Those of us who are already familiar with other Stack Exchange sites know that we can vote to close a question if it is off topic or not a good fit for the question and answer format. I've been deliberately asking some questions that are borderline off topic in order to see where the community draws the line, but even when I've continued to push beyond what I consider even vaguely on topic I have seen very few votes to close.

We need everyone to be aware of the ability to vote to close before we move to public beta, so that everyone can contribute to closing off topic questions before they become a problem. In public beta there will be more people using the site and therefore more off topic questions, so we need to get the hang of this now.

This is mainly just to encourage everyone to start using their vote to close option, and to mention it to others who may not see this meta post, but it can also be a place for discussion/advice about any subtleties of how to use the vote to close / vote to reopen system. My guess is that we have quite a lot of people who are new to the Stack Exchange format so we need to actively encourage people to use their open and close votes (not just up and down votes), and emphasise that voting to close is a positive thing - a question can still be reopened once it has been edited to make it on topic.

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    $\begingroup$ I think a large part of it is that most people are used to open-beta sites (where you need 500 rep to cast close votes) or graduated sites (where you need 3000 rep). They don't realize that in private beta, you get that privilege at 1 rep. $\endgroup$ – Mark Aug 11 '15 at 1:45
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    $\begingroup$ I was sure that my color theory questions would have been over the top but apparently not. I must come up with something completely insidious. $\endgroup$ – joojaa Aug 14 '15 at 9:29
  • $\begingroup$ @joojaa I've finally had one of mine closed now so it is possible - I guess it will happen more quickly once we get to public beta and have more eyes looking over the questions. $\endgroup$ – trichoplax Aug 14 '15 at 9:33
  • $\begingroup$ @trichoplax IF we get out of private beta... though i see whu not $\endgroup$ – joojaa Aug 14 '15 at 9:34
  • $\begingroup$ @joojaa we have far more activity on both main and meta this time, and even chat has seen some busy periods. I'm still looking for ways to improve our chances as much as possible, but I am fairly optimistic. $\endgroup$ – trichoplax Aug 14 '15 at 9:46

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