Yesterday I came across this proposal on Area 51: Applying to Foreign Colleges & Universities (in Chinese)
This site basically went through a 2 or 3 day definition before getting enough users to send it into the commitment phase.
The problem with this proposal is that the person who proposed the site and most of the people who joined have little or no experience with the SE network.
I reached out to the owner via email and mentioned some of the issues I saw with the proposal and introduce some of the network concepts. I also emailed a team member from SE to offer my assistance with this proposal.
I think although it will be hard to get a site like this set up I think there are a few things to note here:
- The new users and the person who proposed the site have tried hard to work within the rules of the site
- The proposer has tried to encourage other users to follow the rules
The proposer set up this discussion to try and explain to the new users how they can work to get more reputation. This discussion which was trying to help has now been closed as off-topic. I even added an announcement in the announcements section to tell new users (in Chinese) not to use the Discussions area to ask questions, but this was deleted by moderators.
I understand that some of the advice in the discussion is incorrect, but I feel rather than just closing it we should be working to get the information in there correct. Closing it is not going to help anyone. The purpose was to help people to use your site.
I think we should at least try and work with people setting up foreign language sites, especially if they are trying to work within our rules.
I feel if we are too stand-offish or don't reach out the bad impression can circulate. If people can't do it here they will do it elsewhere.
If we are not going to help people set up foreign language sites then our policy in Area 51 should be "no foreign language sites". If that's not the policy then there needs to be a bit of help and understanding and where that falls down you should rely on existing members who can help in this area rather than just shutting down discussions that are aiming to help.