The new Facebook SO site is a great idea, but the experience on there can be confusing, since there's no UI hints for logged in users to inidicate that we're in the Facebook Stack Overflow sub-site besides the URL (which, in future versions of browsers, might disappear).

Can there be some thematic indication that we're on a special "sub community"/sub portal part of site?

For example, I was very confused when I got to this tag page and only saw 14 questions tagged:

Facebook Subsite pic

Nothing on there tells me that I'm getting the facebook filtering treatment.

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    Needs to be "Facebook blue" :) – ChrisF Aug 24 '11 at 19:06
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    yes please ... I totally support at least some visual cue ... it confused me all the time during testing – waffles Aug 25 '11 at 0:27
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    It occurs to me that at least part of the problem is that the "questions tagged" doesn't explain it's "+[facebook]" (or whatever it really is). – Nicole Aug 25 '11 at 2:23

After discussion with Facebook, we've agreed that some minimal branding on the logo and favicon (and equivalents elsewhere) will help reduce confusion.

enter image description here

This will go out with the next build (and some subsequent setting twiddling).

This has now gone live.

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    I agree with a majority of this, but since the sites aren't in isolation, I don't fully understand why it isn't beneficial to indicate that you're viewing a subset of the entirety of Stack Overflow when on the Facebook minisite. – Tim Stone Aug 24 '11 at 20:04
  • why isn't there just new SE site with questions including "facebook" moved on? – genesis Aug 24 '11 at 20:05
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    @genesis - for the same reason there isn't a java SE. Many questions asked about Facebook development may be of interest to "normal" developers, and many "normal" developers may be interested in answer them (I also wouldn't be surprised if a "Facebook" developer branches out into vanilla SO). Also things like reputation, tags, and badges all translate 1-1 between a hypothetical Facebook SE and SO. For instance, we didn't create a single new tag for Facebook.StackOverflow; they all already existed. – Kevin Montrose Aug 24 '11 at 20:14
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    I really feel that there needs to be something that indicates it isn't vanilla Stack Overflow - after all - if I have 10 tabs open (some on SO and some on FB SO) it would be nice to have an easy way of telling them apart. What if I bookmark something on FB SO and later visit that bookmark and try to ask a non-FB question? It will result in all manner of confusion. – uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Aug 24 '11 at 20:31
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    Can't they change the logo to say "Facebook Stack Overflow" and leave everything else the same? – Troyen Aug 24 '11 at 21:11
  • "Likewise, one cannot go from Stack Overflow to Facebook Stack Overflow." And the converse is also true, unfortunately, apart from a couple of hard-to-find links. – phenry Aug 24 '11 at 22:38
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    Plain and simple - I'm not on Stack Overflow (proper) so don't make it look like I'm there. It's deceptive and misleading. Yes, the sites are related (and intertwined) so I understand the need to maintain some kind of visual link, but to have them exactly the same is a mistake (as determined from my armchair). – Dhaust Aug 25 '11 at 1:33
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    "our Facebook contacts felt it was more important to make it clear that this was "really Stack Overflow." Who's running this site? Facebook or SO? – Dhaust Aug 25 '11 at 1:38
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    @David - when it comes to using trademarks, the people who own those trademarks call the shots; that's the whole point of a trademark. Besides, you don't (I hope) run any partnerships with "yeah, well, screw you I'm doing it my way" as an immediate recourse. Like I said, we're open to revisiting the issue; and given this question, almost certainly will. – Kevin Montrose Aug 25 '11 at 1:47
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    It won't be theoretical for long once people start hitting both of the sites from Google. – Brad Mace Aug 25 '11 at 1:47
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    @bemace - most of facebook.stackoverflow is canonical'd or noindex'd (the overlapping bits). – Kevin Montrose Aug 25 '11 at 1:50
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    re: using trademarks. I don't get your point. It's an officially sanctioned site about FB, not like they are going to prevent you from using the logo. I was simply saying that the site belongs to and is run by SO, therefore shouldn't any decisions about it be made by SO. Yes you are in a partnership with FB and of course you need to take their interests into consideration, but it feels like you are looking after their interests to your (uh, our) own detriment. Also, I never said 'screw you I'm doing it my way', that is just a straw man attack. – Dhaust Aug 25 '11 at 2:33
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    Absolutely fair call on the swearing Kevin, I'm happy to wear that one on the chin. But again, please don't put words in my mouth. I never said anything about 'partnership means we get carte blanche to use someone's IP'. I said 'not like they are going to prevent you from using the logo', two totally different things. I'm happy to end this here (as I'm sure you will be) because it's obviously getting cranky. Sorry if I have offended. – Dhaust Aug 25 '11 at 3:52
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    -1 - Even without adding heavy visual effects like images, a simple label right below the stackoverflow image that reads: "subsite: facebook" is all we ask, you don't need to change anything else. It's 30 seconds of development time...and just send this link to FaceBook I'm sure they won't think it's that big of a deal. – JonH Aug 25 '11 at 14:20
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    +1 for a little branding, yay – Doug T. Aug 26 '11 at 1:05

