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Corresponding post on coffee: https://coffee.meta.stackexchange.com/q/1169/230

https://coffee.stackexchange.com/ has now been in beta for nearly a year and while they're still pretty small, questions there are pretty consistently getting answered and beta sites are not at risk of being closed. Among other things, this means the prospect of migrating questions there is a lot less scary now: we're sending people to a site with a reasonably established community and track record and a bright potential future.

I've discussed a bit with one of their mods (fredley) and we both agree it'll be best for our users if we start doing a bit more migration. There aren't a whole ton of questions here, and there aren't a whole ton of cooking questions there, but when it does happen, it's best if we steer those users to the other site.

To be concrete:

  • The scopes still overlap, so many questions will stay where they're posted. A question that requires specialized coffee knowledge and specialized cooking knowledge might fit on both, and in general we'll respect the user's choice of site to post on. This means we don't generally need to get into debates; if there are good arguments for a question fitting on either site, then that's an argument we don't need to have!

  • Questions clearly on one side of the line will be migrated. For example, this question about coffee jelly was migrated to us, and in the future, questions similar to this one about coffee storage may be migrated to coffee. (That one's a moot point since it's too old to migrate.) Note that since coffee is in beta, it won't show up in the list of migration targets for you, but moderators do have the ability to migrate questions to beta sites, so if you think something should be migrated to coffee, please flag it.

Keep in mind that this is all in the interests of getting people's questions in front of the people most likely to be able to provide good answers, which as a Q&A site should always be our first priority! I believe coffee has proven that they'll take good care of those questions, and we'll be doing a tiny bit to help them grow. On the flip side, the small number of questions that will be migrated to us will be a big win for users: all the expert cooks here will see them.

I know that some people may be concerned about losing a small slice of our scope, but note that it's a very small slice, so we're not going to be sending away many questions anyway. It looks like 25 of our non-closed questions in the last year (0.8% of the total) are tagged coffee, and of those, something like 10 would've been migrated under the conservative guidelines above. Even being really aggressive, I think at most 15 would've gone. So most everything will go on as normal, with a small number of questions migrating away, and if you miss those questions, you can just hop over to coffee to answer!

Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or other feedback about this! I'm assuming this will be generally all right, but if any aspect of it needs rethinking, we're happy to do that.

  • What's the best flag to use to communicate a recommendation for migration? – logophobe Dec 17 '15 at 15:00
  • @logophobe Either off-topic (we'll figure out you mean coffee) or custom is fine, I think. – Cascabel Dec 17 '15 at 15:12
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I think migration is probably good, but it would be nice if there was some kind of canonical coffee question that linked to the site such that if people search for coffee here, they find that question and can go over there to find what they're looking for. I'm not sure how to make that work, but it would be of great use to early users not familiar with the plethora of sister sites.

  • I'm having a little trouble imagining how this would work. It's hard to make one question that'll come up for everything that's clearly only about coffee while not for anything that involves cooking (which is fine here). We don't want people to end up thinking their cooking coffee questions don't belong, or getting confused about the whole thing before they even post a question. Migration is pretty easy anyway, and a pretty direct way of letting people know about the coffee site if their question belongs there. – Cascabel Dec 23 '15 at 3:09
  • I was actually more concerned about lurkers looking for something but not being able to find it. I think there are far more lurkers than participants. I suppose this is an issue for more than just this site and should probably be brought up on meta.stackexchange.com? – James Dec 23 '15 at 3:14
  • Hm, you want lurkers to be able to find the coffee site to go lurk there, you mean? – Cascabel Dec 23 '15 at 3:59
  • Yes, if they're looking for something that's over there. Before reading this post, I didn't even know that there was a coffee site. I'm here fairly frequently, but I don't read through the list of sister sites very often, and I haven't ever noticed a "hot network" question from there. I think even regular users probably do a significant number of searches with a level of curiosity that is enough to search but not enough to ask (asking requires a lot more effort). I realize that that's not useful for this site, but it is useful for the users, and for the network as a whole. – James Dec 23 '15 at 4:21
  • Well, the site is mentioned in the coffee tag wiki. I doubt we can make any question consistently rank at the top, but that's always there. – Cascabel Dec 23 '15 at 4:24
  • FYI: I've added a suggested answer over on a meta stack exchange suggestion about cross-site searches: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/158019/… – James Dec 23 '15 at 4:25
  • My impression is that there are far more lurkers who simply read questions from front pages than there are who do targeted searches. They'll find out about the coffee site when questions are migrated. – Cascabel Dec 23 '15 at 4:28
  • Interesting. I actually did a search to see if there was something like that, but didn't read through the tag description carefully and didn't notice the reference because it wasn't linked or even colored. – James Dec 23 '15 at 4:29
  • There's probably more lurkers coming from Google searches, but I'm not sure about the front page vs. targeted searches. That may be true here for now due to the relative newness of this site. I doubt it is on stack overflow and I think it may change over time here. – James Dec 23 '15 at 4:33
  • You're saying Seasoned Advice is relatively new? And that since it's new people search less? People do probably focus more on the front page here than on SO (though recent front page redesigns have changed that some), but that's more because we're a low traffic site, not because we're new. We're never going to have a question a minute like SO, so you really can just skim the front page and see pretty much everything. – Cascabel Dec 23 '15 at 4:39
  • It's not the "go-to" site for cooks the way that SO is for programmers. Many programmers, even those who almost never post questions start their search at SO because they know that it's very likely the answer they're looking for is there. That may just be the nature of the beast, but I think (hope) it will change as more people find the site and as the tech-saaviness of the average cook increases. As this happens and the sites fragment with overlapping focuses, it will become more or a problem. You're probably right that it's not a big deal at the moment, but never say never! – James Dec 23 '15 at 5:04
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    At this point I'm confused what problem you're trying to solve, sorry. If the sites get huge, people will find the coffee site from Google too, and more active users will learn from migrations as well. With the sites as they are today the important thing is that people who post can find the sites, and I think the migrations satisfy that need today as well. Trying to announce the existence of the coffee site to people who don't post, don't read meta, don't watch the front page or search for coffee enough to see migrations eventually... seems low impact? – Cascabel Dec 23 '15 at 5:21
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We've adopted this with very little fanfare, and it seems to be going fine. There indeed aren't too many questions to move.

(Posting this just to have an answer so Community won't bump it.)

  • Okay, I know you don't have to explain your downvotes, but this is one of those times where it would be really helpful to know whether you think something's wrong with us migrating questions or if you just don't like the way I self-answered. The question is at +12/0 and I haven't seen a single complaint (outside the "this isn't doing enough to advertise for coffee" answer above) so I wasn't really expecting trouble... – Cascabel Feb 3 '16 at 15:55

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