Fairly recent changes to StackExchange have encouraged users with sufficient rep (and close votes remaining) to vote-to-close rather than merely flag for moderator attention.

I think I understand and agree with this approach, and after a bit of muddling with trying to salvage this question, cast (so far the only) vote to close.

However part of the salvage for off-topic but otherwise good questions can be trying to get the question migrated. I realize there is an open ticket to provide more options for recommending other forums to migrate questions to, and that there's a decision that needs to be made at the target forum whether to accept a migration.

In the present case there was a comedy of errors as I mentioned a couple of alternative forums in a comment on the question, then wound up pointing (without realizing) to an earlier question on much the same topic that the same user had posted (SO). The user then posted a duplicate question on the other (beta) forum I'd suggested, only to have that swiftly closed by a moderator on account of the cross-posting.

With the benefit of hindsight I'm wondering if a comment recommending "self-migration" is a bad idea, even if offered in the spirit of salvaging a question. I'd appreciate a better picture of how successful migrations are accomplished.


Strictly-speaking, if you're gonna migrate a question it should be something you would also vote to close as off-topic. If you wouldn't do that, you shouldn't be migrating it either - the latter implies the former.

When it comes to "manual migration", there's nothing wrong with suggesting that someone might be better served by a different group of people on another site - but the onus is on them to:

  1. Address any outstanding issues with the question. If it's unclear, poorly-written, or excessively broad here, it'll probably be seen the same way elsewhere. If you don't like seeing someone ask a "shopping" question, chances are the folks on CompSci won't either.

  2. Tailor their question to the target audience. In your example, the first mistake the user made was in failing to assess the scope of Math.SE before posting his question. Re-posting the same question verbatim on CompSci (even though the topic may be more suited to that site) would tend to reinforce the impression that he was just shopping his list of requirements around without really trying to put any effort into either explaining how he arrived at this point ("I asked a previous question on Stack Overflow and..." / "I was advised by the good folk on Math.SE to ask you if...") or what he had already tried and found lacking.

Moderators are advised to avoid migrating poor questions; the same advice applies to anyone voting to migrate or suggesting another site in comments: if the question is problematic (not just off-topic), either don't recommend another site or recommend improvements to it first.


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