I know it's not really a choice in the off-topic while it's in Beta, but could we have a way to specify that we want it to go there (maybe one that is dependent on reputation, only people who have over 10000 rep can see beta sites or a comment block for where else it should go).

Yeah right now we can put it comments, but not everyone knows to do that as not everyone even knows about the Beta and weeding through all the comments to see if anyone mentioned where they thought it would go when it is easier to specify in the close requests seems a waste of volunteer moderators time.

3 Answers 3


Migrating to beta sites and sites that are not in our migration target list

Showing the full list of sites in the off topic dialog has been asked for a ton of times, and has been declined each time.

maybe one that is dependant on reputation, only people who have over 10000 rep can see beta sites or a comment block for where else it should go

Well, no, unless you mean reputation on the target site. We've suffered enough from bad migrations from Stack Overflow to know that reputation on the source site says absolutely nothing about whether a question belongs on the target site or not.

Migration comments

Are an extremely bad habit, and I really (really) dislike them. The typical dance is:

  1. A question that includes the word "career" is closed, or is gathering down / close votes fast.
  2. An (un)helpful commenter posts something like "this belongs on the Workplace".
  3. OP, being new and having no idea we can migrate, posts on the Workplace.
  4. The question is closed on the Workplace as well.

The same dance happens for OnStartups, for questions that include the word "business". Cross posting is not something we like very much, but the important thing here is that the OP has been rejected by two sites. If getting your question closed in one site sucks, imagine how much it stinks when it happens twice in a day.

The main issue here is that people feel they are being nice by proposing an alternative, and they are, however migration is not an alternative to closing poor questions that don't belong on Stack Exchange in general. What annoys me the most is that 99% of the times I see a migration comment from a high(ish) rep member, they haven't taken the time to bring the question to shape, even if just by fixing obvious spelling / grammar mistakes.

Obviously this doesn't apply to you, comments like this one:

https://workplace.stackexchange.com/ is a better fit for most work questions, but I'm not sure this is really a work question. I think it is a very poor idea to get a Masters immediately after you graduate. Get a few years of work experience first. I would not hire someone with a masters and no professional work experience over someone with a BA or BS for an entry level job because they expect more money and still only have entry level skills. And wanting what pays best and is easiest is a conflict, the hard stuff pays best. - HLGEM 1 hour ago

are exactly what a migration comment should be like. Thanks for taking the time to:

  1. Point to the workplace, but also pointing out that the question might not fit there.
  2. Provide a mini answer to the question.

How do we migrate to the Workplace, then?

I'll answer the same way I've answered for Programmers:

  1. Flag for moderation attention, or
  2. Drop the questions in the Water Cooler, the Workplace's main chat room.

Both options involve the Workplace community having a say in whether the question belongs on their site or not, and that's a good thing, and far better than a random migration comment, that more often than not is more obnoxious than useful. I realize you are part of the Workplace community, and currently the top user by reputation there, however you can't decide on your own if the question should or should be not migrated. Lacking an option for users to vote to migrate to the Workplace, flagging or visiting the Water Cooler are what's left, and are good enough solutions.


  • 3
    where is the opening tag for this rant?
    – Ryathal
    Jun 15, 2012 at 18:21
  • 1
    I don't think this is a rant; I think it's spot on and I appreciate it greatly.
    – jcmeloni
    Jun 15, 2012 at 23:32
  • #4 under Migration comments is untrue, we don't close such migrated questions, we've found it's more useful to just delete them :)
    – Ben Brocka
    Jun 16, 2012 at 17:24

Flag it for moderator attention - but still vote to close as "off topic".

We'll double check with The Workplace mods and if they agree we can migrate it. If not we'll simply close as Off Topic.

This has to be the policy for beta sites as there is always the chance that the beta site might be closed down.

  • 2
    I know what the current method is, I just think we should come up with a better method for sending stuff to Beta sites. One that might let more people know about the existance of beta sites that are a good fit for some questions.
    – HLGEM
    Jun 15, 2012 at 15:25
  • For that matter I have seen questions from here migrated to dba and it isn't in the close list either. It is no longer in beta is it? I can direct questions to there from SO.
    – HLGEM
    Jun 15, 2012 at 15:29
  • @HLGEM - Ah my misunderstanding.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jun 15, 2012 at 15:29
  • 3
    @HLGEM - we'd have to show evidence of a large (for some value of large) number of questions being migrated to a graduated site for it to be added to the dialog.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jun 15, 2012 at 15:30
  • In addition to flagging it, you should also leave a comment that you voted to close the question for being off-topic and that you flagged it for a moderator to see about migrating it to our SE site for workplace questions. This not only tells other users that moderators are already aware of this question for a possible migration, but also tells them about The Workplace and drives some traffic their way.
    – Rachel
    Jun 15, 2012 at 18:46
  • @Rachel - be very careful about comments directing the user to another site for the reasons Yannis outlines in his answer.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jun 15, 2012 at 22:04
  • FWIW, as a Workplace mod and a reader of all things Programmers, what I do when I see something we'd take is that I flag it and say "we can take this". In all other circumstances I wait until Programmers mods ping us (which @BenBrocka usually gets to first). It's worked well so far IMHO. When things get tricky is when comments lead users to cross-post without waiting for the actions to take place.
    – jcmeloni
    Jun 15, 2012 at 23:31
  • @ChrisF Yes, you want to be careful to tell the user the question is already being discussed for migration, not that they should go post over there or that their question belongs there.
    – Rachel
    Jun 17, 2012 at 13:12

Migrating to beta sites in general should not have any streamlined process, precisely because the site is in beta. Each site needs to prove that it can create and manage an active community without injecting large quantities of questions from other sites, once they become a live site it's completely different. If beta sites aren't somewhat regulated in migrations there is a greater chance they become dumping grounds for live sites and that doesn't end well.

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