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The Problem - The Stack Exchange network has so many sites with more being added all the time, a user probably doesn't know that a Stack Exchange site exists to answer a question they might have. In addition, when asking a question, the user might not know the best place to put the question. Asking the question on the wrong site could be downvoted, and it might not be in the user's best interest to ask the question if he/she doesn't know exactly where it belongs.

The Idea - A Stack Exchange site where you can ask any question, and it's up to reviewers of the question to decide which site would be best suited to answer the question.

I don't know much about the process for migrating questions to other sites as they stand today, but I think a voting system would be good, to allow reviewers to vote where the question belongs best, or someone with enough rep is allowed to move it directly.

The conditions that determine when a question is migrated could vary. Some ideas:

  1. After a certain period of inactivity
  2. When the vote gap between the #1 and #2 result is large enough

The voting system should also have some way to denote that this question doesn't (yet) have a Stack Exchange site suited to answer the question.

When asking the question, the page could provide a list of similar questions as it does now, and "suggested site" box. This way, if they're writing the question they could see some suggestions as to where the question might belong. They could then select one of those sites and have it submitted on that site. The primary data source for this would probably be the tags. For instance, if the user enters tags that have a lot of followers on StackOverflow, the page would suggest that the question might belong on StackOverflow.

This feature would allow users to ask questions without being as concerned about where it belongs among the vast Stack Exchange network. In addition, this could be a valuable resource in determining what Stack Exchange sites people would like to see. If there are a lot of questions that are filed as "Site Doesn't Yet Exist To Answer This Question™", that would be an indicator that there is a need that Stack Exchange isn't currently fulfilling.

Please comment with any suggestions or criticisms.

PS: I hope that this is the correct place to post this suggestion.

Edit Maybe a dumbed-down version of this might be useful. Instead of having the review process, just have a page for a user to enter their question, get suggestions to where it might belong, and choose at the end where the question belongs. Right now, choosing where to ask the question is the first step. I think moving it to a later point in the conception of the question would allow the asker to better categorize the question.

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  • Seems to me like it wouldn't get much use. Don't get me wrong - a lot of people do have a use for it, especially when confused about where to go in the trilogy, but I doubt many actually would. It's a bit inconvenient. – user206222 Apr 18 '14 at 14:16
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    This has already been proposed at A51. It...didn't go well. – fbueckert Apr 18 '14 at 14:16
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    People have been migrating crap to other sites because frankly, very few people have a good idea which site a question belongs, even for the regulars of a particular Stack Exchange site. I can see the good intention you have in helping the askers, but I highly doubt if a site dedicated to migrating questions is going to work any time soon. – Antony Apr 18 '14 at 14:20
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    No. People don't have a good enough idea of what belongs on what site as it is (i.e. see the SO > SF migration fiasco) so a whole site for this is a baaaad idea. – tombull89 Apr 18 '14 at 14:22
  • @DLeh Concerning your edit: how are those suggestions generated? – user206222 Apr 18 '14 at 14:25
  • @Emracool Like I said, via tags. This could also tie into current "suggested tag" system in place. – DLeh Apr 18 '14 at 14:26
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    Even if this was implemented, it would be all but useless. People who don't know where to ask their questions and who don't bother to find out what site is appropriate just ask anyway on whatever site they find. People type questions into Google, click whatever link comes up, and then start typing in the first text box they see. No one would actually find this redirection site, because Google results wouldn't take you there. You'd have to pass every question on the network through it for it to be meaningful, and that is completely impractical. – Brad Larson Apr 18 '14 at 15:07
  • I love this idea and I was thinking about it too for some time. Such a shame it was downvoted this much... – William Edwards Oct 8 '14 at 14:10
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    What is so difficult about reading the Help Center (which new users should be doing anyway), and figuring out which site to post on yourself? – user102937 Aug 20 '15 at 14:18
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Please no.

Although I like the suggestion of helping users to find the right site, a site just to redirect question is a little bit too much I think.

Why?

