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It is possible to migrate a question from one Stack Exchange site to another by closing, but if I have a question that I think is on-topic for multiple Stack Exchange sites, is it OK to post it on both (multipost)?

For example, I have a question that's earned me the tumbleweed badge on SO and I'm not sure what the best thing to do with it is. It's about a web server so it might be answerable on Server Fault but it's really more of a programming thing, hence the posting the question on Stack Overflow.

Is there any way to make the question visible on multiple sites (crosspost) and then accept the answer wherever it came from?

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Conversely many users don't wait for their questions to be migrated and duplicate them. This should be detected. –  Tobu Sep 11 '11 at 8:25
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Crossposting is not possible on stackexchange, because it is not Usenet. You don't get a "Newsgroups:"-like header where you can mention multiple sites. Usenet tolerates some uses of crossposting (which is why the feature exists) but multiposting (submitting identical articles to different newsgroups) is frowned upon. –  Kaz May 27 '13 at 20:59
    
Someone recently suggested a "crossover questions" feature in order to allow one question to be included in multiple sites. –  Anderson Green Jan 18 at 6:08
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4 Answers

up vote 81 down vote accepted

NO

Ask the question on the site you think is most applicable. If, like in this case, it does not get any answer, ask a moderator to migrate the question, or alternatively, delete it and re-ask it.

Each site is focused on a specific topic area. If you have a question you feel is too ambiguous, either re-think the question carefully, or do as suggested above.

99.99% of questions people have labeled as being applicable cross-site have been proven to be valid on a single site if written properly and thought through. SE is not a wild west for questions; a question needs to be worked on to be worthy, and if worthy, it will target a specific audience.

Bounty

Also, if you don't get a response, you can always set a bounty on your question, which will give it much better exposure. This will also mean you have a better chance at getting a good answer.

Specific Answer

Looking at the question you're referring to specifically, you're asking the wrong question and not providing enough detail. I have commented on your question and would suggest you update your question with more specific detail — it's not very clear what is going wrong, and without specific information, it is hard to try and answer your question.

The only valid answer I can come up with at this point is that it works perfectly for me based on what you described. The question — as is — is a SF question. However, if you provide specific information, it would be valid on SO since it is referring to the configuration of a development tool.

Note: I do not consider any sites valid migration targets until they are out of public beta. There are no guarantees that a current SE site will live past beta.

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I must confess I was kind of aware my question wasn't particularly great but I've been wondering if there is a silver tumbleweed badge? Perhaps the rewards are motivating me to do the wrong thing ;) Anyway, I'll do some work on it. Thanks for the prod. –  Colin Newell Sep 10 '10 at 8:57
    
@Colin Well you didn't do too badly, you even got Jeff to set a bounty on the question, which admittedly, I forgot to mention. –  Diago Sep 10 '10 at 9:05
    
Yes, I must admit that's scary. I'm doing some work on the question to make sure I clear it up. Honestly I expected someone to either say, a) you're full of carp that's supported or b) you need this new key in the new section or c) use WCF because it's no longer supported. I seem to have found precisely the wrong way to ask the question. –  Colin Newell Sep 10 '10 at 9:08
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The "each site is focused on a specific topic area" is clearly no longer true. How does this change the answer on cross posting? –  bmike Aug 16 '11 at 21:24
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No offense, but this answer is nonsense. "99.99% of questions people have claimed as being cross site has been proven to be valid on a single site if written properly and thought through." Would you care to supply any justification for this? Proven by who? You have a link to a research study? I could make wide-ranging unsupported assertions too, but that doesn't make them true. I think it entirely reasonable to have a question that resides on one site be visible on multiple sites. That way questions of interest benefit from cross-pollination from other related sites. –  Faheem Mitha Dec 12 '11 at 22:51
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I found this Q&A searching for an answer. Here's my case in point: I've got a question about SFTP and permissions on Ubuntu. Where do I ask? ServerFault? Unix & Linux? Ask Ubuntu? Any and all of these are perfect places to ask, but because the network has become diluted, it's now become a big question as to WHERE to ask. How about cross-posting, but the Q&A's are linked to the other sites so answers for one appear on others; plus, only one source of rep. Moderators could set what sites are related and therefore permissible. The Q could suggest where to cross-post based on content. –  Charles Roper Oct 5 '12 at 8:01
    
@CharlesRoper I disagree. Any question can be specifically focusses at a site, and if you can't, the question is too board. I.e. Just because the question involves a developer tool it doesn't means it fits SO. ServerFault is for network admins, so is your question network admin related? Is your question specific to Ubuntu or do you need it to work on any version of Linux? Honestly, it is too much work for too little reward in my humble opinion. I had this question come up often when I was a mod, and every time was able to prove a question fitted on one specific site. –  Diago Oct 5 '12 at 9:00
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@Diago, Hey no worries, I don't mind you disagreeing, that's cool. The problem is that I just don't know whether my question is a general server or Apache question (i.e. ServerFault), a general Linux question, or specific to Ubunutu. How am I supposed to know? I believe I have researched well enough and been as clear as possible. On reflection, this kind of cross-site anxiety seems only applicable to ServerFault/Linux/AskUbuntu in my (limited) experience. So probably not such a problem really. –  Charles Roper Oct 7 '12 at 9:47
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Your statements are very strong. Can you prove them? Saying that each thing belongs to only one category is pure nonsense. You have multiple tags/labels for your posts exactly because there is rarely only one category. Writing properly cannot change the fact that thing properly falls under multiple categories. Offering a bounty does not make your question exposed to the visitors of alternative sites. –  Val Jun 9 '13 at 11:17
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Allowing cross-posting is a slippery slope.

