I'm mostly active on IT Security and we have a separate meta. Most of my questions on IT Security meta have answers with links here. So my question is, where am I supposed to post what i.e. feature request, bug report, behavior questions?

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3 Answers

up vote 34 down vote accepted

Posting on a child meta is absolutely fine!

The Stack Exchange team monitors all of the child metas. The child metas do have a smaller reach than MSO, so posting on the child meta to get an initial gauge of support, and then if necessary, bringing that to MSO for a wider audience is fine. But there is no reason to turn a post away from a child meta. Not everyone is involved with the entire network. They don't know that there is anything beyond their meta, and they shouldn't be received poorly because of it.

Think of ITSecurity as a state. ITSecurity's meta is the state capital. Meta Stack Overflow is the nation's capital. The state functions, it just gets a little help from the nation's capital.

In keeping with network policy, an answer on child meta that contains links should not just be a list of links. The post should also summarize/explain what the links are. Information can be found in many places, and we should not be forcing users to go on a wild goose chase to find information.

I can't stand it when I see a post on a child meta and the first comment is "You should have posted this on MSO". ARGGGGGGGGG

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If I read nothing but the fine print of your answer, I'd still fully agree with it. –  Grace Note Apr 29 '11 at 15:08
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Bookmarked. I'm gonna link to this answer on soo many metas! –  Shog9 Apr 29 '11 at 15:13
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I'm a little wary of information duplication. While I don't think it's wise to have link-only posts, who is going to maintain all those link & summary answers when features change? I'd rather encourage users to check here if the question is about the engine, and post on the metas if the question really only affects that one site. If we must have "Why can't I change my upvote?" on each and every per-site-meta, then I humbly suggest that a link to the main meta is probably the best answer. Otherwise the answer will eventually go out of date. –  Adam Davis Apr 29 '11 at 15:15
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But how am I supposed to meddle in bug reports if they're spread out over 40 different metas?! ;) –  Tim Stone Apr 29 '11 at 15:21
    
@Tim Just stick with Gaming. You know we're the best Meta. ♪ –  Grace Note Apr 29 '11 at 15:22
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@AdamDavis, the post doesn't have to go into the gory details on the child meta. A quick note and explaining why you are linking to another meta is good. Think of it from a new user's perspective: they don't know what MSO is, and a link here isn't going to really clarify it. Give that user a friendly experience and explain. Users also shouldn't be burdened with figuring out if their issue is site-specific or network-wide. –  Rebecca Chernoff Apr 29 '11 at 15:23
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@GraceNote: Oddly enough, that's the only per-site meta I follow. :P @RebeccaChernoff: Touché. –  Tim Stone Apr 29 '11 at 15:27
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Everyone knows Math is the "best" meta. @gra –  random Apr 29 '11 at 15:29
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@Rebecca That's a good argument for comprehensive, well maintained documentation that's located at a single source. The recipe you propose is only going to cause pain down the road - how is Stack Exchange going to manage the eventual 40, 400, and 4,000 metas which are all duplicating similar information in wildly varying ways? I'm all for user-experience, but if you look ahead you should see that this is a messy way to provide sub-par information to users. Once you start a new site and get a whole new set of users on it, you start all over again, answering the same questions. –  Adam Davis Apr 29 '11 at 15:29
    
I agree with it being fine, as to provide a good user experience. But once the user knows about MSO I believe Adam Davis's answer to be much more suitable. The OP obviously knows MSO. –  Steven Jeuris Apr 29 '11 at 15:31
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I think all the [faq] questions here should be visible on all other per site metas. –  Adam Davis Apr 29 '11 at 15:33
    
@Adam Davis: That would be possible if the framework would be changed to support my suggestion of making questions visible across several SE sites. –  Steven Jeuris Apr 29 '11 at 15:41
    
@Steven I'm not a big fan of that proposal, but I think the metas are a special case, and MSO significantly more special. –  Adam Davis Apr 29 '11 at 16:28
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Please consider the nature of your question:

  • If it regards the engine or mechanics of the site then search here first, and consider posting here.
  • If it regards a specific post, user, or the overall style and usage of the site with respect to the subject of the site, then post on the site's meta.

Otherwise your meta will be full of questions that have already been asked and answered on here.

Worse still, unless someone actively maintains all those duplicate questions, they will eventually fall out of date, and cause further confusion when the information posted is wrong since the engine is still evolving.

If Stack Exchange said, "It's done. No more major changes to how the basic engine works in terms of voting, abuse, posting, commenting, flagging, etc," then I'd say fine - duplicate everything everywhere.

But since there are still significant changes in the future, having all of the relevant information go to one spot is preferable to a highly fractured and duplicated world.

Further, you are likely to get a better answer faster here if it concerns the engine itself.

Lastly, the enthusiasts that like to discuss the engine incessantly hang out here, and if you have a feature request they can likely chime in with significant support and help, or with a lot of information you might not have considered.

However, feel free to post everything on your per site meta - participating here is completely voluntary, and you will still get your answers there, and when needed they will be migrated or discussed here as well.

In other words the meta sites are a special case in terms of whether something is on topic or not. If you don't know where it belongs, just post it on your own meta and let others sort it out.

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How is the user supposed to know about MSO? –  Rebecca Chernoff Apr 29 '11 at 15:28
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@Rebecca The site's FAQ should link to MSO, and the site's meta should link to MSO. Those are the two places people will go when they have questions about why they couldn't change their vote on a question, and other simple queries. –  Adam Davis Apr 29 '11 at 15:31
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Can a meta question of another SE site be marked as a duplicate of MSO? That seems to be appropriate to me. –  Steven Jeuris Apr 29 '11 at 15:34
    
@StevenJeuris, no, that is not (currently) possible. –  Rebecca Chernoff Apr 29 '11 at 15:45
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To post on a child meta site is perfectly acceptable, and nothing forbids to post there.

There are cases where to post on a specific meta site makes more sense, especially if

  • you have a question about an answer/question you have read on that SE site;
  • you have a question about the behavior of a user in a specific SE site;
  • you have seen a bug that is specific for an SE site;
  • you have a feature request that is specific for an SE site;
  • you have a feature request that is for all SE sites, but you want to first know the opinions of other users in a specific SE site.

If, for example, you have seen somebody behaving in a particular way on an SE site, and you want to know if that behavior is generally acceptable, then you can post a question on MSO; if you want to know the opinion of users to (let) decide the actions to take, then you should post the question in that meta site of that SE site.

In general, I have never seen a question on a meta being closed as duplicate of an existing question on another meta site; if there is already an equivalent question on MSO, then you could be pointed to that question with a link.

Update: @Robert Cartaino wrote a post explaining that is perfectly fine to post a question that is relative to Stack Exchange sites in general in a child meta site, as Stack Exchange Community Coordinators check also those meta sites.

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