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Should users be able to self-migrate a question if they realize that they've posted it on the wrong site? Should there be a reputation threshold before this is enabled?

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I like this idea. I think that a rep threshold would have to apply to both sourcw=e and target site though. –  Belinda Jun 18 at 13:55
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@Belinda Why have a threshold? As noted in my answer, anyone can delete/repost a question regardless of rep. Putting a rep barrier in the way encourages that approach, rather than the arguably more correct migration –  James Thorpe Jun 18 at 16:01
    
@JamesThorpe, As far a I know, if there are too many bad migrations a migration path may be removed. The threshold makes it more likely that the migration will be a good one - although it probably also makes it more likely that it would have been put on the right site in the first place. –  Belinda Jun 18 at 16:13
    
@Belinda But in my case, I'd never used the source or target sites before - I had no rep. Unless the limit is set at 100/101 for association bonus, the majority of times you'd want to use this (because you didn't know about the site's existence), you wouldn't be able to. –  James Thorpe Jun 18 at 16:15
    
@JamesThorpe A user deleting and reposting won't affect migration paths - a bad migration may. I do think that your second point is valid though (I assume that you are saying that by the time most users would have the rep requirement they would not need to migrate as they would know where to post) –  Belinda Jun 18 at 18:51
    
@Belinda yes - that's what I meant, by the time you have any decent amount of rep, you'd probably not need to do it anyway. –  James Thorpe Jun 18 at 18:58
    
@JamesThorpe agreed. I am leaning towards a solution like Stu's - where the other voter(s) would have the rep requrirments. –  Belinda Jun 18 at 19:03
    
@Belinda Yep. I was going to say coupled with Monica's suggestion of being able to suggest other sites that aren't in the pre-populated list, but I'm wondering if that ought to be a general new feature anyway, especially with the recent posting (can't find the link now) where it was said that "beta" sites could stay that way indefinitely so long as they're active. I don't think beta sites have been valid targets to put on the migration list for a graduated site - we need options to migrate questions to these sites –  James Thorpe Jun 18 at 19:12

5 Answers 5

Maybe have the question owner's vote worth 4 votes for migration votes, needing only one more to have it moved to SF/SU/SO/MSO would be a good idea.

  • helps teaching the user to post on the correct site in the first place by not making it arbitrarily easy to move
  • yet speeds up moving the question, or even ensures it happens for questions with few views/interest
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I like this, but only if the asker has a linked account at the target site. –  Joel Coehoorn Sep 15 '09 at 18:26
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In fact, something similar for closing seems like a good idea, too. –  Joel Coehoorn Sep 15 '09 at 18:27
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I think 4 votes might be too much. I think 3 would be good, though. That way, it takes two people to confirm the move to other site. –  Thomas Owens Sep 15 '09 at 18:53

If someone isn't familiar enough with the SO/SF/SU/MSO family of sites to post their question in the wrong venue, they probably won't be familiar enough to take advantage of any "self-migration" system (they either won't realize it even exists, or they'll likely misuse it).
I think the current method works fine, as the community usually stays on top of migrating questions to their appropriate venue.

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A lot has changed since this question was asked. As James Thorpe points out, there are way more sites than there used to be and "oh, there's a site for that?" is not an infrequent reaction when people talk about migration.

Another thing that has changed is that we (now) have a way for a question owner to confirm a duplicate: somebody votes to close as a duplicate, the OP is asked "did that answer your question?", and if he says yes, the question is closed as a dupe. Maybe we could do something similar with migration: a vote to migrate could be confirmed by the OP (and the question migrated), or not and the community can close the question (or not) in the usual way.

There's one problem with this now: the site you want to propose migrating to probably isn't on the very short list of options available to close voters. We would need to modify that. We'd need a way to collect "write-in" votes that do not result in automatic migrations but do provide options to the OP. Perhaps like this:

migrate option

If a (non-moderator) close-voter adds a site that's not on the default list, that site is proposed to the OP in the same way that a duplicate is proposed. (If there are multiple proposals from different close-voters, do what we do for duplicates, which I assume is to present all the options.) If the OP concurs, migrate the question.1

Some have suggested that the OP should have to have an account, or a certain reputation level, on the destination site, but I'm not sure that helps. He could just delete and repost; migration, at least, leaves us with only one copy of the question. And if a question is migrated without the OP's involvement it already can come in with a phantom user, so that's no different here.

I also like the suggestion to just let the OP migrate it; I'm proposing this option because the other suggestion might require more design and implementation work (particularly UX).

