Note: SE has asked that we NOT do this. See the accepted answer below.

I've been keeping an eye on the questions feed from Server Fault. When I see juicy questions that should be here on NE, I've been commenting and mentioning this NE beta. I've had a couple authors who've then asked for an invite (which I've sent.)

Unless SE generally frowns on this, I suggest that others do this too; See a great NE question on another SE site? ...try to entice the author over here.

Area51 shows that daily traffic is the thing we lack most. (Granted, day three and all. :)

  • Down voters: Be sure to ALSO UP-VOTE Cartaino's answer so it wins -- the official word from SE is don't do what I proposed. Commented May 13, 2013 at 14:22
  • Craig, in addition the the things said below you should be aware that in general posting the same question to multiple SE sites is considered unnecessary and moderators from other sites are requested not to migrate questions to a site that is still in beta.
    – user644
    Commented May 18, 2013 at 20:09
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    Wow, Robert's answer seems so obvious that this question makes me wonder for the first time just what is the true raison d'être for NE.SE? With the very strong opposition to amateur networking questions and the falling Q/D ratio (now half its initial value on Day 12 of your beta) and the frequent re-posting of content previously posted on non-SE forums and self-answered quickie-questions and now thoughts of actively soliciting users and questions from other SE communities, NE.SE starts to look like merely advertising commercial services to big companies seeking big networks. I'm just sayin'... Commented May 20, 2013 at 5:42

3 Answers 3


Unfortunately, soliciting users within our existing sites would not be appropriate. Unless a particular question has been deemed off topic for that site, you should not solicit content or users like that.

I can appreciate your need to find a community for your site, but with the number of sites vying for attention, it would simply become untenable to allow this sort "psst, hey... over here" activity.

Remember that we created a Network Engineering site because this subject was (presumably) not being well-served by another site. You should focus on building your own community rather than siphoning off the content/users of others. That's the point of having this site in the first place.

  • 3
    Yes, not being well served. There are, for example, some questions on Server Fault which are currently not off-topic on SF, which are on-topic here, and given our users' networking focus, are more likely to get answered here. Why can't an SF user mention this NE stack? (Clearly canvasing with faux Qs, or posting 'try NE' faux answers, would be wrong.) Commented May 11, 2013 at 3:02
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    @CraigConstantine, but while we are in private beta they can't even come over here yet. Need to wait first for us to get into public beta and then get a feel for what sorts of questions we can better answer over here. That leads to a quick question for Robert: How soon after entering public beta can questions be migrated over? Commented May 13, 2013 at 6:06
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    @ChrisTravers Public migration paths are not set up until you graduate, but stuff can be migrated shortly after going public by a moderator. But the plans for growing a new site doesn't include a lot of migration of content from other sites (Server Fault). See discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/a/8681/5 and meta.ell.stackexchange.com/a/652/48 for the background. Commented May 13, 2013 at 13:57
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    @CraigConstantine If there's a question having difficulties on SF and deemed off topic, of course it's okay to point the user to this site. But you know that's not what you're talking about here. You're advising users to canvas Server Fault trawling for users "to entice the author over here." Commented May 13, 2013 at 14:02
  • @RobertCartaino Just to be clear, I think that the value of marketing new sites to other SE sites is simply that if the communities know about eachother better they will get more referrals across the boar from non-SE members. I don't think it should be a matter of siphoning off traffic to grow the site but showing where we can serve new areas better. Again, I think there needs to be a clear culture of this site first. The goal is not so much to take ServerFault's content but show people where additional questions might be asked. Commented May 13, 2013 at 14:54
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    Just to be perfectly clear, NE's topicality is completely overlapping with SF. If a OP feels their question would be better served by migrating to NE we'd be glad to do so. But there will never be a situation where a Question is off-topic on SF and on-topic on NE.
    – Chris S
    Commented May 19, 2013 at 23:46
  • @ChrisS that's a fascinating remark. Thanks for mentioning it, for I didn't realize. So again, just what is NE.SE's raison d'être? Commented May 20, 2013 at 5:48
  • @ChrisS I hope you're wrong or you just completely negated the reason for creating this site in the first place. We'll see. Commented May 20, 2013 at 13:17
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    @CopyrightX My understanding is that a site can not attract experienced Network Engineers unless it caters specifically to them only. I'm not sure why exactly, might be a fascinating study. This was the same reason for Database Administrators. At the same time there haven't been any language specific offshoots of Stack Overflow, which I would broadly paint as a similar concept.
    – Chris S
    Commented May 20, 2013 at 13:31
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    @RobertCartaino The first Networking site proposal got closed as a dupe of SF. This is the second, which I flagged as a dupe, but I believe the momentum at the time was sufficient to ignore that. See my previous comments for why I'm both unhappy about [ne.se], and hope they do well.
    – Chris S
    Commented May 20, 2013 at 13:32
  • @chriss, If ServerFault was named SystemFault, then you might have the basis to start your argument. All communities are better served if the scope isn't overarching. Not doing so means you will not attract quality from experts. Why do separate sites exist for Ubuntu or DBAs when those are more logically part of a Server-named site while Networking experts understand our discipline has little overlap with servers? Should all the language-specific sites such as Spanish and Japanese going under a single Languages site? Commented Jun 4, 2013 at 17:54
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    @generalnetworkerror First, "Server Fault" is a old school error code, like "Stack Overflow". I understand that everyone takes the name literally, blame SE for thinking people had a sense of humor. Our scope isn't overreaching, and we have more traffic than DBA, IT Security, Network Engineering, and Unix & Linux combined. Attracting experts and traffic has apparently been easier for us than you, despite our breadth. Server Fault focus has NEVER been "servers", if you had bothered to look at our FAQ you would know that. There has never been a "single Languages site", so your argument make no sense.
    – Chris S
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 13:41
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    Part of the problem I feel here though, is that ServerFault isn't seen by many strictly networking professions (router configurers, not server guys) as a place to go to ask and answer networking questions. Just looking at these search results, whereby I have search for unanswered questions that are tagged with "cisco" (I appreciated this is very loose), there are pages of unanswered questions; serverfault.com/questions/tagged/…
    – Baldrick
    Commented Jun 19, 2013 at 16:25

