What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 133 Stack Exchange communities.

Should it be a requirement that questions which get closed as "off-topic" be referred to another place? It's extremely frustrating to be told to simply "shut up" without being told what a better place for my question would be.

I understand that subjective questions are closed regardless of topic (in certain exchanges), but my example below was not subjective.

Example: Looking for a low profile, non-mechanical, tenkeyless, standard-layout keyboard

share|improve this question
1  
There isn't always a place where the question does fit, and it's hard to say "look at this other SE" when you don't really know all of the sites that well –  simchona Jan 7 '13 at 1:46
11  
It's also frustrating to have a site that you use to ask and answer programming questions filled up with off-topic questions; and then to have the askers of such questions expect to be politely redirected to the correct place every time. –  Blorgbeard Jan 7 '13 at 1:49

2 Answers 2

Should it be a requirement that when you walk into a grocery store and ask them for a hammer, they give you directions to a hardware store? Should it be a requirement of your local bridge club that they be able to tell you where you can have a good game of five-card stud?

No.

It's nice if they do, and it probably makes you more inclined to come back later, but it certainly should not be a requirement.

It's not the responsibility of the members of one site to know which of the many places out there on the web, or even on the SE network, will accept a question. That's your responsibility. It's actually kind of rude to the other site for me to send a question there unless I am certain that it's suitable (you can find plenty of Meta.SO questions about that; Brad Larson has linked one below).

(As a note, all of the SE sites have associated Meta sites and chat rooms, where you can, if you're so inclined, ask about the suitability of your question prior to posting it.)

share|improve this answer
6  
You can add to that the fact that not every question has a home somewhere on the Stack Exchange network, along with the rule that we generally don't migrate crap. –  Brad Larson Jan 7 '13 at 1:52

It's not always possible to suggest a better place, since, even if such a place did exist, one might not know about it. Remember that "off topic" does not mean "belongs somewhere else"; it means "does not belong here".

That said, if you find yourself frequently voting to close off-topic questions that might be suitable for some other Stack Exchange site, I very much recommend using the AutoReviewComments user script and a comment template entry something like the following:

###[Q] Off topic question
Your question seems [off topic](http://$SITEURL$/faq) for $SITENAME$. It might
be better suited for our sister site, http://[type here].stackexchange.com/.

At least, I've found it quite handy since I recently started using it. Of course, one should always adjust such comments to fit the circumstances where necessary, and try to make sure that the question actually is on topic at the target site before directing users there.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .