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With the myriad sites of the Stack Exchange network, it will become increasingly likely that many questions will end up in the wrong place and, depending, be ignored or moved. If it's moved, that's good, at least.

But if you have a question where you're not sure which field would suit best (if any), or could be in two, is there some kind of central place, some dispatch facility, for such questions?

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4 Answers 4

You can see all the sites that are available in the StackExchange network at http://stackexchange.com/sites. This list includes both beta and graduated sites. You should be able to get an idea of where your question might fit from that. You could then view the FAQ page on a site to get a better idea about what is on-topic for that specific site.

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Awesome. But I know this. What about those who don't? I'm wondering if a "Dispatch Overflow" might be appropriate. The risk is that it would get a lot of traffic from people thinking it's the right place to go to for everything. –  MPelletier Dec 2 '10 at 20:35
    
Perhaps this needs to be made more prominent. –  Neil Fein Dec 17 '10 at 4:08
    
... this guy certainly didn't know where to look. –  Neil Fein Dec 17 '10 at 6:09

I think a Dispatch Center would be interesting/neat, but it could take some work...

We could create a site called dispatch.stackexchange.com, and if a user was not sure of where to ask the question on the Stack Exchange network, he could ask his question there, and other users, with experience/rep would vote on where each question should go, say 3 votes to "dispatch" a question to the site, with an automatic email being fired off to the user that his question has been dispatched to gaming.stackexchange.com, for example...

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The more I think about it, the more I'm not alienated by a Dispatch site. Mods from other Stackexchange sites could really just move the question without other votes, while regulars would need to cumulate 3. Also, no answers while in the dispatcher, so essentially not Q&A but Q&M (for move). –  MPelletier Dec 3 '10 at 3:19
    
It would also need some reference to Midas. –  MPelletier Dec 3 '10 at 3:20
    
@MPelletier: what does Midas have to do with it? –  studiohack Dec 4 '10 at 1:09
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@studiohack: Sorry, I meant Minos, not Midas. I mix them up for some reason. In any case, in Dante's Divine Comedy, Minos determines where souls are dispatched... in hell. –  MPelletier Dec 4 '10 at 4:41
    
@MPelletier: interesting...never heard of it lol –  studiohack Dec 4 '10 at 4:42
    
@studiohack Dante's Divine Comedy is perhaps more known divided in its 3 parts, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. –  MPelletier Dec 4 '10 at 5:14
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@mpe why would anyone on Earth want to do this scutwork? How about good old fashioned requiring the asker to do a basic amount of due diligence? Must everything be spoon-fed to everyone? Is it really not obvious that when you have a question about motorcycles you go to the motorcycle store or club to ask instead of, say, a hair salon? –  Jeff Atwood Apr 26 '11 at 7:14
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@Jef Never underestimate the powers of OCD. The example you give would be obvious, but what about a question regarding scripting an installation of an Apache security module on Ubuntu? Does it go to askubuntu? webmasters? security? SU? SO? How obvious is that? –  MPelletier Apr 26 '11 at 13:40

Seems like a nice idea on the face of it, but to use your analogy, the vast majority of those questions are going to be headed for purgatory (i.e., there is no corresponding site).

What do you do with them? Delete them, or let them rot in your dispatching site?

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I think that as we get more sites, this problem is going to become worse. We already have a few potential areas of confusion, where sites have defined areas of expertise that are close but not the same. Creating a separate dispatch site may not be necessary, though. We already have a site that has experts in the Stack Exchange network, or at least expertise in creating sites. Medium- and high-rep users on Area 51 are quite likely to know the network well and could help migrate questions.

A dispatching function could be part of a Q&A board on Area 51: New users could simply ask their question there, and I suspect that there would be users that would not only facilitate migrating the question to the correct place, but advise them on SE etiquette.

I've seen a few remarks here and there that Area 51 rep is kinda worthless (I disagree), and this would address that. A bonus to this might be to filter out some of the newbie forum-style posts, and keep them away from the boards. Tying area 51 rep to how much you help new users get started would be a great incentive.

In short, using Area 51 to stage new sites and new questions from new users seems like a logical next step.

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