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I was told that my question involving recruiting librarians from their site to join the Area51 proposed Genealogy site was an inappropriate question. Many librarians are excellent researchers and I thought it was a perfect fit and suggestion. Is there a better place within StackExchange to attract members with over 200 reputation to an Area51 proposal?

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You should include a link to the post for context. Where did you ask this? The main site or on the site's meta? –  jmort253 Sep 29 '12 at 20:22
    
@jmort253 It was on the main libraries site and it has been deleted (2K+ only). I did not feel it was appropriate for our Meta as presented, either. –  jonsca Sep 29 '12 at 21:14
    
Thanks @jonsca! –  jmort253 Sep 29 '12 at 21:19
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Jeni, I didn't want you to get the impression that I was being authoritarian about it, it was definitely off-topic on the main site. I think it would have been okay for Meta with a different approach. To quote from it: What are some effective ways to attract librarians who enjoy researching genealogy and family history from this site to that one? which to me deals with recruitment issues, not how could Libraries.SE work in cooperation with the proposal to help springboard it, or cross promote within appropriate tags and the like. –  jonsca Sep 29 '12 at 21:42
    
I think if you wrote up something to that effect and posted it on our Meta, it would be fine. –  jonsca Sep 29 '12 at 21:43
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Hopefully more of StackExchange experienced librarians and archivists will commit to the Genealogy & Family History proposal. Sure would be helpful to have them involved during the private beta. I assume that in the public beta, Genealogy & Family History will have questions about vertical files, etc. –  GeneJ Sep 30 '12 at 0:05
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Based on my comments with bfavaretto, you can probably tell I'm not a fan of spamming existing Stack Exchange users, at least not on this platform.

While I have occasionally mentioned in chat that there's a [insert my proposal here] site on Area 51, I generally try to respect everyone's space. If the topic of Motorcycles comes up in chat, I am sure to casually mention the site. Other than that, there's not much else to do.

My user profile on The Workplace does list some sites I've proposed that I'm interested in promoting. I've seen a few Workplace people follow my proposals, which suggests I should consider copying that profile to other sites I participate on, as the test is clearly successful.

Note that earlier you asked me if you could remove Stack Overflow from your list of sites, since you didn't mean to create an account there. Well, consider that one of the ways to promote your site is to participate in other Stack Exchange sites and write good quality questions and answers. If people notice you, they will check out your profile. Put a photo up too. The more interesting you look, the more likely people will check out your profile.

Lastly, look at profiles of interesting people on the Libraries site. Do they list a Twitter or Facebook account? If so, be sure to follow them. When you use those social networking tools to reach out to all your followers, you can include the Stack Exchange folks as a side benefit of promoting outside the Stack Exchange family. In short, you can reach BOTH existing Stack Exchange users as well as people who have not heard of Stack Exchange. Hope this helps!

As an aside, the Genealogy proposal now has 75% committment. It was proposed only 1 month ago. This could be the fastest proposal-to-private-beta in Stack Exchange history!

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Hm, would it be okay if I advertise for a proposal on my profile's "about me" section? –  bfavaretto Sep 29 '12 at 20:56
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@bfavaretto: Yep, it is. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Sep 29 '12 at 21:06
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I've been thinking about that too, and it seems the only place where that would be acceptable is chat, since comments and answers are supposed to stay on-topic.

Other than that, Area 51 encourages users to "spread the word" by email or social networks only – which, I agree, is not the ideal way to target other StackExchange members.

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I kind of feel like targeting Stack Exchange users would be like having your IT department generate revenue from servicing your accounting department. It's blue money. It's not real. The goal of creating more Stack Exchange sites is to get more and more people involved. While helpful to get other SE members involved, it could be quite noisy if we start getting spammed by other users. –  jmort253 Sep 29 '12 at 20:24
    
But Area 51 requires a proposal to have "100 committers with 200+ rep on any other site" so it can reach the beta stage. And another one of the three requirements also has to do with the committers' activity within the SE network. –  bfavaretto Sep 29 '12 at 20:30
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Yeh, I thought you'd catch that ;). I think the difference is that many of us already hang out on Area 51. I do, and as a result, I don't want to be spammed by every enthusiastic proposal-creator who thinks I just might be interested in her site. That would get old really quickly... :) There are enough people already hanging out on Area 51 to where if a site isn't getting any love, it might just be that the topic isn't well defined or interesting enough. With that said, the Geneaology site will launch in the next 30 days. I'm almost certain of it. –  jmort253 Sep 29 '12 at 20:32
    
That's not exactly the case with language-specific sites - and I say that because I'm following the SO/Portuguese Proposal closely. I'm under the impression that lots of Portuguese-speaking SO users are not aware of the proposal. Anyway, I agree with being concerned about spam, it's the reason I haven't posted a feature-request about this a few weeks ago, when I considered doing so. –  bfavaretto Sep 29 '12 at 20:48
    
The language-specific sites are tougher. Keep in mind that there are Area 51 ads that occasionally pop up to promote a new site. So maybe some of those users will notice. –  jmort253 Sep 29 '12 at 20:50
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