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Having myself just been through this, it is very frustrating when a questions is closed when the OP has tried to find an alternative exchange site or other site to answer the question.

Instead of moderators jumping straight on the 'hold' button seconds after a question is answered, is there anyway they can maybe suggest an alternative option that might help get the question answered?

After all, lets remember that these sites were not created to satisfy some moderators ego of how many questions they can patrol, instead moderators should help people who are struggling to find the correct forum for their question.

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    Some questions don't have a place in the network. Either because of the nature of the question or because a site that is suitable doesn't exist. – Oded May 22 '16 at 20:11
  • Agree, but I feel your example if the minority. Most questions will have another exchange that can help, or another site. Sometime all thats needed is someone to point you in the direction of another site that can help. Thats as valuable as a definitive answer to most people! I think moderators (who are surely experts for their chosen tags) should be able to provide such advise – Gaz_Edge May 22 '16 at 20:14
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    I disagree. The vast majority of off-topic posts don't have a place elsewhere on the network. – Oded May 22 '16 at 20:17
  • @Oded well, OP here is talking only about questions that fit in a different site, not the ordinary off topic stuff of SO. Still, it will require time and efforts that the active users simply don't have. – Shadow Wizard is Vaccinating May 22 '16 at 20:23
  • @Oded - the 'network' is here to help people. If a lot of genuine people are getting their questions closed, does that not suggest that we are missing a site to help these people? Some sort of 'Misc' site where questions are migrated for a month then deleted. – Gaz_Edge May 22 '16 at 20:23
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    This is that "Misc" site, see all the site-recommendation questions. – Shadow Wizard is Vaccinating May 22 '16 at 20:24
  • ohhh - i didn't know that. Well why not say that when a question is put on hold!!! Thats what I was effectively saying!! You can say 'your question is on hold. If you are unsure where you should ask your question, please raise a question on meta' – Gaz_Edge May 22 '16 at 20:25
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    Before telling people rude, please understand that voting on meta is different (you tagged this as feature-request). – Meta Andrew T. May 22 '16 at 23:50
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    You know what's really frustrating for users? When they post on site X and someone closes the question but tries to be helpful and says "Hey, this is off topic on X, but try site Y." Then the user tries asking on site Y, only to find out that the helpful user was misinformed about the scope of Y, and the question is closed, there too. (The moral of the story is: you can't expect users who hang out on X all day to understand the scope of every Y, and misinformation can be worse than no information.) – ff524 May 23 '16 at 4:55
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There are thousands of questions, and few active high rep users who can vote to close them.

If we'll require those active users to start explaining their actions in detail, waste tons of time trying to personally help each and every person asking off topic question, those users will simply leave.

Maybe few people would be happier as they got a better help, but in the long run, it's fatal for the site.

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  • I see your point. Can we not create a sort of 'holding site' where these questions can be migrated to for a period of time. No questions get put on hold here, but it allows others to suggest alternative sites that can help – Gaz_Edge May 22 '16 at 20:17
  • @Gaz_Edge and then what? Who will be in that "holding site"? – Shadow Wizard is Vaccinating May 22 '16 at 20:27
  • All exchange users. It doesn't need moderating other than spam bot. All questions closed in a month. – Gaz_Edge May 22 '16 at 20:29
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There is an option: migration. If a question has a decent quality but is off-topic on site A, it can be method to site B. This is an option on the close dialog: (it contains 5 possible sites, and moderator can migrate to any site in SE network)

If a question doesn't fit on any site, there is nothing we can do. There might be no place for the question anywhere here. A simple reason might be that it is considered too broad to be answerable or something else generally considered off-topic.

Closing question and other moderation actions are never for the ego of the one taking that action. It is to keep the site clean and the quality high. That is something you have accept since that is considered the best thing every site in the network has. It distinguishes SE from forums and discussion boards.

And it is not the responsibility of moderators or any other member on the site to play street signs. You need to look where to ask certain questions. We are not a global directory guiding you around the web.

Also, this site has a tag for site recommendations where we are happy to guide you the way in the SE network.

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  • I do agree - i just feel its frustrating as a lot if genuine people ask question that fall outside the exchanges 'rules'. Im just trying to open the discussion to see if there is some way to help these people. I appreciate that the current rules make this hard, so why don't we create a 'no holds bared' site that question are migrated to for a month or so, and then deleted. – Gaz_Edge May 22 '16 at 20:20
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    Was going to add the screenshot to my answer, but it's better fitted here. – Shadow Wizard is Vaccinating May 22 '16 at 20:20

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