I have seen a few cases where the tag excerpts suggest not using the tag, or trying a more specific tag, but I have not come across the case where a tag suggests using a different Stack Exchange community, I searched but can't find anything that suggests it is bad etiquette.

My reason for wanting to do this is that I have seen that some tags exist in multiple communities but the poster is much more likely to get a response in one community rather than another just because there is more traffic there on that tag, or the tag is slightly more on-topic for that community in a specific situation.

My initial case that prompted me to post this here involves a question I posted that does not seem to be getting much attention in one community that may actually have got more chance of an answer with the same tag in another community. I asked a question in Unix & Linux with a tag of denyhosts at the time it seemed appropriate and although there wasn't a great amount of traffic the tag had some use even though it had no tag wiki content at all. As days have gone by and there have been very few views, no answers and no upvotes - I am left wondering if the question wouldn't have been better made in ServerFault with a tag of denyhosts and am weighing up the pros and cons of asking for migration if after a few more days there is still no activity. It struck me that I could have avoided this if the tag wiki excerpt had warned me that this tag was perhaps more active over there - I understand my bad for not researching well enough but why not make people's lives easier.

Neither tags initially had any tag wiki content. I have added an excerpt on ServerFault and was thinking of how to word the excerpt on Unix & Linux.

Although I appreciate answers to my specific case I do understand that this question would be better asked in one of the meta communities (which?); and am asking here because I think there could have been a generic etiquette to this kind of situation across all Meta Stack Exchange communities. Each individual tag situation will have its own merits, I am looking for general etiquette advice, and/or steps to follow in a community when faced with this situation.


2 Answers 2


A rough first search shows that this is done a couple of times on Stack Overflow:

select p.id as [Post Link]
     , body
     , pt.name
     --, pt.id
from posts p
inner join posttypes pt on pt.id = p.posttypeid
where posttypeid in (4,5) 
and (body like '%superuser.com%'
or body like '%serverfault.com%'
or body like '%.stackexchange.com%')

This doesn't mean though that this is (always) a good idea.

What is on- and off-topic is determined by each community and will probably change over-time. To decide if something is on/off-topic between sites requires that the users suggesting such soft-migrations are regular users on both sites. A question can be on-topic on multiple sites. There is a gray area.

If migration guidance is added to the tag wiki and/or excerpt (and is actually found, read and fully understand by the user) address the following concerns:

I would suggest that adding migration advice is best done by opening a post on the meta site where the tag wiki needs to be changed. Explain in the post why the wiki should have such migration advice and how it would help quality on both sites.

Keep in mind that while two similar tags might exist on two different sites that doesn't mean automagically that posts fit on both sites, although there is some overlap. There doesn't exist a golden rule, you need the question it self, its specific context and then it still depends on who you run into if questions asked in the same tag are perfectly on-topic on both sites.

It is not appreciated if certain communities start directing users to a different site while the target site isn't open for the type of questions being re-directed. That is a bad experience for the asker and both communities.

  • @DanSut feel free to add one example but also search a bit (either here on MSE or on Meta.SO) to see if it has maybe has come-up before. Migration is a hot topic with heated discussion now and then... you don't want to re-do something....
    – rene
    Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 18:51
  • Thanks for the detailed answer, not only has it gone some way to answering my Q but it also illustrates some things I did not yet know were even possible on StackExchange :) I hadn't even considered migration and the kind of advice given in the excerpt vs the full tag wiki. Would it help if I gave a concrete example in the Question here? I thought that this was generic enough useful Q that I couldn't find a good answer to.
    – DanSut
    Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 18:52
  • My example involves a case where I am left thinking it could involve me asking for migration, that could have been avoided if the tag wiki excerpt had been more helpful ;) Sorry for deleting and recreating my comment - I reread and saw I had made a grammar mistake that I myself hate and had missed the 5 min window :/
    – DanSut
    Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 18:55
  • @DanSut here is one example where a few seasoned users and a Community Moderator (=Stack Exchange employee) are having a debate about either closing/migrating or keeping a question on main. Again, it is not an easy topic. You might rather lurk a little bit before getting your feet wet ;)
    – rene
    Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 19:11
  • thanks again - I do keep telling myself to lurk longer, be patient but am itching to contribute :) I have updated the Q with my example, and would love to see advice like first post to meta of community X, using tag Y, etc.
    – DanSut
    Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 19:34
  • Yeah I saw that. I would start with a question on meta.unix. They have your question on their site, there are probably also users from SF participating so you'll get the right audience and correct advice. Here on MSE you are less likely to find the right audience.
    – rene
    Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 19:41

I think that it is fine to do so, and will cite a couple of examples from the GIS Stack Exchange:

When using this tag you should consider posting your question to the Software Recommendations Stack Exchange instead.

Questions about Open Data may be better asked on the Open Data (beta) Stack Exchange which has a geospatial tag

Open Data Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for developers and researchers interested in open data.

GIS Stack Exchange policies relating to this topic have been discussed at Are questions about obtaining geospatial data on topic?

Both wikis could do with further editing, but I think they support what you are advocating.

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