I'm hitting a problem sometimes when posting a question on a Stack Exchange site. The question is most appropriate for a specific site, but often the knowledge (i.e. the people) are grouped on another (Stack Overflow?). There are plenty of questions addressing this as a problem:

Merge questions from different sites

Sharing a question between different SE sites

Is it ok to delete question on one Stack Exchange site (for lack of response) and post it on another Stack Exchange site? (and dups)

And plenty more. It occurred to me that while specialization (through fractionation of Stack Exchange to multiple sites) is a good thing, but only if the specialists spread themselves around. Often a grad students or scientists can contribute to Stack Overflow, math, the other math, stats, maybe another site etc. The problem most have a main or a couple of (science) sites they enjoy contributing to, and won't be aware of questions on other sites. For me Stack Overflow seems like an aggregation of such knowledge, making it very annoying to ask a statistical question that will either be answered within a day on Stack Overflow, or closed for migration - depending on luck - while posting on cross-validated may not get more than a few views over weeks.

Allow [tag:tag-name] syntax to link to any site almost addresses this, but that would require both a lot of effort when asking a question, plus you need to know to link to other sites particularly.

I ** (previously - edit below)** suggested making tags cross-site as a rule, that is, changing the default rule when registering to all site. This way subscribing to a tag will alert to any related question on any site - and maybe entice a pro who wouldn't normally visit to contribute. Tags are a loose grouping as it is, and it seems a shame to force someone asking on growth rate of some bacteria to miss out on advice from people on mathematics exchange. I can't see an advantage to dividing tags to sites either - if you don't want to see minecraft alerts in your feed, don't sign up.

If you think this is a bad idea I'd be interested in what advantage is there to keeping tags split.

PS: Maybe adding the fake Internet points as a cumulative sum (in addition to per site) can help as well, but I don't think it is as important.


Following the comment by @rene, I suggest creating default tag groups, so when registering to Python on Stack Overflow, you would register to Python on SU and stats (for example) as well. I suggest this as a default behavior to allow new contributing users a global view by default of suggested tag. No one is going to use filtering by default, not to mention looking for possible relevant cross-sites. This can't be universal, since Python may appear in a future cool-animals.se site - inspired by the Apple comment of @rene.

  • Did you consider filters: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/224536/… you can find and setup them here: stackexchange.com/filters/1 – rene Jan 29 '18 at 10:42
  • @rene other way around- I want if someone tags a question differential equation, all subscribers see it by default. I want to reduce the work needed by both parties. Specifically when someone registers a tag, it will be unfiltered by site. – kabanus Jan 29 '18 at 10:43
  • I think I'll amend the question to changing default behavior when registering. – kabanus Jan 29 '18 at 10:46
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    Tags are by definition not cross-site. I don't want my active feed be cluttered because someone decided that apple is a fine tag on both Super User and Seasoned Advice ... – rene Jan 29 '18 at 10:52
  • @rene that's bad tagging then, and should be addressed therein. Seasoned advice though is a real problem, good example, I'll have to think on it. Maybe default tag groups. – kabanus Jan 29 '18 at 10:56
  • @rene amended my suggestion. I really think the default behavior should not be specific, in order to flesh out new sites. – kabanus Jan 29 '18 at 11:59
  • But ....I don't want to register to Python on SU ... – rene Jan 29 '18 at 12:03
  • @rene does the good of the SE exchange as a good data source matter more than what you want? Plenty of people want to comment as soon as they join but they can't, for example. Most likely there will be many things you could contribute to related to Python there as well. Why wouldn't you want to answer Python relevant questions there? – kabanus Jan 29 '18 at 12:05
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    Because I find it difficult enough to write answers that match the quality guidelines of the community of my main site. I don't want to be lured into some obscure science site with a community that have far stretching ideas about good posts to a level that I'll never reach. – rene Jan 29 '18 at 12:11
  • @rene take it from me, SO has the most demanding quality constraints, particularly a few of the sub-communities therein. I'm dropping this though, thanks for giving feedback. – kabanus Jan 29 '18 at 12:22

Tags are not universal. They are sometimes, but now always. The classic will do the work: it is a valid tag among sites, meaning different things (an apple on Seasoned Advice, and a device from Apple on Ask Different). That said, we can't inter-exchange tags, and we shouldn't.

You can easily set up a Stack Exchange-broad filter for tags you want to. I have one for the tags I am interested in, and you can create your own.

  • This was addressed in the comments, and I've now amended my question with a new suggestion following that - please have a look, I think the default should be less constricting. – kabanus Jan 29 '18 at 11:59

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