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I ask because I am curious about the particular case which I created involving this question: https://gaming.stackexchange.com/q/84763/31978

Edit (added for clarifying the purpose of this question):

"They both technically relate to what you want to know, but which site has a greater likelihood of actually being able to help you in your query? Gamers, or Electrical Engineers?" - The, to me, obvious answer to that question is EE but the follow-up that I didn't really emphasize: Which site has the greater likelihood of benefiting from the potential answer? - To me, the answer is not those on EE but who use the console and play games. Given that the nature of stack exchange is Q&A, which one takes precedence? If I get a great answer on EE, should I not repost it on Gaming?

I reference this related question (while it is talking about non-SE sites, the concept is similar here): Re-asking questions from other sites

Follow-up question: Would an answer from EE benefit a user from Gaming? Vice-versa? To What extent? Also applicable to other SE sites.

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    In rare cases anything can happen and all rules don't make sense – badp Sep 20 '12 at 22:10
  • @badp: While wonderfully philosophical, that doesn't really answer the question. – Enigma Sep 20 '12 at 22:16
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    and that's why it's a comment, not an answer – murgatroid99 Sep 20 '12 at 22:22
  • There is a definite grey area where answers are often prodded for in comments. – Enigma Sep 20 '12 at 22:26
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As I had said in the comments, crossposting is discouraged in the SE network. This is because each SE site has it's own group of experts. When a question is asked, those same experts look at it from their unique perspective to answer the question. Given this, asking the same question of two different sites might garner two completely different answers. Or it could be the same answer arrived at through two different paths. There's no real way to tell.

"But fbueckert," you say, "doesn't more people answering questions benefit the site?"

Good question. But it's based on a false premise: that everyone can understand (and apply) each answer equally. There's a reason the sites are separate, with established migration paths for content that doesn't fit in. When an answer is provided on any of these sites, assumptions are made as to who is asking, and viewing the question and answers.

For StackOverflow, it's generally assumed you're a programmer, and have somewhat of an IDE to go off of. SuperUser assumes you have a basic grasp of the technical aspects of a computer and can find your own way around. Cooking assumes you have an oven, and you've gotten past the burning water stage.

When answering on these sites, those are basic assumptions, and will color the answer accordingly. These core competencies are inherent in whichever site you go to; they're not going to teach you how to program, or how a computer works. The groundwork and skills for the area are assumed to already exist, and you're just refining and adding on to those skills.

A good example would involve the PS3. Say it overheats. Most gamers don't know the first thing about soldering, voltages, or identifying broken components. But they know how to follow instructions. So you tell them what they need to do to fix it, and they dutifully strip the PS3 down to it's motherboard, and chuck it into the oven. It doesn't really matter WHAT went wrong, and although a good answer would explain it in terms a gamer would understand, it's incidental to actually solving the problem. Does it really matter went blew up? Not really, so long as there is a solution to resolving the problem.

Now post that same question on Electronics. You're going to get directions on how to fix it, but chances are extremely good it's not going to involve baking your motherboard. They'll point out which bit is most likely broken, and a good way to bypass or replace the broken module. These directions will most likely mean absolutely nothing to any gamer that runs across it. "PCB? What's that?" "Soldering? I can't do that!"

Both answers, while completely valid, are not equally useful to the audience provided. Cross-posting the Electronics answer on Arqade won't help; it'll get downvoted into oblivion, even though it's just as correct as baking it.

Now. Back to cross-posting questions. Keeping in mind that perfectly valid answers are not equal, as demonstrated above. By posing the same question to two different groups, you're fragmenting the discussion. You've got two groups of people working at answering it, and they're not talking to each other. They probably don't even know that someone else is working on it. We also run into the issue of, "he said, she said". Remember, these groups are going to come at it from different perspectives, and unless you fully understand both viewpoints, there's going to be something lost in translation. And then we run into problems of, "But, X said Y! That completely contradicts your answer!". And then we're adding to the noise, because rather than getting your problem solved, we're bickering back and forth to figure out what's going on, and where the disconnect is.

The reason cross-posting is frowned upon is because it's the hallmark of a vague question. If it's broad enough to be equally applicable to multiple SE sites, you haven't refined the question enough. More thought needs to be invested to see which group would be best able to answer your question. You need to decide which site you think has the best chance of answering the question. If you don't manage to get an answer, feel free to delete and ask on another. That way, there's no duplication of effort, no bickering, and if you get an answer on another site, it will be applicable to those that view it.

