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Some new users seems to have trouble grasping the idea of meta.SO vs SO itself and post questions about the site on SO using the tag . Sure, its tag wiki excerpt has this disclaimer

If you have a question regarding the site, please go to

that hopefully already gains most users' attention. However, some users don't even realize that there is such a text when you hover over a tag. Therefore I propose that if these 2 conditions are true

  • the user asks a question on SO with as a tag (but not necessarily as the only one present, think about an additional for example)
  • the user has never asked a question on meta directly (migrated questions don't count) (so experienced users aren't bothered by this)

then instead of directly posting the question, ask the user

If your question is not about the error "stack overflow" but about this site in general, please ask the question at instead. What is this question about? (hover the options for more information)
The site StackOverflow itself (link could post directly at meta)
The stack overflow error (maybe again showing the tag's wiki on hover)

[ ] Don't show this message again

In fact, this mechanism could be used on all SE sites - if a real tag named like the site exists, show this very dialogue (with the wiki excerpt replaced of course), if not make the second option

something else

share|improve this question
Why should I care about the existence of some Meta site when all I care about is this annoying StackOverflowError? – Makoto Jul 5 '13 at 7:34
@Makoto if only the stackoverflow tag is present, you're missing a language tag. – Jan Dvorak Jul 5 '13 at 7:35
I wouldn't say that this message should be restricted to stackoverlow only tags since users may be creative in abusing other tags to describe their meta-problem, and @Makoto most users do have a post on meta after a while, but for your argument's sake I edited in a "don't ever nag me about this again" checkbox – Tobias Kienzler Jul 5 '13 at 7:52
@doubleDown I don't thinks this mechanism should only grab when stackoverflow is the only tag - what about e.g. username? And as mentioned, the likelihood of an experienced user actually getting this message is low since they very probably have already participated on meta – Tobias Kienzler Jul 5 '13 at 8:12
sorry must have misunderstood, the title led me to believe otherwise – Old Checkmark Jul 5 '13 at 8:13
@doubleDown Well that's my bad indeed, sorry for the confusion; I must have changed my mind on the title while writing the text... – Tobias Kienzler Jul 5 '13 at 8:15

A much better solution would be to simply reject questions that don't have a language tag (if we treat language-agnostic as a language). The issue that we have would be the same, maintaining a list that says 'these tags indicate a language' and that would be a tremendous undertaking.

Additionally, library specific questions that imply a language but aren't always tagged with the underlying language would get quite interesting. We'd then have to maintain a list of libraries related to languages related to tags so that this didn't get in the way of someone that wasn't trying to talk about Stack Overflow on Stack Overflow in the absence of a real Stack Overflow. And then we have pcre, posix and oh my.

I think this would require too much work to not annoy the majority of users that don't do this to be honest. I can see the problem that you're describing, but I don't know if there's a way to codify a solution that doesn't get very expensive when you consider making sure it doesn't stop the wrong questions.

We've resisted tag-triggered just in time help for mostly these reasons, when you start considering all of the use and corner cases, you just start identifying many ways that it would be more annoying to those that don't need help than helpful to those that do.

share|improve this answer
With all due respect, most of your answer basically refutes your own first paragraph (which in itself sounds like potentially useful criterion. Also, concerning your point about implied languages, please feel free to support my implicit tagging hierarchy proposal). Anyway, I beg to differ with "annoy the majority of users" - how many users who have never ever posted on meta are active in the tag stackoverflow? And for those few, I bet ticking this checkmark once is worth the benefit of less newbies polluting "their" tag and SO in general. – Tobias Kienzler Jul 5 '13 at 9:21

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