The best thing to do is wait until the site gets to the point where we can migrate questions and then start flagging questions to migrate. This avoids the "psst over here" problems Robert mentions above while still drumming up users from other sites.

The key issue is that doing this requires some understanding of what we can offer. For example, if someone asks a simple DBA-type question on Stack Overflow it is often easiest to just answer there, but if it is a complex question, the fact that you get more cooperation in answering questions on dba.se makes moving the question worthwhile.

So I think we have to make sure we can serve such questions better. Obviously we will have to wait until we have been out of private beta for a few first.

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    If the OP of an on-topic question thinks their Q should be on SF, we will not force their question on another site. If you know the answer to a question, it shouldn't matter which site you find it on, you should be willing to provide an answer either way (we're all here to learn and help each other, not start cliques).
    – Chris S
    Commented May 19, 2013 at 23:48
  • Ah yes, cliques... good point. I hadn't previously considered that as a possible raison d'être for NE.SE, but that may indeed be on the mark. Commented May 20, 2013 at 5:56
  • @ChrisS: Again, looking at the DBA.SE example, there are times when I ask that questions get migrated before answering them because I figure my answers will get more/better review in a more collaborative environment. So different sites have different cultures which can lead to varying quality of answers even from the same questioner and answerer. Commented May 20, 2013 at 6:42
  • (More collaboration means other users asking better questions of me in chat, and thus leading to answers I am more confident in.) Commented May 20, 2013 at 6:43

As far as I am aware, there is nothing wrong with placing the site badge within your profile. I am mostly active on Ask Ubuntu and haven't received any objections or warnings using this in my profile.

You can edit your profile and add the following to your profile:

<a href="http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/52519/network-engineering?referrer=YPusCTWMJRaGFjXXhw75VA2"><img src="http://area51.stackexchange.com/ads/proposal/52519.png" width="220" height="250" alt="Stack Exchange Q&A site proposal: Network Engineering" /></a>

Stack Exchange Q&A site proposal: Network Engineering

Until this site gets a solid, dependable user base, we will just have to wait before redirecting users here. The site does have the potential to not make it out of public beta and the comments and answers that we provide on other SE sites could potentially be misleading.

  • 1
    As long as the contents of your profile aren't overtly offensive you can put whatever you want there. You can advertise other SE sites, or your own products, whatever.
    – Chris S
    Commented May 19, 2013 at 23:51

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