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Here is the question:

I spent 30 minutes working with the person that asked the question. This question was closed, and the one on Ask Different was not.

First, the answer to the question is here. It does belong here! 2 HOURS after I post my answer, one is posted on Ask Different (likely by copying my answer).

  1. How does closing the question that's been worked on by the Super User community benefit the Super User community?
  2. Why don't I deserve to be rewarded for the time I put in?
  3. What is the reaction going to be of the person that asked?

The correct/logical answer to this issue would have been closing the one on Ask Different.

I await with breathless anticipation.

  • 1
    I can assure you pfitz didn't need your writings to field that question on our site. I would reconsider accusing someone publicly of theft/plagiarism for such an obvious answer to a trivial computer troubleshooting scenario. – bmike Dec 4 '12 at 14:56
  • Also - it looks like we've sorted out the place for your answer. Welcome to Ask Different - ping me there in chat any time you have something too minor for a meta question there. – bmike Dec 4 '12 at 15:40
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It was closed because it's been cross-posted, and there's no point in having questions accumulate answers on both sites, where they diverge and the information is spread across the whole Stack Exchange network.

I actually left a comment on the very same question:

I'll have to close this here since you've cross posted. In the future, please only post your question on one site where it's on topic. Thank you!


To address your specific concerns:

It does belong here!

So it does on Ask Different. It's for the OP to choose.

2 HOURS after I post my answer, one is posted on AskDifferent (likely by copying my answer).

Please back up your claims about the answer being copied. I see no verbatim copies, and one would assume the common solutions to a problem always go in the same direction. Even if it were so, material you post on Stack Exchange sites is free to be used by others here, even copypasting it is not forbidden per se.

How does this benefit the SuperUser community?

It's there to prevent two questions existing at the same time on multiple sites. If Ask Different had seen it first, it'd probably be closed there as well.

You don't want two versions of the same question move into different directions, or even in the same. For example, it takes so much more effort to answer two versions of the same question – especially if you need clarification and have to ask for it, when the OP might have given more details on another site.

Why don't I deserve to be rewarded for the time I put in?

You do. You're not punished, are you? Maybe we can migrate the question to Ask Different and have it merged, if the OP agrees.

What is the reaction going to be of the person that asked?

Let's hope they'll understand cross posting is not allowed and that in the future they'll know to post only on one site.

  • "You do. You're not punished, are you? Maybe we can migrate the question to Ask Different and have it merged, if the OP agrees." Yes, I am punished, I don't get the rep for the answer. Since you did this (closed the question) maybe you could merge them? – Everett Dec 4 '12 at 14:08
  • slhck, Maybe the OP's should choose to close unanswered questions instead of ones that the asker has worked with someone on? Just seems to make sense if this board is really about answered questions. – Everett Dec 4 '12 at 14:09
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    When I closed the question (7:35Z), both had been answered at the time. FWIW, Pfitz doesn't even have a Super User account. Also, you can surely get rep for the answer if someone upvotes it. And the OP can still accept it. I'll overlook the two previous comments that you've posted. – slhck Dec 4 '12 at 14:09
  • Anyway, I'll ask on Ask Different if they'd like to merge the questions. – slhck Dec 4 '12 at 14:10
  • "It's there to prevent two questions existing at the same time on multiple sites. If Ask Different had seen it first, it'd probably be closed there as well. You don't want two versions of the same question move into different directions, or even in the same. For example, it takes so much more effort to answer two versions of the same question – especially if you need clarification and have to ask for it, when the OP might have given more details on another site." The problem is, the question was worked on and answered HERE. Work was done HERE. NOT on AskDifferent. – Everett Dec 4 '12 at 14:11
  • Again: at the time I closed it, both versions were answered and had been worked on. If there hadn't been an answer on Ask Different that would have been a different situation. If AD moderators agree we can merge them, we'll do that, but you have to understand that this process always takes a while. – slhck Dec 4 '12 at 14:17
  • I let my anger get in front of me on this situation. I could have done something to help process on this board and missed the opportunity. slhck, I owe you an apology, and I make it as public as my undeserved negative comments were. – Everett Dec 4 '12 at 14:25
  • No worries, just understand that the question wasn't specifically closed to punish you. We're just doing the dirty work of cleaning up and hopefully making users aware of the fact that cross posting may lead to confusion. I will let you know when/if I get a response about merging. – slhck Dec 4 '12 at 14:31
  • I appreciate your time. – Everett Dec 4 '12 at 14:33
  • @Everett There is a policy of closing cross-posted questions, as @slhck said (though there can be exceptions if it's not a verbatim copy-paste). On the other hand, sometimes these questions are left where they may have different target audiences. – Bob Dec 4 '12 at 14:59
  • @Everett It seems that the key is to not copy-paste a question, but rework it to be as relevant to the target site as possible, though admittedly there isn't much to change for some questions in Ask Different and Super User. I do feel that we are a little too harsh on one user posting the same question on multiple sites, where the question is equally relevant on both (note that cross-site duplicates by different users tend to be accepted more often)... A big reason would be to discourage one person asking a question across Stack Exchange, though I'm not sure if that's a bad thing, as long as it's on-topic... – Bob Dec 4 '12 at 15:01
  • @Bob Correct, if the question has appeal to two different audiences (e.g. Electronics, Super User) then that's no biggie, but if it's something like AD and SU, you're not really asking for different viewpoints. Asking the same question across SE is just complicated in terms of moderating, getting the information from the OP, and – for the reader – finding everything at one place. Imagine you're googling for an answer. Would you want to see the question twice, three times even? With different answers? Or even worse, repeating answers? – slhck Dec 4 '12 at 15:03
  • @slhck That is essentially this question (note the point about each site having different communities) - the best thing to do may be linking the questions some way, since merging probably wouldn't work. But this is not the best place for this discussion - that's what that (unresolved?) MSO question was for. And I can't imagine the trouble you guys go through tidying up, so thanks! :) – Bob Dec 4 '12 at 15:06
  • What I should have said, and tried to communicate is this: First, it was my understanding that I'm supposed to zealously promote the board I'm on. In this case it was SuperUser. I'm also on AskDifferent (with a little rep there too). I knew not to ask for the question to be migrated, because it is relevant to SuperUser. Second, I guessed (that's all it was) that this question would likely have variations asked a dozen times on AskDifferent (bmike points this out below). So I thought it would be nice to have a version here too. Continued... – Everett Dec 4 '12 at 15:11
  • Of course it's a good idea to keep good content here, but it might even be that we have duplicates for this as well. Thanks for considering not migrating on-topic questions away – this is generally true, except for maybe this special case here (we've migrated it by the way). @Everett – slhck Dec 4 '12 at 15:14
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As a moderator on Ask Different - that question is one that will likely get edited severely and/or closed as it exists on our site.

