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Automatic/Central Question Sorting

Stack Overflow, and the ever expanding Stack Exchange, are two sides of the same coin in that Stack Overflow is like an instance of a Stack Exchange.

As setup, a user will navigate to their instance of preference, be it the, ux.stackexchange, history.stackexchange (, etc.), and then either choose to review and answer a question, peruse around, or pose a question of their own.

Although a majority of content on these exchanges is in the answers, the true source of content generation is from properly posed and targeted questions. Question posing is highly regulated on StackExchange and there is a really good format that is enforced and for the most part followed.

However, the targeting of the questions leaves something to be desired in my opinion. I would request a where a user could go and pose a question. No tags, and no specific exchange. At that point, other users could then work to decide which exchange would be best for the question, and which tags should accompany the question. In addition, comments could be provided to improve the quality of the question, and perhaps answers could be provided as to how to improve the question at hand. Or, perhaps answers could be provided with the tags and exchange, and then the selected answer would be where the question ended up.

Although some of the specifics for the feature would need to be examined by the StackExchange team, I think there is a lot of value in making a more generic method for users to pose questions - especially considering the growth potential of the very awesome model that StackExchange operates on.

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marked as duplicate by random Jun 15 '12 at 21:36

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

I would never go there, and I don't see the motivation for anyone else to go there either. – Robert Harvey Jun 15 '12 at 21:35
@RobertHarvey - How often do you go to – Travis J Jun 15 '12 at 21:36
Once, just now. What does that have to do with anything? – Robert Harvey Jun 15 '12 at 21:37
@RobertHarvey - My point was that you don't go to most of the exchanges, so why would you not going to that new one have any impact? – Travis J Jun 15 '12 at 21:42
It should be, with a Meta at – Ben Brocka Jun 15 '12 at 21:44
@BenBrocka - In my opinion, this would be helpful to people who are not familiar with web technologies or who have disabilities. isn't such a bad idea, however your Meta idea should probably be revisited. – Travis J Jun 15 '12 at 21:47
2 already exists as a place for new people to read up on the site that would best fit their question. – random Jun 15 '12 at 22:01
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The core of this idea isn't half bad, but it's unlikely to work in real life: you'd need experts who do nothing but point the new questions (eventually, lots of them) to the right site, and at the same time sort out those that have quality issues (eventually, 99% of them). Who would do such a thankless job?

Under the current model, users will try to determine themselves where a question belongs and be corrected by the community and by mods if they're wrong. Much more realistic.

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The core of this idea stems from trying to help people in a broader sense than just highly technical software related questions. Such as people trying to ask questions about shopping, dining, traveling, or any number of industries which are not technology. – Travis J Jun 15 '12 at 21:43
@Travis sure, I get that. But this is a community-moderated web site. Who would do the thankless job I describe above? Why not put the onus on finding the right site on the asker? Afterall, he or she is who wants something from the site, not the other way round. – Pëkka Jun 15 '12 at 21:45
And that is a really good point. It holds a lot of merit and the "exact (not quite)" duplicate has a similar detraction. However, most work on here is "thankless" and is explicitly defined as such when questions are closed to prevent "Thanks" or similar. Setting up a place where questions can be targeted will be a niche just like any other exchange, and could help to drive traffic to the less visited exchanges. – Travis J Jun 15 '12 at 21:49
@TravisJ but duplicate-finding and stuff like that takes place inside a community. It's part of the things people do there. This would be outside of any community, and I can't see it growing into a community of its own. What's the reward in helping people find the right site for their question all day long when you're not integrated in a community and doing other stuff as well? – Pëkka Jun 15 '12 at 21:51
a) In almost every large community there is a place to find information and figure out where to go. b) There is a community of people who wish to start using an exchange but are uncertain of which to choose. c) Helping new users is something that needs to be improved here - the community tends to shun people who are just trying to get used to the exchanges. In response to your question - Seeing the question actually answered instead of just -10 and closed for being in the wrong spot when posted by a user of 1 reputation would be nice. – Travis J Jun 15 '12 at 21:56
@Travis it's up to the user to read the FAQ prior to posting, and trying to find out whether it's the right site. A -10 vote usually means the user didn't care about the community's standards at all. Remember: these sites offer professional advice free of charge; some effort on the asker's part is expected. – Pëkka Jun 15 '12 at 21:57
Clearly this idea is not prominent but I chose to pose it. I do agree with your points, and believe this idea has run its course. Thanks for the conversation. – Travis J Jun 15 '12 at 21:59
@Travis you're welcome, no problem. It might be really helpful to have something like this to help navigate the many sites, but I don't think it can be integrated into the way the communities are built here. – Pëkka Jun 15 '12 at 22:02

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