How about just a teeny hint that we're not on the full site? I think it still feels like a "real" part of Stack Overflow:

facebook.stackoverflow header

I'll even throw in a favicon: favicon

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  • Probably want a different logo indicator though, depending on how anal they are with copyright. – canadiancreed Aug 24 '11 at 23:38
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    Since it's an official partnership I'm assuming it won't be a problem, but the important part is just to show something there. – Brad Mace Aug 24 '11 at 23:58
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    How about a MASSIVE hint that we're not on the full site? – Dhaust Aug 25 '11 at 1:42
  • @David - see Kevin's answer. They want to make it clear that it's still part of the real Stack Overflow, so I don't think a totally different theme is going to happen. However, they also need to make it clear that it's just a part. – Brad Mace Aug 25 '11 at 1:47
  • @bemace - see my comments to Kevin's answer. And I did mean for the 'MASSIVE' bit to be taken seriously, but not too seriously. – Dhaust Aug 25 '11 at 2:42
  • I'm against using any sort of official facebook logos or icons just because future minisites might be for generic topics that don't have logos, and that would look ugly to me, parallelism-wise. – Pops Aug 25 '11 at 18:11
  • Nice. They ended up going with a modified version of your suggestion (and possibly used your favicon; its hard to tell if its exactly the same). – Yahel Aug 26 '11 at 12:09

Yarr, you had the same idea as I did but posted while I was still writing my question. Oh well.

I would recommend putting some unobtrusive text under the main site logo along the lines of

  • "for facebook developers" or
  • "Category: facebook (return to main site)" or
  • "facebook minisite"

Probably not the first one, because it might make a naive user think that all of SO is a site for fb devs.

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    Wait a minute, when did we get mini-sites? What, precisely, are they? Is Facebook the first? Should this be a separate question or has it been asked before? :) – Chris Frederick Aug 24 '11 at 19:47
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    @Chris, just a few hours ago. – Pops Aug 24 '11 at 19:49
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    Or maybe just place "Facebook" in the site logo, as "meta" is on, well, the metas. – Grant Thomas Aug 24 '11 at 19:54
  • @Popular Demand: Well, don't I feel sheepish. Thanks. – Chris Frederick Aug 24 '11 at 19:55
  • Oh, not that I think that should be the only distinction: it is eerily similar, too similar! – Grant Thomas Aug 24 '11 at 19:55
  • Hrm. Based on Kevin's answers here and elsewhere, I think I may not fully understand how the minisite works. Will reevaluate this answer later. – Pops Aug 24 '11 at 20:05
  • (Also, your question is #103746, mine was #103745. Very close! :)) – Yahel Aug 24 '11 at 20:39

I've wrote a little userstyle that makes Facebook Stack Overflow more... Facebooky

Stack Overflow in glorious blue!

You can find it here: http://userstyles.org/styles/53010/blue-facebook-stack-overflow

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Yeah, it definitely needs a new logo. I think something like this would be pretty good:

enter image description here

pardon my simple Pixelmator skills

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Speaking as someone whose tab bar consistently looks something like this

enter image description here

I would really appreciate it if Facebook Stack Overflow could also have a unique favicon.

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    I suggest turning on the side tab flag for chrome. My life has never been better since i did that – Zypher Aug 25 '11 at 21:25
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    Firefox! so much better, chrome sell your data to the nsa – user249008 Jan 26 '14 at 2:39

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