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I am curious about the mechanisms "to discuss and hash out possible proposal mergers" that was mentioned on the Stack Exchange blog a few months ago. I realize those mechanisms may be in development, but I haven't been able to find much information about it.

There is at least one related question here on Meta Stack Overflow but it doesn't have a status tag.

I was looking into this because I noticed that between the two of them the Guitars and Musical Practice and Performance proposals appear to already have enough commitments to graduate to beta.

Update: The Guitars and Musical Practice and Performance example would appear to be moot due to the recent progression of the Guitars proposal to the beta stage.

I also thought it might be worth discussing whether joining the Books and Libraries proposals together would be helpful.

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I think this is an excellent idea. Some kind of merge (perhaps based on a vote) would reduce the number of open proposals by about 75%. –  Wikis Nov 9 '10 at 19:53

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

"to discuss and hash out possible proposal mergers"…

The discuss part of that equation is what is generally lacking in Area 51. There is currently no effective intra-proposal communication between participants.

We have implemented the means of merging proposals — features that even allow users to vote on that merging. But, without that communication component, we've been really hesitant in deploying those features. Users would be voting blindly.

To date, merging proposals has been a somewhat manual process. It generally consists of looking at proposals which have entered the Commit phase and considering whether the proposals are better served by merging with related proposals or integrating the subject into one of the sites that has already been created. Then I'll contact the participants to suggest supporting a leading proposal or to discuss whether related proposals should be merged at all. There has been no physical merging of proposals. "Merging" proposals has been accomplished mostly through consensus to support the leading proposal.

Discussions amongst the music proposals have not reached a consensus. To get them merged in a way that makes any sense, it is going to take either an executive decision or building the tools to allow the extended discussions that are needed.

Efforts are currently going into both ends of the equation: Working our way through the proposals that need a bit of manual intervention… and building the tools that will allow the community to handle these issues on their own.

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Thanks for explaining a bit of the process that is behind the curtain. –  moberley Nov 10 '10 at 1:39

Please vote for meta.area51.stackexchange.com which will allow proposed merges to be discussed, as well as hash out any other area51 specific discussions such as feature requests, bugs, etc.

http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/27409/meta-area51

If you go there, you'll find it closed with this note:

We're are in the process of grouping proposals into "Categories", each with their own meta and community... all contained within Area 51 itself. You'll see the first stages introduced coming month's end.

So it looks like this is in progress...

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If I were you, I'd be using the refer link. ;) area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/27409/… (That one's mine but you get the point) –  John Jan 15 '11 at 1:27
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If these merge tools were in place yesterday, it'd already be a week too late. The guitars site is now in beta while several proposals for musician sites exist. I hope there wont be separate sites for trombones, drums, flutes, pianos, violins, harps, singers, rock bands, string ensembles, wind ensembles, choirs, etc. Or worse, one site for guitarists and another site for all musicians except guitarists. Will sites in beta be able to merge with existing proposals? –  gilly3 Jan 20 '11 at 18:10
    
@gilly3 - What, no bass guitar site?!? I am outraged! The reality is that where there is a large enough community for one given topic, a separate site may exist. As long as a site can collect and retain both a good group of experts, and a very large audience, then it will benefit its audience, even if they overlap into a more general site. Rather than worrying about aggregating the groups early on, I'd suggest allowing the current process to push those sites out that are niche and will work alone, and for those sites that don't meet the minimum, aggregate them so the aggregate site does. –  Adam Davis Jan 20 '11 at 18:48

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