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I think it's a safe assumption to make that, if a question is going to be migrated to a sister site, the question asker will require an account on that site.

I recommend that the migration process create that account for the user, and save them the extra clicks.

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2 Answers 2

That's not a valid assumption, really.

The user probably cares about that one question, but that they asked something off topic on site A does not imply that they'll be regular users of site B. Auto-creating an account for them would just give the false impression that they're active on site B.

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But (if at all doable) it would make it easier for the question asker to accept an answer and comment (having 1 rep at that other site), and avoid confusion about how to reclaim ownership on the question? (As I've always been a registered user, I still don't know what unregistered users can do themselves to regain ownership. Like: is How can one link/merge/combine/associate two accounts/users? (Anonymous/unregistered/cookie or OpenID/registered) still required for cookie-based users after migration?) – Arjan Mar 25 '11 at 2:34
The claim that users which create accounts are regulars on a site is patently false - you can check for yourself the number of users with below 50 rep on each site. The claim that my assumption is false assumption can trivially be verified objectively from your logs - check which percent of users whose questions are migrated, also create an account on the sister site. Arjan's claim also stands - migration, I presume, is going to be confusing for most users; having to log in to a separate site to reclaim the question is probably a big obstacle to retaining ownership, or even checkin the answer. – blueberryfields Mar 25 '11 at 23:59
It's not about whether or not they're regulars but about whether they'll be able to edit their question in response to comments. Their not having an account leads to situations where the OP can no longer edit so they post edits as answers and complicate things. Why not just have the account created automatically? – terdon Sep 16 at 12:35

Account creation should be intentional; there have been enough requests to hide or disconnect unwanted sites from a user's profile to tell us that some users do not want to be seen on some sites. Because the user usually didn't have input into the migration, we shouldn't make the connection for him. It's two clicks -- "sign up" plus a confirmation -- as best I recall.

However, maybe we need some more breadcrumbs. We could create a new help topic in the accounts section of the Help Center about how cross-site account stuff works in general (auto-login, creating an account on a new site from your current one) -- this changed recently, so that might be a good idea anyway. Then, perhaps a migration could leave an auto-comment on the source site (where we know the user has an account and thus an inbox) linking to that. This gives the owner of the question the tools he needs to follow his question and create his account if he wants to -- which he probably does, but you never know and you can't break the link afterwards, so better to be safe.

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