Using Stack Overflow as the example here, but this could easily apply to any other site in the network.
Currently, we have the following off-topic close reasons on Stack Overflow (emphasis mine):
Questions about general computing hardware and software are off-topic for Stack Overflow unless they directly involve tools used primarily for programming. You may be able to get help on Super User.
As well as:
Questions on professional server, networking, or related infrastructure administration are off-topic for Stack Overflow unless they directly involve programming or programming tools. You may be able to get help on Server Fault.
There's a few problems with these:
- It assumes the question was good to begin with. If the question is bad, then the user will do one of two things:
- Go and ask on Super User/Server Fault/other site. This is bad as they will more than likely copy and paste the question on the other site, which creates a cross-network dupe (bad) and is crappy (double bad)
- Ask why the question wasn't migrated (causing noise)
- There are questions of a hardware/software nature that don't belong on Super User/Server Fault, but say, on U&L Ask Ubuntu, or some other site. If the OP just copies and pastes their question, then they've just created a cross-network dupe, and worse, it's still off topic on both sites.
- If we close it for quality reasons (too broad, doesn't show understanding, etc), it's going to create a poor user experience; the user might clean the question up and make it a good question, only to have it migrated off the site. It's not the worst thing in the world, but it's a lot of hassle for a user that put the work into fixing a question.
That said if we're not going to get a straight up "off topic" reason (as in, this question does not belong here), can we at least take out references to the other sites so as to mitigate the above situations?