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Combined question view for Stack Exchange sites?


OP EDIT: Ok, yes- now I realize this was a dumb question...


I am wondering about the migration process. If someone asks a question to programmers (lets say on stack overflow) and it gets migrated to programmers.SE (even if it rightly belongs there) isn't the migrator doing a disservice to the asker?

My logic is that both sites will have programmers answering the question. However SO has about 12655 pages of users (at the time of this writing), that times 36 users per page is approximately 455580 total users on the site. While programmers has 696 pages of users, totaling only 25056 users. So by migrating a question it will get it ~5% as much exposure as it would get had it not been migrated.

With this in mind shouldn't there be a feature that allows users to see questions on all of the SE sites provided that they have their favorited tags? I am aware of stackexchange.com, but considering that most users probably look for unanswered questions using other sites, shouldn't there be some form of integration so when I'm on SO I can see related questions (with my tags of course) on the entirety of the SE network?

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marked as duplicate by random Jun 20 '11 at 17:16

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Self-fulfilling prophecy is what you're on here –  random Jun 20 '11 at 16:55
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Following this thought, he could as well post it on Youporn and get even more views. It's not marketing and big numbers, I'd prefer to submit to 10 specialist than to 100.000 people who might know, but it's not sure –  Damien Pirsy Jun 20 '11 at 16:59
    
except the people on Stack Overflow can most likely answer questions on programmers and vica versa... Unless you think that people on SO aren't programmers :) –  Tomas Jun 20 '11 at 17:01
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The problem is that there is so much action on SO. The need to keep the noise level down is crucial to the ability to get good answers on StackOverflow. I don't particularly care about users who increase the noise level. I care about users who ask good questions getting good answers. –  Won't Jun 20 '11 at 18:31
    
"only" 25,000 users? If those 25,000 users are actually active on the site, I don't think you'll have any problems getting answers. –  Mark Henderson Jun 21 '11 at 0:51
    
Except the whole site will not view your question. If you look at any common question it has anywhere from 80-200 views. That means it is being viewed by 0.01097% of the site. If we assume that people on SO and the other sites act the same we can assume that only 9 people will view your question on a less frequented site. Obviously, more people view it but my point is that you are getting a smaller audience which means less answers and less complete answers. –  Tomas Jun 21 '11 at 13:41

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Consider a migration that isn't from Stack Overflow to Programmers, but, say, Stack Overflow to Game Development. Game Development has far fewer users than Programmers, so in one way it's even less than 5% of Stack Overflow's exposure. That seems like a big loss, doesn't it?

Here's the thing, not all of Stack Overflow's readers and answerers are game developers. Whereas, if you have a question on Game Development, the answer is going to come from a game developer. As such, despite getting a much lower "exposure", you're getting much better exposure and are more likely to receive your better answer.

Audiences aren't just about raw volume, but about the matter of expertise and subject matter. Ideally, an advantage of migration is to move stuff to a place where the audience is better suited. As such, in the general sense, I don't think the migration is intended as a disservice.

This doesn't exactly apply to Stack Overflow vs. Programmers, on account of both being directed as programmers. However, that's more because the main point of migration is to close and remove questions that don't belong on the current site. This overrides the audience point. Part of the success of the Stack Exchange Network is rooted in this adherence to vertical "Stacks", to use buzzwords.

The scope is defined, and the Programmers site style of questions are as off-topic to Stack Overflow as, say, SharePoint interface questions. You probably have developers working on those, too, the same folk you might see wandering around on Stack Overflow. But Stack Overflow remains the wrong place to ask it. If those questions were to stay on Stack Overflow rather than get migrated, then they'd get closed as "off-topic" and can no longer be answered. I'd say that is a greater disservice than the smaller audience on Programmers.

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I definitely see your point and agree with it, but like I said in the comment to the previous post "...I'm not purposing that migrating should be removed, but rather that users can see questions on all sites that apply to them". The matter of fact is that not all SO users are SQL developers and not all users are C# developers either. But we aren't going to go ahead and create a separate network site for EVERY tag are we? Wouldn't it benefit the community if sites were treated as tags: some favored, some ignored, but all can be seen? –  Tomas Jun 20 '11 at 17:13
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@Tomas We don't have a separate network site for every tag, so I think that's an irrelevant point to make. If there's one thing everyone, Community and Team together, has agreed on, it's that they don't want a separate site for every single tag. –  Grace Note Jun 20 '11 at 17:16

isn't the migrator doing a disservice to the asker?

sure, but doing a service to the asker is not the only thing that is at stake here. The good of the community, and future generations browsing the site, counts as well.

I know it stinks having a question migrated to a less frequented site (I've had that happen to myself), but SO has strict rules about what is on-topic and what is off-topic. Enforcing those rules is generally deemed more important than giving a question a more frequented (but less suitable) podium.

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Which is why I'm not purposing that migrating should be removed, but rather that users can see questions on all sites that apply to them –  Tomas Jun 20 '11 at 17:03
    
@Tomas I think something like that exists in the form of filters on Stack Exchange: stackexchange.com/filters –  Pëkka Jun 20 '11 at 17:04
    
I know about that, but it suffers the same problem. Not enough users use it or even know about it. Which is why I am suggesting that it be more integrated in the network and appear on any of the network's unanswered question pages. –  Tomas Jun 20 '11 at 17:07

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