A while back I asked about What Genre is This questions. Looking back on this and thinking about Adrian's recent answer, it seems like we could do something to address genres. I've seen genre-related questions on several sites and forums, so there is some demand. However, I still feel like trying to pigeonhole the original poster's story is of limited value, as it's very specific (too localized?), somewhat subjective, and has limited value to the community - the next person asking the question will want to know about their own story, not someone else's.
I think questions like "What are common attributes of genre X?" might be more useful.
- This seems better than "Define genre X," which seems to me to invite answers that try to be a "complete" or "final" definition, and thus, disagreements. It allows several people to build a cumulative definition.
- It leans toward defining a genre by what it is, rather than what it isn't. This could be good or bad, but a definition of what something is is a lot more concise than a definition of what it isn't.
- It invites attributes that can be backed up, so it feels less subjective. If you say genre X frequently has a particular attribute, you can point to specific works in the genre where that is the case.
One concern I have with these is that we might initially get quite a lot of them and it may feel a bit spammy. However, if they're useful to the community, that's probably not a big problem.
So, do people think these types of questions would be useful, or not?