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I understand the importance of creating communities on various StackExchange sites that are tightly organised around a specific topic and keeping the questions on each site on topic. However, I believe that at times there are questions the overlap domains that might be appropriate on multiple sites.

For example, this question about power for Apple computers when traveling was migrated to superuser.com. While it certainly fits within the scope or superuser.com, I think it was a perfectly valid travel question. And if it did need to be migrated, apple.stackexchange.com might be a better fit than superuser.com.

This is really a broader StackExchange question which I don't know if it has been addressed by Jeff.

  • In case of the Apple question I migrated the question because I felt it was more likely to get answers at Superuser than here - the advantage is it's still linked here so people can look up answers. Why didn't I go for Apple.SE? I didn't know it existed! – Ankur Banerjee Sep 4 '11 at 11:36
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It's pretty tricky. There are a few pressures on whether or not to migrate a question:

  • It's not getting any answers here but maybe it would on the other site where it would also be on-topic.
  • It's on topic on both sites but seems to fit one better than the other.
  • According to specific rules given to us by the Stack Exchange it shouldn't be allowed here but might be allowed somewhere else. Such as "Does it apply to people living in a place just as well as travellers?" (I'll try to find the actual link for this)
  • A Stack Exchange person makes the decision for us.

Sometimes there are alternatives.

  • I've asked whether it's OK to cross-post the same question on both sites where it's on-topic.
  • In a comment somebody can suggest to the asker that they might get additional or even better answers if they ask in another Stack Exchange where there question would also be on-topic at least if reworded a bit.

Since we're still young and these issues are fuzzy and we haven't dealt with them all yet there are not always clearly better ways to do it and sometimes we might do it wrong. But we can only learn by doing.

  • I certainly agree with migrating based on the rules of a site. And if a question isn't getting answers here, it would make sense to migrate it as well. In the case of fitting better on another site, if it is only a slightly better fit and it is getting answers, I don't see a need to move it. – g . Sep 4 '11 at 16:49
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    Well the only one I can think of that we moved even though it was getting answers was the Apple power cable one, and the Stack Exchange rules say that people needing power supplies while not travelling do not face different problems to people needing power supplies while travelling. So we tried to apply that rule. I believe the question got answers and votes both here and on SU and is still reachable by both URLs so to me it seems no harm was done while we tried to do our best. – hippietrail Sep 4 '11 at 17:27
  • That makes sense. Just be clear, I'm not being critical, but just asking the question. I don't think it is a big problem, but was just surprised by the migration. – g . Sep 4 '11 at 18:51
  • Yes basically SE makes certain rules and expects the community of each site to run it. In the beginning the SE people make some of the judgements for us and then we try to apply the rules the best way to make a good site. It kind of leaves us being like cops sometimes I think \-: – hippietrail Sep 4 '11 at 19:18
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We have migrated three questions so far:

https://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/1825/used-bicycle-in-germany?noredirect=1 (Respective question) - migrated according to the ask of the OP.
deleted by author question(Respective question) - migrated according to the moderators (both Travel.SE and Bicycles.SE) decision.
https://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/1560/charge-apple-computers-bought-in-usa-to-use-in-europe?noredirect=1 (Respective question) - migrated as moderators and users decision.

I think migrating the questions is the normal practice of SE-platform. 2 of 3 questions were considered on-topic, and even last one get some answers. Also, questions are still here - user simply gets redirected to right question on other site. So, the question is on multiple sites.

I don't think we need the feature there user can set the sites he wants the question to be posted - It can be a mess.

  • I don't think that a question needs to be posted on multiple sites. I just wanted to highlight that sometimes a question isn't exclusive to a single site and if it is within scope, I don't see a need to migrate it even if it would also fit on another site. – g . Sep 4 '11 at 16:46
  • Migration stubs are automatically deleted after 30 days, so the questions won't stay on two sites forever. Cross-posting is not and will not be supported, and multi-posting is not allowed. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Sep 6 '11 at 21:25
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Be careful to make sure the question would be on-scope on the other site. For example, I initially thought "Why don't you ask on Japanese Language & Usage?" for How can I find a good school to learn Japanese in Tokyo? , but realized that the question would be closed almost immediately on that site.

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I know I saw a duplicate question on two SE sites about a food product, something pizza-like in Israel, I believe it was here and cooking. In theory that would only be ok if the two questions had different subtext

  • what was this, is it easy to get throughout Israel, and can I get it other places? (on travel)
  • what was this, what genre of cookbook can I find the recipe in, can I buy or make it at home? (on cooking)

In both cases I think it was mostly worded "what is this called?" but the answers tended to answer those unspoken questions.

I mention all this because if I ask "what is this?" on travel, my unspoken questions are likely to be different from the unspoken questions on cooking, or EL&U, or home improvement and when my question is migrated I might not get the answers I want.

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