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This question already has an answer here:

I was just reading this question regarding the appropriate place to post questions about WAMP (XAMPP in my case, but the same question):

Do questions on WAMP belong on Stack Overflow, Server Fault or Super User?

It seems to suggest the proper place to ask my XAMPP question would be Super User. Then I was curious if my question would get more exposure on Stack Overflow, so I looked up how many questions about XAMPP are on either site. There are 63,394 questions tagged 'XAMPP' on Stack Overflow, and only 1,357 questions on Super User. So there is apparently more activity for XAMPP questions on SO, so it would appear that the appropriate place to ask a XAMPP question is not where my question would get the most exposure.

As someone looking to find a solution to a problem as quickly as possible, I would be inclined to ask the same question in both Stack Overflow, and Super User. That doesn't seem right to have to ask in both places.

LET ME BE ABSOLUTELY CLEAR THAT I AM NOT ADVOCATING FOR ANYONE TO POST A QUESTION IN TWO PLACES. I'm saying as a matter of (possibly) self preservation, in some cases — NOT necessarily my example — it might be or seem to be more likely to yield more results, and that INEVITABLY people will choose that option. And that I believe that is a fault in the system.

Is there any established way to handle this issue?

I looked at this question, but I think my question differs, in that I believe Stack Overflow would not be the appropriate place for my question, but I feel like I might put it there anyways, just to get a solution faster.

I'm no expert, but it seems to me like there should be a way to take any question, and be able to select and/or change which sites the question gets posted to. That way there would only need to be one question, and one place to edit or answer it.

I do not believe my question to be a duplicate of this question as this issue was a bit of a side note, and the actual question was in the next paragraph. Also, the answer does not seem to address my specific question. So this paragraph:

So my second instinct would then to be to post it into the Stack Overflow site on the basis that I have a significantly higher chance of my question being seen and getting a good answer. Then I notice that there is also a 'programmers' network, and I don't even begin to know where that fits in. I, and I am assuming most people, will probably just post on Stack Overflow to be safe.

...is related to my question, but:

My question is, other than the short little description blurb of each one, is there a clear cut set of guidelines which what each network is intended for, what kinds of questions should go to each one, and is anything being done to encourage people to post in these newer, smaller (more specialized?) networks as opposed to just posting in big daddy Stack Overflow?

...is the specific question that the answer seems to address.

marked as duplicate by curiousdannii, Pierre.Vriens, Mureinik, Pika the Wizard of the Whales, Sonic the Reinstate Monica-hog Jun 11 at 20:10

