steven Jeuris makes a very good point:
I believe it is up to us as a community to decide whether such questions would be valuable on this site or not, and decide on how to handle them. We need to define proper guidelines on this so we don't end up closing some but keeping others open as has happened on other sites.
Ultimately, I believe Steven is correct. We as a community decide if we will allow poll-like questions like these. As a proof of this point, review this Meta Stack Overflow question which details that Ask Different has decided to allow these kinds of questions. However they are going "against the grain" and Stack Exchange employees are less than thrilled about this:
The "problem" you describe here is an exemplary illustration of exactly why we forgo these types of questions. You say they're "a select few poll questions that are educational" and "a great way to add some fun to our site" — and then you lament that they are crowding out the hot questions on the site for everyone to see. What happened to "a select few?"
The features of Stack Exchange are designed to make it easy to do the right thing while simultaneously difficult to go the wrong way. By going against the grain, you've taken on an up-hill battle.
That's from Robert Cartaino, Community Manager for the Stack Exchange Network. Robert will play an extremely critical role in this very site ever going live, so, we may want to think very carefully before going against his established view.
I posted a poll-like question of my own here on Meta. I thought it might be permissible for two reasons:
- It was on Meta, and not the real site. Meta questions are different in may ways than real questions.
- I was hoping to find some resources for early beta users to use to seed this site with / assist us in answering questions. I somewhat expected my question to be deleted eventually
I now think it was hypocritical of me to post my own poll question and have voted to close it. I have a suggestion for a better way for us to run "pool-type" questions: We should be using chat for this.
Chat is, by nature, free form and less structured than the main site. The rules are more relaxed and it's a better fit for discussions / opinions. However, chat still has stars, so one can create a room specifically for recommendations, and people can star the posts with the best recommendations. In this manner, the recommendations with the most stars will rise to the top and similar poll functionality can be achieved.
I have voted to close my own poll question and created a chat room for it instead. I think this solution will allow us to have our cake and eat it too, so to speak: We can have polls, and also be more in-line with what the Stack Exchange network model says we should be.