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On many other sites, you can vote to migrate to other sites. For example, on Stack Overflow we can vote to migrate to TeX, Super User, etc.

We should have a standard migration path to the English Language Learners and Writing sites.

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    Generally, beta sites don't get migration paths. The only exception I'm aware of is from Writing.SE > ELU. – user58 Oct 11 '18 at 18:54
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    @Mithrandir That seems like a dumb rule. – EJoshuaS Oct 11 '18 at 18:54
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Not worth the trouble at this point.

Standard migration paths are used when there are so many questions being migrated from site A to site B that it's worth getting the community of site A to help the moderators to manage the workload. At this point, with a total of 2-5 questions per day and 8 questions migrated away in the entire history of the site, we're not at the point where the 3 site moderators need help with migration work.

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I accept the logic of Rand al'Thor's answer, but that leaves the core problem unresolved: when flagging a question for closure as "off-topic", there are only three options to select, none of which may be suitable:

enter image description here

This was exactly the issue I confronted for this question, which certainly didn't fit the first option, nor the second (it was not blatantly off-topic as it was about an unpublished literary work); and while the third option seemed perfect (the question was definitely more suited to Writing.SE), selecting this option took me to another screen where the only option was this Lit Meta site. My only remaining solution was to ignore the "off-topic" options entirely and raise a custom flag. Outcome: the question is now on hold as "off-topic". [Smiles at the irony].

The same problem will arise for any question that appears to be off-topic but doesn't fit the three given options. The three examples in the Help Centre perfectly illustrate my point: only one of them (reading recommendations) fits the options in the flagging/off-topic window. It seems a bit problematic if our "off-topic" flagging process don't work for two of the three most likely scenarios!

One solution is for the flagging/off-topic screen to have an extra option allowing identification as an off-topic question but providing for comment by the flagger. Astronomy.SE has just such a structure:

enter image description here

The third option brings up another screen where the flagger can provide further detail. When the post comes up in the Close review queue, the flagger's text appears as the proposed reason for closure. It seems to work quite well - in fact, on that site it's probably the most frequently chosen off-topic flag!

This replicates, of course, the existing option on the first Flagging screen where you flag as "in need of moderator intervention". The difference is that the option in the previous paragraph sends it to the review queue for community assessment, whereas the current alternative sends it to a moderator to deal with. I'm sure moderators are busy enough already without having to have review decisions that could easily have been dealt with by community reviewers!

I acknowledge that current site traffic means that at the moment this is all only an occasional nuisance. However, surely the purpose of the Beta phase is to prepare our structures for future growth (i.e. increased traffic)?

  • "Blatantly off-topic" is basically the "other" reason. IIRC, when choosing that option you can fill in a custom text box to explain your vote to close. (There may be a difference here between close-voting and close-flagging, i.e. between users with <500 and >500 rep - I don't recall.) – Rand al'Thor Oct 22 '18 at 21:14
  • You may have overlooked my second paragraph, where I specifically noted that in this case "it was not blatantly off-topic as it was about an unpublished literary work". But next time there's a BOT question, I'll check what my flagging/closing options are. I probably should also post a few good answers to get my rep over the 500 mark so that the extra privileges are available to me ;-) – Chappo Oct 22 '18 at 21:22

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