One of my favorite tags on Stack Overflow is LaTeX. Today I noticed somebody asked a TeX question and was told to move over to http://tex.stackexchange.com. It's great that we have a special place for TeX, but now I have a brand new "associated" account there with 101 reputation. This means that I can't do things like re-tag questions that I can do at Stack Overflow. I can't even create a new tag, because I need 500 points to do it.

I know that a lot of people are concerned about fragmentation, but I'm wondering if the impact on reputation calculations have been re-evaluated now that the fragmentation plan seems to be in full swing.

  • Then we'd need to define which sites are "close enough" to have unified rep - the obvious counterexample could be SO and Photography (negligible similarity), but what about e.g. SO and Programmers? And if we unify the rep, why not go the whole way and unify the sites? You posed a complicated question indeed... – Piskvor Dec 17 '10 at 14:48
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    Yeah; I just don't understand what Programmers is for... – xf. Dec 18 '10 at 19:02

Each of the different sites has its own policies, rules, and regulations. The general essence of the Q&A, and some of the basic concepts like "spam is bad!", will carry over between sites, but not everything else. Things like how questions can be formatted properly, what is acceptable to the scope to avoid closure, and even how things are supposed to be tagged. You know how to properly tag questions on Stack Overflow, but this doesn't necessarily mean you know how to properly tag questions on TeX, LaTeX and Friends.

This is what the +100 bonus from account association embodies. It gives a user who has proven familiarity with the system the ability to have all the general abilities - upvoting, flagging, and commenting (formerly downvoting, but the bar was recently raised on that). But for the abilities in which their definitions do vary between the sites, like retagging and closing, it is important to participate in that community and learn about what rules that community has.

If you participated a lot in TeX and LaTeX questions on Stack Overflow, I believe there has been some motions to move questions over there. All of your earnings in those questions, then, would transfer if they got migrated. But even given that, I still recommend spending some time to learn about that community and its rules.

  • I agree, and even the +100 bonus is a pain in the butt for sites that are radically different. It makes some sense that experience on Stack Overflow would qualify one to vote on, say, Server Fault, or Programmers, but Photography? Cooking? I think not. And I would definitely not want them to walk in and immediately start editing other people's posts or even retagging/creating new tags. – Aarobot Dec 17 '10 at 15:31

I think the solution to this problem would be to move all Tex/LaTeX questions to the TeX site. Then, all rep will transfer to the new site.

In general, moving all questions from SO to the more specific sites would fix this problem.

  • That makes a lot of sense. I gather that the administrators have some way for doing this at once? The other way, I think, would be to do something with tags. – xf. Dec 18 '10 at 19:03

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