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Wouldn't it be a good idea to be able to vote for questions to be moved to any Stack Exchange site? For example, I just voted this question as off topic, but that was all I could do. I wish I could've voted it be moved to Ask Different.

It's OK to have the predefined list of sites that is now when voting to move, but it would be nice to have a more link, where we could pick any Stack Exchange site.

Here's a quick mockup of how I see this implemented:

moar link

When the more link is clicked, a list of all the Stack Exchange sites should appear.

  • 1
    Not an exact duplicate, but quite relevant: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/76675/… – Aleadam Apr 11 '11 at 10:53
  • @Aleadam yes, that is exactly the kind of problem this would solve. – Felix Apr 11 '11 at 11:16
  • 1
    +1, while this might not be the most desirable implementation, I think the issue bears some looking into. – Buns Glazing Apr 11 '11 at 17:44
  • Can we revisit this question somehow? – spacetyper Nov 15 '17 at 21:43
34

Questions can be moved to any SE site but only by moderators.

I think the best thing to do in this scenario is to flag the question for Moderator attention and mark it as "other". Then add a comment in your flag as to where you think it should be migrated to.

Flag for the Moderator Man!!

Adding even more migration paths to this existing close list would clutter the UI. The idea is to show the most frequent migration paths so the users to can migrate most questions.

Moderators should only need to intervene in exceptional circumstances.

  • also leave a comment since there may be reasons to not migrate but really just close as off-topic – Tobias Kienzler Apr 11 '11 at 10:16
  • 1
    I still think being able to vote for a question to be moved to any site should be possible. As I mentioned in my post, I don't expect a full list of all the sites when I click "off topic". But after clicking "off topic" there should be a "more" link that would show all the sites the question can be moved to. – Felix Apr 11 '11 at 10:38
  • I have updated my question with a screenshot of how I think this should work. – Felix Apr 11 '11 at 10:45
  • Voting down because it's supporting a counterintuitive worlkflow. – hippietrail Jan 1 '14 at 15:09
  • 1
    If this is the way to go (probably makes sense), this should be prominently stated on the migration screen. – ivan_pozdeev Oct 17 '14 at 5:39
31

This would be extremely problematic for the following reasons:

  • Unless you are very familiar with the community that will be receiving the question, you should not be migrating it there. Moderators can get in touch with other moderators on the receiving site when in doubt.

  • A question should be of sufficient quality in order to be migrated. I see users who take time to cast their votes and that is fantastic, but very few who edit a question prior to shipping it off.

  • Just because a question is on topic for another site doesn't mean it's off topic for Stack Overflow. There are users who know about the sister site and still prefer to ask their question on SO because SO receives the most traffic. Other times, users aren't interested in joining another site and would prefer to receive reputation points on SO.

  • Questions not in the given paths to migrate should not be migrated unless there is a compelling reason to do so. The end result of a migration is ensuring that a question gets more high quality answers faster than it would otherwise.

Additionally, I see a lot of:

  • Off topic flags indicating Server Fault as the destination where Super User would be a better fit (or vice versa) - The same applies with Webmasters and Programmers.

  • April 1 jokes that got taken seriously and almost shipped to a sister site. Can you imagine the mess if one of those got migrated to a math or physics site? This doesn't fall under 'a lot of', but there were several.

  • Questions already cross posted on several sites that nearly got 'shuffled'.

