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I have noticed that when you mark a question as 'off-topic' the only choice is to send it to the meta site......why not include the UNIX, SuperUser, StackOverflow SE sites as well?

Therefore, my "feature-request" which is not really a feature but something already in the SE architecture just not configured on the Ubuntu SE site.

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    Yes, yes, yes! We (rather frequently) have to close things as off-topic because they either belong on Super User or Unix & Linux. It would be much easier if the community could do migrations as well. – Seth Apr 10 '13 at 17:26
  • @Seth It would be quicker but — per my answer — it would also upset a lot of communities that don't want us injecting our offcuts into their question stream. – Oli Apr 10 '13 at 18:16
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    @Oli So.. All the good Mint and Backtrack question should just be closed and shoved out of sight? Other sites can migrate, why can't we. IMO we'd migrate a lot less junk than you obviously think. – Seth Apr 10 '13 at 18:50
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    @Oli, based on what I see (mostly from ServerFault SE), this system works just fine and I don't see anything in the meta sites complaining about the migrations that have been made from there to other sites. The concerns has been migrations FROM other SE sites to ServerFault SE, thus questions originating from StackOverflow can no longer be migrated to ServerFault. – mdpc Apr 10 '13 at 19:33
  • @Seth It's not a case of hiding them, it's a case of getting the user (not the question) onto the right site. If they're a Mint user, we're not the right site for them anyway. – Oli Apr 10 '13 at 23:49
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    @Oli That's the whole point! Give us a migration path to move the good ones, and we'll help the bad ones get better. As it is we're just like "Wrong site dude closes question. You might ask over here". – Seth Apr 11 '13 at 2:54
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Moderators can migrate things to any SE site but (and this is rather a huge but) moderators and users of other sites don't want junk posts being sent in. There have been numerous complaints in the past about bad posts being sent over to other sites just because they're more relevant.

Therefore, the only times we'll really consider a migration to another SE site are:

  • When it's a genuinely excellent question. These are rarer than you'd assume.
  • A moderator from the would-be destination site requests it
  • The OP requests it and it has answers. If it has no answers, the OP gets a better service by just posting a fresh post (and having their old old closed) as the date is reset.

... Otherwise we just suggest the OP posts it on that site and close.


To clear some things up...

  • The complaints I've been talking about were voiced in the Teachers Lounge, a moderator-only chat room. Historically even moderators have pushed bad migrations.

  • The people who know what's best for their site are the users of that site. The current close-migration pattern puts people who have nothing to do with that site in charge of what gets sent there.

  • Once migrated, undoing a migration is tedious and involves a lot of work on both sites.

  • A pull-request system could technically work. One site votes to push a post to another SE site. Once it reaches a threshold users of the other site could vote whether to accept the post.

  • But this uses a lot of time in both places and doesn't involve the OP.

  • Moving a question over would require the OP to go to the new site and sign up before the question became theirs again. Without doing this an answer couldn't be accepted (or updated) by the OP. This leads (again, as history has taught us) to abandoned questions... Which waste even more time.

  • So talking to the OP and explaining which site they need to be on is an essential step that needs to happen in order to get them to engage on the new site.

  • If you're doing that, rather than go through the very expensive process of migrating, why not just have them post their own question?

In short, closing a question and telling its user why and where they should be is quickest and technically easiest, using the least manpower. More importantly, I believe it's the more effective than shunting questions around.

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    My understanding of SE sites was the advantage of the whole thing was community based moderation. Thus removing this migrate advantage is really against some of the basic concepts and great advantages of the SE system. – mdpc Apr 10 '13 at 19:31
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    So you're arguing against migration in general, not letting us have a migration path. I really don't see where we'd migrate any more "junk" than any other site (actually less, because we have a much smaller user base) and has mdpc points out above this really ruins another aspect of "Community Moderation". The community can't have any "power" because they just misuse it. Teach us to fish if we don't do it your "standards", don't take away the pole. – Seth Apr 11 '13 at 2:52
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    Hmmm....sorry, I'm just a little confused and disappointed at the tone of your final edits. "I believe I know what we are good at", I thought that the SE concept was to let the community decide what a site is with the helpful pushing of both "elected" and static moderators. I believe your comments tone could be edited down a bit. As a fellow sysadm and a previous moderator of sorts a long time ago on a "site", not SE, I can understand your frustration. But be cool, we are all trying to do the right thing, and open and calm discussion is what is needed. Thanks. – mdpc Apr 11 '13 at 2:56
  • @mdpc I've pushed an edit to the second half of that post that I hope conveys the content of the last revision without the language barbs from 1am Oli. – Oli Apr 11 '13 at 10:01
  • @Seth To be clear, it's not me who's not letting users migrate but... But I completely agree with that decision. It's not about robbing the community of a power. It's not a community power, it's currently a cross-community power that allows you to inject stuff into another community. Hence its restriction. – Oli Apr 11 '13 at 10:07
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    @Oli Despite disagreeing you haven't yet shown any good evidence for not allowing us to migrate. All the other sites can and do. You seem to argue that the OP should just cross post.. But what is the point of a migration feature then!? I see it on other sites all the time. You migrate a question when it belongs somewhere else, not close it! (unless of course it is a bad question to begin with). – Seth Apr 12 '13 at 4:19
  • @Seth I know it's a long time since you posted that last message but I think my third bullet in the top block takes care of it already. Yes, if it doesn't have answers, have it deleted/closed and then post it manually. As I explain, that works out better for them by not being back-dated (it'll show up in on the target site's /questions/ rather than being insta-buried). And if it does have answers, we'll look at it but why the hell are we migrating in the first place? – Oli Sep 17 '13 at 20:11
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    @Oli I have to strongly disagree with your final summary. Closing a question here and having it reposted on U&L might be the easy thing for you to do, but it pollutes the google search results that drive traffic to the questions. Users will see two results, one here that may not have answers and one there that does, and they may not check both. I also think if you queried our community over at U&L you'd find we are much more receptive to having your community be able to migrate questions to us than you seem to be at giving them the option. – casey Mar 6 '14 at 1:28

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