  1. Users must be able to find the right site themselves. Often looking for a programming related issue they will come to SO anyway, about their cat to Pets.SE. Or use the StackExchange sites overview;
  2. The community effort to redirect all those questions is too much, with no clear gain for those people working their butt off.
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  • I disagree with your first point, as it is a tautology about whether we should have the site. The same goes for the second point. The third point, however, I agree with. – user206222 Apr 18 '14 at 14:21
  • @Emracool: altered 1 a little bit. Removed 2. You were right on that one. – Patrick Hofman Apr 18 '14 at 14:23
  • I added a note at the bottom of my post to suggest an alternative that would eliminate the review process. Any comments? – DLeh Apr 18 '14 at 14:24
  • @Patrick Now it's a good point! Thank you! :] – user206222 Apr 18 '14 at 14:24
  • I disagree with your second point, people are working their butt off now too, with answering 'where should I post x' on Meta.SE. – William Edwards Oct 8 '14 at 14:10
  • @WilliamDavidEdwards: I got your point, but compared to the current situation, there is much less work I think. – Patrick Hofman Oct 8 '14 at 14:12
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I firmly disagree with this proposal.

As was said in a previous answer, a site whose sole purpose is migration is going a bit over-board. If a user doesn't know what site to ask a question on they can:

  • Look around the network themselves.
  • Ask on Meta.SE, as was done here.
  • Go to the chat room of the site(s) that they were considering asking the question on.

There are already options in place, and the one you propose wouldn't fit the SE mold.

-4

This reminds me of something my company's CTO pasted recently on our Slack channel: vickyharp May 27, 5:13pm via Twitter for iPhone [User requests feature already in product] Junior dev: "lol dumb user" Staff dev: "Closed - fixed" Senior dev: <opens usability bug>

So, you guys are proposing thousands of people spend 10+ min looking around, ASKING QUESTIONS (??? seriously ???) on Meta.SE where to ask questions, and you are not even giving this proposal a second thought as it would no doubt help people asking questions on sites they belong... No offence, but I am really baffled by reactions here. Your reaction seems like junior dev reaction from above.

From perspective of a person who is about to ask question, but not sure whether it belongs to, say, ServerFault, Superuser, or UNIX, I would rather go to this, (let's call it) redirect.stackexchange.com site, type my question there, pick tags, and let the site give me few choices where the question belongs to (it can use picked tags to make right choice, ask one or more questions to help with chosing, and also use some semantic analysis of the question!).

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  • The benefit of asking it here is that we again get a knowledge base where to ask question X. That is useful information to all of us. So why ask a question on a site and let the users to all the work to move questions around? We can expect from professional users to do some work themselves. – Patrick Hofman May 29 '16 at 20:49
  • And it is not a dumb user. Sometimes it is a lazy user, sometimes just someone who needs some guidance. We are happy to give that here. – Patrick Hofman May 29 '16 at 20:51
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    "So, you guys are proposing thousands of people spend 10+ min looking around" - yes, seriously. SE is all about doing a research before asking, otherwise it would be a lame copy of sites like Yahoo! Answers, which got no quality filters whatsoever. And yes, part of the research is finding the proper site to ask the question in. If one can't be bothered to make that little effort, why should we be bothered to help him/her? – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard May 30 '16 at 13:22
  • That is 10y old thinking, from the time when semantic analysis and big data analytic were in infancy. The proposal here is obviously made by an up-to-date professional with whom I share opinion that this can be done. If you need a whole site to ask question where to ask question, then you have a "usability bug" my friend (see above)... – DejanLekic May 30 '16 at 13:44
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    @DejanLekic No one here is denying that we have a problem getting users to the correct site. Everyone here is saying that a site specifically dedicated to migrating questions elsewhere is a horrible idea. We just need a different solution. – animuson May 30 '16 at 16:56
  • @animuson - yes, I agree that migration part is bad idea. I have proposed ( meta.stackexchange.com/questions/279765/… ) having a redirection site (which naturally got rejected by many), so migration is not necessary as questions will go to the right site straight away. (People wrongly closed it as they thought it is a duplicate of this one, which is similar, but different). – DejanLekic May 31 '16 at 11:37

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