I am referring to this question:

Networking for breadth, not depth

The way faq mentions -

avoid asking subjective questions where …
* your answer is provided along with the question ...

This question is basically in the form:

*I think networking is about breadth - tell me what you think. And even more importantly, please supply research backed up material to prove me wrong! (Where as OP himself has never cited any research!)

Please Note: I have no problem with this question (i have not put any close flag and have up voted also) - as i am finding something to learn.

However, it is important to realize that there are quite a few discussion we have where people have gone nitpicking every word and how things are phrased to classify as constructive not-constructive, shouldn't we classify this question as well as Not-constructive?

Isn't this question really open-ended and vouch only for the opinion where either answer could just be right?

The question also refers to terms including: "connections", "breadth" "depth", "relationships", "executing a networking strategy" "productive" in the context of networking.

These are clearly undefined and are subject to interpretation.

  • I have been tempted to vote not a real question. I think he is posing a false dilemma. I tried guiding him to a better question but he wanted no part of it. Any research into what he is suggesting is likely to have been done by a private firm and the results are worth money. They are not going to give it away and even the knowledge of them having the results is worth money so that isn't going to be given away. May 4, 2012 at 19:20

2 Answers 2


While he's answered his question on how to go about networking, he's not asking us that question, he's asking if his conclusion is backed up.

He has not answered that question, the one he's posting to us, so it's fine in that regard.

  • 1
    What is the meaning of asking - "I have this wonderful idea - has some scientist already invented it or proven that it wont work?" While he himself has put no basis of research- why would an opinion based question classify as constructive? May 4, 2012 at 15:31
  • 1
    @DipanMehta If you ignore the "this is my own idea" bit it's really a very simple assertion; I should network for breadth, not depth. Arguably a better question could be "should I focus on breadth or depth" but I prefer this more focused question. Since it's a simple and logical assertion I don't see a problem with it. If it was a totally oddball assertion it might require some backing up first.
    – Rarity
    May 4, 2012 at 15:40
  • No, i am just as fine with question. But i am here bringing in here strict definitions because too many other questions people did nitpicking. Question here - "I think it is all about breadth -what do you think?" - so clearly this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. May 4, 2012 at 15:44
  • @DipanMehta Personally I think the question is OK because of the way it's phrased: The OP is looking for citable works to back up their theory/claim/opinion (or conversely to disprove it and set them straight). An equivalent question over on Server Fault might be "I think you should always configure swap space on a Linux machine. Is there any article/paper/mailing list thread I can point to that can authoritatively say why?"
    – voretaq7
    May 4, 2012 at 16:24
  • @DipanMehta he specifically mentions he wants facts, not debate or opinions.
    – Rarity
    May 4, 2012 at 16:31
  • There's a very fine line here, it's not that hard to masquerade any question to seem legitimate by asking for facts and references. In this instance I'm with @Rarity, the question is good (borderline, but the good kind), but we don't want to send the message that you can ask anything provided you have a line at the end saying "I want facts, not debate or opinions", it's the question itself that should be saying that.
    – yannis
    May 5, 2012 at 12:22
  • @YannisRizos well, if the claim was absurd or not answerable it would become NarQ
    – Rarity
    May 6, 2012 at 16:59

This should be off topic. There is no problem here, it is just discussion.

Is there any research that would validate, or dispute, the above approach to professional networking?

is not a real question

  • It's not just a discussion, it's a problem he wants solved. He wants to be an effective networker. His question isn't purely rhetorical, we don't really need to punish people for showing their work and sharing what they've tried; quite the opposite.
    – Rarity
    May 15, 2012 at 14:35
  • It's not just a discussion, it's a problem he wants solved every one want to solve their problems here which might involve some discussion. But if it involves discussion it is off topic. Speaking of this question, there is no real problem here, in which context he is asking this or is it just a belief, the author is saying My current belief is ... and then question, is my belief true is not a real question because there is no problem. May 16, 2012 at 20:27
  • If your belief is how you approach a problem, then whether your approach is correct or not certainly is a problem.
    – Rarity
    May 16, 2012 at 20:31

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