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Maybe using a different font or a small site-icon.


Hijack edit: ~~~~ jco - Based on this discussion: Hodofhod Asks About Intra-network Related Questions

Example. In the below answer from Justin is a link to a Super User post. The current "linked questions" box doesn't show the SU link, but it could. In addition, that site should have a linked question to this question across the intra-site network. This opens a few new possibilities.

One example is when Database Administrators links back to questions on Stack Overflow, with enough time we can start to see where the actually hottest "resource" questions are, not just from within SO proper, but from across the network. This adds some new insights on how the links are farmed across the network, and within the site itself.

Obviously this requires some specific data processing, such as "this thread has a link to another SE site" but those can be updated per-post-update, in the already present process queue. Chat has already shown that there's some API for grabbing the related site information, so that could be put to use here for fetching the right slug and favicon, and the process that requests can insert a slug-like link into an arbitrary non-site-specific DB that could be used for cross-network lookups on post update (aka: update on SO Q causes it to briefly check that table for the SO Q #, if found, spawn off updates for each record in that table to the other sites).

These are all just ideas on how to accomplish it, given what is known about the SE architecture.

Here's the benefits, as best I can figure them now:

  • promotion of related sites in a totally organic fashion
  • determining how-referenced a question really is (think English Language and Usage vs English Language Learning or GameDev vs Arqade or SO vs Programmers)
  • determining if one person is engaging in spammy behavior by constantly linking to their own questions (this can be a useful mod-tool at times, I expect)
  • determining what meta questions get linked to from non-meta sites frequently (potential about-page changes or the like)
  • potential traffic spike or other behavioral analysis in a longer term (possible example: most linked topics come within the first 24 hours or after more than 1 month?)

Note I would like to stress that this request is not about extra-network links, this is strictly for in-SE-network links, which we already have some auto-title-slug-recognition-generation for in posts and this would only extend the existing process a little bit.

Scouring other sites for useful information and including in the sidebar / analytics is beyond the scope of this request.

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it is not a bad idea but a bit of a micro-optimization; implementation would be kind of a pain, too, making me wonder if it's worth it. –  Jeff Atwood Mar 14 '11 at 5:17
    
@Jeff it might become even more useful if linked question have been migrated which of course would be even more painful, but as a benefit a high rate of linked off-site questions could assist in finding migration candidates as well –  Tobias Kienzler Mar 14 '11 at 6:11
    
@jcolebrand Great edit! Thanks for bringing this up again, I'd still love to see this implemented... –  Tobias Kienzler Feb 8 '13 at 7:36
    
Thank Hodofhod for bringing it to chat, and thank Shog for getting involved in the discussion and helping us flesh things out a bit. –  jcolebrand Feb 8 '13 at 15:46
    
Very well, although I'm afraid without any comment here @Hodofhod/@Shog'ing won't work... –  Tobias Kienzler Feb 8 '13 at 15:53
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Well in that case, thank you @HodofHod for bringing this up again :-) –  Tobias Kienzler Feb 9 '13 at 8:02
    
@HodofHod You'd deserve the bounty for your edit, so please feel free to post a dummy-answer (or a mock-up screenshot with freehand circles) –  Tobias Kienzler Mar 8 '13 at 12:30
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2 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted
+150

I like the icon idea.

Example post with the links added:

I recently found a question on Stack Overflow: alt textWhat are the correct version numbers for C#? and wondered what it would look like if the link had a icon in front of it. It seemed like having the icon would help distinguish it from links to other SE sites: alt textWhat are some “must have” Windows programs?, or other non-affiliated sites Microsoft developer network.

Possibly the icon should be a little smaller than it is in the above example so that it isn't larger than the text.

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4  
+1, although my main point was the "Linked" list on the right side –  Tobias Kienzler Nov 8 '10 at 12:24
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No please. Too much noise. I agree with @tobias that this should be on the RHS. –  Tshepang Feb 24 '11 at 12:44
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I'd put this request in the 'It would be neat to have' column. But I don't see a huge benefit from it.

There is such a small percentage of questions that link to other sites, it would hardly be seen.

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8  
with all the new sites coming up I'd think this will increase. Especially if migrated questions were smartly forward-linked, too –  Tobias Kienzler Nov 2 '10 at 22:43
    
"There is such a small percentage of questions that link to other sites" - not in superuser/serverfault/unix&linux/ubuntu/webmasters/database admin family of sites! These are thematically very similar and it's often hard to choose where to place your question. For example superuser.com/questions/566958/… –  Tomas Feb 2 at 18:22
    
@Tomas Considering that there are two links in the three comments on the initial question post, that is actually a very good example. It isn't all over the place yet, but it definitely is showing up in more than just there. I would place the current grey area generally around shell scripting (e.g. Bash and Windows Batch) and Linux programming. –  impinball Mar 1 at 19:41
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