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Imagine I just found Stack Overflow through google. Looks like a Q&A site for computer stuff. Programming, hmm? Yeah, my question could fit in here. I'll ask it.

Ten minutes pass, I come back to see if any answers have been posted. Besides my perfectly valid (if not for SO) and well-worded question having received three downvotes, I see this:

migration notice

Bamm, feels like a hit in my face on first sight.

Especially for people who are new to the SO family, this must seem very discouraging. I think there should be a friendlier explanatory notice like "The Stack Overflow community has decided that this question is better suited for the site superuser.com. The question has automatically been moved there, you can find it here[link]." or something similar.

This notice should be more prominent than the "migrated-locked-closed" triad, so it's the first thing the newbie sees, and so they realize that migrating the question is actually going to help them.

The same thing obviously applies to the other sites as well.

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@random: The topics of the questions overlap, but they are in fact different questions. Thanks for pointing there, though. –  balpha Aug 1 '09 at 9:30
    
Making the message clearer runs in with making it more friendly, there is a definite overlap, but the general tone of it still sounds and feels the same since you'd want to create a better sense of awareness withouth the knee to the kidneys on having the question shoved to another site. –  random Aug 1 '09 at 9:34
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Eliminating the disparaging comments placed on questions before they get moved might help, too :). Superuser users will probably not be as technical as SO users (on average): there's no reason to make fun of them. –  Yar Aug 1 '09 at 10:12
    
@yar: What do you mean, there is no reason to make fun of them? There is always a reason to make fun of someone. Don't give it away! –  Ladybug Killer Aug 1 '09 at 12:35
    
I'd also like to point out that SU is in private beta, and is passworded. Many of these users won't be able to see their question (if they've just found the site, they definitely don't read the blog) and will be really pissed off and leave. Maybe when something is migrated, have a link to the blog post with the SU password? –  Macha Aug 1 '09 at 12:48
    
@Macha: I would call it a public beta. The password is avaialble to the public. During private beta for SO the pwd was emailed. But you are right, they will be pissed off. –  Ladybug Killer Aug 1 '09 at 13:17
    
@random I apologize profusely, but I accidently misclicked and deleted the first comment. It was a complete brainloss moment while I was testing something - and there's no way to undelete a comment. Very very sorry. –  Tom Ritter Aug 1 '09 at 13:50
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@Tom Ritter: I guess that means a beer for each of us! –  balpha Aug 1 '09 at 14:18
    
There was a comment? Looks like @balpha was just speaking off the cuff. –  random Aug 2 '09 at 1:23
1  
@Bill Gates: The philosophical implications you mention are profound: Making sense is no longer a prerequisite for ice cream. –  balpha Aug 2 '09 at 9:11
    
I hated SU first because it needed a password and no one told me what it is. I'm a developer, I don't read manuals! :-) Anyhow, why not redirect the user from SO to SU when a question has moved? Then the user would barely even notice the switch. (Then again, with SU this won't work because of that ewok adventure thing... –  Wim ten Brink Aug 24 '09 at 11:12
    
@Workshop Alex: Have you been on SU recently? That ewok adventure thing is long gone. –  balpha Aug 24 '09 at 11:30
    
What is the difference between "locked" and "closed"? –  DisgruntledGoat Aug 24 '09 at 12:06
    
@DisgruntledGoat: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/13059 –  balpha Aug 24 '09 at 12:25

2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

I think you have a valid point here, especially the scenarion of a new user's first experience is worth considering.

To those of us who have been with SO for longer, this might not seem relevant: We have seen the site evolve, we therefore know what the migration notice means and how it came to be. This is not the case for newcomers. Especially the downvotes on a question before it's migration must seem pretty rude and

<Rant> Correction: They are rude and arrogant. </Rant>

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+1 nice rant, completely agree as a still fresh newbie myself. –  Cawas Mar 26 '10 at 18:50

Agreed. It never hurts to be nice and provide a detailed explanation. I'd vote to keep the terse comment, but with an "[Explanation]" link to the side that goes to a FAQ entry that explains common moderator actions like closing or migrating a thread.

Couple of other suggestions:

  • Link to the migrated thread if the question has been migrated.
  • If question is closed as duplicate, provide a way for the moderator to point out the duplicate(s), so the action reads like this: "closed as duplicate of this, this, this by x,y,z".
share|improve this answer
1  
Those two things (note of dupes, link to migrated question at other site) already happen when they're closed/migrated. –  random Aug 1 '09 at 13:21
    
I've seen "duplicate of xyz in the comments", not in the "closed as duplicate by .." line. Also, comments tend to have multiple duplicates pointed out. –  nagul Aug 1 '09 at 16:05

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