I think there should be a common website for asking questions and similarly user info should be visible from every website for every Stack Overflow / Stack Exchange website.

The problem is the difficulty to remember all Stack Exchange websites. Stack OverFlow became a very good Q & A site and it is always Stack Overflow only in mind.

Yesterday, I have asked one question on a Stack Exchange site and I forgot where did I asked. Now waiting for an email about that question. I asked that question on Stack Overflow but it got downvotes with suggestion about particular website and I posted in that website after deleting the question from Stack Overflow .

I think these solution, which should be helpful for Stack Overflow:

  • Question Form should be one shared by all websites. There we need to enter Category and that category will be Stack Exchange sub-domain which is required to choose.
  • User menu should be shared so that wherever we are, we can see our status.
  • Aggregated website will help user remember website and it will help SEO as well when sites will be structured like this: Stack Overflow/Category/questions.... where Category is sub-domain name currently used.
  • Sub-Domain can be retained with Canonical URLs.
  • To make suggestions about the question being asked, Category can be made first field to help collect suggestions for users.
  • Better User Experience as user no need to remember where a question should be posted and where he has posted his last question.
  • See Why do we need the trilogy instead of just one site? for why we shouldn't do this. – Qantas 94 Heavy Oct 26 '13 at 10:36
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    Oh dear God no. This is why exactly why people love Stack Overflow. You don't have wade through various subforums to find what you want. – psubsee2003 Oct 26 '13 at 10:38
  • Ya, it is a kind of duplicate but I still propose that. Using Category, questions and site identity can be maintained. – Satya Prakash Oct 26 '13 at 10:40
  • @psubsee2003 but others are not getting much attention. Even wordpress site is not full with attention. People remember stackoverflow. and it always happen that people ask question in stackoveflow and got suggestion about other website. – Satya Prakash Oct 26 '13 at 10:41
  • It's not simply categories alone. It's like a huge, gigantic city with ridiculously large towns that you get lost in the middle of trying to go to the next one, where it's so built up that you can only see skyscrapers around you. Who wants to be in such a place? – Qantas 94 Heavy Oct 26 '13 at 10:42
  • @SatyaPrakash Would the programming brand awareness of stack overflow help or hinder English language learners? – Richard Tingle Oct 26 '13 at 10:43
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    Also thats how yahoo answers does is so its by definition wrong – Richard Tingle Oct 26 '13 at 10:44
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    @SatyaPrakash but the reason is it better this way is covered in Jeff's answer and the blog post he linked. When there are no boundaries, it becomes a muddled mess. Separate sites are cleaner and allows the community of each site to focus on what it does best. When the walls between topics are smaller, too many people will jump over them and you end up with this – psubsee2003 Oct 26 '13 at 10:45
  • @RichardTingle I said, using Category as different site can remove that problem. When I search for something English Lang and StackOverflow/English/... comes in search result then only English related things will be visible because of English Category. – Satya Prakash Oct 26 '13 at 10:47
  • @SatyaPrakash: as numerous people have said, categories aren't enough. People are going to ask things in random places just because they can. – Qantas 94 Heavy Oct 26 '13 at 10:48
  • I don't think it is a problem. and we cannot have just category because not all website has same domain, like ux.stackexchange.com is different domain. – Jitendra Oct 26 '13 at 10:49
  • @Jitendra that's a non-issue, you can easily redirect users to the common domain, but it still doesn't make it a good idea. – psubsee2003 Oct 26 '13 at 10:50
  • @psubsee2003 - Ok. and also I get notification in top bar from any site (stackexchange) I ask. So it's not a problem for me. – Jitendra Oct 26 '13 at 10:51
  • To help you find your lost question, here's a list of sites you've been active on. You can see where you've asked and answered questions in the two rightmost columns. – Bill the Lizard Oct 26 '13 at 12:06

tl;dr: yes, it's doable, and could offer interesting new ways to solve the question of displaying question-relevant reputation, and of filtering displayed content to suit each user's interests.

You've got a good idea. It's just so different to how things happen here, and too similar to other sites that have failed to establish quality content, and folk won't like it for those reasons.

But there's more to it. Let's take a look

How do we separate content? And why in that form?

The present distinction between separating-content-by-site and separating-content-by-tag is somewhat arbitrary (it's a bit of an art, a bit of a science, and a bit of evolutionary legacy, aka lavaflow - it just set where it is, and we work around it). It works in some cases: some sites are the right size to be a site in their own right, and where expertise across the whole topic means something. In those cases, sharing a questions page and rep across that whole topic makes sense.

However, Stack Overflow is much much larger than that. If a Ruby expert answers a Haskell question, all you see is their SO rep, earnt from their Ruby answers. So, if showing other people's rep has any meaning at all, that meaning is probably being undermined in that case.

Physics.SE is smaller, but has similar problems: three of its very highest rep users each believe in some extremely non-mainstream physics in some particular areas, as well as being very strong in other physics areas.

The over-arching Stack Exchange site tries to make up for the scattering of connected information across different sites, but doesn't yet do it very well.

Two problems; each has more than one solution (TMTOWTDI)

So, there are two problems here: displayed rep that appears to be topically relevant, but which may well not be. And connected content that's scattered across sites. The arrangement in place at the moment is an evolving pragmatic compromise between topic-specific self-contained sites, and a multi-topic expert Q&A bank. But the arrangement we have at the moment, is by no means the only way to do it. The distribution of content looks radically different to how it looked four years ago, and there's every chance that it could look radically different in four years time.

I think your suggestion has merit. It needs work, to thrash out what rep would be displayed for a particular poster on any specific question or answer, and how people filtered the content they wanted to see. But it's not intrinsically unworkable, and could offer routes to more flexible and interesting ways to resolve these difficult issues of displaying a reputation score that's relevant to the question; and of filtering the content that's displayed to users to best suit their interests.

(all this is predicated on StackExchange continuing to display a user's rep alongside the content they contribute. That may or may not be the case in the future. And it's worth thinking about why it's displayed, and what is gained by it.)

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  • I read you are afraid of too many downvoting for my question. yes I am getting too many and are still coming. Let it come. Counting. :) But I have a way of maintaining different site identity. – Satya Prakash Oct 26 '13 at 11:05
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    @SatyaPrakash Remember that downvotes are votes against the idea, rather than the idea is bad or wrong (it's one of the quirks of meta) – Richard Tingle Oct 26 '13 at 11:06
  • Got it - "However, Stack Overflow is much much larger than that. If a Ruby expert answers a Haskell question, all you see is their SO rep, earnt from their Ruby answers." I understand so I had a way by Must Have Category. – Satya Prakash Oct 26 '13 at 11:06
  • @energynumbers has emphasized too much on reputation. Actually I am behind more on interface than mixing. I am esp more behind Question Form integration. energy has tried to answer so my upvote. Thanks. – Satya Prakash Oct 26 '13 at 11:12
  • No one talked about this: "I think there should be a common website for asking questions and similarly user info should be visible from every website for every Stack Overflow / Stack Exchange website." – Satya Prakash Nov 5 '13 at 13:37
  • @SatyaPrakash that's exactly what I have written about: about the pros, cons, workability and challenges of doing it. – 410 gone Nov 5 '13 at 15:27

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