My question is going to speak specifically about Joomla Stack Exchange, but many of my statements will seamlessly correlate to other programming-related Stack Exchange sites (such as WordPress Development, Drupal Answers, Code Review, Ask Ubuntu, Database Administrators, and on and on).
Joomla Stack Exchange (JSE) would invariably benefit from having more questions.
So what's the challenge? Joomla support seekers are in a 3-way split between the archaic Joomla Forum (JF - since 2005), Stack Overflow (SO - since 2008), and JSE (since 2014).
JF and SO have already gained critical mass after years of established operation and they have their own "gravity". JSE, on the other hand, really struggles to gain traction.
Fun fact: SO has 3x as many Joomla questions as JSE!
What can be done to give JSE more of a fighting chance? For starters, we need better awareness* from Stack Overflow users and features to improve the recommendation and automation of page migrations.
*A screenshot will be provided lower in this post showing that even high-rep devoted SO users don't even know that JSE exists!
As a diamond moderator on JSE, I find myself scanning SO pages for new questions that are seeking Joomla support. The only tool that I have to usher users to post on JSE is to tediously leave comments under questions to request the posting of Joomla questions on JSE.
Unless a question is asking for software recommendations, I cannot close questions as needing migration to JSE.
I know that I can flag SO diamond moderators to request migration to JSE, but:
- SO moderators are already overwhelmed by their daily flag queue (and they are supposed to "do as little as possible"),
- SO moderators can only migrate pages that are less than 60 days old, and
- perhaps the OP doesn't want to ask their question on JSE for whatever reason.
So what would I like?
Before an OP can initially post a question, programmatically scan on the question tags. If any of the tags contain the word "joomla", then prompt the user that it may be more appropriate to post the question on JSE. "Your question contains tags for Joomla. Would you like to post your question on Joomla Stack Exchange instead?"
As a volunteer, I would like a clickable option next to the question's close option that will allow me to recommend that the OP migrate the page to a site that specializes in the niche topic. It is entirely possible that the question could be appropriately migrated to multiple sites (just like close vote reasons); in which case, I'll need to decide which SE site would be best suited.
Any migration recommendations would appear publicly under the question as a comment (like close vote/flags) -- this would improve Network awareness. Subsequent volunteers that also encourage the migration could upvote the comment to show their agreement.
As for the OP, the recommendation(s) would be a large/obvious button (somewhere) that says "Would you like to move your question to Joomla Stack Exchange?". Clicking on that button would force the user to register on the site if not already an account holder, and move the question and all answers. Giving the OP the indefinite* privilege to move the question would be great.
*Perhaps limit how many times a page can be moved to stop any ridiculous multi-stop tours of the network.
If the OP does not manually accept the recommendation to migrate, but the OP has registered on the recommended SE site AND there are, say, 4 upvotes on the migration recommendation comment, then let the system automatically migrate the page.
If the OP hasn't registered on the recommended SE site, but the recommendation comment has 4 upvotes, issue a ping/message to the OP which tells them that the community feels signing up to the recommended SE site is appropriate and would permit migration. Once registered, then the OP's page(s) would be automatically migrated.
I am interested in (but feel it is an unlikely request) having all Joomla tagged questions on SO migrated to JSE. The minor risk with this is that not all Joomla tagged question actually belong on JSE. For instance, a question might ask about how to port a Joomla site to a WordPress site -- this is more appropriately posted on WordPress Development SE. We can mitigate these few occurrences case-by-case in our community and re-migrate questions as we encounter them.
Not only are there reasons to pull content to JSE, there are reasons to push content out of SO...
If we can't have a bulk migration dump, then can we have a newly migrated question (which is 60+ days old) every 45 minutes? This will be a sensible pace by which our community can carefully tend to the incoming crop. This "fresh" content will be much more entertaining than the pages that get regurgitated/bumped by the system now.
Grant me special powers as a diamond moderator to selectively harvest/migrate historic (60+ days old) Joomla questions from SO. Limit my migrations to 10-a-day if you like. I feel that I am suitably qualified to responsibly choose SO questions that are more appropriately kept on JSE.
Give me a private JSE-moderators-only form which I can submit lists of SO question ids that I feel should be migrated to JSE. Then SO headquarters can determine if/how they want to migrate batches of questions.
Look, ultimately, I want my community to blossom at an accelerated pace, but I just don't feel like I have all of the necessary resources right now. Any progress on migrations will improve our community's activity and encourage new users to come to JSE too.
Please tell me that some fraction of this plea will be entertained. I am fully open to compromising on any of the terms for the sake of progress. If we don't intend to honor SE Network sites for their niche topic expertise, then why do we bother to have them? I feel we should have more good eggs in fewer baskets so that researchers can more easily find what they need.