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It seems like each SE site having its own domain is no longer possible. All sites are under the banner of the United States of Stack Exchange. And I am fine with that (actually, I am not. But since it's one of Jeff's over-my-dead-body decisions, resistance is futile).

I would like to point out however, that a shorter domain name seems to be a relevant factor in a site's success (correlation not implying causation notwithstanding). A look at the data:

alexa top 500:
   average length: 10.984; count: 500
   median length: 11.0
   shortest: t.co (4 char)
   longest: googleusercontent.com (21 char)

alexa top 100:
   average length: 10.45; count: 100
   median length: 10.0
   shortest: t.co (4 char)
   longest: googleusercontent.com (21 char)

SE sites (subdomain only, betas+launched):
   average length: 7.24637681159; count: 69
   median length: 7
   shortest: ux (2 char)
   longest: theoreticalphysics (18 char)

   .stackexchange.com: 18 chars

I can't for the life of me understand why stackexchange.com was picked. It's awfully long (considering you plan to tack on subdomains), hard to type and remember. Not to mention possible confusion with StockExchange.com. Also, I can't shake off the feeling that it sounds like... not good. I mean, come on! Are Jeff and Joel still haunted by the ghosts of experts-exchange?

At any rate, now we have an average (and median) length of about 25 characters for SE's sites. That's over twice as long as the average from top 500 sites. That's awful IMO. I know about the s.tk shorterner, but I am not sure how many people use it, since all the links are in the form of topic.stackexchange.com.

Yes, 25 sites have been launched with this domain and 44 more are in beta. But I don't think it's too late for a change. I hate typing 30+ characters on a tiny phone screen, so can we have something shorter?

  • se.com would be nice; in general a .com domain would be preferable (about 2/3 of the top 500 sites have a .com domain)
  • a domain hack: sta.ck unfortunately is not available; but something.se could work (that something being no longer than 3 characters)
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  • 2
    Do you have a counter-proposal for the main domain?
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Dec 9 '11 at 22:26
  • 2
    @AnnaLear - How about s.tk? Dec 9 '11 at 22:29
  • 1
    +1, even verbally discussing the StackExchange "family" with others, it's (and I recognize this is very individual) cumbersome to refer to "programmers.stackexchange". Programmers is way too ambiguous (even occasionally too ambiguous when used on SO, etc.) to suffice in these instances.
    – jwiscarson
    Dec 9 '11 at 22:31
  • Hmm, the expert sexchange connection hadn't occurred to me before. Creepy. The domains start to get pretty long though for sure. Maybe if they bought se.com or something. @Kevin I think that has the opposite problem. Way too nondescript. And Tokelau's TLD isn't exactly as celebrated as .com
    – user154510
    Dec 9 '11 at 22:31
  • @KevinVermeer I don't think that's easier to remember or pronounce even though it's shorter.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Dec 9 '11 at 22:32
  • @AnnaLear Something short like se.com, or possibly a domain hack. sta.ck unfortunately is not an option; although something.se could work (that something should have at most 3 characters). Dec 9 '11 at 22:36
  • @ProblematicTitleException something.se is probably out. .se is Swedish (I think) and if I recall right, they're pretty protective of that TLD.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Dec 9 '11 at 22:39
  • How often do people type out our URLs vs navigate via links? Besides, what else are we going to be? SExchange.com?
    – Ben Brocka
    Dec 9 '11 at 22:42
  • @BenBrocka That's not as big a deal; how popular would google be if they were supersearchengine.com instead? Dec 9 '11 at 22:46
  • @AnnaLear sounds like that is no longer the case, .se is available on a first come first serve basis. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.se . Problem is we would have to change our title structure from example.stackexchange.com to example.something.se, as we can't be use example.se is always available.
    – Ben Brocka
    Dec 9 '11 at 22:47
  • @ProblematicTitleException search engines are different as most people DO navigate to them by url direct.
    – Ben Brocka
    Dec 9 '11 at 22:48
  • 2
    @BenBrocka But then, there's the data. See Alexa's Top 500; the longest name for a Top 100 site is googleusercontent.com, which doesn't really count. Dec 9 '11 at 22:50
  • FYI, .se and .sx have already been considered. Also, I remember reading somewhere (but I'm not sure where) that the "exchange" in Stack Exchange doesn't come from the hyphen site; rather, both sites were named for the concept of exchange of ideas.
    – Pops
    Dec 9 '11 at 22:58
  • @PopularDemand topic.se is not going to happen unless Sweden ceases to exist; .sx is not available for registration. Dec 9 '11 at 23:03
  • 3
    So - Nuke Sweden, by Popular Demand?
    – Pekka
    Dec 9 '11 at 23:06
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I agree. Have you ever tried to spell stackexchange.com on the phone - maybe even to a non-english speaker? Oh boy. It's not a great name, and some of the alternatives should be within reach for a company that started with $28M of venture capital.

However, there doesn't seem to be much interest on SE's end to do anything about the domain name - not even the stackexchange.com umbrella. The only official response I've ever received to some suggestions I made (that weren't that terrible IMO, at least worth a look - se.com was among them) was a sarcastic comment from Jeff about the "shit's easy syndrome".

Still, the one domain name I would favour is stack.com - but it's in active use, so it's probably not realistic. stack.org is in use for personal E-Mail addresses only - maybe worth a look?

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  • Just tell them it's stock exchange with an a. </jest>
    – Tim Stone
    Dec 9 '11 at 22:46
  • Eh... It gets talked about all the time. It's doing something about it that gets complicated. All the good, short names are sorta taken.
    – Shog9
    Dec 9 '11 at 22:47
  • @Shog9 They should've come up with a name like Quora. Short, easy to remember and probably not taken. Dec 9 '11 at 22:50
  • Suggestions don't bother me any. But obviously you realize, no one's gonna post, "We're really hoping we can get inastack.com when it goes on the market".
    – Shog9
    Dec 9 '11 at 22:55
  • @Shog I think inasack.com actually is on the market! (Seriously - I'm not sure whether "We spoke to the owners of xyz.com, but nothing came of it" could do that much harm - it being clear that it's SE wanting the domain anyway. But as said, some general information would do already.)
    – Pekka
    Dec 9 '11 at 22:58
  • heh - inasack - heh
    – Rory Alsop
    Dec 9 '11 at 23:05
  • Oh, I misread or Shog corrected. I thought it said sack
    – Pekka
    Dec 9 '11 at 23:06
  • whistles innocently
    – Shog9
    Dec 9 '11 at 23:09
  • @Shog9 Assuming all 'the good ones' are taken, what about stack-e.com (assuming the - outweighs 7 characters)? Dec 13 '13 at 1:36
  • @Shog9 And it certainly can't hurt to give a (possibly low-ball) offer for one or two of "the good, short names" and see how that goes. Dec 13 '13 at 1:45

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