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I read somewhere (can't find it now), that cross posting is not allowed or encouraged between SE sites. But I think this should be allowed.

Here are few examples.

  1. If I have questions on Google Earth, I'll want to post it both on the SuperUser and GIS.SE sites. The faq of both sites considers this a valid question. SuperUser community accepts any valid software question and GIS.SE will take any valid GIS software question.

  2. If I have a question on ArcObjects (an SDK for the ArcGIS suite), I'll want to post it on Stack Overflow and the GIS.SE.

  3. If I have a question on Ubuntu options, I'll want to post it on Ubuntu, U&L.SE and SU.

  4. OSX questions on the apple.stachexchange and SU and U&L.SE.

Benefits of doing this are rather obivous. More exposure, which will lead to better answers.

My suggestion as to how this option can be made available: When asking a question, there should a text box to specify which sites the questions should be displayed on (Similar to tagging questions). Only sites where users have an active account should be available as options in the text box. And of course, administrators and high rep users will have the ability to edit this.

If cross posted, a tag like the [migrated] or [closed] could appear at the end of the question. [cross-posted]

If Implemented, it would lead to the conundrum of assigned reps i.e. if a question posted on SU and GIS.SE were answered by people with accounts in both these places, to which accounts would the earned rep go to. The answer to this could be that user could answer from either of their accounts and decide where they'd want their rep to go.

Any thoughts?

P.S. - I'd like to cross post this question on 3-4 other meta.SE sites. :)

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    He makes a good point... instead of just saying it's not allowed why doesn't the team work on a way to make it work? Users are going to cross post either way... regulars know not to but new ppl don't and even some SE regulars just don't care... – Supercereal Jun 27 '11 at 16:35
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    You should always tailor your question so they suit the community you're addressing. Which means you're not really cross-posting, because the posts aren't identical. So I downvoted, because I don't think its a good idea and has probably already been rejected on MSO. – Ivo Flipse Jun 27 '11 at 16:36
  • @Ivo Flipse. Easier said than done. My friends have tried posting Linux questions on the U&L.SE site and the SU site. They get better responses on the SU site. So now they stop visiting the U&L.SE. So one community gets killed of or effectively ignored because a large number of users are on the other. – Thomas Jun 27 '11 at 16:43
  • @Thomas FYI SU pre-dates U&L by about a year (and U&L's grown from nothing in 10months, so it's hardly getting killed off), that and a wider scope mean we have more traffic, but that shouldn't dissuade you from using U&L. It's all down to which community group you fit better with (at least in the case of sites with such heavy cross-over). I'd expect some really "deep" Linux questions to potentially receive a better response on U&L as they potentially have the more "hardcore" crowd over there. – DMA57361 Jun 27 '11 at 16:49
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    @Ivo Flipse and @ DMA57361. Both your points are valid and valued. I'm just saying that having this option is not evil like all the administrators point it out to be. It should atleast be tried out across a two or three sites as a beta phase to see if it works out. Maybe you'll see its benefits rather than having to assume the worst. – Thomas Jun 27 '11 at 16:57
  • Sadly for you, I don't call the shots around here. If Jeff doesn't like your feature, your chances of getting it are slim. Given the link I shared, I don't think this idea stands a chance. – Ivo Flipse Jun 27 '11 at 17:07
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    You just stated yourself why this option is evil, cross-posting without tailoring your answer to the site's context results in: So one community gets effectively ignored because a large number of users are on the other. I wouldn't say it gets killed as people also migrate the other way. Experimentation shouldn't only be done after enough people are convinced, which isn't the case with these down votes. Perhaps you assume the best... :) – Tamara Wijsman Jun 27 '11 at 17:22
  • @Tom Wijsman Agreed. – Thomas Jun 27 '11 at 17:46
  • On a side note I must add that this is a community driven site. But lately it seems like an administrator driven site. Q's get down voted because people don't like them, as opposed to having less effort or research put into them. – Thomas Jun 27 '11 at 17:56
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    The community decides how it votes. Not moderators. – random Jun 27 '11 at 18:23
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I read somewhere, that cross posting is not allowed or encouraged between SE sites.

