At the moment you get a top bar notification (like the "you got a new badge" notification) when a question of yours is migrated to another site. This was done as a response to: Notify Author when Question is migrated.

However, I find the notification lacking.

As the site has grown the top-bar notification has gained a lot of crud ... every new badge and privilege I get means the site stops rendering properly till I hit the big [x] ... as a result I have developed a severe case of banner blindness. I see the banner and automatically hit the [x] so the page looks normal again. I know the banner contains no "critical" information, so no big loss. You cried wolf too much, I no longer trust you.

However, migrations are critical. When we migrate stuff to other sites we break basic functionality. In particular, if you have no account on the target site you will no longer get comment and answer notifications.

So, if you happen to miss the banner, for whatever reason. You lose out on the audit trail.

Getting new users to smaller SE sites is a hard problem. We should make it as easy as possible for them to grow due to question migrations. Every question migrated is often an opportunity to grow another SE site by 4 users.

  1. I think it makes sense to have an audit trail on the Users page for all migrated questions.

  2. I think the notification should go in the global inbox, cause the fact it was migrated is often critical. (especially if you have no account on the target site)


  • 1
    note ... for very similar rational I think the functionality should be very similar when an answer is migrated (audit in user page, inbox message)
    – waffles
    Jun 27, 2011 at 11:43
  • 10
    Agreed and while you're at it why don't you "pre-create" the account on the target site so it only needs to be activated when the user comes along to claim their question.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jun 27, 2011 at 11:48
  • I agree with Jeff that this is a personal problem that needs to be self corrected. I think the system "as-is" works for almost everyone else. I wouldn't mind an alternate tho that moved the notification from the banner to the global inbox.
    – jcolebrand
    Jun 27, 2011 at 23:02
  • @jcole inbox is for direct replies to you only -- a migration is not a reply to you. Jun 28, 2011 at 2:53
  • @Jeff ~ I said I agreed :p
    – jcolebrand
    Jun 28, 2011 at 2:54
  • note, I accept this as complete even though there is no audit trail. the notification still works now even if you have no account on the target site.
    – waffles
    Jun 30, 2011 at 1:48

3 Answers 3


sort of.

We're not putting notices into the inbox of migration, but if a migrated post gains a new comment (or answer, if it's a question) then a notice will still go into your inbox; with proper links and all that.

This will go out with our next deployment.

  • also, answerers are now notified (in most cases, we screen some out) when questions are migrated. Jun 30, 2011 at 0:07
  • Kevin, you mean only if the post author have account on the target site, right? Without account, you can't possible know where to send the notice... or can you? (e.g. the author of this question never got notified of the two answers according to my theory) Feb 4, 2014 at 16:13

I feel most of the banners I get are of one of two kinds:

  • When not logged in: “Welcome to Q&A for gardeners and landscapers¹ — see how we're 95% less evil than Experts-exchange (going by the size of our annoying banner)”
  • Badges. Badges. I don't need no stinkin' badges! The joiner badges — baby's first vote, baby's first question, and so on… When it's your 50th SE site, the novelty's worn off. And the “nice question” badges… I'm no Jon Skeet, but I do get enough that I don't consider banner announcements to be significant either.

This is a pity, because banner announcements have a bigger UI impact than system messages (which community moderators are told to use only if the sky is falling).

I propose to stop using the banner for badges. People who care about them will be checking their, er, per-site not-inbox popup thingy, that appears when you hover over your name and shows your recent reputation and and votes and favorite changes, and badges.

(If that's unacceptable, at least don't user banners for bronze badges for users who have ≥100 rep. Surely these people know the drill by now, they should only be notified of the exceptional.)

(What was the question again? Oh, yes.) Yes, keep notifying of migrations in the inbox.

And please, please, please, create their accounts automatically when they go to the other site. Always, whether they have an OpenID or just a cookie. Those ownerless posts where the asker can't edit his question, often can't comment because he's new and doesn't have 50rep, they're a pain for everybody, asker and answerers and moderators all.

¹ By the way, what's the canonical fake Stack Exchange site, now that Gardening exists?

  • I like "Chewing Gum" Stack Exchange. Jun 28, 2011 at 0:43
  • yes, I agreed that the problem here is "too many notifications" not "I like grinding my axe because I have a vendetta about one specific thing that happened to me and I missed the notification". Treat the disease, not the symptoms. We're going to be suppressing almost all bronze badge notifications (except for a few useful ones) when User.IsVeteran -- that means they have associated accounts on the network. Jun 28, 2011 at 2:44
  • 2
    const string worthyBadgeNames = "|announcer|mortarboard|nice answer|nice question|popular question|precognitive|revival|tumbleweed|vox populi|mortarboard|"; all other bronze badges are deemed unworthy for User.IsVeteran Jun 28, 2011 at 2:48
  • (also, the system messages appear on every single page loaded by every single user -- and are not dismissable in any form. They are indeed the nuclear weapon of messaging. Far, far more dangerous...) Jun 28, 2011 at 2:50

This is basically a rant in the form of:

I can't be bothered to read the banners, and I missed one I shouldn't have, so therefore everything sucks and is broken.

A typical user does not get that many topbar notifications. You are not typical, for a variety of reasons, one of which is that you work for SE, Inc and you have accounts on most sites. Run the stats on the user base to see how common this is.

If anything you should be proposing an overall reduction in topbar notifications if you feel there is a "cry wolf" problem.


I think it makes sense to have an audit trail on the Users page for all migrated questions.

We already have this. You have an incorrect view of this because I specifically deleted your question.

If I had not (and normally migrations don't do this) you would see [migrated] next to the question in the list of questions on your user page.

  • You are not typical, for a variety of reasons -- waffles is never typical -- but might accurately represent the most addicted^Wdedicated users of the site.
    – sarnold
    Jun 28, 2011 at 1:02

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