As a frequent user of SuperUser and Stackoverflow I have noticed this huge lacking problem is that there are more and more "stack" sites being created all the time. The only organization or way of finding these sites is to search through area51, dig through the complete list of active Q&A sites, or have someone comment on a question that "this should be moved to (so-and-so) site, not asked here.. I have had this happen to me several times where I didnt even know a Q&A site for [*nix for example] existed. Since these sites are all about finding answers to questions in a fast and timely manner, I think finding the site you need to ask the right question on is just as (or even more) important. I don't have a planned out solution to this problem, but with this problem noticed the great minds of this community could come up with a decent way to organize and direct users to the proper site to ask their question.

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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I would love to have the time for an app to do the following (which I think would help in navigating the site options):

  1. Parse the data dump
  2. Perform a cluster analysis using natural language processing. For an example see here.
  3. Write an app which allows someone to propose a stack exchange question.

And then based on 1, 2, & 3 the app predicts the correct site to ask the question on. If such a feature were

  • fairly intuitive Here are the top three suggested sites, click to post question.
  • well advertised Add a link to the faq -- if you're unsure if you're question belongs here, try submit it to the Recommender.

It certainly wouldn't be perfect, the linguistic coincidence of important terms would be challenge to parse in certain cases, but if we could also include a dump of delete questions perhaps it would also catch some of the poorly formatted ones too.

Anyone, ehmm ehmm, George E? Could you put your skilz to work??

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Your idea is a much more in-depth solution than what I was originally thinking... But I did look into some of your examples and I agree a tool like this could prove very useful! –  CenterOrbit Jul 17 '11 at 17:16
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Honestly, this is interesting to me. I wonder what would happen if you did some kind of clustering to try to find related sites. And perhaps even sifted through Area 51 proposals to find if a site that's being proposed might be similar to an existing site. Unfortunately, my experience with such data analysis is limited to a 2 hour presentation that I went to through a summer job that I had, but this might be a useful resource. –  Thomas Owens Jul 17 '11 at 20:51
    
Also something like this would be able to fairly easily catch repeat questions, and refer the asker to a list of already answered questions. –  CenterOrbit Jul 17 '11 at 22:37
    
I wonder if there is already an engine out there that would do something like this... maybe something similar to this: wordpress.org/extend/plugins/yet-another-related-posts-plugin –  CenterOrbit Jul 17 '11 at 22:39
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Lol... I hear myself being summoned. I'll look into it. –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Jul 18 '11 at 21:57
    
Thanks George! :O) –  M. Tibbits Jul 18 '11 at 22:07
    
@MTibbits: Wow... this would be quite involved. Perhaps it would be easier to select a site based on tags rather than on title or content? –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Jul 19 '11 at 6:44
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Quite possible -- Certainly something that, if it 'sells well' to the Jeff et al, it could be incrementally updated later too. Still though, I think it would be very beneficial to help new users navigate the many nooks and crannies 'round here. –  M. Tibbits Jul 20 '11 at 3:44
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http://stackexchange.com/sites has a list of all the SE sites that have been launched or are currently in beta. Are you looking for something different?

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Yes, something different. I don't think a list is the proper way to organize the various aspects and topics that SE cover. This list provides no way to easily or quickly find what site you need, a better more creative yet intuitive option should exist. Also, because more and more SE sites are being created all the time a list (even a searchable list) is mundane and inefficient. –  CenterOrbit Jul 11 '11 at 21:06
    
A catalog would be nice. –  Marcelo Jul 11 '11 at 21:10
    
A catalog, maybe... I was thinking something smart and interactive. To guide people to the right place. –  CenterOrbit Jul 12 '11 at 1:26
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A simple solution might be to have a search box where you enter the tags of the question and it will display a list of sites having these tags. When you click a site in the list it will jump to the new Question page of this site.

The list of possible site matches may be displayed beside the tags search box in the new question page as well for the user to choose the best suitable site for the question or to make sure he/she is asking in the right place before the question is posted. If the user chose a site from the list, the question should be posted to this site and may be user profile is created if needed.

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This is a good solutions, not as elaborate as what I was originally envisioning, but that doesn't make me right! Often the simple solutions are the best. Definitely one of the easiest approaches yet. –  CenterOrbit Jul 19 '11 at 19:30
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