If you might have slightly better odds of getting an answer by posting it on two sites, well, by gum, why not maximize your odds by posting it on twenty sites!

There are some questions which fall into grey areas between sites, and I think it's OK to ask and delete, then re-ask if you feel you have asked on the wrong site.

But as a general rule, do not cross-post questions, please. Pick a site and go with it.

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+1 Murphy's Law. Just because you gave the same answer I did, in shorter sentences, your going to get all the darn upvotes! :) –  Diago Sep 10 '10 at 8:47
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While I can imagine the same question to be on-topic on the math site and the physics site, I don't think the same question could then be on-topic also e.g. on the bicycles site, the cooking site and the photography site. So I consider the slippery-slope argument invalid. –  celtschk Sep 23 '12 at 14:23
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It's a slippery slope if not managed by the community well, but the same goes for the Q&A's themselves. It's no reason to rule it out. If it's implemented and managed well, cross-posting could make a great feature for the network and increase cross-site collaboration. See my comment above: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/64068/… –  Charles Roper Oct 5 '12 at 8:06
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Slippery slope is a manipulation method. It is slippery slope to allow users to specify 5 labels (tags) in their posts. Why not 25? Think about it. Manipulation is what you use here. There is nothing slippery for a thing to belong to 25 categories at once. What you do here is trying to justify your magic numbers not as arbitrary rule but as something deeply grounded and suitable for all cases. No, it is not a best fit for all cases. The more categories you create, the less probable that particular case will belong to only one of them. –  Val Jun 9 '13 at 12:02
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@val if we allowed 25 tags, there would be 2 decent tags on a question and 23 noise tags. The net result would be a polluted and useless tag system. Without constraints, people make bad choices. See: George Lucas and Star Wars Episodes 5+. –  Jeff Atwood Jun 10 '13 at 17:32
    
@JeffAtwood Nevertheless, you slippery slope when allow multiple labels per post. I can agree that you can order categories in terms of their appropriateness and get a decaying curve. If decay is fast, a couple of first categories cover most of the area under the curve. But, if distrubution is almost uniform, as it happens when you do not know where to relate the subject, you'll need to pick much more best candidates to cover the field with good probability. The point is that when you have many categories to choose from, making a good coverage will need including more categories. –  Val Jun 10 '13 at 18:51
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Very occasionally you may want to ask substantially identical questions on two sites, to reach different communities. (For example, if you're looking for a computer application to perform a certain task, and you don't mind whether it's a local application or a web application, you might ask on both Super User and Web Applications).

This is the exception rather than the rule. The question you ask has to be on-topic on both sites.

Again, if it's your question and you want it moved on second thoughts, flag a moderator and request a migration.

If you really think your question belongs on both sites, it probably doesn't.

If you really really think your question belongs on both sites, link the questions to each other. (If it's not your own question on one site, you might just leave a comment.) This way, people won't waste their time duplicating an answer already written on the other site, and people who find the question later can read both sets of answers.

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this can be OK, so long as the question is tailored to each audience on the different sites and is materially different in each case. Just to be 100% clear, copy-pasting a question across sites with no changes is considered abusive behavor. –  Jeff Atwood Jan 15 '11 at 3:51
    
User uses Unix community to ask why he should not type passwords into the command line, unix.stackexchange.com/questions/78734/…. I wonder why not in the security and what need to be tailored for the security? It is a purely security question and security aspect of the Unix. It is a specific aspect of the specific system. Why should one tailor anything? What needs to be tailored when you ask about complexity theory in signal processing? Should I ask about z-transform in comp.sci, control theory, dsp or math, which covers them all? –  Val Jun 9 '13 at 11:46
    
@Val: The user wishes to know how the information will leak; all of the answers are highly specific to how Unix leaks the information. If the user had asked on security, the answer might have been, "because the information might leak." However, the user already knows that; they wanted to know how it would leak. In this case, security is an inferior place to ask that question; only Unix experts know the answer, but security experts often don't. –  Brian Dec 27 '13 at 13:59
    
@Brain You have just convinced us that one label/tag is enough for a question. It is not. I am not convinced. Ok? Even if I provided a wrong example (which I think I was not because command line and strong passwords in user files is not something specific to specific OS, ok?), you should argue the general case. –  Val Dec 27 '13 at 14:12
    
I think I managed to make this advice work for me, though the original wasn't my question, and the transition was a little rough for other reasons, to say the least...Thanks for helping to make it possible! Good answers from distinct perspectives on each version. –  Nick Stauner Feb 7 at 19:13
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One problem is the wide disparity in attention level at different sites. Is 39 moves the longest a chess game can go moving only pawns? was posted to math. I think it is a much better fit for puzzling, but the activity level at puzzling is so much lower. Cross-posting would help in cases like this.

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