I think that now that we have multiple communities, there are questions that will be of interest to multiple communities.

For example consider the question "Homemade sports drinks" asked on bicycles stack exchange . I think that this question would be better answered on the food and cooking stack exchange (that is where the experts are). But since questions is of interest to both communities I think that it is useful to cross post it, where answers are also shared between the different sites.

I think that the best way to handle cases like this is by allowing cross posting. I think users with 500+ reputation should be allowed to cross post questions. This would allow users from both sites to answer them. I think that this could also be a good way of marketing different sites to different users.

Similar questions have been asked about the SO, SU and SF triad but I think that this has become a larger issue (and will become a bigger issue as more area51 sites evolve).

  • Am I right to assume that your reference to "cross-posting" is different from multi-posting?
    – Arjan
    Commented Sep 19, 2010 at 15:23
  • @Arjan - The post your reference is not relevant. If a question is cross posted across SE, then it will take up space on each site separately. There is no analogous SE method to the newsgroup cross post. Commented Sep 19, 2010 at 20:03
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    @Peter, currently anyone can manually post the same thing twice, and currently there is no usenet-style cross post possible. True. But I hope this change request is not about just automating that manual process -- that would be quite useless, if you'd ask me. Instead, I hope the feature request is about posting it once (having it in the database once, or at least have some relationships), still having it visible on multiple sites, and above all: have all responses visible on all sites as well. So: a usenet-style cross post. As such, I think the link is in fact very relevant?
    – Arjan
    Commented Sep 19, 2010 at 21:17
  • @Arjan - Well, I'm pretty sure that will never happen due to how the different sites are set up. I also think it'd be a bad idea. Commented Sep 19, 2010 at 21:23
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    Super User is seeing multi posts to, for example, sites like apple.stackexchange.com -- which I find more annoying than cross-posting. And for those two sites, I can understand folks think both sites are suitable.
    – Arjan
    Commented Sep 19, 2010 at 21:31
  • Ah, my bad, @sixty actually already gave the answer in a comment: if you cross post the question manually answers are not shared between the two sites. So, this request is about a usenet-like cross post.
    – Arjan
    Commented Sep 19, 2010 at 23:16
  • From a conceptual point of view, this seems like a good idea. However, according to the answer, this will be very hard to implement.
    – user215114
    Commented Oct 17, 2013 at 20:16

2 Answers 2


Well, first off, you can cross post now. Without any rep, on any of the sites. Just... do it.

Whether or not your questions will be well-received is another matter: in the example you gave, the question is appropriately targeted for an athlete / cyclist audience, and as a result has been accepted there. But if it were posed to the Food and Cooking site, it would almost certainly be shut down: F&C doesn't care much for recipe requests, and tends to take a dim view of "health" questions as well.

So at a bare minimum, you should take some time to become familiar with your target sites and audiences before trying to cross post. You should then try to pose your questions in a way that makes sense for the target site. With that accomplished, it's a pretty good bet that what you're doing won't really resemble "cross posting" anymore, since the questions themselves will be rather different, reflecting the individual characters of the sites they're posted on.

But see also: What to do with cross-site duplicates?

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    yeah. my first reaction to this was "that's not even on topic for cooking!" which highlights the root problem with enabling the cross-post mentality, in any way. BTW I have these same arguments with @spolsky for the record.. Commented Sep 19, 2010 at 4:45
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    I am +1ing your answer because it makes several good points. However it does not address one issue main issue: if you cross post the question manually answers are not shared between the two sites. Commented Sep 19, 2010 at 14:54
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    I disagree about calling this cross-posting. I think that's multi-posting, without any reference from one question to the other.
    – Arjan
    Commented Sep 19, 2010 at 15:22
  • @Arjan: you can add all the references you want. This isn't USENET - we have hyperlinks. But I get your point - there's no equivalent to cross-site questions within S[OFUE], nor is there ever likely to be - such a beast makes little sense in this context.
    – Shog9
    Commented Sep 19, 2010 at 23:43
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    @sixtyfootersdude: right. And that's fine, since the answers on one site are unlikely to be relevant on another. To use your example again, the question you'd want ask on F&C might actually chain off of the answers you got on Bicycles: "How can I get maltodextrin to dissolve in cold water?" or "How can I make chocolate milk that won't go bad on a long hot summer ride?" - questions that take what you've learned from other cyclists regarding the ingredients and move to F&C to pick up expertise on preparation. Rather than depending on answers from cooking bikers, you get the best of both!
    – Shog9
    Commented Sep 20, 2010 at 0:02

Not just no, but


Practical difficulties

  • Tagging -- This is going to be a nightmare.
  • Rep handling for people active on more than one target site. On the site they posted from? Split? Any way you chose it will take a lot of coding
  • Focus -- Just try writing a "good" question aimed at more than one tightly focused community, being sure to understand the culture on both of them.
  • Closing -- What if one site votes to close as "S&A" say. I mean, "off topic" is easy to handle, but other close reasons?
  • 5000 rep on which site? Both?

This proposal will require and enormous amount of coding and introduce a lot of unanticipated interactions. Uhg.

Philosophical stance.

I sometimes feel that people defend off topic questions on Stack Overflow essential because they want access to the large audience that exists there, without regard to whether the post is good for the site or community. Though I can not articulate why, this request feel the same to me: a claim is being made on the audience for the posters benefit.

It will encourage people to direct questions to sites where they are marginal or worse.

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    Tragedy of the commons; an individual wants his question to reach every single person on the internet because it's more likely to receive a good answer. But if everybody does it, the sites become so saturated that they're no longer useful to anyone. If people would just agree to cooperate post questions where they actually belong, we'd all be fine, but of course, most people can't see past their own noses. This is exactly the motivation behind every single "Why shouldn't I be able to post that here?" or "Some people might find it interesting" defense.
    – Aarobot
    Commented Sep 19, 2010 at 20:18

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