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Given that The Workplace is days away from its private beta, which I think (please correct me if I'm wrong) means it will be public beta relatively soon after, how should we as community members help guide relevant questions over to The Workplace?

Previously, we could only say in comments that there's this site that will someday be available...now that it's almost available, I'm looking for guidance or best practices as to how we might help guide users while not making The Workplace a dumping ground.

Should The Workplace be one of the selections for off-topic-here-but-belongs-on-X-SE-site flags? (I'm not sure it should be, or even if it could be, given it's a beta.) Should questions that are closed but not migrated have some language attached to the closure notice that says something to the effect of "hey, read the FAQ, edit your question, and try at The Workplace"?

Basically, now that The Workplace is (almost) here, I want myself and us as a community to be ready to help it reach its full potential.

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    I think the large number of Programmers' regulars involved in the Workplace will help safeguard it from becoming the dumping ground Programmers once was (for a little while). Assuming of course we learned from past mistakes... – yannis Apr 9 '12 at 2:38
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The Workplace is launching Tuesday or Wednesday, barring any unforeseen problems. During the private beta, there will be no involvement from other Stack Exchange sites (save for active people here who also committed to the proposal): it'll be up to the community there to quickly figure out their scope and how they'll ensure the site will be viable if/when it goes public.

But even sites in public beta are never added as migration paths. The beta period is the time for the site to bootstrap itself without becoming a dumping ground for other sites: normal users generally don't understand what to migrate even when sites are launched.

The lack of a migration path does not, however, prevent moderators from migrating questions to a beta site. Historically, we worked with moderators on beta sites to determine if a question would be a better fit for them. This tended to be a win-win situation for all involved, as it let the destination sites get questions they want and it prevented unnecessary drama when a question gets unceremoniously closed here for being off-topic or sits around with no answers (or worse, bad answers).

It looks like the current moderators are loath to do this, and it's unlikely very many, if any, questions would be migrated to the Workplace while it's in beta.

Keep in mind, however, that The Workplace was created specifically to house questions that are categorically off-topic here: there should be very little, if any, overlap between the two sites. Off-topic questions that would be a fit for The Workplace have historically gotten comments from closers directing the asker to support the proposal: perhaps the only real change needed to that workflow is to modify the wording to indicate it's already live.

  • Thanks for the clarifications; my gut was telling me that your last sentence is the way we'll be going for awhile -- and that's not a bad thing! – jcmeloni Apr 8 '12 at 20:09
  • I must admit though that my biggest motivation to commit to the Workplace was simply because I want to see the thousands of "My Boss Sucks, Work Sucks" questions wrongly posted here to finally have a legitimate home. They very likely will want constructive questions and discourage rage and fear based rants much like us so it would behoove our community to know this before migrating or suggesting it. – maple_shaft Apr 9 '12 at 11:23
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There's not much that we can do until The Workplace is in at least Public Beta. Unless they explicitly ask for a question from us, we probably won't be migrating anything until the community on The Workplace has a good definition of what a good question is and a nice description of what is on-topic (and what is off-topic).

Until then, I'd be careful about directing people to The Workplace. When the site was in committal phase, it is perfectly fine to invite people to help form the core base of the site and define a direction. However, once the Private Beta starts, those people will be defining what The Workplace is. Telling people that there is a site for certain types of questions might not be true if The Workplace community decides that a particular subject is off-topic during this Private Beta phase.

I would encourage everyone who is genuinely interested in The Workplace to commit before the Private Beta starts and be part of the definition of this new site and to learn what this new community wants so that we can properly direct people to the appropriate Stack Exchange site to get the best answers to their questions and problems.

  • Totally makes sense, thanks. – jcmeloni Apr 9 '12 at 0:24

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