I am referring to the questions on "Lost" TV series. May I know where it should belong to? It belongs to Scifi.SE, or at Movies.SE?

I honestly think that we should stop people from asking question about "Lost" here, and direct them to Movies SE, all the "Lost" related questions should be migrated over there. What do you all think?

The reason why I seriously think it is a movie SE not scifi SE is because, we need to maintain some boundary between these two. True, Lost is also a scifi series, but it should be primarily a movie SE question rather than a scifi one. If not, then we would find a lot of overlapping questions, and I honestly don't know where to look for answers if I have questions about Lost. And how do I know where to post questions about Lost?

Reading the answer below, I don't really know where plot explanation questions about "Lost" belong on-- does it belong on here, or on movie SE? Shouldn't we have a clear boundary between the sites so that we minimize overlapping?

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  • After editing, you still don't really explain why Lost shouldn't be here. It's actually even more muddled, since you say "Lost is also a scifi series, but it should be primarily a movie SE question". Why? – Avner Shahar-Kashtan Apr 22 '14 at 11:52
  • Both answers have addressed the high level of your "plot" issue. If you tell us what the gist of the question is, we can help direct you more specifically. Do you want to ask why Locke could walk on the island? That's got a supernatural/sci-fi element. Here is good. Want to ask whether Driveshaft was based on Oasis? That should go on movies.se – phantom42 Apr 22 '14 at 12:57

Any question about a TV show or film would be on topic on movies.se, provided it fits normal SE guidelines. But sometimes, because of the nature of the work or the question, speculative fiction experts are more likely to be able to answer the question. That's when it's better for the question to be asked here.

So, questions about a work's fantastical elements are obviously on topic here, because that's what we're about! A question about the science fiction or fantasy elements of Lost is very appropriate for this site.

But questions about a work's other aspects, like production or marketing, don't obviously fit better here or on movies.se as a matter of general policy--a question about the advertising campaigns for Lost, for example. We cover them in our mandate, which includes "behind-the-scenes information" and "societal context" of speculative fiction works as appropriate topics. But they also fall under the mandate of movies.se.

In the end, there's no clear way to decide whether a question about the non-speculative elements of a speculative-fiction film or TV show should be asked here or on movies.se. We're taking it on a case-by-case basis, evaluating whether each individual question is better served by exposure to film experts or speculative fiction experts.

Does this mean there's going to be overlap? Yes. There's a lot of overlap between various Stack Exchange sites already, and it's just part of the system. We don't make policies for the sake of elegance or a sense of symmetry--we make them to address actual problems we're facing, and so far overlap between movies.se and sf.se has not been a problem which needs a policy-based solution. We look for the "best fit" site for each question, and so do they. "Cross-site" questions which exist on both sites simultaneously have been requested, but it's not a feature we have yet.

So where should you ask your question? That's up to you. As a general rule of thumb, stuff related to plot and in-universe concepts is better here and stuff related to production is better on movies.se (unless the work is very solidly speculative and isn't well-known to the general culture, in which case everything about it is probably better off here). The moderators on each site have the power to move a question from one site to the other, so if the community consensus is that a particular question would be better somewhere else, it moves, no big deal.

As for searching for existing questions, that can be a little irksome, but it's just making two searches instead of one. (I have to search seven different tags to find all the posts about the Fate engine on rpg.se.)

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  • I am very confused here, so for the plot explanation questions about Lost, where should I ask? At here, or movie SE? It seems to me that this type of questions fits both, so it definitely does cause confusion. – Graviton Apr 22 '14 at 11:17
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    This is the reason several of us have wanted cross-site questions for a long time... – Izkata Apr 22 '14 at 11:54

Lost is clearly sci-fi, and therefore on-topic here, on this site.

Lost is a television show, and therefore on-topic for movies.se.

When you go to ask a question that fits on either site (and there are tons of questions here that would be appropriate for either site, and a fair number on movies.se), pick which site you think is more appropriate.

That's it. It isn't any more complicated than that, aside from the caveat: don't cross-post your question on both sites.

If your question is about the background of the actors, about the process of filming the show, the production, the non-fictional settings, or any other element that could be applicable to most television shows that aren't science fiction, then you might get better results on movies.se.

If your question is about the fantastic elements (such as Why, and how, was the island protected?), then it may be better here, since we specialize in science fiction and fantasy discussion.

In most cases, you really can't pick the "wrong" site. In the few cases where it is clearly more appropriate for the "other" site, the community will discuss it, and it likely will be migrated.

So getting back to your original suggestion of migrating everything with the tag to movies.se: Absolutely not.

If we migrate it because it's a TV show, then we might as well migrate every other question on TV shows or movies we have here, which would essentially shut our site down.

If we migrate it because it's a TV show, and the scifi elements occur more as a background upon which non-scifi elements frequently form major plots, we'd still wind up with a policy that declares a tremendous amount of our content off-topic here, for essentially no reason other than an arbitrary line drawn in the sand.

For reference, here is the original community discussion on how we handle "conflicts" with movies.se and (the now defunct) literature.se.

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