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I would like to suggest a more effective approach to question migration across StackExchange sites.

Many users who are not moderators would know that a question is more suitable for meta, serverfault, webmasters or programmers. However, because flagging a moderator seems more severe than casting a vote, users might not do it. They might instead choose to close-vote the question as off-topic, down-vote the question or just ignore it.

It seems to me like migrating a good, but off-topic question to a related StackExchange site where the question is on-topic is a better response than closing or down-voting. More effective migration would decrease overlapping content on the sites, thereby giving each site more relative value in its authority with respect to its on-topic content.

So, my suggestion is to create something like a "sideways" vote. A user with {enough reputation} to sideways vote would be able to cast a vote sideways, in the direction of another StackExchange site. If a question garnered {a certain amount} of sideways votes to a particular site, the question would be migrated.

I imagine this feature would look like sideways arrow that brings up a screen somewhat like the screen that comes up when you "vote to close as off topic". The reason that the "vote to close as off topic" is not sufficient is because it requires a 3000 reputation to cast a close vote. There are plenty of users with much less reputation who would be able tor recognize that a question about IIS configuration is better suited for serverfault than for stackoverflow.

This kind of intercommunication between sites would also help to strengthen the network itself. If I want to know what sites have similar content to the StackExchange site I am currently viewing, I have to consciously navigate StackExchange.com looking for that information. Seeing a sideways voting option, would also help users to know which other StackExchange sites are conceptually adjacent to the one the user is currently using. At this point, the only assistance users have in that regard is in comments from other users.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jul 7 '11 at 18:33

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

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There are enough 3K+ users that off-topic questions get downvoted and moved fairly quickly. –  Wooble Jul 7 '11 at 18:32
    
You don't have to be a moderator to move a question, when you have high enough reputation you can vote to close a question and move it to another site. –  Filip Ekberg Jul 7 '11 at 18:36
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In fact, Programmers.SE complained often enough that now migrations require a 4/5 majority of the closers rather than 3/5 as before. –  mmyers Jul 7 '11 at 18:37
    
This question was migrated by with off-topic->belongs on meta votes from community members. No moderators were <s>harmed</s> involved in the making of this migration. –  Anna Lear Jul 7 '11 at 18:37
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a question about sideways voting was migrated –  abel Jul 7 '11 at 18:38
    
If there's more here than just letting lower-rep users vote on migrations you might want to elaborate on those parts in a more concrete way and trim back the rest. –  Brad Mace Jul 7 '11 at 18:41
    
There's a contradiction in your proposal - you first say that the problem is people might vote-to-close instead, but then you say that the feature would be geared toward those who don't have vote-to-close ability. –  NickC Jul 7 '11 at 18:43
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Short answer: if it was easier to get things migrated, P.SE mods would burn you at the stake, after which SU mods would hang you, after which SF mods would give you a long boring lecture. –  Shog9 Jul 7 '11 at 18:44
    
@bernace - read the last paragraph. It would also increase overall visibility of related StackExchange sites. –  smartcaveman Jul 7 '11 at 18:44
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@Wooble: That may be true at Stack Overflow but there are other sites in the network. –  Al E. Jul 7 '11 at 18:45
    
@Wooble, Like @aleverett pointed out my question is geared towards the StackExchange network in general –  smartcaveman Jul 7 '11 at 18:47
    
Got to say I'm not sure what problem you're trying to solve here that isn't already solved by the current vote to migrate mechanism. Are you not aware of that? Or is there something you think it lacks that this solves? If so you may want to make that clearer. –  RobM Jul 7 '11 at 18:47
    
@robertmoir, (1) Accessiblity - Where does it say "vote to migrate"? It requires 2-3 clicks to get to vote-to close or flag a moderator as off topic. (2) Visibility of related sites –  smartcaveman Jul 7 '11 at 18:51
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It's supposed to as far as I can tell (whether or not this is a good idea is perhaps another discussion) for a very simply reason... when you vote to move a question on site y to site x you are indeed closing the question on site y. It's a subset of closing a question in the UI because its also logically a subset of closing questions logically. –  RobM Jul 7 '11 at 19:06
    
@smartcaveman: then maybe it shouldn't have been posted on SO and tagged "stackoverflow.com". –  Wooble Jul 7 '11 at 23:03

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You don't need to flag for a moderator to get a question moved. Your suggestion seems to do the same thing as choosing to migrate when you vote to close a question as off-topic. I don't see any problem with also allowing downvotes at the same time and trusting users to apply them when appropriate.

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@smartcaveman Migration clears downvotes on questions for exactly that reason, actually. –  Grace Note Jul 7 '11 at 18:47
    
@smartcaveman - yes. People disagree with it. –  JNK Jul 7 '11 at 18:48
    
@smartcaveman: That's not for me to decide. If people think a question "does not show any research effort, is unclear, or not useful" on the main site then they'll downvote it. On Meta downvoting typically means they just disagree with the suggestion. –  Bill the Lizard Jul 7 '11 at 18:48

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