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I have seen quite a few tag excerpts that contain pointers to choose a more specific tag or only use if... but almost none that suggest it might be better to ask in a different Stack Exchange community. I asked this on Meta Exchange but it was suggested the correct answer was probably community specific.

I have specific instance in mind but I'm sure this applies across many tags here that are duplicates (in meaning if not always name) on ServerFault and other communities here on Stack Exchange.

I realise that every case will be individual but when a tag has much more traffic, even though it is pretty much on-topic in either community, is it correct etiquette to suggest in the tag wiki that the question might be answered quicker on ServerFault (or some other community)? Specifically this would be done to avoid possible migration and get the user an answer quicker.

I think such advice belongs in the wiki excerpt so to be immediate obvious but am interested in others opinions, as it would probably better suited to the main tag wiki which is not just plain text.

The situation that inspired me into this thought was a Question I had regarding denyhosts - before I made it I did consider whether it belonged on ServerFault or here on U&L, I chose here based on the fact denyhosts is pretty much a *nix only tool, it does work on OSX (which for the most part I consider unix) and probably could be made to do something sane anywhere Python exists but... also the fact that many use it outside of server type environments, to protect themselves when on less trustworthy networks.

Anyway to cut a long story short, the question has got almost no attention and I have been doing quite a bit more background research, some of this has made me aware that doesn't get that much use here but has a little more on SF, and also it is regularly misused in both places. I contemplated asking for a migration but thought it was worth being a bit more patient and in the meantime thinking actually giving some content to the tag wiki in both places may help with the misuse issue. This led to me thinking that maybe one tag wiki excerpt should actually suggest it might be better posting in the other community if the question was more on topic there... and here I am still pondering that fact.

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    It's difficult to answer this without any actual examples. My initial reaction would be no mainly because tags are really more for organizing IMO. I'd rather have users ask, but let's see how others feel. This is just my $0.02. I'm out note and can't really quite more on it at the moment. – slm Oct 3 '15 at 23:03
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    @slm thanks for response, I only didn't add my example as I would prefer an answer more on general etiquette (as I'd like to edit a few tag wikis going forward) rather than sorting my current issue. No mad rush for an answer on my specific issue either as I want to give my main site Q chance to get some attention before thinking about asking for a migration. – DanSut Oct 3 '15 at 23:16
  • The thing is, it's kind of hard to get a general rule. There are no tags I can think of which would merit such treatment. It's hard to discuss this without a concrete example. Also, SF's scope is very specific and they require a level of expertise from their posters (they need to be professional sysadmins) that we don't. I can't, off the top of my head, think of any tag whatsoever that would benefit from such a warning in the wiki. – terdon Oct 4 '15 at 20:25
  • @terdon I get what you are saying, although I do feel I have come across a few tags that fit this possibility, but as someone that very much falls under SF's scope maybe my viewpoint maybe a little skewed. I will add the specific example to the Question, probably tomorrow when I have time properly, but for now (in case you are interested) here is the Q of mine that inspired this. Thanks for the response – DanSut Oct 4 '15 at 23:05
  • Thanks, yes, please do. For my part, I see no tags on your question that would suggest SF. Normal users can also be using denyhosts and logwatch and those are perfectly on topic here. Your question itself suggests you have more than a passing knowledge of these tools, and it may well be well received at SF, but the tags themselves do not suggest a site. On a more personal note, if we start migrating away clear, well written questions like yours just 'cause they have a particular tag, the site would be the poorer for it. – terdon Oct 4 '15 at 23:12
  • @terdon absolutely correct, users here are very likely using denyhosts and logwatch. I did not think that tag excerpts should absolutely recommend using a different community, but perhaps suggest a certain category of posts using the tag may be better served by... I was about to edit the denyhosts tag wiki, as I did on SF. I am really just a Stack Exchange newb, feeling my way around for etiquette. I could possibly be quite active here and SF, understand the quality of one community should not be sacrificed for another, but ultimately think users getting great answers quickly is the goal. – DanSut Oct 4 '15 at 23:30
  • @terdon as promised I added my example. – DanSut Oct 5 '15 at 21:04
  • @Dani_l I don't see how any of the tags involved in your linked Q could fit into my suggestion of wording tag wikis so as to help questions find the most appropriate home, and I am not suggesting (or asking of) features to allow cross-posting so you would probably be best creating your own meta question if you want to discuss this. – DanSut Oct 7 '15 at 15:04
  • @DanSut sorry for the late answer, I'm afraid this completely slipped my mind. – terdon Oct 12 '15 at 11:13
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Quick answer: no, not really.

There are two issues here:

  1. Each site has a different scope. Yes, there is overlap. Everything on Unix & Linux (U&L) is also on topic on Super User (SU). Everything on Ask Ubuntu is also on topic on U&L. Nevertheless, Ubuntu questions are welcome here and will only be migrated in the, relatively unlikely, case that the question is truly specific to Ubuntu and wouldn't be relevant to any other Linux distribution. Basically, when choosing between SU, AU or U&L, the main criterion is what type of answer you would like. I would post general copmuting issues that I just happen to have encountered on *nix on SU, questions about configuring my GUI on an Ubuntu system on AU and hard core commanline stuff here. Server Fault (SF) is even more clear. SF is a site for professional system administrators. If you are not a professional, your question is automatically off topic there.

  2. If a question is on topic on a site, there is no reason to migrate it away. Ubuntu questions are welcome here. Linux questions are welcome on SU. As long as the question fits the site's scope, we leave it be.

Therefore, no, I don't think it would make sense to suggest alternative sites in the tag's description. It most certainly would not be a good idea to suggest SF based on a tag. Not ever. While a professional sysadmin is very welcome to post here, an amateur is not welcome to post there. Since every single tag could be used by either, suggesting SF by default would never be good.

The correct etiquette if you feel a question would fare better elsewhere is to leave the OP a comment suggesting they delete it and repost it on the other site. Bear in mind, though, that i) we really don't want on topic questions moved just because they're also on topic elsewhere and ii) that the OP should never post the same question on multiple sites. In the past, I have used comments like the following to make the point:

If your question doesn't get any good answers here after a few days, you might want to think about deleting it and posting it on Site X instead.

That way, it is clear that the question is welcome, that the OP should wait a while and see if they get any answers and that duplicate questions by the same poster on different sites are not welcome.

  • Thanks for the thorough answer, I will certainly bare it in mind going forward as I edit tag wikis and post across the various *nix communities on Stack Exchange. It is interesting to me that you would suggest deleting and reposting rather than asking for a migration, any specific reason for this? – DanSut Oct 12 '15 at 11:53
  • @DanSut only that new users won't necessarily know how to flag and ask for migration. Either one is fine as long as they don't post the same question in different SE sites simultaneously. – terdon Oct 12 '15 at 12:01
  • that makes sense to me, the Stack Exchange network has so many features and does take a some time and experience to grasp all that is possible - probably best to default to a statement that even a completely new user would understand. – DanSut Oct 12 '15 at 12:12
  • after reading through your answer a couple of times I am, unfortunately, still left with questions regarding what advice is OK to put in the tag wiki. I get not telling people to straight go/look elsewhere but what about making people aware of the other places a Q with the tag could be posted and suggesting pros/cons/topic of each community to help them come to the best decision? Not in the excerpt but in the wiki body. – DanSut Oct 12 '15 at 12:18
  • @DanSut the point I am trying to make, is that you simply can't do that in the tag's wiki. It will always depend on the specific question and I don't see how you can generalize it to a tag. – terdon Oct 12 '15 at 12:47

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