It is a bad question in terms of vagueness as well as scope and should get improved before it can be of use.

  1. Pick an OS - Ask an Ubuntu question on the Ubuntu site.
  2. Pick a Mac hardware question - Ask it on Ask Different.
  3. Pick a Mac software question - Ask it on Ask Different.

It probably has several duplicates on our site covering the boot process and software triage process and how to install Mountain Lion process - so will be a lot of work to ensure it's not a duplicate. If that person spent 2 minutes searching before asking - the 250 questions we already have on installing Mountain Lion would let them at least point to one method and set of issues that have been documented and overcome.

The OP showed no work, no details - we don't know if the OP is blissfully unaware of how the OS firmware will recognize drives, we don't know if they pirated Mountain Lion and put it on a DVD (since Apple doesn't sell discs with Mountain Lion), we don't know where to begin.

I would focus on closing or editing questions like this before devoting 30 minutes to them. It's admirable to want to help someone - but also keep an eye on how useful the question and answer will be to the Internet at large.

Don't assume it won't be closed on our site and good for asking and learning a bit more about how/why questions can get closed. You will also find that many questions get closed for improvement and can be reopened later - only when a question is deleted does your work get a very limited audience and any reputation potentially reversed if the answer wasn't up for something like 30 or 90 days on the site prior to deletion.

  • bmike, Thanks for your time on this. I was in an unreasonable mood and slhck was unlucky enough to get to deal with me. If I ever end up as an OP and have to deal with me... Anyway, I agree with most of what you said. Not trying to nitpick, but want to make sure I understand something... "we don't know if they pirated Mountain Lion and put it on a DVD (Since Apple doesn't sell discs with Mountain Lion)" Don't we operate on innocent until proven guilty around here? I mean if a guy says, "I pirated ML and put it on a disc.." I agree. But he didn't say that, and I'm not inclined to assume.. – Everett Dec 4 '12 at 15:03
  • "I would focus on closing / editing questions like this before devoting 30 minutes to them. It's admirable to want to help someone - but also keep an eye on how useful the question and answer will be to the internet at large." And THIS is MY problem (being serious)... I've spent so many decades in IT that I tunnel vision helping the person in front of me ;) – Everett Dec 4 '12 at 15:06
  • @Everett I appreciate your saying it was a bad mood - that makes this a "water under the bridge" thing - it's OK to get hot and better to come back and make amends. You are correct - we give the benefit of the doubt. I only mentioned it since the first failure in the scenario (and the stated ultimate goal) is Mountain Lion and involved a unicorn. There is no canonical Mountain Lion DVD - never has been made, so we expect people to explain how they came upon this mystical beast to entertain questions where it is the core idea. – bmike Dec 4 '12 at 15:08
  • You are right - we assume good faith - cases were we are sure there is piracy get edited / locked / deleted (which doesn't really delete, but hides from view of everyone that is not very high rep or an elected moderator). – bmike Dec 4 '12 at 15:10

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