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My colleague has a domain name that might be a good domain for a Stack Exchange site. It's a very memorable name that could make a good brand for a particular subject area.

I'm interested to know if Stack Exchange enters into any partnerships, or might be interested in doing so with the registrant of a domain name.

I notice that some of the older Stack Exchange sites are at their own domains, e.g., superuser.com

And some of the newer sites are at subdomains of stackexchange.com, e.g., parenting.stackexchange.com

Does Stack Exchange prefer one or the other approach?

Of course, using subdomains might contribute to the brand 'stackexchange'.

While creating a Stack Exchange site at its own domain could help build a stronger brand for that niche, if the domain name is a good strong name. I don't know if recent use of subdomains is simply because it can be difficult to get good domains, or if it is a preference.

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May be it depends, newer site like askubuntu.com have its own domain name. –  YOU Apr 8 '11 at 11:09
    
There used to be a voting process in place. The community would vote on a domain name, and the winning domain name would be bought if the price was reasonable. However, that has been scrapped in favour of stackexchange.com subdomains. Only "big" sites will get their own domain any more. –  Pëkka Apr 8 '11 at 11:11
    
@Pekka It's "Big or the name is really impressive", actually. Cross Validated and Ask Different don't have superb traffic in comparison to the lot of us without our own names. Plus, you still need an impressive name even when you hit big. –  Grace Note Apr 8 '11 at 16:17

2 Answers 2

Quoting Jeff's answer here

In exceptional cases like this, where

  1. We have a an agreement in place with an existing outside community

  2. The outside community's goals (Ubuntu, Inc.) are aligned with ours (Stack Overflow Internet Services Inc.) -- namely "make the internet better"

  3. The domain name is quite good (there is the possibility of redirecting from ask.ubuntu.com if this agreement works out)

Then custom domain names are possible.

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Thanks Jeff... you mention "an agreement with an existing outside community" does that mean a sizeable community already active at the domain? The domain I'm thinking of is not being used. It's just a good name. –  Tom Apr 8 '11 at 13:26
    
@Tom if it's really, really good and gets approved by the respective community, you'll have the option to sell it to SE, Inc. I doubt they are open to any other kind of agreement just for a good domain name - you can always give it a shot in the form of an E-Mail but I wouldn't hold my breath. –  Pëkka Apr 8 '11 at 17:31

All you have is a name to suggest for a not-yet-existing site, correct?

I believe site specific domain names were already discussed and rejected.*

See: Domain Names: The Wrong Question

*Except in the exceptional circumstance of a full blown, successful, company wanting to be partners over a specific site.

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