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I recently read the question that asks Is It Possible to Post Several Questions Across a Couple of the Sites Because it's Debatable Which Site It Fits Best. It seems clear that some questions are ServerFault questions while others are Stack Overflow questions. Similarly, it's generally clear whether or not a question is a Programmers Stack Exchange question or a Stack Overflow question.

I want to clarify this is not a duplicate of that question. Read below...

    "To merge sites or not to merge, that is the question in PM.StackExchange.com:"

However, in the private beta of Project Management Stack Exchange, we're seeing that some people consider IT Management to be a part of Project Management. Others see Project Management as encompassing more than just software project management, including Construction Management, Civil Engineering projects, Scientific projects, and other types of scenarios where a project manager is responsible for working with skilled professionals, focusing on the goal of completing a project.

Struggling to determine how to organize questions:

On our Meta Site, we've been trying to determine how to best organize these questions. Right now, I don't believe we need separate sites for each type of project management career, but this might not be true in the future.

Possible solution: Parent/Child sites:

One of the users suggested that we could create a subdomain for each individual project type, like software.pm.stackexchange.com and construction.pm.stackexchange.com, while still preserving the parent site pm.stackexchange.com.

               Parent site = http://pm.stackexchange.com
                                |
                               / \
                              /   \
                      --------     --------
                    /                       \
                  /                           \
          Child site:                      Child site:
http://construction.pm.stackexchnage.com     http://software.pm.stackexchange.com

This would work like the main Stack Exchange sites do where users post a question to one of the sites, but the question and it's answers also appears on the "child site" that represents the specific topic.

For example, let's say I ask a question about Motivating Remote Workers in a Project. Am I talking about software projects or something else? Is it possible that a Construction project manager could deal with remote workers? Let's say it's a big job site? Or let's say that the project manager is working remotely and coordinating the situation from his/her remote office? Could we add more value to such a question by including project managers from other fields?

Would we be able to lock certain questions as belonging only to one site? Let's say remote workforce issues just aren't a problem in Construction Management. Perhaps in that case it doesn't appear.

If I were to build this Stack Exchange feature, I would set it up so that questions appear only on the site they're posted on, but if the question should appear in software.pm.stackexchange.com and the main site pm.stackexchange.com, then a person with the necessary permissions could tag it with a subdomain tag.

Questions could only be shared across child sites of the pm.stackexchange.com network, so there would be no worry that a project management question would end up on ServerFault, for instance, and only people with a certain reputation could mark their questions as crossing the multiple domains.

I feel this feature could be interesting for people who want to focus on a certain problem space, like software project management, while still also allowing the people who feel they should be merged to also see all of the questions in one space.

I would love to hear expert opinions on the advantages and disadvantages of such an approach? What types of problems could this lead to, and how could we overcome those problems?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I feel this feature could be interesting for people who want to focus on a certain problem space, like software project management, while still also allowing the people who feel they should be merged to also see all of the questions in one space.

What you're describing is already possible.

If all you care about is Java, then go browse on Stack Overflow, and don't bother with the home page.

We believe very deeply that programmers and programmers have common goals (building great software) and common enemies (bad code), which is why they live on the same website and there is significant bleed-over of topics.

The acid test for any question belonging on your site is, "would I find these questions offensive if they appeared on our website?" If the answer is yes, then that content should not be on your site. That's the rationale, for example, for splitting sysadmin questions from Stack Overflow to Server Fault, and general hardware/software questions from Stack Overflow to Super User. Questions about mice and servers are great, but they're not programming per se.

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2  
Thanks for your answer. This is a great explanation. As a Java programmer, I have more in common with Java developers, C# developers, System Admins, and Super Users than I do construction workers, chemical engineers, and environmental engineers. However, overall, the feeling I get from the active private beta users is that we all can learn to live together and that most people welcome the questions from other fields, even though their tends to be a slant more towards software project management. –  jmort253 Feb 14 '11 at 3:52

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