It happens sometimes that some content that for better or worse isn't in its current form fit for the site it's posted and is deleted or going towards deletion. What can I do to salvage the bits of useful content that these posts serve?
First of all, be very warned that you may end up not being able to keep the content available on any of the Stack Exchange sites. This is by design. The Q&A format that Stack Exchange is its strongest point and there's simply some kind of content that inherently can't fit. That out the way, there are several options, not ordered in terms of difficulty, but the ones that are less likely to produce frictions. For all designs and purposes we are going to refer just to questions, since answers have extensive documentations on how can they be kept.
Edit the question to make it fit
This can be either very difficult or easy. It may imply rewording or removing some sentences or adding some others. This can be an extensive work adding several lines of text or removing several more. Do not be afraid to invalidate some answers.
Reask the question, just in other form
This can imply asking the question that part of the answer(s) addressed, think about having a solution and creating the problem.
Reask the question, just in other site
This is for questions that are just in the wrong place. Instead of asking in the site for general computing problems was asked on a site for pet owners, for example. Usually, the content can be just copied unedited with proper attribution and posted on the target site.
When the content is already available elsewhere
The option that could result in just the deletion of the content. In this case just review that the replacement has accurate and up-to-date information. In these cases, sometimes is discovered that what is being savaged wasn't actually so valuable.
When Stack Exchange isn't just the place the content was meant to be in
As warned at the start this guide, some content for its very nature are just not fit the Stack Exchange model. There are several options you have to pick, depending the kind of content you are trying to savage:
- Wikipedia can be a good site for extensive articles about an specific topic. Its encyclopedic format requires extensive use of references. This can be good for content that are mostly references to other documents. Lists or comparisons of a specific set of elements which has its own encyclopedic article, has been proven welcomed there.
- Github is another option for the more technical source of informations. The possibilities are unlimited. The most successful case is a list of freely available programming books which was hosted on Stack Overflow.
- A blog can be a good way to share your expertise too. Stack Exchange was built with some characteristics blogs has, specifically the ability to answer your own question (self-answering). There are several services that offer blog or blog-like sites freely for your use as brain dump, like Wordpress, Blogger, Github Pages, which are the most popular.
Stack Exchange has no qualms in deleting content so long as it's available and is better than the content that Stack Exchange was hosting.
Users mostly wont feel the reputation lost, since posts with score =>3 and that were visible on the site for more than 60 days are kept.