Not only blacklist, but perhaps put up a message 'if you thought this tag was appropriate, your question is almost certainly off-topic'?

In any case, I burned up a stack of close votes starting the cleanup process, but I'm no Hercules and the stable is Augean. Could I get some help?


From our experience on Programmers, tags with questions in them do not get blacklisted. Editing the tag wiki to say "do not use this tag" is also not a very reliable deterrent.

Orchestrating a mass clean-up of the questions in the tag is something we could do as a first step: vote to close and/or delete questions as appropriate. Some might be worth migrating to Programmers, but it'd have to be judged carefully and on a case-by-case basis.

It's pretty clear that these questions are off-topic on Stack Overflow now en masse, so it should be fairly easy to close and remove (where needed) these questions in preparation for removing the tag itself.

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    "Some might be worth migrating to Programmers" Oh, please don't... – yannis Jan 15 '12 at 4:24
  • @ZaphodBeeblebrox There might be some good questions in there. Granted, the odds are low, but it could happen. :) – Adam Lear Jan 15 '12 at 4:28
  • It's the en masse effect I'm more afraid of: a big number of high voted questions with good answers (one hopes) appearing on Programmers in short succession. That might create the perception amongst newer users that career development is a popular topic, and not one that should be avoided unless you have an absolutely excellent question. Something like: "I read ten questions about career development this month on Programmers, the crowd there can really help me with my (too localized / off topic / otherwise crappy) question." – yannis Jan 15 '12 at 4:39
  • @ZaphodBeeblebrox Trust me, I'm aware of the problem it might create. I don't think we're necessarily in danger of en masse migrations any more than we are normally. (Plus we can always delete the migrated questions and/or reverse poor migrations.) – Adam Lear Jan 15 '12 at 4:42
  • Yes we can. When (if) a clean up starts, you could also do a post on Meta P.SE, maybe some of us will join in and help avoid crappy migrations... – yannis Jan 15 '12 at 4:57

If you're going to special-case a tag, why not offer to move the already-entered content to the programmers.se "Ask a Question" form?

If we have a good idea where such questions are on-topic, we should at a minimum point users there, instead of dismissing them with "it's off-topic". After all, that's why questions get migrated instead of simply closed.

But if we can save the user the effort of re-entering their question on the other site, why not?

  • See Anna's answer... "Some might be worth migrating to Programmers, but it'd have to be judged carefully and on a case-by-case basis.". Automatically sending them to programmers would imply asking is fine there, which it most often won't be. – Pekka Jan 14 '12 at 22:13
  • @Pekka'sOrganicRepFarm: I thought that was in reference to existing questions, not new ones. – Ben Voigt Jan 14 '12 at 22:21
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    Programmers.SE is not a catch-all for these kinds of questions. Few of them are actually on-topic there. – user102937 Jan 14 '12 at 22:22
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    @BenVoigt At a cursory glance at the existing career development questions, most of them would not make good Programmers questions (or good questions, period). – Adam Lear Jan 15 '12 at 2:21
  • @BenVoigt P.SE career development questions: 119 closed / 152 open. 43.91% closed, not counting deleted questions. Pointing users towards P.SE would obviously not be a good idea. – yannis Jan 15 '12 at 4:49

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