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A while back, I started pasting in carefully crafted text clippings before I press the moderator-instant-death-close button. Aside from that being extra work, it obviously doesn't happen when the community 5-vote-closes a question.

(( One is a very welcoming, "sorry this is off topic" and I tried to write a "help vampire; too newbie; we dont do 'help, the internet is borken' questions" version but failed. ))

Is there any way we could write our site specific boiler-plate close comments. This would be a HUGE improvement for welcoming new stack users.

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  • +1 for this, it's too much of a hassle to do this for every downvote. If this not possible, maybe you could consider sharing your texts? – Teun Vink Jun 4 '15 at 15:14
  • won't work here as a comment because it's exactly (spare 4 chars) long enough and has embedded links... i'll post it as an answer. – Craig Constantine Jun 4 '15 at 15:18
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There is a close message that does already contain much of that information, so it seems like a bit of a redundancy. We have the ability to edit the generic off topic message, plus define up to three of our own custom off topic close reasons. Currently the generic message reads as follows:

This question does not appear to be about network engineering within the scope defined in the help center.

Second, I personally prefer to be less canned when possible. I have dusted off a piece of software I hadn't used in a while that allows me to post my comments in a more personalized way.

At present I have just over 30 "fragments" of comments I can quickly string together, with or without additional specific input from me, to provide a more tailored response. Hopefully this helps to provide a more individualized experience, especially to new users.

For example, the most common generic combination I have been using is for home/consumer questions which takes the form of two or three fragments. I first check the user profile to see if this appears to be their first contribution. If so, I start with the welcome message:

Welcome to NE, we hope you will both contribute to and learn from this community.

Followed by my close reason:

Unfortunately, NE is a site for network professionals to ask and provide answers about professional networks. Questions about home networks and consumer devices are considered off topic by this community. Please see What topics can I ask about here? for more details.

And finally a pointer to where their question may be a better fit:

You could try posting this on a different site on the network, such as Super User.

Naturally, this is a work in progress so it will likely change over time.

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    ...wait, we can edit those generic messages? I had no idea we could do that. How? – Craig Constantine Jun 4 '15 at 18:47
  • @CraigConstantine, if you go to the mod tools (by default brings you to the history tab), click on the "links" tab and you will find "Manage Off-Topic Close Reasons" link. (Not embedding it since most users probably can't access it.) – YLearn Jun 4 '15 at 18:58
  • I've created a meta Question for discussing changing this. – Craig Constantine Jun 4 '15 at 19:24
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Not an answer, per se, but here's the one comment that I think works pretty well for a generic "sorry, off topic" close boiler plate. It's one long line so you can copy it and get the mark-up too:

Welcome to NE, the stack for Qs about professional Net Eng. I apologize for this paste-in comment, but I have to use this a LOT. Have you read our [What Can I Ask Here?](https://networkengineering.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic) We worked REALLY hard on it, and your Q does not fit [What Our Community Decided](https://networkengineering.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/225) would be On-topic. Disagree? Please ask a Q in our parallel [Meta Net Eng](http://meta.networkengineering.stackexchange.com) including a link back to this Q and explain exactly where you feel it fits in our On-Topic list.

Here it is rendered so you can see how it looks in situ:

Welcome to NE, the stack for Qs about professional Net Eng. I apologize for this paste-in comment, but I have to use this a LOT. Have you read our What Can I Ask Here? We worked REALLY hard on it, and your Q does not fit What Our Community Decided would be On-topic. Disagree? Please ask a Q in our parallel Meta Net Eng including a link back to this Q and explain exactly where you feel it fits in our On-Topic list.

The whole thing (source code) is whittled to within four chars of the max length for a comment. If we were allowed more space in auto-comment-on-close, we could expand this to link to some more Meta questions/discussion, or other help as well.

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    If you're struggling for a few more letters, I believe [meta] is a short-cut to what's written above. I think. At least that's how it works with [chat]. – Ryan Foley Jun 4 '15 at 19:00

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