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Does the Merging Season post have any teeth? It is all well and good to post and ask for merges. But few people are going to volunteer to be the "killed off" site.

For example there are "Gardening and Landscaping" and "Gardening and Farming Organically" proposals. I am the creator of the Gardening and Landscaping site. It could be considered the "losing site" because it is not quite into commitment yet where Gardening Organically is into commitment (and has been for a while).

However, it seems to me that the Organic site should merge with the Gardening proposal (by the X into Y rules). I am sure that they are thinking a similar thing, but in reverse.

So, is there someone out there to make a judgment call on this? Or is the plan to hope people just un-follow/uncommit one and naturally move to another?

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"Have any teeth"? I'm not sure what you mean, but I know some of the proposals listed within that post have in fact been shut down already. – Grace Note Nov 11 '10 at 22:08
@Vacanno - I've managed to contact the guy who proposed the Organic site and is running the SE 1.0 version of the Organic Gardening site. He has expressed some interest in moving forward. Can you please contact me to try and get a two way dialogue going? xiaohouzi79 at google mail – xiaohouzi79 Nov 18 '10 at 4:37
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes it does. Some proposal groups we have merged recently:

  • parenting (5+)
  • security (3)
  • judaism (3+)

There are others under discussion, Robert can probably list a few more.

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Yes, I use Joel's "rules" to consider mergers all the time. In addition to the subjects Jeff mentioned (off the top of my head):

  • There are numerous "music" proposals that probably need to be one or two (maybe three) sites;
  • Tons of academic disciplines that can be combined into university-style departments;
  • A bunch of fitness/exercise/nutrition proposals that need to be rolled into one;
  • More technical proposals than I care to count;
  • and many, many, many more.

If you look at the first few pages of up-and-coming beta sites, there are almost always other proposals that would be well served by combing forces with them. That has become an on-going process and I am slowly working my way through them.

Area 51 is brilliant at vetting great ideas for sites, but those ideas don't always work well with each other. Until we can add more abilities for proposals to work out those issues amongst themselves, I take your suggestions and flagging under advisement and I make the more-obvious judgment calls — close and integrate blatant duplicates into existing sites; merge proposals that are spread so thin that none of them would every be created separately; and where that fails, I can contact proposal supporters and work out the most reasonable course of action.

I try not to rush to judgment. I don't generally delete duplicates between early proposals; each has a right to compete. I try not to make judgment calls about a subject's viability; Area 51 vetting works brilliantly at surfacing the best proposals. If there isn't a problem with the initial proposal, I don't generally see it again until the subject reaches the Commitment phase. It's during Commitment that I can take a closer look and see if mergers and joining forces with related proposals can make the resulting site that much stronger.

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