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Over at Travel Beta we were discussing whether to move past or future questions to The Great Outdoors, or at least to limit the Travel scope and direct outdoor-specific questions to The Great Outdoors. As was pointed out, there is a risk involved: if we limit the scope, questions may get asked at The Great Outdoors that would otherwise have been asked at Travel. If Travel graduates but The Great Outdoors dies, those questions would be lost.

  • Is it possible to move specific questions from a beta site to another (beta or graduated) site if the beta site is to be closed?

  • Is it desirable to do so?

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First of all, migration for question older than 60 days is disabled. If you are considering any large scale migration, you'll need to follow the advice on: How to migrate old questions to a new graduated site.

Now to the issue at hand:

  1. The Travel community must first decide if you want [outdoor-activities] or not.
  2. If you decide that you don't, The Great Outdoors community must decide if they want them.
  3. Only after both communities are in agreement, you should start discussing migration.

Generally speaking, if you don't have a very good reason this wouldn't be a good idea. A very good reason would be that you get a lot of [outdoor-activities] questions on Travel, and they are not treated well. If they are on topic and sufficiently answered, what's the point of sending them elsewhere? And if they are off topic, but you only get a few of them, just close them as off topic and point to The Great Outdoors in comments (or flag for moderation attention and ask for them to be migrated).

Even more generally speaking, during beta you can't really afford sending away questions that are on topic for you, be a bit jealous of your site. In the unfortunate even one of the two site's gets closed, you can discuss migration then, as jonsca mentions there's precedent.

Since this whole discussion concerns only 12 questions, of which only one is closed, I don't really understand why you're even discussing migration.

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Well, one reason could be to help our fellow Outdoor.SE. But I've been explained that helping other sites is not a good reason for migration either. So my question was rather of a technical nature, which jonsca addresses. – gerrit Nov 2 '12 at 12:15
@gerrit No, it's not. But even if it was, did you ask the crowd over at The Great Outdoors if they want those questions? – Yannis Nov 2 '12 at 12:16
No, I blindly assumed they would. My bad. – gerrit Nov 2 '12 at 12:20
@gerrit They probably would, but you should have asked first. – Yannis Nov 2 '12 at 12:21
I see your point, thanks for educating me :) – gerrit Nov 2 '12 at 12:22

There is precedent for doing so. In response to the situation presented in the blog post, the closure of some of the Beta sites in April brought some migrations of questions between the dying beta sites and others.

For example, some pertinent Economics.SE questions that had psychological underpinnings found a home on Cognitive Sciences, a smattering of the Healthcare IT questions ended up on Security.SE, as well as many other transitions. If the questions fit the scope of the site to receive them and they had good, quality content, they were moved.

The only potential snag in this process, which wasn't in place in April 2012, is the new policy not to allow migrations past 60 days, and I don't know if the potential closing of a site would prompt an override of that rule.

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also a lot of Astronomy's questions found a new home on Physics. – Yannis Nov 2 '12 at 12:31
@YannisRizos A good point (and probably a much more general example than the two that I gave). – jonsca Nov 2 '12 at 12:38

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