There is an ever ongoing debate on what is on topic and what is off topic. An example of such a debate is regarding allowing / denying expats/immigrants questions on travel.se. The basic reply for those who are against widening the scope, is that everybody has the power to propose a stack exchange platform on area 51.

I think that this is both a valid point as much as it doesn't make sense. The power of stack exchange is the speed in which questions get answered. Having to first apply democratic principles on getting your question answered, does not add speed to getting your question answered.

I am still in favor of allowing expat questions, but I understand the negative sound these topic start creating and as such we should just go with the flow and deny those questions entry (pun intended). Especially since there appears to be an alternative, which is quora. I have heard about quora in the past, but never thought about spending time on it. The stack exchange platform was serving my information needs. I say "was serving", because lately it became apparent that you need to put a lot more effort in deciding if something will fit the "community". The expat/immigration anti bias on this platform being a nice example, but it applies to various other se platforms. You just need to understand the "vibes" of a se-platform to use it efficiently. On another example is that on some se platform not having googled your question before asking a question is a big "no no", where as making a sarcastic lmgtfy comment on another is considered not begin nice.

To be clear I am not saying that this necessarily is a bad thing. I am only wondering that in case certain type of questions are unacceptable, sites like quora.com fill the void. Given this void, I see no ethical objection in pointing people to competing efforts.

However, by pointing people to quora, they might start asking questions on quora that would be valid travel questions on travel.se. So pointing people to quora might actually hurt travel.se in the long run.

Any thoughts?

4 Answers 4


Five years later and [Expatriates.se] is now up and running so we should send the questions there, not to exernal sites. (As far as I can see, this is what we're doing anyway.)


Yes, I think in such cases it makes sense to point to other resources - the Expat proposal as well as other venues where they can get answers. On that note, the Expat proposal is already in commitment phase and once it reaches enough commits, will be launched as a beta site. There's only a 100 more commits to go. So one quick resolution to this whole situation would be to commit to Expat and see if it thrives.

And yes, I don't think there's any problem with pointing to Quora for now. What sets SE apart is the Q&A format with a focus on objective answers. I don't use Quora because it's usually just a string of anecdotes. Both approaches will thrive or fail depending on what people find more useful, and we must let them make their own judgement.


I would say that since some people actively promote the expat proposal, despite the obvious lack of consensus about this, you should feel free to do whatever you want.

Now, provocation aside, I don't even think that there is anything wrong about promoting the expat proposal per se (even if I am sometimes mildly annoyed by the way it's presented and I personally don't think launching many small overlapping sites helps anybody).

Consequently, as long as you are genuinely trying to be helpful and not merely making a point or actively undermining this site, I don't think anybody should object.

  • 1
    I share you views that there is no need for many small overlapping sites. But that is the point. On one side there is the stackexchange platform that apparently drives towards many highly specialized qa platform on the other extreme there is quora that doesn't make this micro distinction. By pointing to quora you are undermining this site, or at least that is what I think
    – user141
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 12:27
  • 1
    This undermining is a direct consequence of the stubborn attitude of some. Those who are refusing immigration and expat questions on this site implicitely agree with this undermining.
    – user3470
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 10:00
  • 1
    Well, I don't know what everybody thinks but this seems unlikely… You might want to make them responsible for this or that but that's completely different.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 10:05
  • It seems obvious to me that if you repel someone you must accept that he will go somewhere else to find an answer to his question. No?
    – user3470
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 10:49
  • Perhaps, but not that this would undermine the site (I assume none of the people expressing various views on what should be on- or off-topic believe that) or that it would be OK to do it deliberately.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 11:14
  • 2
    I don't find promoting Quora to be undermining Stack Exchange. And neither does Joel Spolsky, the main person behind Stack Exchange. He is or at least was pretty active on Quora. I think it provided him valuable insight on why having small focused arenas here was better than the single wide open arena there. Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 17:26
  • +1 for "launching many small overlapping sites". I don't think expat.SE would ever get enough traffic to be a good site, especially if ChineseEmigration.SE, EU.SE and other non-sense stuff exist.
    – yo'
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 11:01

I agree with you that expat questions should be within the scope of Travel.SE to a certain limit. But against you when it comes to pointing people to Quora.

What do you think of making a vote in meta, and then see the total votes after some time and decide whether to allow expat questions or not? can something like this vote be achieved?

  • I feel that the boundary between expat and travel is too blurry for them to be separate. But plenty of people have made it clear I am the minority. A few get angry that I even mention it.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 14:39

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