1 Possible adjustment, based on concerns about common-but-bad migration suggestions: if past migrations from this site to that site have been rejected too many times (overall percentage? percentage over last quarter? a certain number in the last month? TBD), instead of auto-migrating, close the question locally and raise a flag for moderators about the migration. This allows good questions to still be migrated but requires review.

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Yes migrations can be rejected, but at least a migration brings along any answers that have already been provided, so even at the risk of rejection it seems better. –  Monica Cellio Jun 18 at 16:15
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Monica, rejection isn't quite harmless, really. As an example, at Programmers we frequently get lame comments "belongs to SO" at questions that are explicitly off-topic over there. If even half of these comments triggered migration by gullible askers, we'd soon have SO removed from target list. That's... not what would make me happy –  gnat Jun 18 at 16:22
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With my proposal, somebody has to vote to migrate before this kicks in. If those lame comments are coming from people with 3k (local) rep that could be a problem, but I thought most of those came from lower-rep users? Also, once somebody makes the suggestion the OP can go there and re-ask directly, so I'm not sure the migration is the issue in that case -- you'd quite likely get the question anyway. –  Monica Cellio Jun 18 at 16:28
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@Monica You'd be surprised at the people who suggest migrations to Programmers/Code Review occasionally... –  James Thorpe Jun 18 at 16:29
    
sort of "pre-approved migration", I see. That makes sense. Would be interesting to make a limited test of such a feature, say by allowing Stack Overflow folks to migrate to Workplace. (such testing would probably soon discover that there would better be 2-3 "approvers", not one:) –  gnat Jun 18 at 16:36
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@MonicaCellio the lame comments and suggestions as to off topic sites often come from people with 3k rep locally. With SO, its not uncommon for 10k and 100k users to recommend Programmers.SE for suggestions of migration/reposting that are completely inappropriate. Stop by the whiteboard some time and watch the feed. –  MichaelT Jun 18 at 20:02
    
@MichaelT thanks for the information. Perhaps this would require some tuning on some sites; it wouldn't be the first time we had different thresholds for things on different sites (especially SO). –  Monica Cellio Jun 18 at 20:08
    
Consider just looking at Workplace, how many "belongs on Programmers" type suggestions show up in comments or get declined as flags - and then consider if all of those where migrated instead. The Programmers.SE to Workplace would likely be similarly problematic. If someone posts on the wrong site in the first place, chances are that its not a good question to migrate. Of course, there are exceptions (that's what migration is for). For sites that are not on the approved migration routes, there are reasons for many of them to not be easy. –  MichaelT Jun 18 at 20:16
    
@MichaelT Whiteboard gets it filtered and mixes with general chat. I think the better feed to collect stats on belongs-to comments is Duga's Playground (iirc there's similar room that tracks belongs-to-CR comments, it also can be used to collect data) –  gnat Jun 19 at 7:34

I don't believe there is a need to complicate this functionality further as questions are currently moved to the appropriate site within minutes usually.

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The number of sites on the network has grown a lot since this feature was proposed and the existing answers written, and it's sometimes hard to know about all of them.

I recently posted a question on ELL, when in fact ELU may have been a better fit. It's garnered a couple of close->migrate votes, but there's not enough traffic to make it happen, so the assumptions posted in the other answers that questions are migrated quickly doesn't really hold any more.

Given that I could just delete and repost the question myself on a different site, I think it makes perfect sense to allow the OP to migrate a question themselves.

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migration is not exactly the same as delete and repost, if you take into account that target site can reject it. Too many migration-rejections and option to migrate to target site might get removed from off-topic dialog, not good. Thus, unilateral self-migration could be a slippery road. Giving some weight to askers in it sounds less problematic - if 2 (3, 4) experienced 3K users already "paved the road", letting asker to drive over there would probably be reasonably safe –  gnat Jun 18 at 16:09
    
@gnat Perhaps the solution is for self-migrated questions to be done in a way that is more like a delete/repost, but without the negative question-ban type things that come from deleting questions. The target site could still "reject" it in the normal close-voting manner if it wasn't appropriate, at which point the negative things from bad questions would come into play, just on the target rather than the source. –  James Thorpe Jun 18 at 16:16
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I am not comfortable with totally getting q-ban out of the picture there. It would lead to abuse, letting folks infinitely post "drafts" at one site to get feedback on feasibility for another one and self-migrate if it sounds positive. Making one site a "free review" for off-topic questions that belong to another is not good –  gnat Jun 18 at 16:27
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@gnat Right, makes sense. –  James Thorpe Jun 18 at 16:28

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