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Should Stack Exchange cooperate with Quora, migrating SO questions that were deleted as off-topic or subjective, but are much loved and useful, to their site in a concerted effort? Along with the answers and maybe even comments and votes, if feasible.

I mean both popular fun content as found on the popular deleted questions list, but also some of the more substantial programming questions that were deleted, or have a historical lock now on SO. To pick an example entirely at random (being mine, I remember it well), I asked a question about OOP in PHP once that has useful answers (IMO) but was closed, and would have been deleted had I not flagged it for a historical lock.

Quora explicitly welcomes these kinds of subjective-y questions, so for those the format would suit perfectly. Stack Exchange doesn't want them and won't build an archive for them (for good reasons I guess.) Quora may be a competitor in the general Q&A market, but their model is so fundamentally different, I don't see how this would hurt Stack Exchange's business in any way.

Seeing as these days, new questions like that usually don't make it long, this would probably be a one-time effort, maybe with the Community suggesting the questions.

Of course, this requires that Quora actually want the content. I'm not an intimate expert in how their model works, I only understand the general concept and occasionally read through Q&A there.

This post is not intended for discussion about the general merits of Quora; see this post for that.

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IMO they should go somewhere, as per this question I brought up the other day and the ilk. I'm offended when content like that is essentially made unaccessible, moreso when nobody cares. –  Dave Newton Sep 21 '12 at 19:12
If Quora wants that content, can they not already take it? I seriously doubt, though, that either site is going to be terribly interested in this sort of thing. (For the record; it boggles my mind why no one who cares so much about these posts creates an archive themselves!) –  Andrew Barber Sep 21 '12 at 19:19
@Andrew they could take it, but have to abide to the CC-Wiki license. It's well possible neither site is interested enough. But if they were, I think the main obstacle is finding and curating the worthy stuff - some of it is deleted, some locked, some hard-deleted (nothing we can do about that though) –  Pëkka Sep 21 '12 at 19:22
@AndrewBarber you mean like stackprinter? –  Some Helpful Commenter Sep 21 '12 at 21:13
@Pekka: while there's probably some sort of legal loophole that would let them use it without CC-Wiki with our co-operation, frankly that sounds sketchy as hell - Ideally, any re-use of material folks have written here, with or without the express permission of SE Inc., will abide by that license. –  Shogging through the snow Sep 22 '12 at 3:03
@Andrew: the sad truth is, relatively few people give a crap about most of this. Our current "archive" solution is the historical lock - I had really hoped this would channel any latent interest in preserving this stuff into a form we could then turn into something more interesting, but if you look at the numbers it's barely used. –  Shogging through the snow Sep 22 '12 at 3:07
@Shog I'm not sure whether that isn't in part the system's fault, though. Assume that most users don't know about the historical lock. Where would I go to start looking for content that might deserve it? Where can I find deleted content? I flag for a lock whenever I see a good question in danger of being put down, but those instances are entirely down to chance. –  Pëkka Sep 22 '12 at 4:30
Given the requirement to register (for free) to view content on Quora, I'd not like my content to be moved there. (That said, I don't think any of my posts would fall into the category you're talking about.) –  Arjan Sep 22 '12 at 6:11
Where can I find a list of the deleted questions? –  user197302 Oct 2 '12 at 2:06

1 Answer 1

To me this is a bad idea, and it overlooks the reasons why people choose to use Stack Exchange over Quora.

I've been on Quora from the first day it launched, and I've been on Stack Exchange for longer than that. The main difference between Quora and Stack Exchange is the front-facing and categorised general orientated site, compared to a faceless and highly specialised site. Quora's biggest advantage is its disadvantage, and the same applies for Stack Exchange, except that it's the other way round.

When I use Stack Overflow, I use it because I need help on programming, and the site's product design (as SO was the first SE site) is an amazingly grand brilliance, that promotes new questions onto the homepage, allows urgent ones to be featured, and have unanswered questions for tags which allow experts to answer questions for certain tags. When I use certain tags such as magento or ramaze I get the same people answering my questions. If I was to use Quora for these questions, I would be without answers.

Then comes the English Language and Usage site, which allows me to have my questions answered by experts (or relative experts) when I use the single-word-requests tag to find the name of a word I'm looking for, or when I can correct someone with the meaning of peculiar sentences, such a high calibre quality of answers cannot be found on Quora. The Feed on Quora does not allow for such things. In the time someone could be answering about specialist stuff, they will instead be answering about other topics, most commonly Survey QuestionsQuora CommunityQuestions That Contain AssumptionsLove & RelationshipsInterpersonal Interaction and whatever anecdotal knowledge Stack Exchange cannot cover. If I was to use Quora for my ELU questions, I would be without answers.

So overall, a bad idea. If you want to try it, go ahead and see what happens.

We have low reputation on this site for a reason. For when quality prevails, the precedence of scores lessens. I've hardly use Stack Exchange along with you, yet we're happy with the output we get back for a reason.

But most importantly, who cares?

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I don't think we are talking about the same thing. This suggestion is for a specific category of questions only, questions that already exist. It's not about a general cooperation with Quora. The way I read your response, you may have understood it that way. –  Pëkka Oct 1 '12 at 15:15
Can you give any examples of such questions you would propose for this? –  desbest Oct 1 '12 at 15:26
yes, they are in the suggestion. This is a highly specific suggestion covering only a very small set of questions that were deemed off-topic on Stack Overflow. –  Pëkka Oct 1 '12 at 15:28
I find none of these questions particularly suited for Quora. –  desbest Oct 1 '12 at 15:29
That's not the impression I get when browsing Quora. Some of the same questions have actually been asked there again, with a lot of input. –  Pëkka Oct 1 '12 at 15:31
Quora is only as good as the people on it. Stack Exchange is good no matter who is on it. Quora has a void when some people stop posting on it, and it's also highly subject to confirmation bias. Quora is good for some things, and not for other things. I wouldn't ask those questions on Quora, but you can if you want to. I just don't think those questions are mostly highly suited for Quora. Quora tried to fill every void, when realistically it can't, though it tries to. –  desbest Oct 1 '12 at 15:35

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