As a new member on SO, I am somewhat disappointed in the way questions "belonging" on other SE sites are addressed. For a brand new user, getting a comment telling them bluntly to go somewhere else to ask their question is to immediately alienate a potential new user. Sometimes, people comment that the question should go elsewhere when it does in fact belong on SO, and eventually good answers can be posted.

Couldn't a mechanism be implemented to: 1) post the question seamlessly to the appropriate site (the correct site could be determined by a voting mechanism similar to that for closing questions or via special tags) 2) Post a generic comment saying "welcome to our community, please read the FAQ, question has been redirected to this site at this address and 3) close the post?

  • The comments are evil! But: the voting for automatic migration is already in place, and the feature request Show comment when voting to migrate might help stopping people from posting the comments (and avoid duplicates from being posted)? – Arjan Jan 31 '11 at 14:59
  • Yes, thanks, I did not find that topic when searching. That is exactly what I had in mind. – Benjamin Jan 31 '11 at 15:01

This already exists. Inside the vote to close options is an option to migrate the question to another site.

There was a time when hand drawn circles meant something.

I do agree that the blunt or rude comments to new users should be avoided. They do alienate new users in some cases. As a newer user you should also look into the range of available sites instead of defaulting to any one site in particular.

  • I wasn't aware that that option existed. That still leaves many questions in limbo with not enough close/migrate votes to migrate but comments saying to go elsewhere. – Benjamin Jan 31 '11 at 15:11
  • @Benjamin: That is the case some times and a moderator will normally step in. – Josh K Jan 31 '11 at 15:31
  • Josh +1 but with a warning: Missing freehand text. – Pekka supports GoFundMonica Jan 31 '11 at 18:35
  • @Pekka: Glad someone got it, I was worried Meta had fallen to the uptight and politically correct. – Josh K Jan 31 '11 at 18:39

It's not feasible to determine migration candidacy mechanically. Sites have complex scopes. What might be tagged "games" on Super User isn't necessarily acceptable on the Gaming site, for example. A human element of analysis is basically necessary to read not just the literal question, but the nature of the question itself. Thus, we already have migration as a voteable option in our close system.

Note that normal users only have a handful of sites that can be migrated to - a diamond moderator is necessary for the rarer migrations. In these scenarios, users tend to leave comments with the intent of instruction of scope. Flagging helps alert moderators, but comments are the only way that the question asker can be told why their question might not be getting addressed on the current site.

In the sites I frequent, most users aren't blunt and instead try to be very polite and educational with these comments (in a similar vein as your proposed step 2). But I can imagine that not always is care exercised, especially in high traffic sites.

  • 1
    I meant automatically in the sense that the original poster does not need to re-post his question on the second site. – Benjamin Jan 31 '11 at 15:12
  • Oh, well, then as mentioned that system is indeed in place. If you notice things that appear in limbo, feel free to flag it for moderator attention - diamonds can one-click migrate. – Grace Note Jan 31 '11 at 15:13

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