The issue:

As the number exchanges/communities have grown, a lot of overlapping question are spreading across the lines between the communities.


Here is my proposal:

Rather than forcing members and admins to decide the one community a question "best" belong to and transfer them (where the OP might not even belong). Why not instead provide a way to "refer" the question to another group. These questions could be made visible under questions in another tab labeled "Referred". The referred questions would be visible to those communities' members who could then answer if they chose (they may have to join the hosting community to do that - that is up to you).

The same mechanisms that are already in place to support quality questions would already apply. I recommend that the administrators in the referred communities should be allowed to choose the option that fits their community best.

  1. Don't accept referrals
  2. Automatically accept and display referrals
  3. Referrals must be accepted before they are displayed to the community

Tagging for referral could either be added as a new feature (my preference), as an extension of share or as another option under flag

At the bottom of every question there is the comment "Know someone who can answer? Share a link to this question via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.". Why encourage people to go outside for an answer when another community might have the answer?

  • 1
    In a way you can do this already in a way by custom flagging and asking for migration. It doesn't work though because the individual communities are really bad at it and try to refer really poor questions. Jul 4, 2017 at 7:12
  • 2
    Is it much like this: meta.stackexchange.com/a/219824/158100?
    – rene
    Jul 4, 2017 at 7:14
  • 1
    @RobertLongson Wouldn't migration close the question on site A and copy everything to site B? That would mean that someone from site A without an account on site B can't answer it. That isn't an optimal solution :/.
    – Tom
    Jul 4, 2017 at 9:06
  • Why would not closing result in higher quality questions being proposed as cross-site questions. You need to address how to maintain quality here. Jul 4, 2017 at 9:40
  • 1
    @RobertLongson OP asks about question which belong (from the asked topic) to at least two communities, thus closing the question for one community and moving it to the second one, makes it (a bit) harder for members of the first community to answer that question, but that's the point of this question here: how can we make it easier for both communities to answer such questions.
    – Tom
    Jul 4, 2017 at 10:57
  • @tom and my point is that there are very few people qualified to determine that a question both belongs and is high quality on two or more communities and figuring out how to select such questions is a problem that would need solving first. Jul 4, 2017 at 11:04
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    @RobertLongson This is correct, but that "you can do that already: migration" isn't a possible solution for that problem, in my opinion ;P.
    – Tom
    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:18
  • @rene I had not see that question. Looks like a very similar question. I will read it over. I had considered the idea of allowing a question to live in both Communities; but, I thought that might be a lot more difficult to implement and it would run into some of the same problems that migrating a question runs into. With this idea, the only change that would be required is the mechanism to flag and manage the referred communities for a question and a mechanism to filter and display them in the referred community. That doesn't seem too complicated as questions are already publicly visible. Jul 4, 2017 at 16:00
  • Yes please. Health and Fitness have a huge amount of related or mutual questions!
    – Narusan
    Jul 4, 2017 at 20:16
  • 1
    @RobertLongson Regarding "there are very few people qualified to determine that a question both belongs and is high quality on two or more communities". 1) I agree that question quality is a persistent issue. That is not directly related to this proposal. A poor quality question is poor quality no matter what Community it is posted in. 2) I am not proposing that a question belong to more than one community. I am rather asking for a way to refer it to another Community for interested parties that could help answer it. Yes that could be abused. I proposed tools to help Admis manage that. Jul 4, 2017 at 22:30
  • Maybe it is worth looking through past questions tagged site-crossover. In particular, this question has rather extensive discussion: Build and strengthen the Stack Exchange community with “crossover questions” between sites.
    – Martin
    Apr 28, 2018 at 8:16
  • @Martin Who are you proposing to do the looking? I have seen the other discussion, note I posted to it around the time I posted this and I'm not sure much has changed since then. Jun 15, 2018 at 16:16
  • Really good idea, but I disagree with giving communities ability to choose. Jun 28, 2018 at 14:44
  • 2
    As a Mod on Ask Different, we regularly see questions that could easily be on topic for 5+ communities, so this is an interesting idea. For it to work you'd really have to implement the Referred tab (or something similar) and you'd probably want to make the ability to refer somewhat restricted (i.e. limit it to the OP, Mods, and to users who earn it as a privilege after a certain amount of rep). Not sure what amount of rep, but I suppose it could be set at 200 since that's when the site association bonus kicks in.
    – Monomeeth
    Jun 29, 2018 at 2:44
  • @Monomeeth Can you elaborate a bit more on the reason you think people should have to earn the privilege? If they go to the original site then they can answer it with 1 rep. (Not disagreeing with you, just playing devils advocate) Jun 29, 2018 at 2:59

1 Answer 1


You can actually bring a question to the attention of another community by posting it in their chat room. Indeed, some sites set up their chat rooms to automatically receive a feed of interestingly-tagged questions on other sites. Notably, Elisha posts a lot of interesting stuff to The Upper Room.

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    Chat does not seem like a logical fit. 1) To do that you have to be part of the other community(ies). Not everyone if Robotics if going to be in the Mathematics community (probably very few). 2) In my experience, Chat is used by less than 1% of the Community. That is not the kind of exposure I thought mad sense. Jul 4, 2017 at 15:47
  • 3
    More likely used by less than 0.1%
    – Helmar
    May 28, 2018 at 10:36

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