Here are a couple of issues and a proposal how to address it:

Issue 1. Some questions seem to be applicable to multiple SE sites. Sometimes users wonder: should THIS applied math question go to Mathematics or MO or Computational Science or Cross Validated? should THAT computer theory question go to SO or MO or CS or TCS?

Issue 2. Some users are interested in multiple sites, and may want to view multiple site questions w/out clicking though sites.

Solution: consolidate all SE sites into a single one, and assign to each question one or more "supertags" that indicate with which site(s) the question is associated with. When visiting SE the user, instead of choosing the site from the drop-down box, would select one or more "supertags" indicating the sites he is interested in viewing (similar to selection of usual tags on individual sites). The questions ONLY with appropriate supertags will show up. (This is different from handling of the usual tags, which highlights the questions among visible untagged ones; supertags would filter out untagged ones completely).

Solution of Issue 1: the questions applicable to multiple SE sites may have multiple supertags.

Solution of Issue 2: the user interested in multiple SE sites would just select multiple supertags.


I initially posted the above question on Area51, where it was tagged as off-topic because it belongs to MSE. I think my confusion of the appropriate site for this question reinforces the validity of the UI change proposal. :)

  • 1
    See also: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/131950/… Nov 20 '14 at 21:33
  • 2
    You may wish to look at the StackExchange filtered questions 'supersite' that already exists: stackexchange.com/filters -- if I am interested in multiple sites I can see all the questions for them on one page (and even narrow it down by favorite tags).
    – user213963
    Nov 20 '14 at 21:35
  • I'm not sure I see the usefulness of Filtered Questions? It looks like it filters based on tags and topics? But tags are chosen on a per-topic basis, so therefore they will be different for each topic right?
    – user493924
    Apr 23 '19 at 16:27
  • @kipbits, I accepted that the tribe has spoken regarding this suggestion.
    – Michael
    Apr 23 '19 at 21:07

One great thing about Stack Exchange is that it's not only a collection of 130 (or so, it's hard to keep track) sites, but also 130 communities built in those sites. By consolidating all of these communities into one, we'd widen the scope of said communities to be effectively non-existent.

Let's put it this way: Yahoo! Answers is great for...something, probably...but I don't want to hang out there in my free time.

Each site has a different look and feel (even more so once it's graduated), and condensing all those of those down into something universal would take away a lot of that.

On top of that, even, there'd be an issue with users posting on the wrong tags, and I mean that in two ways.

  1. People already ask their question on very-much the wrong site, the last thing we need is to make it even more difficult to identify the scope of what you're looking under.
  2. People already don't understand the scope of their knowledge. Give someone full access to a bundle of answers, and you risk them posting nonsense on a topic they have no understanding of, or potentially worse, thinking they're answering one question, when in reality what they're answering is asking a very different thing.

As for your concerns about a question being appropriate on multiple sites, no. Just, nope. Some question fundamentals might be appropriate on multiple sites, but any cross-posting should be carefully fit into its target site.

Never, ever ask this question. It's not a good question to ask. Don't do it. But, say I wanted to ask "what's the hardest part of flying?" I "super-tag" that "Travel," "Physics," "Aviation." Aside from the fact that we're already looking at the start of a "...walk into a bar" joke, you'll end up with many answers, next to each other.

  • "Probably when there's not enough space for my legs and suitcase."
  • "Probably when your wing geometry doesn't get you enough lift."
  • "Probably when I have to work on no sleep."

You don't want to see those answers next to each other, so the logical thing to do is group them by which "site" they're supposed to be on (perhaps, I don't know, by putting each on its own subdomain). You can see, also, by my answers there, that I am not an expert in any of those fields, and it should not be easy for me to blindly float around them, answering questions that I don't think twice about.

If you still don't believe me, then at least accept this: we're too late in the game to make this change, even if we wanted to. Databases are separate, people are used to the sites layout, and it just wouldn't make business sense to make such a grand change.

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