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There are many times that I will want to ask a question to a certain audience which would know the answer, yet there is not an appropriate Stack Exchange that covers that topic. Who do you ask it to?

For instance(hypothetical):

Question: I can't get my TI-83 calculator to work with this program.

Asked at math.stackexchange.com. Then deemed off topic because it is more a software/hardware question, though almost everyone in math.se knows their way around a TI-83 and knows the answer.

A similar question is things like asking a Visual Studio/some other editor question at StackOverflow. A few of them are actually closed as belongs on SuperUser because they are more of software questions even though it may be something that only programmers actually use.

What do you think about this problem? Is there a solution to it? Does each SE need along with a meta., an offtopic. to address things to that audience?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

What do you think about this problem?

What problem? People asking off-topic questions? That's what closing is for.

Or do you think not getting answers to OT questions is a problem...

Just because you've managed to find a knowledgeable audience doesn't mean you've found a willing audience. Abusing your knowledge of related interests to get OT questions answered just makes you that guy who, upon finding out that you "work with computers", starts badgering you to fix his KaZaa-wrecked desktop machine. Don't be that guy.

Questions on Visual Studio as a programming tool are fine. Questions on using Visual Studio to write your Great American Dirty Romantic Novel aren't.

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Very well put dear sir –  Earlz Aug 26 '10 at 2:18

There will always be some grey areas. However, I trust that in this specific case, somebody on Math.stackexchange.com would give you the answer or a useful link in a comment, just as happens often to off-topic questions on SO.

Or wouldn't they? Maybe the community is not big enough yet...

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The example given doesn't seem like a "wrong topic, right audience" problem, but an "audience is narrow-minded" problem.

SO explicitly includes "software tools commonly used by programmers" and "matters that are unique to the programming profession". Why on earth wouldn't math.se include the analogous "tools commonly used by people studying mathematics" and "matters that are unique to the study of mathematics"?

And please point out specific SO questions related to Visual Studio etc. being closed so that they can be re-opened. Such questions are explicitly on-topic. Read the FAQ and search meta for many discussions on this very topic.

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I'm just saying I've seen it before. can't think of specific examples but I think it was actually Eclipse, not VS –  Earlz Aug 25 '10 at 23:02
    
@Earlz: If you ain't got proof it didn't happen. (Joking) –  Dexter Aug 25 '10 at 23:04
    
A shame the FAQ doesn't mention what areas are covered in the 'What kind of questions can I ask here?' section. I know that it's a broad stroke, but sometimes helps to answer this sort of question. –  xiaohouzi79 Aug 25 '10 at 23:37

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