Background: I am involved in the definition (and update) of a new interface for data exchange: alpinebits. It is released under a CC-BY-ND license, there are quite a few implementations already available.

I would like to know what the opinion of more experienced user is about using a tag on SO vs. creating a new SE site. My own considerations follow, but I did not find an answer:

  • It's a protocol, hence questions that are not coding-related are expected. A new SE site could be better IMO, but I see that this is tolerated on SO, though.
  • Its implementations can be made in many different languages, hence it would benefit from being a tag on SO because of cross-tagging.

I hope someone can provide an answer, or a link to best practice that I was not able to find. Thanks a lot!


2 Answers 2


New Stack Exchange sites are created through Area51, a crude description of the process is:

  1. You propose a site,
  2. You write a few example questions,
  3. People follow your proposal and vote on your questions, ideally contributing even more questions,
  4. If the proposal manages to attract a large enough audience, the site goes into beta,
  5. If the beta manages to attract an even larger audience and maintain high quality content, the site graduates and becomes a full site.

It's a long road, with too many ifs in it, you can read all about it in the Area51 FAQ.

But that's not really going to work for AlpineBits, because we already have two sites where you can ask questions about it, Stack Overflow for the more technical questions and Programmers Stack Exchange for the more conceptual questions, so your proposal would probably be closed as a duplicate of one of these sites, more probably Stack Overflow.

A tag would be far more appropriate.

It's a protocol, hence questions that are not coding-related are expected. A new SE site could be better IMO, but I see that this is tolerated on SO, though.

Really bad examples, these questions are from a different era, and today would probably be closed. You have to remember that Stack Overflow is not a perfect model of its guidelines.

  • thanks for mentioning Programmers Stack Exchange as an option for questions not related to coding! About the examples, I chose them on purpose so no wonder they are "problematic". But it's good to know that are nowadays "deprecated" :)
    – Daniele
    May 3, 2012 at 12:01
  • @Daniele Questions on Programmers still need to be about programming, just more on the conceptual/whiteboard side. And we also welcome questions on software licencing, project management and business concerns, as long as they require the unique expertise of programmers (i.e. they are not questions that apply to all careers, or need answers from lawyers, etc). Read the Programmers FAQ for further details.
    – yannis
    May 3, 2012 at 12:04

Considering that Astronomy, Economics, Literature, Firearms, Healthcare IT and Theoretical Physics haven't gathered enough momentum to pass the beta phase, I doubt that "Open Data Exchange in the Alpine tourism" will: this is a very specific subject.

If you think about it, even Java, C# or most frameworks don't have their own SE site.

A tag would certainly be more appropriate. It will certainly be more beneficial to your community too, because it questions will generally be more visible by a larger number of SO users, who wouldn't necessarily sign up for a specific SE site on the topic.

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