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I find that the SO-spinoffs create separate worlds that really should be united somehow, by other than just subdomain.stackexchange.com.

For example,

  • english.stackexchange.com
  • writers.stackexchange.com

Both have to do with using language

  • programmers.stackexchange.com
  • stackoverflow.com
  • webmasters.stackexchange.com
  • gamedev.stackexchange.com

These have to do with programming. I think its good they all have their separate sites, but I still get the feeling they should somehow be "bridged."

A first time user on stackoverflow.com makes his virgin post about something very web-related. That seems to belong on webmasters.stackexchange.com, but he doesn't even know about that site --


Logged in to PROGRAMMING - (super interface above stackoverflow, webdev, and all other programming related sites)

[[ Ask a question ]]
(text area to enter question)

  - Which site would you like to post it to?
    (radio buttons below)
    * stackoverflow.com (skeet skeet!)
    * meta.stackoverflow.com (patrolled by idiots - not recommended)
    * webmasters
    * gamedev

In general I don't think the default home page does a good job at showing sister sites (listed at the bottom). I get the feeling that there should be ONE hierarchical LEVEL above, like

  -english
    -authors
    -linguists

  -programming
    -stackoverflow
    -programmers
    -web dev
    -gamedev

Cross posting could be allowed.

share|improve this question
    
Isn't that what migrating is for? –  sepp2k Jan 9 '11 at 20:23
1  
Kind of, but right now its a moderator privilege and very retroactive –  bobobobo Jan 9 '11 at 20:26
    
Game Development is focused more on the resources involved, i.e., testing, libraries, story/plot, art etc. Actual game programming questions are probably best fit on SO. Likewise, Programmers is about career planning, managing, development processes and tools, and so forth. Those differences are well documented. I do agree with you on English/Writers, though. Writing consists of grammar and language usage, most of which is in English, so... I personally don't know the difference between the two. –  Corey Jan 9 '11 at 20:33
3  
Writers is for people who write novels, english is for people who don't know how to use English properly –  bobobobo Jan 9 '11 at 21:14
    
The radio buttons would make population the list of possible duplicates, as shown after entering the title, a bit hard? –  Arjan Jan 23 '11 at 22:29
    
What is wrong with tags, we could have a high reputation privilege to arrange tags into tag-groups, and tag-groups in to tag-groups. Every-thing-is-a-tag composite-pattern (hierarchy). Then a site can be associated with one tag-group –  richard Feb 9 '11 at 9:59
    
I like the idea of an "Ask" button that helps find the right site. –  NickC Apr 30 '11 at 0:12
    
@Renesis everyone does, but nobody can think of how to make it both right and easy. And before you go "oh that's easy, I can do that" I'll remind you that your response is most assuredly neither correct nor easy. –  jcolebrand Apr 30 '11 at 0:56
    
@drachenstern - Ok. I wasn't going to say that. –  NickC Apr 30 '11 at 1:17
    
@Renesis ;) ok, just being pre-emptive :p ... but that does come up ... a lot (at least when I talk to people in chat and such) –  jcolebrand Apr 30 '11 at 1:18

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

This may already be [status-planned]

Quick background:

We are in the final stages of grouping Area 51 proposals into "Categories." Categories are a means grouping proposals into areas of similar interests: Technology, Sports, Language, etc. The primary purpose of Categories is to let like-minded users collaborate on how best to manage, organize, and promote the creation of sites from their area of interest.

When that effort is completed, I will be recommending that we carry over a proposal's Category designation to the site level (and assigning an Category to existing sites). That gives us the opportunity to tell Stack Exchange sites about proposals that might interest them.

So to answer your question:

We will be building communities around these common Categories of interest. It's too soon to know what the presentation of these "communities" looks like, but it will almost certainly contain a listing of proposals. It makes sense that it also contain a listing of sites in the Area.

It's too soon to tell but, if this concept of Categories develops functionally, a logical extension of that is to list sites grouped by Category.

share|improve this answer
1  
Uhm, "categories"? Isn't it common (netlore?) wisdom that categories are too one-dimensional, and tags (and the associated clouds) are to be preferred? Or will it just be another name for tags, meaning a site/proposal can be in multiple categories? –  Jürgen A. Erhard Jan 28 '11 at 23:00
    
I think clouds are mostly unusable. Tag clouds are the new mullets - (note publish date 2005!) The Death Of Tag Clouds (2010). In general my conclusion is while tag clouds can look nice, they really are generally useless. –  bobobobo May 20 '12 at 13:08

Think I'm on topic here...

I'd like to see the OpenIDs linked, if this is possible. It's fine logging in on a desktop, but is annoying when I'm waiting from a train, and have a small touchscreen phone to deal with.

I'd also like the option for limited cross-posting (min-rep based) for questions that are relevant to multiple SE sites. For example, database-design questions may logically be at home on programmers.SE and dba.SE. Traditional cross-posting is already possible (via copy/paste), but it would help if answers to legitimate cross-posts got shown in all places.

share|improve this answer
    
I ... wonder if you've been here long. The OpenIDs are linked cross site. So for instance, I use one OpenID to login to all 40+ of my linked account sites ... so I don't understand what you're getting at. –  jcolebrand Apr 30 '11 at 0:58
    
Yes, but each OpenID needs associating separately on site for each browser (I guess this is cookie related). Getting my google OpenID set on each site means repeatedly logging in to google, which is fine on PCs, but a pain on a touchscreen phone. –  Phil Lello Apr 30 '11 at 1:24
    
It is cookie related. Once you're logged in on a SE site (since it's by parent domain) it should carry over to all of them, you'll just need to give the javascript a moment to catch up with the dom. That means four logins by normal procedures, once to SO, SF, SU and then to a given SE domain. –  jcolebrand Apr 30 '11 at 1:26
    
OK, if it's 4 domains, it's not so bad - I only recently started using SO via the phone –  Phil Lello Apr 30 '11 at 1:36
    
Yep. So it's clear to the next person following along, it's xxx.stackexchange.com, so the cookie is shared from stackexchange.com. So xxx1.stackexchange.com and xxx2.stackexchange.com use the same cookie. However, if you goto seasonedadvice.com instead of cooking.stackexchange.com, the domains don't match, so those are going to require additional logins. I prefer to stick to the SE stack for those sites ;) –  jcolebrand Apr 30 '11 at 2:06

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