  • While I agree, again, with nearly everything said there, you are side-stepping the sub-question, "Which one, Q or A, takes precedence?" From your conclusion here, and the other answer above, the implied answer seems to be that Q takes precedence. ie, "It's more important to get your question answered than it is for your question to benefit others". Is that accurate? – Enigma Sep 20 '12 at 22:35
  • You are also discounting a large set of users who are multi-disciplinary. I am one such user who could understand answers from a broad range of perspectives. Just because someone has an oven and cooks doesn't mean they can't also be a systems administrator. – Enigma Sep 20 '12 at 22:43
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    The question takes precedence; without those, we wouldn't have a site. Like I said, you need to decide which site you think has the best chance of answering the question. As for multi-disciplinary users, obviously there are some; I would fit in in quite a few of the SE sites. But your answer should be applicable to the lowest common denominator. Just because you can cook and be a system admin, doesn't mean every person on Cooking will understand your answer that includes system adminning your oven. – Frank Sep 20 '12 at 22:46
  • lol on that last bit. – Enigma Sep 20 '12 at 22:52
  • Your site comparisons make it sound like Cooking should be wearing a padded helmet. – Niro Sep 22 '12 at 4:56
  • @Fluttershy If you can burn water, then I submit wearing a padded helmet is the smallest piece of protection you should be wearing. – Frank Sep 22 '12 at 23:41
  • Q should definitely take precedence. The audience for a question isn't limited to one site since Google is a major source of traffic from people looking for answers, and Google will find it regardless of which site it's on. Conversely, a Q will not get the right experts looking at it on the wrong site. – SevenSidedDie Sep 23 '12 at 4:24
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I think the answer is pretty clearly laid out in this Meta Stack Overflow post.

To quote the answers that, well, answer your question:

Ask the question on the site you think is most applicable. If like in this case, it does not get any answer ask a moderator to migrate the question or alternatively delete it and re-ask it.

Each site is focussed at a specific topic area. If you have a question you feel is to ambiguous, either re-think the question carefully, or do as suggested above.

99.99% of questions people have claimed as being cross site has been proven to be valid on a single site if written properly and thought through. SE is not a wild west for questions, question need to be worked on the be worthy, and if worthy will target a specific audience.

Also, Jeff's answer says the following:

Allowing cross-posting is a slippery slope.

If you might have slightly better odds of getting an answer by posting it on two sites, well, by gum, why not maximize your odds by posting it on twenty sites!

There are some questions which fall into grey areas between sites, and I think it's OK to ask and delete, then re-ask if you feel you have asked on the wrong site.

But as a general rule, do not cross-post questions, please. Pick a site and go with it.

It's not something that is really liked or desired on the network. From the comments, you seem to want both perspectives, but if you take a good hard look at your question, and think about the sort of answer you need, it is likely that you will find that either keeping the question here, or keeping it over on EE, will serve you better.

As you say yourself,

My only argument is that broader gaming related technical support questions offer a different perspective than from those who may be more accustomed to working closer to electronic circuits.

There is definitely a difference in the perspective, which is fantastic, because they are completely different sites on completely different topics. They both technically relate to what you want to know, but which site has a greater likelihood of actually being able to help you in your query? Gamers, or Electrical Engineers?

Once you've figured that out, then you know where your question belongs. There is nothing saying that you can't' post it here, realize we are really not the place for it, and move it over to EE, and maybe get a super fantastic answer than we weren't able to provide, or vice versa. :)

  • "They both technically relate to what you want to know, but which site has a greater likelihood of actually being able to help you in your query? Gamers, or Electrical Engineers?" - The, to me, obvious answer to that question is EE but the follow-up that I didn't really emphasize: Which site has the greater likelihood of benefiting from the potential answer? - To me, the answer is not those on EE but who use the console and play games. Given that the nature of stack exchange is Q&A, which one takes precedence? If I get a great answer on EE, should I not repost it on Gaming? – Enigma Sep 20 '12 at 20:59
  • As my answer states, cross posting is not a good idea. In the event that someone from Gaming has the same question as you, they are welcome to ask it, but you sticking questions in every remotely likely place on the network isn't something you should be doing. – Ash Sep 20 '12 at 22:18
  • "Every likely place" isn't the case here. Are you appending that it is ok to have a dupe as long as it's under another account, however uncommonly something like that may happen? – Enigma Sep 20 '12 at 22:24
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    @Enigma Yeah, no, don't do that. Multiple accounts are likely to get you suspended. – Frank Sep 20 '12 at 22:26
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    @Enigma creating another account for this purpose is most definitely NOT what I am suggesting. That, as fbueckert said, is only going to end badly for you. – Ash Sep 20 '12 at 22:27
  • I was not implying that I would be the one to do it. My goal is not to undermine. Assuming the other account is not me, which it wouldn't be, is that what you are saying? – Enigma Sep 20 '12 at 22:38

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