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I'm occasionally surprised by the vast number of SE sites that exist by now, and I feel that I'm losing the ability to judge correctly where to put my questions. This issue is probably shared with a lot of people that are used to only a few sites and do not spend a lot of time on sister sites.

I believe it is more and more required to direct users to the correct site in the network. I'd suggest 2 ways to achieve that:

  1. When posting a question, try to guess the correct site from the caption, text and tags. For instance, a question tagged "google" might rather belong to WebApps than to SO, so display a div message asking the user if he would like to post it over there instead.

  2. Provide a generic question interface that uses the above mechanism to judge the question and display the most likely sites it could belong to. The user can then pick a reasonable choice and does not have to memorize all existing sites. For instance, if I were to create a question "Is beer and pizza a good combo?" (sorry for the stupid example) it might propose Cooking and Homebrewing.

This obviously needs to be a lot more sophisticated in reality. Anyway, I strongly believe this is very helpful to all users of the SE network. While each site should be able to live on its own, the proposed additions may continue making SE itself a huge and still easy to use Q&A directory.

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1 Answer 1

I like the idea in principle, but I think it may be to complicated to implement for relatively little payoff. Currently a question can be (and will be) migrated to another site if it doesn't land where it's supposed to right away.

Suggesting sites wouldn't eliminate the need for migrations, since some users would ignore suggestions and some suggestions would be wrong, so it'd just be an extra layer on top of the existing mechanic that works fairly well already.

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That's correct, but I don't think it would be "relatively little payoff". For instance, I've got 3k+ rep on SO but I simply don't know where to migrate questions to (and if!). A "site chose tool" would come in really handy. –  mafu May 2 '11 at 14:14
    
@mafutrct An automatic suggestion isn't necessarily any better than your wild guess when it comes to supporting or initiating a migration. Some questions are obvious, but in most cases I think you'd have to build a mini-Watson to interpret post content. –  Anna Lear May 2 '11 at 14:24
    
Well, but I can't even guess wildly if I just don't know all existing sites. There are several dozens right now, and looking at Area 51 I'd assume the number is going to keep growing fast. –  mafu May 2 '11 at 15:12
    
@mafutrct Point, but you don't need to know all of the sites. The odds of having to migrate questions from, say, Stack Overflow to Cooking are quite slim. For frequent migrations from a site, there are direct migration paths in the Vote to Close dialog. For everything else, there are moderators. :) –  Anna Lear May 2 '11 at 15:19
    
Again yes, but I can't even flag a SO question about, say, Sharepoint for mod attention if I didn't know that site existed. Nor does any new user even get a chance to have his question about "How do I configure XY in Sharepoint?" be pointed to that site. –  mafu May 2 '11 at 15:37
    
@mafutrct You could flag it for moderator attention and say "This is off-topic, but I don't know where to migrate it to." –  Anna Lear May 2 '11 at 15:40
    
Being sarcastic, I would have to flag a ton of questions with "I don't know if this should get migrated, nor where to, please check that it actually belongs here." >_< I know I sound like whining, but from my point of view this should not be right, I still believe there ought to be tools to ease that. –  mafu May 2 '11 at 17:01

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