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    This is effectively the fable of the man looking for his keys under the street lamp instead of where he lost them. Yes, doing that is easier, but that doesn't make it a good idea. – Servy Jun 10 at 21:51
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    Servy, sounds like advise from someone who has never worked for deadlines. ;) – BBaysinger Jun 10 at 21:53
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    @BBaysinger Asking a question of qualified people who are actually able to get you an answer, rather than asking people neither interested nor qualified in giving you an answer, simply because they're in a larger group, is not the way to get work done when it's on a deadline. You don't actually find your keys any faster when searching under the street light, no matter how much of a hurry you're in, when that isn't where you dropped them. – Servy Jun 10 at 22:06
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    @BBaysinger But if you're really in that much of a hurry, perhaps you should hire a contractor to solve the problem for you. Qualified people tend to be rather generous with giving you their time when you pay for it. When you just ask people online you're leaving yourself to the whims of people, and in a sea of other people also asking for help, which may not be acceptable if you're on an important deadline. – Servy Jun 10 at 22:07
  • @Servy, your analogy does not fit. We're talking about people and user activity. Why would I ask a question were I have reason to believe there are far fewer people potentially viewing it? – BBaysinger Jun 10 at 22:09
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    @BBaysinger In what way does the analogy not fit? Because that smaller group of people are the ones both qualified and interested in answering such questions. Why would you present your question to people neither qualified nor interested in answering it simply because there are more of them? – Servy Jun 10 at 22:11
  • Hypothetically, say there is a thousand times more activity for questions related to XAMPP on SO vs SU, then how could I even know there is so much less interest or experience in the people viewing my question? I personally would assume there would be more experience and interest over on SO, merely because of the amount of traffic. – BBaysinger Jun 10 at 22:16
  • Say only 10% of the SU users are highly qualified for my question, and 100% of those on SU, then that's still a hundred times more on SO than SU. – BBaysinger Jun 10 at 22:18
  • More attention means more downvotes and close votes if other people agree that Stack Overflow isn't the appropriate site to ask the question on. – Laurel Jun 10 at 23:14
  • @Laurel, absolutely possible, but that versus the risk of blowing a deadline... I have done this in the past without getting downvotes at all. – BBaysinger Jun 10 at 23:17
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    “I'm no expert, but it seems to me like there should be a way to take any question, and be able to select and/or change which sites the question gets posted to. That way there would only need to be one question, and one place to edit or answer it.” - Any question can be migrated to any community (might require a moderator to move it). However, asking a question you know is out of scope for a community, isn’t a good idea. – Ramhound Jun 11 at 0:44
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    @BBaysinger - If you have a deadline perhaps Stack Overflow isn’t the best solution for help. A question by the same author should only be submitted to a single community. Submitting the same question to multiple communities is frowned upon. Don’t use different users, to get around that advice, writing styles are easy to identify. – Ramhound Jun 11 at 1:29
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    No, downvotes don't have to be explained. And they never will be. You can read this question for more information. For your first comment, you are not currently banned, I believe. But if you continue to post questions where they don't belong, downvotes won't take long to make you aware of that, and a question ban won't be far behind. – fbueckert Jun 11 at 17:31
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    "PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY THIS IS NOT A VALID TOPIC." - I disagree with the entire premise of submitting an out of scope question to a community, just because you have a deadline, asking an out of scope question just so you can get an answer isn't behavior that should be encouraged. The good news for the community, most users won't even answer an out of scope question, they will simply migrated the question to the proper community then answer it. – Ramhound Jun 11 at 17:58
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    But we have had questions where we told people that 'This is the site for Interpersonal Skills, for questions about your behaviour when interacting with others. Answers will only address that. Your question seems to also have a large part that touches on workplace, law, finance... If you want that part addressed, you can ask a new question on those sites, make sure to check out their help center and tailor your question to their site'. You virtually never post the exact same question on two sites, that's frowned upon. But if you can show you tailored your question, it's often okay. – Tinkeringbell Jun 12 at 6:53
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As someone looking to find a solution to a problem as quickly as possible, I would be inclined to ask the same question in both Stack Overflow, and Super User. That doesn't seem right to have to ask in both places.

You're right here. It's not okay to ask the exact same question on both sites, like the answer to Do questions on WAMP belong on Stack Overflow, Server Fault or Super User? explains, each site has its own kind of issues they specialize in solving.

If your question, as you say, should be asked on Super User, ask it there. It can only be on-topic on one specific site.

There are 63,394 questions tagged 'XAMPP' on Stack Overflow, and only 1,357 questions on Super User. So there is apparently more activity for XAMPP questions on SO, so it would appear that the appropriate place to ask a XAMPP question is not where my question would get the most exposure.

When I looked, there were 17.785.537 questions on Stack Overflow, with 6297 new questions each day. And there were 410.996 questions on Super User, with 205 new questions each day.

Using the numbers of questions tagged XAMPP on each site as you posted them in your question, it means that approximately 1 in roughly every 280 questions on SO is tagged XAMPP, and roughly 1 in every 302 questions on SU is tagged as such.

That's not such a big difference in numbers actually. Just because absolute numbers say that SO has more questions tagged XAMPP, doesn't mean that relatively speaking there's also a big difference. Don't let big numbers fool you!

And with the number of new questions each day, it is more likely your XAMPP question gets buried on SO than SU.

Is there any established way to handle this issue?

Yes. Go to the site where the subject matter experts for your question are, pick according to the guidelines set out in the answer to Do questions on WAMP belong on Stack Overflow, Server Fault or Super User?.

Each site has its own group of people with its own kind of knowledge and interests and a set scope. Bypassing a site's scope will lead to your question being downvoted, closed, and (if you're really, really lucky)... migrated to the site with the correct scope.

This scope isn't there to make your life miserable: It's there to get the right questions in front of the right people: people that can answer it and who are interested in doing so. It's also there to help other people find their answers: If someone that knows the scope of SO and SU has a similar problem to yours, they'll search on Super User and find your question (and hopefully, a great answer!).

So, ask your question on Super User, it doesn't run a much higher risk of getting lost as on Stack Overflow, and it has a higher chance of getting an actual answer that will help you. It will, in the long run, save you time and frustration.

  • Thank you very much for respect and the thoughtful answer. I will think about this for a while, and respond when I have time to consider all of the aspects of it. – BBaysinger Jun 11 at 19:55

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