While lurking in other online communities, I've occasionally come across questions that would be a great fit for RPG.SE, but haven't been asked here yet. Should these sorts of questions be "ported over" to RPG.SE, should we assume that users will search elsewhere and find their answer, or is there another way to handle these? If it's permissible to re-ask the questions here, is there any issue with the user who ported it benefitting in the form of upvotes/rep?


Should we port questions over here? Maybe.

In the blog post Encyclopedia Stack Exchange, Joel explicitly mentions it's alright to come here and post bits of information you learned and they're trying to encourage it - especially if you can provide a canonical answer to questions that keep coming up over and over again only slightly different each time. I'll resist quoting all of it, and just take the core part:

Since Stack Overflow launched, we’ve been trying to explain that it’s not just a Q&A platform: it’s also a place where you can publish things that you’ve learned: recipes, FAQs, HOWTOs, walkthroughs, and even bits of product documentation, as long you format it as a question and answer.

As Jeff wrote:

  • if you have a question that you already know the answer to
  • if you’d like to document it in public so others (including yourself) can find it later
  • it is OK to ask, and answer, your own question on a relevant Stack Exchange site.

So: if you want some piece of knowledge available to users here, and you have concerns about them being able to find it, then maybe, yes, post it.

This is... tricky though. Porting questions is another thing. "Porting over" the Rules of Hidden Club to a canonical "How does stealth and hiding work?" question would be questionable at best, and would be copying a guy's hard work without permission at worst.

If it's a large-scale well-known piece of work like the Rules of Hidden Club, we might not need it here: just mention it when it comes up, and if hiding questions become frequent and various enough we need a canonical answer, we should have one that politely links to the Rules of Hidden Club and summarises it or otherwise avoids providing a just-a-link answer.

If you really want something large-scale over here, ask the user who wrote it if they wouldn't mind putting it here so they can benefit from the rep themselves. But first ask yourself why you need that.

If it's obscure knowledge buried somewhere in an old topic that you think could be lost and is useful to people: rescue it. You're doing people a favour. Make it your original work, though.

Really, a lot of the times it might just come down to: do we really need you to do that? Who are you helping?

What about copying and pasting things we didn't write?

Probably don't do that. It's not yours, and you don't have permission. It's intellectually dishonest - probably.

If you think the knowledge you're bringing here is worth bringing here, take the time to rewrite the question and answer to better serve as a canonical question and answer for the issue. Bring some craftsmanship to the Q&A you're about to post. If you don't want to take the time doing so, it's probably not worth transferring.

It's unlikely the posts you found are so good they cannot possibly be improved.

What about the risk of people who're going to just post a lot of content they never wrote?

If you're pasting a lot of self-answered questions with highly inconsistent writing styles, people are going to start noticing, getting suspicious, and wondering what's going on.

If they're really making a genuine contribution though, people will react positively. If they're not... people won't: downvotes, closures, and eventually question-banning will follow.

What about reputation?

If you put in work writing and editing and thinking about the answer and produced something originally your own, you deserve the reputation. If you made more use of the copy and paste buttons than of your brain, you should probably be posting the question and answer as community wiki, or not posting them at all.


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