Official question:

Is it possible to post questions across a couple of the sites because it's debatable which site it fits best?


1) If I have questions on Google Earth, I'll want to post it both on the SuperUser and GIS.SE sites. The faq of both sites considers this a valid question. SuperUser community accepts any valid software question and GIS.SE will take any valid GIS software question.

Geographic Information Systems - FAQ says:

The Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is for is for questions concerning geographic information systems and science. We welcome cartographers, database administrators, geographers, programmers, and anyone interested in or using GIS professionally.

Super User - FAQ says:

Super User is for computer enthusiasts and power users. If you have a question about computer hardware or computer software then you’re in the right place to ask your question!

There are two things to note here:

  1. We are focused on expertise within a topic, because it is related to consumer software doesn't mean it's on-topic.

  2. We are also focusing on solving problems, a GIS problem is different from a computer software problem.

Let's examine this example question:

  1. It clearly requires expertise from GIS, it would be closed as not constructive on Super User.

  2. It is clearly a GIS problem, as accuracy is required. There is no problem with the software itself.

Feel free to come up with another example question, but there should always be one of both communities jumping out. Still, if you can't decide. You can try one community and let it be migrated to the other community through a mod flag later...


2) If I have a question on ArcObjects (an SDK for the ArcGIS suite), I'll want to post it on Stack Overflow and the GIS.SE.

I believe you will find much more expertise and activity on GIS.SE, on Stack Overflow your very specific question will suffer under the flood of activity which scrolls your question of the list. Unless they are displayed on the interesting tabs of GIS experts, which would most likely be on GIS.SE too...


3) If I have a question on Ubuntu options, I'll want to post it on Ubuntu, U&L.SE and SU.

Please note that Unix & Linux - FAQ states:

Note that Ubuntu posts are a special case. If your question applies to Ubuntu only, or you're looking for answers that are Ubuntu-specific, you should post it on the Ask Ubuntu Stack Exchange site.

So, this leaves you with Ask Ubuntu and Super User. Here it is a matter of the spirit that you want to follow, look for yourself which community is best. Please note that people focused on answering Ubuntu questions are more likely to be found on Ask Ubuntu.


4) OSX questions on the apple.stachexchange and SU and U&L.SE.

OSX is not necessarily U&L.SE, so unless you have a low level U&L.SE question you shouldn't be posting there. As for Apple against SU, it's again a matter of the spirit that you want to follow, look for yourself which community is best. Please note that people focused on answering OSX questions are more likely to be found on the Apple website.

  • +1 Everything you said made sense. Thanks!!! – Thomas Jun 27 '11 at 17:43
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    Please note that people focused on answering OSX questions are more likely to be found on the Apple website. — I take exception to that. In my completely subjective opinion, really deep questions have much better chances on SU. If your printer isn't working or you get wacky alerts in iTunes, then you get good and fast answers on Apple.SE, but I'm disappointed by the quality of answers to harder questions on that site. – Daniel Beck Jun 27 '11 at 19:59
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    Just a clarification: U&L doesn't reject Ubuntu questions, it's more about the kinds of answers to expect: on U&L you might get a solution that works across Linux, but more complicated than the Ubuntu-only solution you'd get on AU. Cross-posting is absolutely out (we've even put it in our faq. – Gilles Jun 27 '11 at 22:29
  • @Daniel, @Gilles: Yeah, sorry guys, I visit none of those websites other than SU and SO, feel free to edit. :) – Tamara Wijsman Jun 27 '11 at 22:41
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Each site in the network builds up its own set of expert users and culture. Crossposting is throwing your question on the wall and seeing which Q&A it sticks to.

It's kind of a selfish thing to not only spread out the information but to not take the time to form the question best for that Q&A site.

If you think the question fits as is across the sites, then you haven't done enough editing or care to formulate it per that site's set of users.

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