EDIT: This question is as suspected a duplicate, so please check out the former post. Sonic's answer explains in detail how people end asking questions on Meta. Journeyman Geek has also a question asking how the problem of lost people can be solved. A better quantitative answer from Shog9 how people end here is found here.

There are sometimes questions inside Meta where obvious new and inexperienced users are asking questions belonging to a site.

How do those users come to Meta? My experience is that you don't enter Meta accidentally. Do we have an non-obvious UI problem? If we track how they enter the site, is there an obvious route which can cause that an inexperienced user ends here?

Or do we have so many questions that those users are simply unpreventable outliers who do not care where they land and dump their question into Meta? :/

  • 6
    One word: Desperation. Some of these users tried to ask off-topic or not so well received questions at other sites at the SE network already, and believe Meta SE is their last resort. Another reason is they think they got some kind of Meta problem, while it isn't within the definition of this site. Aug 10 '18 at 22:33
  • 2
    This is one of those questions I wonder about practically every day on here. I've had someone tell me that it's very easy for an inexperienced user to mistakenly arrive here via just a couple of clicks and not realize this is the wrong place to ask, but I just don't understand the mindset of arriving somewhere and then just blindly posting without looking around for even a minute and just hoping for the best.
    – n8te
    Aug 10 '18 at 22:37
  • @πάνταῥεῖ Oh, that was something I did not expect. Aug 10 '18 at 22:41
  • 3
    I can't help but feel that this is the same sort of thing as somebody wandering into a restaurant and asking if the establishment would be able to send someone over to help them fix their leaking plumbing. I can be gracious and assume that the question seems natural to the person who's arrived in that situation—but I can't honestly understand how it got to that point in the first place . . . Aug 10 '18 at 23:17
  • I think it's common knowledge what service a restaurant provides and that it's not a plumbing service. All Stack Exchange sites are all websites, however. They all have a similar design, and all have questions with people asking for help. Sometimes it's easy to not see a difficulty when you have extensive knowledge and experience
    – James
    Aug 10 '18 at 23:23
  • 2
    @james Yes, that's kind of my point. Each of these sites has a name. To extend the analogy, I'd assume that somebody would scan the site names and head over to the site named Plumbing (Assuming there were one.) If they didn't find one (which they wouldn't in this case), they wouldn't normally head over to the site named Restaurant (or Meta) and inquire there instead. Is it perhaps that the name Meta is simply so obscure to a lot of people that it's not obviously not the place to ask? Aug 10 '18 at 23:28
  • The sites all have massive similarities: the URLs are all "StackExchange" with "meta", or "unix", or "codereview" etc. The layout, styles, top nav, help based questions and answers (regardless of topic). It's not really right comparing mistaking one SE site with someone thinking plumbing services are to be had in a physical building with chairs and tables, waiters, a bar, menus, smell of food, a restaurant sounding name, etc. The former already happens, plenty of times. It's for various reasons - laziness, lack of knowledge or understanding, confusion, poor English, genuine mistake. etc.
    – James
    Aug 10 '18 at 23:40
  • 1
    vaguely related as well
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Aug 11 '18 at 6:29

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