TL;DR: MSO still is used like before the MSO–MSE split by most SO users. Is this really intended, and if yes, why?
Recently, I visited Stack Overflow somewhat more often and through the sidebar noticed some questions on MSO, which did not seem to be specific to Stack Overflow at all, but rather pertained to all of Stack Exchange. Some of these questions had a lot of feedback, even from Stack Exchange employees.
After observing this for about a month now, I get the feeling that a lot of questions that could as well have been asked here on MSE are asked on MSO. This pertains to all four general types of meta questions (support, bug, feature request and discussion) and in particular with respect to some feature requests and discussion, I got the feeling that I am missing some, if not most of the interesting stuff here on MSE.¹ I even began wondering, if posting a feature request on MSO instead of MSE would increase its chances of being successful.
Here are some examples of questions that are not SO-specific and that are asked on MSO, most by high-reputation users, which are very unlikely to be oblivious of the MSO–MSE split:
- A minor change to the description of the "not an answer" flag: "the question" → "a question"
- Notify me when my flag has been handled
- Can we have a tool-tip with the full title for links to hot meta posts that don't fit into the side bar?
- Please allow me to delete my own accepted answer
- Please clarify "score" vs. "reputation" on tag badge descriptions
Moreover I quickly went through MSO’s homepage (recently active questions)²:
- 31 questions could as well have been asked on MSE.
- 11 questions were clearly SO-specific.
- 5 questions were in a grey zone.
In contrast, on the per-site metas on which I am active, there only very rarely is a question that might as well have been posted on MSE. I made the same statistic for Meta Academia and only found four not-Academia-specific questions and three grey ones. Going by this and SO’s sheer size, the policy of not migrating only affects a few questions on other per-site metas, but has a huge impact through MSO.
I think that this is an issue due to the following reasons:
- It creates redundancy, which is bad for the same reason as duplicate questions are: Time is wasted; it’s more difficult to find information; people who could give a good answer do not see the question.
- People who are interested in giving feedback on general SE issues, but who are not active on MSO miss interesting feature requests and discussions.
- The positive effect of people from different sites with different experiences and perspectives (as to how the SE engine is used) coming together on Meta is diminished.
Going by the fact that some of the above questions are answered by people who are capable of migrating them, I do however assume that this is intended. Thus my question is:
What is the current rationale for keeping questions that pertain to all of Stack Exchange on per-site metas instead of migrating them to MSE? I am asking in particular in light of the developments after the MSO–MSE split and the fact that MSO does not compare to other per-site metas as described above. I am aware that there are several questions about this issue or surrounding this (e.g., here, here, here and here), but they were all asked long before the MSO–MSE split or shortly afterwards, when it wasn’t clear how things would develop.
¹ Note that this is not about new features that are first tested on Stack Overflow, such as Triage.
² I did not invest much time in every question, and thus I may have erred in my classification for some and also I might have accidentally skipped some questions.