I've asked questions that I thought were on topic, and really should have just been, but the questions get booted as off-topic on over 4 different stack exchange sites before one accepts them.

This process is inefficient, embarrassing, frustrating, and causes unnecessary tension. There should be a mechanism to promote cross site-posting most easily. I propose that if a question is off-topic, it not be closed and castigated, instead it be auto-posted to another site BY the closed-minded closer ;)

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    Can you show the question in question? – Pekka Jan 8 '11 at 18:10
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    If it's getting kicked to over four sites, it's a bad question to begin with – random Jan 8 '11 at 18:13
  • I'm guessing this is supposed to be a feature request, but I'm unclear as to how what you're suggesting is supposed to fix the situation you're describing... – Tim Stone Jan 8 '11 at 18:20
  • @Tim see answer – badp Jan 8 '11 at 18:24
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    @radp Yeah, I knew what questions were the cause of this, I just don't get how "cross-site posting" helps with the fact that off-topic questions are off-topic. Is it a "throw darts at the wall and see which sticks" strategy? – Tim Stone Jan 8 '11 at 18:27
  • I'm not saying to cross-post in parallel. I'm saying, when a question is marked as off-topic, that it should be EVEN EASIER and automated for this unanswered question to cross post. It should be part of the DNA that unanswered questions are not castigated, but simply and POLITELY cross-posted UNTIL answered. – hunterp Jan 8 '11 at 18:29
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    @TimStone I guess hunterp is under the delusion that, as the number of SE sites increases, eventually for anything with a question mark there will be at least one Q&A site accepting it, and if there isn't one then it should be made. – badp Jan 8 '11 at 18:33
  • @hunterp: Looking through the comments on the links submitted by @radp, I don't see any castigation of the questions until you ask "Matthew, what is your deal?" Please take your own advice and be polite. – Bill the Lizard Jan 8 '11 at 18:33
  • I'd rather ask for forgiveness than permission. And if I ruffled any feathers, I apologize. – hunterp Jan 8 '11 at 18:35
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    It's also really confusing -- I had a question about GitHub, and had no idea if I should post it on StackOverflow, Programmers, Web Applications, Web Masters, or Super User. I spent more time deciding which one I'd post on than I did actually writing the question. – Yahel Jan 8 '11 at 18:48
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    @yahelc the stark reality is that the world is full of infinite numbers of questions. What it does not have is an infinite number of answers. So the burden of asking a good question in the proper place falls squarely on the asker. (Also, I think your example is a bit of a strawman -- if it's about GitHub it is highly likely to be about source control and thus belongs on Stack Overflow, a site for programmers and code.) – Jeff Atwood Jan 8 '11 at 20:29
  • When a question is closed as off-topic, you're being asked to find a better Stack Exchange site for it if one exists. It seems that you're asking for other people to do the work in finding the right site. – ale Jan 9 '11 at 2:23
  • Then instead of call it "CLOSED OFFTOPIC" let's just call it "dear sir, please repost your question to [insert relevance ranked stackexchange site list]. The point I'm arguing is that some subtle changes in the psychology of the approach will make a world of difference in productivity – hunterp Jan 9 '11 at 5:22
  • @Jeff Atwood it was more about the features of a web app that's used by programmers, not one of git itself. Hence the confusion. webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/11011 You're not wrong about the broader point, but it doesn't mean its not a problem :) – Yahel Feb 16 '11 at 0:16

Unfortunately it's not possible for closers to migrate anywhere they want; there's a narrow list, and SO can't migrate to Gaming (and I assume Gaming can't migrate to GameDev if they closed as off-topic, although that seems like a path that should really exist).

There's a new (and probably not well-known) feature that lets site moderators migrate anywhere, so in the future if you do post your question on the wrong site, hopefully somebody will flag it for mod attention and they'll migrate it to the right place, instead of it getting closed as off-topic and you needing to repost it manually


These two quotes don't quite track to me:

...but the questions get booted as off-topic on over 4 different stack exchange sites before one accepts them.

...instead it be auto-posted to another site BY the closed-minded closer.

Are you manually posting your questions on four different sites? Because we already have this mechanism called migration where people casting a close vote can say where they think the question really belongs. I think this request is already a feature.

  • Bill, see the previous answer regarding my MMO question, some of these were simply closed, and I had to go to another stack exchange site where they were closed again. This was a very unpleasant experience that I think needs improvement still. – hunterp Jan 8 '11 at 18:28
  • @hunterp: I do agree that someone should have commented that there are more appropriate sites for your questions. They usually do. Now that you've found a few different sites, have you looked at the FAQ for each one to determine what kinds of questions to ask where? There are a finite number of SE sites, and not every question imaginable is going to fit into one. – Bill the Lizard Jan 8 '11 at 18:36
  • Well we can create a bucket site that handles all the questions that don't fit. Sorta like quora handles all. – hunterp Jan 8 '11 at 18:38
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    Yahoo! Answers already exists @hun – random Jan 8 '11 at 18:38
  • @random: I was typing the same sentence! :) – Bill the Lizard Jan 8 '11 at 18:39
  • "If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine." -Old ben – hunterp Jan 8 '11 at 18:40
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    @hunterp: Is this "out-of-context quote" day? ;) – Bill the Lizard Jan 8 '11 at 18:47
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    Migration is a great feature, but on some of the smaller sites, there tend to not be enough eyes to get around to making that decision. I posted a question on programmers.se, heard crickets, and deleted and reposted it on Web Apps (where I also heard crickets). – Yahel Jan 8 '11 at 18:51

I'm afraid the problem is that some questions just won't be answered on any self-respecting Stack Exchange site ever.

The MMORPG question is of the "recommendation/shopping advice" variety. We don't want any of that.

The Android in China question is of the "what will happen in the future?" variety, which is widely labelled as "speculation" and closed as such. While I personally disagree¹, the community consensus is such questions don't belong on Stack Exchange as a whole.

¹ "I checked their blog, their press releases and could find no official statements on the topic" is always a possible answer for those, and usually the best answer you can get

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