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Granted, it wasn't gaining any traction, but my "Domestic Life" proposal disappeared from Area 51 without so much as a "Howdy Do." (I think it was alien abduction, frankly.) I noticed that other proposals got "closed as duplicate" messages.

Is this [status-bydesign]?

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Agreed. Area51 needs more ceremony surrounding deletions. – Shog9 Oct 1 '10 at 19:07
@Popular Demand: Thanks, but I claim "programmer quotes". <<--<< ;) – Dennis Williamson Oct 1 '10 at 19:11
bah, programmer quotes don't -- ahem -- compile in English. Roll back if you want though, I won't fight you over it or anything. – Pops Oct 1 '10 at 19:16
@Popular Demand: Well, typographically ." is only an approximation anyway. – Dennis Williamson Oct 1 '10 at 19:17

It is completely unrelated to the merging of proposals...

Proposals that do not receive any activity whatsoever for over a month get cleaned out as a matter of routine maintenance.

"Domestic Life" had was created August 12th. By August 16th it had 3 followers; but not one new question, new comment, new follower, a vote, nor even and single edit since then (45 days). So it was nothing nefarious and nothing personal, just routine maintenance.

Feel free to re-create the proposal if you have reason to believe it will do better this time around. Situations change and people come across new resources and new ideas. But in terms of maintaining Area 51, I wouldn't like to see abandoned or stale proposals cited as a reason to close newer proposals made by people with renewed energy and, possibly, better resources to bring it to commitment.

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I didn't suspect anything nefarious. It's perfectly understandable. However, there ought to be more than a 404. – Dennis Williamson Oct 1 '10 at 19:45
@Dennis Williamson: That sounds reasonable. I will look into it. – Robert Cartaino Oct 1 '10 at 19:59
@Robert At least could some note be made in the user profile explaining why things have vanished into thin air? Stack Exchange is generally good about explaining what has happened to something and therefore when my proposal vanished without comment on Area 51 it was a negative surprise. – moberley Nov 7 '10 at 6:15
+1 to what Dennis and Shog9 already said - build a "cerimony" into the maintenance cleaning for deleted proposals just so everyone knows about it - I would also go as far as letting them there for longer. Say 9 months. Or at least 90 days, which is a way more common time span. – cregox Dec 5 '10 at 22:28
@Cawas: I see no purpose in adding unnecessary complexity to clearing out abandoned proposals. I'm not trying to save them. 95% have virtually non-existent followers and questions. I'd rather clean them out to let someone else propose them with a fresh start. But if the proposal once looked strong, I may leave it around awhile. There are too many failed proposals with little-to-non-existent effort in building and promoting them. I used to remove them after 90-120 days but I found that very, very few re-emerge after 30-days of non-activity... so they're just sitting around as noise. – Robert Cartaino Dec 6 '10 at 15:30
Well, that is very good to know Robert! So maybe the only thing missing here is, after all, informing that much on the ceremony. ;) – cregox Dec 6 '10 at 15:38

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