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Similar to the Area 51 proposal that overlap Stack Overflow question, I've noticed a number of cases where a broad site exists, and more specialised sites are proposed which address a subset of the broader site. In the Stack Overflow case, this might be a jQuery answers site. Similarly for the Gaming SE, there are proposals for SEs for EVE Online, Roguelikes, StarCraft and could conceivably extend to many other areas if the community desires e.g. World of Warcraft, Dwarf Fortress, etc.

My concern isn't so much about the gaming examples, but the general principle, where a broad overlapping community is fragmented into lots of small specialised communities. Is there any existing thinking / strategy on how the wider SE communities should develop?

It feels to me that broader sites where I can pursue multiple similar but overlapping interests (I program in more than one language so use StackOverflow, I play more than one game so use GamingSE) would be better that having to enroll to multiple SEs for each specialised interest.

EDIT - Also similar concern from the point of view of the more specialised community in Should a specialised proposal be merged into a more general one

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Well SO and the current Gaming site show that you can have multiple popular topics on one site, so I don't really see the need to create ever smaller communities – Ivo Flipse Sep 1 '10 at 10:00
I second @Ivo, plus I added a feature-request which might help making real subsets superfluous. – Tobias Kienzler Sep 1 '10 at 10:53
up vote 1 down vote accepted

This does happen a lot. I think this is partly because of the search (e.g. does not search sub-strings). So people may not know similar proposalsexist.

When I - and others - see these overlapping proposals, then general consensus seems to be:

  1. Add to the comments of the new proposal the existence of any other similar proposals.
  2. Suggest merging, where appropriate. Often this is accompanied by a message that the new site is a subset of the existing one (if it is) and can be incorporated by using a tag. E.g. if someone recommends Research Level Philosophy, make sure they are aware of similar proposals.
  3. Recommend the new proposal for closure, when it is a blatant duplicate.
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