I think this ability should be kept in the hands of people who learn from migration mistakes so you don't have to :)

  • 4
    1: yes, but there are still situations where it is completely obvious where a question belongs (see the one linked in my question); also, having it under "more" would suggest it's a secondary solution that should only be used in certain conditions. 2: if the question obviously belongs to another site, I don't see why editing it here or there would matter. 3: see 1; also, I don't think we should let users post any question because they'll receive more rep on SO. 4: this is why we vote for a question to be moved; If enough people vote, it means there is s a compelling reason. – Felix Apr 11 '11 at 12:11
  • 5: see 4; enough votes for a specific site means it most probably belongs there; if the votes are more 50/50, it should be decided by a mod. 6: are you implying that mathematicians don't enjoy humor? :). And finally 7: we get double posts all the time, it would be the same thing basically. Also, it's the same scenario for the current list of "move to"-able sites and, given the fact that they're more popular, the chances of a cross-post are much higher than on other, more recent sites. – Felix Apr 11 '11 at 12:15
  • In the Ask Different area, a note of reassurance under meta.apple.stackexchange.com/questions/589/… (with reference to this answer meta.stackexchange.com/questions/86928/move-to-any-site/…) might be welcomed. Thanks. – Graham Perrin Jul 31 '11 at 7:46
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    Tim, I'm a relative inexperienced reviewer, and given the times this question has been asked, I can only suggest that if migrating is a bad idea (which you convincingly claim), SE should make it more obvious for new reviewers how to handle it. – MacFreek Dec 3 '15 at 23:28
  • I think that you are mixing the issues with the migration with the user experience for closing a question. It is possible to have the same or similar migration policy while still allowing multiple SE sites to be selected when closing a question for being off-topic. I have tried to come up with a solution in my answer here. – Maarten Bodewes Oct 4 '18 at 17:15
2

There are good reasons to keep the current migration policy in tact. However, the current user experience for voting off topic is less than ideal. Users clicking "Off-topic -> This question belongs on another site in the Stack Exchange network" do not expect a short list, nor do should they be required to go back one step to "Off-topic -> Other" to type in a site name. The current UI design doesn't adhere to the principle of least surprise.

So I propose that the current reason is kept. However, instead of choosing only from the short list, a list of all applicable sites should be shown, with an option to expand to all sites of the SE network that have come out of Area 51.

The following changes could be performed to do this:

  1. The Off topic reason is moved to the top of the Off topic reasoning, removing any static Migration sites so that the menu becomes less cluttered. SO for instance has Super User and Serverfault as first two Off-topic close reasons.
  2. A list of most likely migration sites is shown. This list is preferably ordered using the tag values below the question. For instance, if the tag is present, then https://crypto.stackexhchange.com should be a logical target site. If it is not possible to select target sites from the contents of the question then the list could simply be ordered by frequency. Some sites - such as Superuser and Serverfault as in the previous example - could be pinned down on top of the list.
  3. The full list of SE sites can be shown to give full control to the user to choose the right site. Choosing a stupid option will not make any sense since we still require 4 other close votes anyhow. There could also be a button to choose "Other reason" if no site can be found - to get rid of the backtracking.
  4. The user is informed about the migration status of the indicated destination for the chosen site before giving the OK. So the question may either be automatically migrated, migrated by moderator intervention or not migrated at all - requiring manual copy / deletion by the user.
  5. Finally, the poster of the question should be informed about the status and what is required to migrate the question manually, if that's required.

Manual migration by the original poster should be made easy once the question has been put on hold. It should not require editing the question to copy the content and title, posting on the other site and then deleting the original. Ask the user to migrate or not, possibly copying the profile and opening a new question with the copied content (ask user to alter the tags!).

Most if not all closed questions on crypto have been cross-posted to crypto, sometimes with additional typo's (retyped questions), different users. I do not believe that this is good for the flagging users, the original posters nor the moderators on both sites.

These changes should keep / expand the current functionality while making the migration much more user friendly. Note that I'm not proposing a change in migration policy; this is mainly about enhancing the user experience of the site.

