From what I'm understanding with What is a lifehack? and Is there anything that isn't on-topic here? A lifehack is a solution to a problem, so as long as there is a question being asked, it's on-topic here.

Because of this, I'm getting the sense that we're never going to be able to say that a question belongs on another site, because even though there's an overlap it's on-topic here.

The problem is that the overlap is so large, that we're going to be promoting the cross-posting of questions between this site, and every other site on the Stack Exchange network (which is something that isn't encouraged).

The reasoning behind why cross-posting is a bad idea is that:

  • A question that is on-topic on two or more sites is too broad. A question should be to a specific community.

  • Having duplicate questions across the network creates noise.

  • Having duplicate questions across the network divides experts. Leading to differing quality of answers.

I know we don't want to send questions away if they're on-topic here, but can this site really sustain itself if 90% of the questions on every other site can be cross-posted here?

How much of an overlap can we allow, and at what point do we decide a question belongs in a specific community?

  • 3
    A lot of [kitchen] questions would be on-topic for cooking.SE.
    – fredley
    Dec 10, 2014 at 17:10

2 Answers 2


I hope this is not the case:

…as long as there is a question being asked, it's on-topic here.

That's exactly what you have to protect against. If this site becomes a catch-all site where pretty much anything is on topic, this is going to be a non-starter.

To me, a lifehack is an intriguing problem that can be (or has to be) solved by unconventional means. But whether a post is a truly a "lifehack" or simply a DIY situation is all about context.

If you're going to ask how to cover a nail hole effectively, you had better specify why spackle will not work for you. If you're simply asking how to lose weight, or change a tire; that's not a life hack. Boiling water is not a lifehack. Cooking food is not a lifehack — not unless there's something so novel or so unique about the circumstances, that the solution isn't really well-known or already commonly taught in that subject space.

This cannot become a catch-all site when where you can ask pretty much anything, whether we have a site about it or not. Don't worry about the scope of other sites. A question is either on topic here or it's not. But that is determined by your mission statement; not by whether it can be asked somewhere else. And cross posting questions here from other sites should be really, really frowned upon. If the problem already has an accepted and commonly taught solution in that subject space, that's a pretty good indication that it isn't really a lifehack.


Respect the community – your own, and others’ - from the SE blog.

As members of a community, your first loyalty should be to that community. When evaluating a question, you shouldn’t be looking to push it off on some other site; instead, ask if it could be appropriate and on-topic for you, the experts who the author decided to ask. Be a bit jealous of your site – don’t blithely turn askers away simply because their question could be asked somewhere else. Don’t hit them over the head with your scope, help them tailor their question to fit into it – and if that means your site’s scope overlaps a bit with another site’s, so be it.

  • 2
    This doesn't answer the question. It's saying that you should try to tailor questions to your site. But we couldn't tailor any of the cooking questions in a way that they wouldn't be better served at cooking.se. Dec 10, 2014 at 17:33
  • But from the quote, it doesn't matter if they're also on topic on another SE site -- they chose to ask it here, so we should give them answers deserving of our community.
    – Scimonster
    Dec 10, 2014 at 17:34
  • Okay, so don't migrate anything. Dec 10, 2014 at 17:39
  • If we feel that it wouldn't get good answers on Lifehacks, then more of a case for migration could be made. But if it's getting answered to satisfaction here, then yeah, no need to migrate away.
    – Scimonster
    Dec 10, 2014 at 17:40

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