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For some time now we have had quite a few mathematical questions asked on the meta site.

Why does this happen?

Given any such question, it is very easy for a mod to move it to the actual math.stackexchange.com site, and users with sufficient reppoints can vote to have it moved themselves, but it would be immensely more efficient to fix whatever problem it is that is making people post them here in the first place.

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    $\begingroup$ I think this comment is insightful. MSE is a Q&A site, so when some new users dutifully read meta posts to make acquaintance, they may see the "Ask a Question" button and assume this is connected to the main site. $\endgroup$ – anon Jun 26 '13 at 19:55
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    $\begingroup$ Shouldn't complaints and concerns about meta be posted on the actual site? $\endgroup$ – James S. Cook Jun 29 '13 at 1:57
  • $\begingroup$ No. I think that we need a meta meta. $\endgroup$ – Baby Dragon Jul 6 '13 at 1:44
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I think that the primary (only?) cause is that the styling of the main site and meta site are not sufficiently distinctive for people unfamiliar with the Stack Exchange network. In contrast, MathOverflow (1.0) never has this problem because their meta could not possibly be mistaken for the place that math questions get asked.

A proposal on meta.SO to fix this seems in order. I don't think the SE team is going to be open to a suggestion to change the styling more (also, what would the alternative style be - more drab?) Perhaps, whenever a user who has not posted in meta before is writing a question on meta, a tooltip / announcement / gizmo should remind them where they are and ask if that's really where they intend to post.

Edit: meta.SO thread opened

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not discounting the possibility that questioners are unfamiliar with the concept of "meta", too, so they don't understand what that little "meta" after the logo means... $\endgroup$ – J. M. is a poor mathematician Jun 22 '13 at 23:32
  • $\begingroup$ There is an unfortunate problem with discussing main-meta relations on meta.SO: the majority of users there think in terms of SO-meta.SO relation, which is very different from the way other metas work. So they talk about users being suspended on the main site and deliberately posting on meta instead... which simply does not happen here, where suspensions hit in both places at once. $\endgroup$ – ˈjuː.zɚ79365 Jun 23 '13 at 1:42
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe 'meta' in a large font and 'mathematics' in a small font? $\endgroup$ – copper.hat Jun 26 '13 at 3:05

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