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This was already examined once before in More options when flagging for migration, but in the past year the network has grown a lot.

Questions about pure math, electronics, physics, and other tangentially-programming-related topics are relatively uncommon on StackOverflow, but they certainly come up and those sites are mature enough to serve askers better than SO.

Why not allow power-users who know the scope of SE to manually type the name or URL of an SE site below the five blessed options? It feels bad to label something as "offtopic" when it's really sorta relevant and more out-of-place.

Asking for moderator attention is something many users just hesitate to do on a good-faith OP. Getting five votes is part of the process. Would-be flaggers might be more comfortable with a system where a vote-to-close results in the question being sent to a moderator queue. The mod might make sure the selected site is suitably mature and active to receive the question.

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Just flag it for moderator attention and they'll do the rest. –  ChrisF Apr 8 '12 at 14:42
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Moderators are allowed to do this, but the problem is normal "power users" don't necessarily understand the scope of the target site. The "mod queue" for off topic Qs is an interesting idea, but there'd have to be some way to know off topic but still constructive vs dumb and bad off topic posts. –  Ben Brocka Apr 8 '12 at 15:30
    
@BenBrocka If someone's going to the trouble to type in the target site, then it must be constructive. Only one power user needs to manually enter and then it should appear as an option beside the blessed sites, with a counter likewise. –  Potatoswatter Apr 8 '12 at 15:36
    
"If someone's going to the trouble to type in the target site, then it must be constructive." Uhm...no. The FAQ of each and every Stack Exchange site is unique. Each community has carved out it's niche with some care. Most of the time moderators do not migrate willy-nilly, but contact the mods on the suggested target site and ask them if it would be a good migration. –  dmckee Apr 8 '12 at 16:01
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Just because a user is a power user on one site doesn't mean that user fully understand another site's topicality or expectations of a good question. Letting people migrate to a site that they might or might not understand is probably a bad idea. @dmckee is also right - moderators (unless they fully understand the target site and are 100% confident it should be moved) don't migrate without checking to make sure the question is a good fit first. –  Thomas Owens Apr 8 '12 at 16:03
    
See my feature request on something that would help, here. –  Lance Roberts Dec 31 '12 at 5:06

1 Answer 1

up vote 13 down vote accepted

When I got my 3k powers on Physics, I was all for this feature.

Now I'm not so sure.. I've made it a habit to check site faqs before flagging for migration--and they surprise me. A question asked on Physics dealing with box2d seemed obviously a choice for gamedev.SE--till I asked on chat. They weren't too enthusiastic about the question.

Lots of questions seem on-topic for another site--but they aren't. Heck, even regular community members have misconceptions regarding on-topicness on their main site (eg me).

That's where the mods come in. The mods have a secret powwow room in chat where they discuss stuff like this. A mod usually knows what's on topic(otherwise you have problems..), so these mods can get a semi-official verdict on migration.

Alright, here's my counter-proposal. Hopefully it addresses all your points without conflicting with the community's thoughts.

  • Add a note to the VTC-->off-topic submenu, "If you feel that it belongs to another site not listed here, please flag it"
  • Add better migration options the flag menu. Keep a box for destination site, and an optional textarea for a rationale. Possibly allow multiple destinations.
  • I dunno if flags penalize the OP in any way (think that there is some automated voodoo), but if there is, remove it from the migration-flag. Even better would be a checkbox for 'good faith' on the main flag menu itself.
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The problem is there are questions, like your box2d example, that fit many different disciplines. I'm surprised that the folks over at gamedev would say that it wasn't a good fit for that site. That seems obnoxious. Granted, I haven't seen the actual question, but physics and math are tightly coupled to game development. I can see how a question like that could be valid at either site depending on how it was worded. Heck, it could even belong at StackOverflow if worded properly. –  crush Jan 24 at 19:32

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