FAQ Discussion: Is it OK if I cross-post?

This topic is for discussing questions, suggestions, and other feedback about the following FAQ:

Basically, we ask that you do so not as a last resort, per se, but sparingly. Rather than post the same thing here and elsewhere from the getgo, post one place, and if you have trouble getting help/get redirected, post here, but be sure to link to the other posting/keep both ends updated with any solution.

Part of being a friendly, welcoming environment is respecting the effort everyone puts into helping one another, which certainly includes making sure no one wastes time addressing a problem that's already been solved elsewhere.

EDIT: Oh, just saw @EconomiCurtis' post above:

I ~stand by my point re. immediate cross-posting — definitely when it comes to filing GitHub issues, at least, and give things some minimum lag time between sites. There's no way to keep track of things simultaneously…

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Re. the point above, I think this recent paper, a collaboration between researchers at StackOverflow and Denae Ford (who does a lot of cool stuff in this area), is relevant:
“We Don’t Do That Here”: How Collaborative Editing with Mentors Improves Engagement in Social Q&A Communities

I think the findings are in line with what you're saying, but that it should be very clear when someone is asking for help with asking a question (among other things, for navigation purposes). Of course in the course of answering questions, this occurs naturally, and the format of this site allows for that. But, if that's the primary aim, I think it behooves everyone to be clear about that from the onset.

Full citation:
Ford, Denae, Kristina Lustig, Jeremy Banks, Chris Parnin, and North Carolina. 2018. “‘We Don’t Do That Here’: How Collaborative Editing with Mentors Improves Engagement in Social Q & A Communities.” In CHI 2018. Montreal, QC, Canada: ACM. doi:10.1145/3173574.3174182.

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My reply was based on the new, edited FAQs. I wrote

Good to know that we can cross-post!

for brevity, but in the context of the discussion I meant

Good to know that we can cross-post, provided of course that we include links to those other posts and we share the accepted answer across sites.

Anyway, I'm fine with whatever (does it sound rude in English? If so, apologies, I'll edit it away: it's just a sentence a coworker of mine uses often, and it sounds like fun, so I wanted to use it :slightly_smiling_face:): either cross-posting or not. I surely don't want to be disrespectful or to waste people's time.

To err on the side of cautiosness, I won't cross-post unless I really have to.

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The other point is that while RStudio is OK with cross-posting, other sites may frown on it. For example, for the R mailing list

Beware that cross-posting to both lists is generally considered as impolite

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Thanks for pointing this out!
I like this language and moved it to the top. I think this FAQ is most often seen as a link (which includes the top bit of text of the wiki) in a direct-message or reply/post. And so emphasizing the more emotional and interpersonal effect of cross-posting up high is probably wise.

Just for the record, I think we had discussed some form of banning of cross-posting, but then the discussion went towards the reality that it's usually those new to R and those inexperienced to help forums who tend to do this. They'd be ignorant to the rules and unlikely to read them ahead of time.
So, (assuming best intentions of a cross-poster anyway), we'd be setting up situations where someone new to R and seeking help spend time asking their question in their favorite help forums, and then those queries get hidden or voted down.

Cross-posts often get flagged,

  • first "offense" is this warning
  • second is less forgiving,
  • and so on

Just for the record, I think we had discussed some form of banning of cross-posting, but then the discussion went towards the reality that it's usually those new to R and those inexperienced to help forums who tend to do this.

As a follow on to this, how does the community feel about users pointing out cross-posting or duplicate posts? What is the recommendation about the best way to do this among options such as flagging posts, linking to this FAQ, replying to the cross- or duplicate post with links to the related post, etc? I think this would be an important addition to this FAQ.

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Agreed that clarifying this will be helpful. Certainly if a post is duplicated on the site itself, I'd recommend flagging it, and noting the other post in a message — Curtis can clear flags, and it helps keep the site clean (and track if it's repeated behaviour). And, yes, it's always nice to link to the FAQ when pointing this out (if for no other reason than you don't have to explain the rationale every time)!

Thanks for your help.

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I added the following,

Let me know if I missed anything.

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2 posts were split to a new topic: My Post Doesn't Have a Response - Advice on increasing the chances of getting help with my coding question