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I'm basically really sick of all the visa questions.

I thought his site was meant to be questions about roads, restaurants, and diseases in exciting foreign lands.

But there's a huge number of questions which are not really about travel - they are about

"International developing-world-to-first-world family immigration issues."

I think these questions are fascinating, I am happy to donate a substantial amount of money to starting a site for these questions, I care deeply for keeping families together, I am still bitter at Napoleon for inventing passports ... but more and more I just don't see these questions as having anything at all to do with travel.

This site is now known as the go to place to make a post if you need to find out whether your Uncle's bank account visa rejected student part time pregnant job can be disqualified at the border and I have TB.

These questions are only very nominally about "travel".

Some thoughts,

  • Qualitatively it feels as if this site is done, "all" the questions are now just "visa rubbish". Does anyone know quantitatively if the percentage of such questions is increasing? Accelerating? It seems "even worse" lately.

  • Could anything at all relating to student visas just be banned from the site altogether? It's just NOT "travel" related.

  • Could anything at all relating to "Joining my {insert relative here}" just be banned from the site? These are only very nominally about "travel". They are questions by folks who are in the "commute-to-immigrate" lifestyle cycle as part of diaspoa immigration folkways. Again as a libertarian I want everyone all to get around every possible system and live anywhere they want, but it just, really, has nothing to do with this site.

  • It's worth noting that "ACTUAL" "visa regarding travel" questions are unfortunately swamped by the sea of Uncle's bank account form rejected student part time pregnant job can be disqualified at the border and I have TB questions.

  • Should there just be a drive to more aggressively push visa crap to the Expats site?

  • Should there be YET ANOTHER site, "Visa Rights - discussing modern World Movement"

I come to the site cheery in the morning, wanting to see a discussion about whether you have to tip in New Zealand, if they really have Linner in Moscow or if you can swim in Sydney Harbour. But. Every single time it's just this sort of thing. It really just has zero to do with "travel", it's just more developing-world-to-first-world-family-immigration-issues, what-are-my-rights, what's-the-angle stuff.

(Indeed. Nobody is more in favor of and wanting info about that sort of thing, than me. I've sent a lifetime edging a huge string of passports and papers and baby moms in Sweden etc. But this is just Not the site for it - it's supposed to be about travel!)

SE sites are very delicate things, they can be easily killed off when a "takeover" of off-topic rubbish is allowed to take-over.

  • 1
    Sigh .. I just answered one of these myself :/ – Fattie Nov 8 '18 at 6:04
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    Out of habit. :/ – Fattie Nov 8 '18 at 6:04
  • What about a new site called "Visas & VItamins". All questions about Visa, importing vitamins/etc could go there. – Fattie Nov 8 '18 at 6:07
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    If you do not like visa questions, ignore them. But they are a part of this site and I do not see a viable option to open a new site for them. – Willeke Nov 8 '18 at 17:05
  • I also find them supremely uninteresting, while more questions get ignored or closed because they don't fit the SE model well ... thing is, visa questions do, so people like having and answering them – Azor Ahai Nov 8 '18 at 17:35
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    Please don't migrate crap to expats :( – Mark Mayo Nov 8 '18 at 22:05
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    Also there have been visa complaints in this site for years. Hasn't taken over. Turns out visas are just a really big part of travel. Backpack in the 'stans, and it's the #1 topic of conversation among travellers - it's hard! – Mark Mayo Nov 8 '18 at 22:05
  • Hi Mark, they're simply not "visa for travel" questions. (As I said, a handful are, and those are great.) Its' a sea of "jurisdictional shopping law" junk. – Fattie Nov 9 '18 at 2:50
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    Sorry but I don't understand what you're saying. You spend a very long time complaining about some kind of question, but after reading your post, I have no clear idea about what question you're angry about. Visas are 100% about travel and 100% on-topic. – David Richerby Nov 11 '18 at 11:12
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    You can add “visa” to your list of ignored tags if you don’t want to see those questions. – LN6595 Nov 12 '18 at 3:17
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    that's a good idea @LN6595 , cheers – Fattie Nov 12 '18 at 3:18
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    Similarly growing tired of what seems to be an increasing number of "do I need a visa for x country?" questions. A huge number of them are duplicates and they seem to be crowding up the feed. I don't want to block the entire visa tag as, for example, I was recently looking for info on the Beijing visa free transit process, but I have blocked certain x-citizens tags which seem to cover the majority of such questions. I'd propose some sort of mandatory formatting/info for such questions, and locking them if it's not there until it can be provided. – Richard Nov 27 '18 at 16:54
  • @Richard i fear for better or worse the simple fact is the site owners don't want to act on it; they're happy enough with the status quo. That seems to be the size of it. – Fattie Nov 27 '18 at 16:59
14

Stack Exchange is a website designed for resolving the "long tail" of questions - stuff that's generally too obscure to be explained in detail on official websites or where finding the answer is hard because you're not sure how to formulate the query. The idea is that the majority of users find StackExchange organically (through Google or referral links) rather than relying on direct hits. In this regard Travel.SE is quite successful, as around 90% of our visitors come from search engines. In addition, our traffic has grown every year since 2011 which shows that people are asking and answering the right questions. That's to address your concerns of Travel.SE getting "killed off" by visa questions.

Visa questions in particular are a large strength of this site as we have quite a lot of subject matter experts on this site, thanks to which we've built up a very wide collection of answers on visa problems. The answers on UK visas alone are a gold mine, thanks to the late @GayotFow. The more questions we successfully answer, the better a reputation this site gets, the more people we help. Nothing wrong with that, even if it's less exciting than helping people cross the Darien Gap on foot or navigate through the Arctic ocean in a private boat.

Finally, remember that Travel.SE could never have an oversupply of questions. We receive an average of 40 questions per day for three years now, despite the large growth of popularity in the meantime. If anything, we need more questions to help the site grow. And from what I've seen, the kind of folks who want to ask the "exciting" travel questions are not intimidated by the glute of visa questions. So let's not worry about the visa folks and welcome them to the site instead :)

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    They're simply not "visa for travel" questions. (As I said, a handful are, and those are great.) Its' a sea of "jurisdictional shopping law" junk. To try to pretend the issue doesn't exist - because there are 1 or 2 actual "visa for travel questions" - is not sensible. – Fattie Nov 9 '18 at 2:51
  • Say, Is Mr. GayotFlow deceased, or did you mean just stopped posting? :O – Fattie Nov 9 '18 at 2:52
  • @Fattie he passed away – JonathanReez Nov 9 '18 at 3:19
  • Thanks for alerting me to that, @JonathonReez. – Fattie Nov 9 '18 at 3:20
13

Should there just be a drive to more aggressively push visa crap to the Expats site?

The first rule of migration is don't migrate crap.

The second rule of migration is to check that the question would be on-topic at the target site before migrating. Otherwise it will be closed as off-topic and bounced back, which is what's currently happening with the question you use as an example. Expats allows

  • Questions about work, residence, student, investor and similar mid and long term visas aimed for staying in the country for more time than a tourist or short term business visa would allow

but not

  • Questions about generic travel, tourism, and short term visits to a country, unless your current status as an expat would complicate or ease things

So feel free to migrate good student visa questions to expats, but not visit-my-relative questions.

  • They should just be deleted then. There needs to be a new site, "Visas & Vitamins". – Fattie Nov 8 '18 at 13:44
  • So Peter you'd agree THIS ONE should not be on Expats, is that right? ... travel.stackexchange.com/questions/125360/… – Fattie Nov 8 '18 at 13:56
  • it certainly should not be on this site Travel – Fattie Nov 8 '18 at 13:56

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