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I have been browsing the site for a couple of days, and I am honestly confused on how it is different from its sister site, The Workplace. The Workplace caters to a broader audience, however freelancing concerns are perfectly on topic there and freelancing questions seem to generally fare well. A few examples:

If I'm not missing something obvious, all of the above would be on topic on Freelancing. I've even spotted a question that exists on both sites, in nearly identical form:

I realize that Stack Exchange sites sometimes overlap. In fact, "freelancing and business concerns" questions are also on topic on Programmers, the main site I'm active on. But the boundaries between Programmers and Freelancing, and Programmers and The Workplace are clear; Programmers is industry specific, that's what sets it apart. That's not the case though with the boundaries between Freelancing and The Workplace (imho).

What are the key differences between the two sites? As a freelancer, when should I prefer to post my questions on this site, instead of on The Workplace?

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What's interesting about the questions referenced is that they may in fact be more on-topic here, on Freelancing SE, than on The Workplace SE. The Workplace SE is for questions about navigating the professional setting, including career questions, salary negotiation, interviewing, and professionalism in the workplace, whereas Freelancing SE is for questions relating to self-employed or Freelance workers, many who don't have a traditional workplace like what we see on The Workplace SE.

Additionally, most questions on the Workplace involve situations that happen where the asker is an employee or seeking to become an employee of a company.

On Freelancing SE, most of the questions have been asked by freelancers, contractors, or consultants. This group of people doesn't see themselves as employees but as independent entities. Thus, the problems faced are different.

I get the impression that Stack Exchange, in general, has many contractors and freelancers who volunteer here, which is why questions that could be on-topic on other sites sometimes find a home on The Workplace. Project Management SE and Workplace SE oftentimes have questions asked that could arguably fit better on the other site, but the questions just aren't off topic and should only be migrated away if they are indeed off-topic.

As to where to post your questions. If you're an employee who hired a consultant, and this leads to a problem within the workplace, perhaps the question would fit better on The Workplace SE. But if you're a consultant and you have a problem, it may be better to ask it here.

In some cases where a question would be on-topic in both places, the deciding factor oftentimes comes down to the audience: Do you want an answer from the perspective of workplace professionals or from the perspective of professional freelancers?

They key to success is educating people who post questions on the other sites and letting them know an alternative exists, one that may better suit their needs.

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As a regular on The Workplace, my thought would be the main distinctions between the sites would be this site would cover primarily:

  • Focus on contracts/methods of doing business
  • Pricing/quoting strategies
  • LLC/business questions
  • Tax implications

Am I missing significant categories?

It does certainly seem a lot of the types of questions I would think to ask here outside these would fall directly into the scope of The Workplace.

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  • There could very well be some overlap, which is fine. So the answer to where to post the question would depend mostly on context. For instance, you might decide where to post based on whether you're asking as a freelancer or as a paid employee. – jmort253 Jul 8 '13 at 3:17
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[I was unsure whether to add this as a comment to jmort's answer or here as an answer -- or even as a separate question.]

In addition to jmort's great answer:

The first two examples appear to be more on topic here than at The Workplace, while the second two appear to be more on topic over there.

Since TW has a broader scope than Freelancing, and is potentially much bigger, shouldn't we request that questions on TW that would be more relevant here be flagged with "move to Freelancing"?

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  • Hi Martin, since many sites do overlap somewhat, this is a touchy subject. Typically, we don't migrate any posts unless they're first considered off-topic on their original site. What's more, we also only migrate questions that are outstanding, high quality posts. If a post wouldn't add value to the other community, we just leave it closed. If you see a closed post that you think would fit another site, I'd suggest editing it to make it shine, then create a discussion on that target site's child meta. If the community wants it, flag it using the "Other" option with a link to that discussion. – jmort253 Feb 16 '14 at 22:58

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