Last Edited:  4/10/2007 

There has been much discussion on what to do with off-topic posts, especially in the moderators forum.  I've gotten a request to make an executive decision and stick with it, for here on forth, here is the official Microsoft guidance on how to deal with off-topic posts in the forums:

  1. If the question is simply in the wrong forum, move the post to the correct forum.
  2. If the question could be answered in the newsgroups, reply to the thread with a link to the newsgroup where the question will be answered.
  3. Move the thread to the new "Off-Topic Posts" forum:  http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=1494&SiteID=1
  4. If you don't know the appropriate newsgroup or forum but you're sure it needs to be moved, move the post to the "Where's the Forum For?" forum:  http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=881&SiteID=1 

This method will ensure that:

  • Search results do not become polluted with "answered" questions that aren't actually answered.
  • Reputation and answer rankings are not skewed by housekeeping/answering off-topic posts.
  • People who asked off-topic questions will still be able to view the reply to their questions.  (When a post is deleted, it's no longer visible.)

It is no longer necessary to mark off-topic replies as answers.  Please do not do it anymore.