  • I'll create a few screenshots if there are upvotes ... currently I'm kind of limited as I spend 500 rep on a feature request. – Maarten Bodewes Oct 4 '18 at 15:50
  • What if sites don't want to be migration targets? – Robert Longson Oct 4 '18 at 21:16
  • As indicated, they don't need to be. Then the question just becomes put on hold - just like now. Nothing prevents the user to post on the other site at the moment either, it just takes a lot of unnecessary work and promotes cross posting. Personally I don't think it will be a huge issue - and definitely less of an issue of the 25% lost questions and 75% cross posts that we get now (guesstimate). We can always take countermeasures if it becomes an issue (whitelist, blacklist). – Maarten Bodewes Oct 4 '18 at 21:41
  • @RobertLongson Imagine the current new user experience: you post a question on a site where you think it is on topic, say in my field, crypto on SO. Your question gets closed. Now you have to create a profile on the other site and retype your question. That is, unless somebody answers and a moderator is required to put it on the other site, where you are listed as unknown user. Even if it gets answered, there is a 50% chance that the user is already lost and never registers. IMHO that's not the experience we're after. – Maarten Bodewes Oct 4 '18 at 21:49
  • There are millions of users and tens of moderators, they are a bottleneck here. Retyping does not involve that bottleneck. You still have to create a profile to reply to comments and if you can't be bothered to do that what was the point in migrating your question. – Robert Longson Oct 5 '18 at 5:51
  • Managing cross posts - and detecting them in the first place - is much harder than checking if a post is valid for a site. So I don't see how this increases the work for the mods. And in the end, the mods are here for the users that make up the site. If they are overwhelmed we need more mods, rather than to let the user experience deteriorate. – Maarten Bodewes Oct 27 '18 at 18:39
1

Wouldn't this just overcomplicate the UI for edge-cases where a closure and comment to the author of the question would do?

After all, what's the odds that you'd want to migrate a question from stackoverflow to cooking.se, for example? Of course, now I've said that, there's bound to be a question somewhere on stackoverflow that would be an ideal candidate...

  • 4
    "Can I cook using my CPU cooler heatpipes?".. joke aside, you do make a valid point. However, most SE sites are tech-related, and I often feel the need to vote for a question to be moved to a site that is not provided in the default list (Ask Different is just an example, there's also Android Enthusiast, ubuntu, unix/linux, ...) – Felix Apr 11 '11 at 10:45
  • * snarl * * pointed stare * =) – Rob Apr 11 '11 at 11:47
1

Would like that too. Obviously there are problematic cases. But I think with a bit more rule-o-ritis those can be avoided.

  • Make it a requirement for closevoters to have an account with >101 score on the migration site to allow it as target.
  • Prevent -1 question from being migrated anywhere. (These seldomly should be moved to the major five either.)

The current flagging system doesn't work. Currently moderators are overrun by requests from badge aspirants. So they mostly engage in menial tasks, rather than deciding on complex edge cases.

Last time I flagged a question to be migrated to Wordpress.SE the moderator in question moved it to Webmasters.SE instead (what I wanted to prevent). Both look too similar, didn't make it ***BOLD*** enough. But it's a clear indicator that the textual communication channel is insufficient.

And precisely for such cases an exact checkbox would make sense. (I would prefer a dropdown select box over a "show more" link however.)

  • 2
    >3k on the destination site sounds more reasonable – random Apr 11 '11 at 15:57
  • The more, the certainty. Reputation is maybe not the best indicator anyway, maybe 50 consecutive days online or viewed 1000 questions or at least one participation in the site specific meta would ensure more familiarity. (But then it would likely become a NOP feature.) – mario Apr 11 '11 at 16:03
  • actually, the flagging system works great. more than 95% of flags I see are perfectly valid. What we have is SEVERE QUALITY PROBLEMS largely based on new users who simply don't care and need to be .. stopped. – Jeff Atwood Apr 11 '11 at 19:37
  • @JeffAtwood You are also suffering from a major UI problem. People simply and correctly expect all sites to be there then using Off topic -> Is on topic on another site. The migration issues have little to do with this. At the very minimum the text should read "Should be migrated to one of these sites: site1, site2, site3". But I think there are better options available than that. – Maarten Bodewes Oct 4 '18 at 17:31

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