With the announcement of Facebook.StackOverflow, what are the critera/how does one go about getting a new mini-site created?
Assuming that it is not possible today, are there plans to make it so in the future?
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Facebook Stack Overflow is our first experiment with mini-sites, so we're still figuring these things out.
I hope our formal partnership with Facebook will give us enough runway to work out all the little kinks that might kill less "sure thing" sites (for the record, this idea has been kicked around since long before any partnership was in the works; though the pilot tag set was never set).
We don't intend to launch any other mini-sites until we're confident that Facebook Stack Overflow is working, and not obviously a fluke.
Once/If that's the case, we'll work out the exact method for deciding if a mini-site is merited. Ideas that have been floated include: proposals closed on Area 51 as duplicates of Stack Overflow, new (explicitly mini-site) proposals, internal curation, and dowsing.
We know that we don't want to encourage factionalism, so the community overlap with Stack Overflow needs to be total. Likewise, trivial mini-sites of one tag (java, .net, and so on) are obvious non-starters. A lot of other stuff needs to be figured out, and we're only going to really get answers by watching and tweaking Facebook Stack Overflow.
One thing that will never be sufficient is cutting a check*. We tried that with SE 1.0, and it doesn't work. Facebook could have driven a dump truck of money to 55 Broadway, and without the already extant Facebook community on Stack Overflow all that would have gotten them was an opportunity to taunt the brokers.
If you're looking to get a personal Stack Overflow mini-site, that is unlikely to ever happen. The same is true for any company that isn't a "major software development player," and even those would already have to have an independent Stack Overflow presence.
Of final note, we don't foresee any Stack Exchange site other than Stack Overflow having sub-sites. The kind of traffic and size of community that we strongly suspect are needed to support them are a (good kind of) "big city problem", that only Stack Overflow has at the moment.
*I eagerly await the snarky "we know they gave you $$$ to sell-out" comments.
See Stack Exchange Podcast #7 --
We’re starting to build a feature we call emacs.stackexchange.com, which essentially gives users a filtered view of Stack Overflow to specific topic groups, as represented by a set of tags. We have historically shut down Area 51 proposals that would factionalize Stack Overflow, and although we feel this is the correct decision, we are sympathetic to the underlying concern. Stack Exchange sites are intended to be groups of topics, identified by tags, that are of broad interest to people who all love a topic — like, say, programming. This is fine when you follow a large tag like [java] or [c#], but what about when you follow 20 small tags? Yes, you can set up a tag filter, but it might be nice to have some default groupings for certain popular sub-areas — thus, emacs.stackexchange.com instead of the Area 51 site proposal for emacs.
I highly recommend skipping to that section of the podcast to hear my explanation. Starts at around 13:45.