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At 100 sites and growing, Stack Exchange is becoming a host to many different communities with varying interests (and sizes). Is the aim of launching new sites, to make them (eventually) big communities like SO? Or are smaller and niche communities also considered desirable?

Also, what type of communities does SE consider desirable? Say, an open community with users of widely varying skill levels such as SO or a closed (unwelcoming to newbies) community of professionals* ?


*I am not implying that communities of professionals are unwelcoming to new users. In some cases, the standards set by such groups may be too strict for an amateur or a hobbyist (or may at least be perceived as such, which in effect does make it unwelcoming to a portion of new users).

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closed as not constructive by Rosinante, hims056, Toon Krijthe, Martijn Pieters, AsheeshR Mar 17 '13 at 14:57

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Part of this is answered in the Area51 FAQ: area51.stackexchange.com/faq And it's always good to keep in mind that SE is a company. And to some extent we (the users) are the product. The question then becomes whether or not it makes business sense to have a site around given a certain amount of users and activity. –  Bart Mar 15 '13 at 10:26
    
@Bart, users are not a product of SE, SE is a product of the users, fascilitated by the company. Without users there is no SE. –  Toon Krijthe Mar 15 '13 at 11:25
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@ToonKrijthe It works both ways, sure. But if something admittedly costs money to maintain, and you as the user are not paying for it...what is part of the product they end up selling? And I have no problem with that. –  Bart Mar 15 '13 at 11:29
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"...or a closed (unwelcoming to newbies) community..." - you mean, such as MSO? :) –  gnat Mar 15 '13 at 13:37
    
@gnat No, I was referring to another site. I havent had a bad experience here on MSO generally meta.stackoverflow.com/users/200868/… :) –  AsheeshR Mar 15 '13 at 13:42
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You can have a professional audience that isn't "unwelcoming" to newbies. There's a large difference in being "unwelcoming" vs holding newbies to the same standards as everyone else. –  Ben Brocka Mar 15 '13 at 14:23
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@BenBrocka: there is a big difference, but in my experience a certain percentage of newbies will not be able to percieve that difference. –  Joachim Sauer Mar 15 '13 at 14:24
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@JoachimSauer true but....at that point, there's not much you can do. No matter how nice you are, some will perceive quality standards as draconian or as a slight against them. It's all about making it clear to those who will understand, not fussing over those who won't no matter what you do. –  Ben Brocka Mar 15 '13 at 14:26
    
@Bart I am interested in hearing the viewpoints with respect to both new communities (Area 51), as well as launched sites. –  AsheeshR Mar 15 '13 at 15:07
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@AshRj Please don't bump your question with a single space. Either make some real changes or just award a bounty once you can. –  Bart Mar 16 '13 at 16:52
    
Why is this being closed ? –  AsheeshR Mar 17 '13 at 3:25
    
It's all explained here very well. Quote: You wouldn't shout out a calculus question in a football stadium, right? You'd go to the math department of a university. That's why instead of allowing questions on any topic, we bring together individual communities of experts on very specific topics. We welcome questions that are clear and specific, representing real problems that you face; Stack Exchange is not the place for conversation, opinions, or socializing. Emphasis is mine and that's the answer to your question. :) –  Shadow Wizard Mar 17 '13 at 12:10
    
@ShaWizDowArd That discusses scope of sites, it doesn't cover the growth or size aspect. Is the target large SO like communities ? Or small highly spealized communities that may never reach SO size ? –  AsheeshR Mar 17 '13 at 12:21
    
@AshRj in my opinion it's obvious that Stack Exchange, as a money making company, is expecting each and every site to become as big as possible while preserving its expert nature. Expecting site to reach the size of Stack Overflow is bit of "overkill" but yeah, that's the general idea. I don't think there is a site designed in the first place to be only for small amount of people. –  Shadow Wizard Mar 17 '13 at 12:25
    
@ShaWizDowArd as big as possible while preserving its expert nature. Thats a very ambigiuous and probably correct answer. To your second point, SmugMug, Poker, LEGO┬« Answers, Libraries & Information Science and Bitcoin are some that I dont think can expand beyond a restricted number of people.. –  AsheeshR Mar 17 '13 at 12:30

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