I would like to propose a site that is focused on a community rather than a topic, and that would follow slightly different rules than most SE sites.

Would SE allow this?

For example, a site for Programmers

A valid question would be any question where you want an answer specifically from a programmer, regardless of the topic. In addition, it would allow open-ended questions, questions that don't have one-right-answer, or even questions that won't help anyone but the guy asking the question.

The idea is to have a community of people in one central location that want to collaborate and learn from others that share the same identity, and that users seeking answers from a specific type of person only needs to go to one place.

I used Programmers as an example since its something most SE users can relate to, and I know this has been tried once before with Programmers.SE. The problem with Programmers was the site's scope wasn't clearly defined, and although the community embraced the site, SE did not and they changed the site's direction. I would not like to go through this sort of scenario again, so am asking before making a proposal.

So I guess I have 3 questions here:

  1. Can an Area51 site survive that wants to use the SE framework, but not the same rules and guidelines of a SE site?

    For example, optimizing the site for user usefulness over question/answer quality instead of vice-versa, and making it more like a question and answer site than a knowledge base by things like allowing duplicate or localized questions.

  2. Would a proposal that is based on the type of Answer Required instead of the Question Topic have any chance here?

  3. Would an Area51 proposal, regardless of topic, be allowed to specify more relaxed question guidelines than what SE currently has now?

    For example, allowing subjective questions, poll questions, broad recommendations, etc.

This question is based off of a similar question on MSO. As I stated in my answer there, I love the SE framework and think it is great for a number of reasons, and think it could be used successfully for other great Q&A sites that don't follow SE's rules and guidelines 100%.

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+1: Homerun, Rachel! Homerun! –  Jim G. May 9 '13 at 1:43

1 Answer 1

Can a Area51 site survive that wants to use the SE framework, but not the typical rules and guidelines of a SE site?

It depends on what you mean by "typical rules", but for what you're talking about, the answer is no. Nor should it.

Would a proposal that is based on the type of Answer Required instead of the Question Topic have any chance here?

Again, no, and again, nor should it. SE communities are built around topics for questions. Someone seeks information on subject X, so they go to the site for subject X to either find the info or ask for it.

Remember: the idea of the Stack Exchange model is to build a knowledge base by using Q&A as a means to get people to provide and catalog knowledge.

Sites need to be categorized based on what you're interested in, not who you're interested in it from.

Would an Area51 proposal, regardless of topic, be allowed to specify more relaxed question guidelines than what SE currently has now?

Guidelines are ultimately a question of what the community that frequents that site allows. Skeptics.SE has much more strict guidelines that SO, and SO is more strict than Prog.SE.

But ultimately, it needs to fit Q&A: question and answer. Not question and a bunch of attempts to provide information based on that question.

It's not a question of whether there is a unique answer; many problems have multiple solutions. It's a question of whether any answer is, by itself, a complete answer. If only the aggregate of answers can be considered a true "answer", then those aren't really answers. They're just posts. This breaks the foundation of Stack Exchange: the Q&A model. It's not questions and answers. It's questions and what a bunch of people post in response.

It sounds more like what you want is a Wiki topic forum, where there is a clear distinction between "this is what the topic is about" and people's attempt to provide information on that topic.

So go build that. And if you can't, then wait for someone else to do it. Corrupting SE into something that it's not is not the way to get what you want. Just like corrupting a forum into a Q&A site won't get you good Q&A.

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So you're saying there's no chance of an Area51 site surviving if it wants to use the SE framework, but not their rules/guidelines? I can understand that if that's the case. –  Rachel Aug 30 '12 at 16:34
    
I think what I was envisioning is more like a smaller version of Yahoo Answers that targeted specific communities, and that had all the great features of the SE framework without the limitations that the current site guidelines have. Personally I frequently find answers to my questions on sites like Yahoo Answers, but they're not sites I want to actively participate in for a variety of reasons (can find list here), and SE's framework addresses these reasons. –  Rachel Aug 30 '12 at 16:36

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