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As you all know, several questions are being closed all the time as not constructive for the reason that they are likely to elicit debate. The accepted answer to Do you feel Stack Overflow needs a general discussion forum? says the problem is solved by answering the questions on Programmers, but questions are being closed there too, as long as they are thought to elicit debate. So chat rooms are an idea. But whenever I see a closed question, I am not really motivated to go into a chat room and try to stir up a discussion about that question.

The migration system for questions posted on the wrong site works so wonderfully - why not apply this idea to discussions, too? Mark a question as migrated, and provide a link to either to a dedicated discussion site or maybe even just a link to a chat room dedicated to discussing that particular question.

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I would +1 this, but I'd be afraid it would encourage people to ask bad questions, requiring more work to close and migrate. – Won't Jan 9 '12 at 16:29
@Won't, People will know, that discussion questions should be asked on a new site and will not ask them on main "single answer" site. Less work for moderators. – Michael Freidgeim May 18 '13 at 5:07
@MichaelFreidgeim "The migration system for questions posted on the wrong site works so wonderfully - why not apply this idea to discussions, too?" Read. – Won't May 18 '13 at 16:36
@Won't Those are times where the person obviously made a mistake and didn't realize they were posting the wrong type of question in the wrong place. What does that have to do with Michael's point? How would adding a separate forum for discussions create more discussions on the non-discussion forum? If anything, people who are wondering whether their question is subjective or not would decide to post it on the discussion forum whether than post it on StackOverflow and just see what happens. I don't see how that quote applies to Michael's statement. – dallin Sep 4 '13 at 0:19

Actually, Programmers allows subjective questions, as long as they respect the criteria reported in its FAQ:

All subjective questions are expected to be constructive. How do we define that? Constructive subjective questions …

  • inspire answers that explain "why" and "how".
  • tend to have long, not short, answers.
  • have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone.
  • invite sharing experiences over opinions.
  • insist that opinion be backed up with facts and references.
  • are more than just mindless social fun.

If your suggestion is doing as done with the discussions in comments, then a new chat room would be created, where the question and its answers are written as posts attributed from the same users who created them.
I think it would not work well for the following reasons:

  • The posts on chat have a length limit. While with the comments it's easier to change them in chat posts as comments have a limit of 600 characters (even if most of them are shorter), there isn't a limit of length for the posts on a Stack Exchange site (as far as I know).
  • The posts on chat use a more limited Markdown than the questions (comments use a limited Markdown too); a question would probably not be rendered in the same way when changed in a chat post. The main problem is overriding the length limit for the questions transformed in posts in a chat room, where the solution is (possibly) not to truncate the question at X characters, and write the question as consecutive chat posts.
  • In moving the discussion to chat, the migration is done from one of two users that participated to the discussion, while in your proposal that would be done from users who vote to close; in most of the cases, the users who votes to close are not the users who asked the question, or answered the question.
  • In the case of moving a discussion to chat, the involved users are two. In fact, it is considered a discussion done in comments when two users keep replying to each other; if there are other users who write comments, then the link to propose moving the comments to chat doesn't appear. In your proposal, the involved users would be (possibly) more than one).

Allowing the users who vote to close a question to migrate it in chat doesn't seem the ideal solution. What happens if the users who answered to the questions are not interested to add anything more than what already said, and nobody else is interested in adding anything to the debate?
It seems preferable to allow the migration to chat when the users involved in that question are really interested on doing so. The problem is that more than two users could be involved. When would the question be migrated to chat, in that case? Is the question migrated when 50% of the involved users click on the link to migrate the question in chat?

Really, to decide about implementing this feature, it should be helpful knowing in how much cases the feature would be used.

I understand that users could find boring writing again what written in the question, but if you don't want to ask on chat, maybe you are interested in what other users have to say about the topic you are raising.

I am referring to the chat because it could be possible (theoretically) to convert a question and its answers to chat posts; using an external site, you should find an external service that would allow to create a post programmatically, supposing there is an external site that can be used for the purpose. If the feature request is just to add a link that says "Please discuss of this on [external link]," then I don't think it is something I would like to see implemented, as I don't find it useful, especially because it would suggest a specific place, when users are free to find the place they like better.

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My point is that everything ends once a question closes, while it need not do that. It belongs somewhere, and that somewhere should be pointed to, and possibly created. – Christian Jonassen Jan 8 '12 at 5:00
Consider that the rooms where the discussions in commits are migrated are deleted (or frozen) while there are not anymore new posts on those rooms. I am not sure I agree with it belongs somewhere; maybe it belongs somewhere, but it's not necessarily the task of Stack Exchange suggest you the place, or create it for you. – kiamlaluno Jan 8 '12 at 5:48
I can only see benefits and hardly any drawbacks. Worst case scenario being that some closed discussions just still don't get continued/migrated. – Christian Jonassen Jan 8 '12 at 7:06
@ChristianJonassen Some might argue that one of the driving forces behind the quality of the Stack Exchange format is the elimination of forum style discussion. Why would someone want to start a site on the Exchange to bring that back into the forefront? It's nice to be all-inclusive of questions, but at the same time, at what cost? – jonsca Jan 8 '12 at 7:19

I think a "vote to move (certain) closed questions to chat" feature actually could work quite well in some scenarios. It currently works quite well for extended discussions in comments, this would help publicise and popularise chat further.

It needs to be a vote in my view to maintain a quality filter and it should probably only be applied to questions with no answers closed as:

  • Not constructive:

    The close text reads:

    This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion.

    Emphasis mine - this close reason pretty much is the raison d'être for chat, where soliciting opinions, debating and extended discussion are the main draw of a chat room in the first place

  • Not a real question:

    This is less clear cut, but for the questions lacking sufficient details to be answerable it would be reasonable to solicit the missing details and help well intentioned askers improve their question asking in the future.

I'm less convinced on the NARQ one, but the NC one seems fairly straightforward. Too localized might even possibly be a candidate for this too.

Not every NARQ or NC question would be appropriate for this kind of treatment - the vote, with a rep requirement, serves to find only the appropriate questions. It could also implicitly place the voters in the room created which would help prevent the room stagnating immediately. Only allowing such votes to be placed after the question has been closed sets the bar quite high such that a question would have to be quite interesting to a number of people in order for this to occur.

Questions closed as exact duplicate and off-topic would clearly never be appropriate for this feature though and already receive special treatment after closing via either a link to the duplicates or a possible migration.

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I wasn't aware about this question and put my suggestion as a separate question

As a summary:

  1. The current structure of stack exchange pages works very well, but chats are not as effective.

  2. There are multiple very useful questions, closed as "not fit to current Q&A format"' but still located on SO site.

  3. Moving them to separate "Discussions" site, that will use the same StackExchange engine, will benefit all users, who will have ability to ask and answer recommendation questions. Moderators will have less work, because people will know when to use one site or another. Users will not be frustrated by having their questions closed as "non-constructive"

  4. The new site will be run in parallel with SO and can be monitored as internal competitor to find which of the sites is more popular/successful. The UI layout for the new site should be essentially different to the current StackExchange sites ( as it is different for to distinguish with current SO.

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They should be moved, indeed -- to a different place on the Internet that is suitable for discussions. – Jeff Atwood May 18 '13 at 6:43
When you have a good shoe, do you go to your shoemaker to ask if he can make it a hat as well? No, because that's not what a shoe is intended for. The StackExchange system is good, but not suitable for everything. – Camil Staps May 18 '13 at 18:19

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