When writing generally about Stack Exchange, I often find myself either:

  • Saying "Stack Overflow" instead since it is more well-known.
  • Saying something like "Stack Overflow/Exchange".

That's a bit like saying "Google Search/Mail" when talking about Gmail. Search came first but Gmail isn't exactly a subset of "Google Search", but in fact just "Google".

Although it's a bit of a chicken-before-the-egg situation, Stack Overflow is now a subset of Stack Exchange since it runs on the SE network, correct? However, the following links don't redirect:

In any case, what should one call it all?

(This is more a question of branding really... so "Stack" would be good, but that domain is taken.)


1 Answer 1


I would call Stack Overflow "Stack Overflow", just like I would refer to other specific sites by their names (Super User, Arqade, Programmers, etc.).

It really depends on what you're writing about, I think. You could say "Stack Overflow, which is a part of a larger Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites" or something along those lines.

Stack Exchange is also the name of the company, so if you're talking about that... call it that.

If you're writing about the network in general but want to inject a familiar name, something like "The Stack Exchange network that includes sites like Stack Overflow and Server Fault..." could work.

You get the idea.

There's also the section on proper use of our name in the Trademark Guidelines:

Stack Exchange Inc. is the official name of the company.
Stack Overflow is a programmer Q&A site on the Stack Exchange Network. As a name, Stack Overflow, is always written "Stack Overflow" (two words, capital letters). The website domain name is always written stackoverflow.com (no CamelCase, single word capitalization rules apply). Currently, all Stack Exchange Network sites follow this convention: Server Fault (serverfault.com), Super User (superuser.com), etc.
A Stack Exchange site is a Q&A website built on the technology of Stack Exchange Inc. The phrase "Stack Exchange" is generally used as an adjective, not a noun. One would say "Propose a Stack Exchange site on Area 51" (correct), not "Propose a Stack Exchange on Area 51" (wrong).
The Stack Exchange Network refers to the collection of Stack Exchange sites and services.
Area 51 (two words) is the site used to propose new Stack Exchange sites for the Stack Exchange Network.
The Stack Exchange API allows users to write applications based on the Stack Exchange engine. The API is always referred to as "Stack Exchange API", even if the application is written for a specific site (i.e. never Stack Overflow API, Server Fault API, etc.).
The Stack Exchange Blog is the company blog which talks about everything we're doing on all our sites and what the company itself is doing.

(If these guidelines change and this answer isn't updated, ignore what's here and go with the official version on the page linked above.)

  • And if I'm not mistaken, the whole URL issue (that is, the initial trilogy not being available under *.stackexchange.com) is a historical one, right?
    – Bart
    Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 16:09
  • @Bart I believe so, yes.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 16:10
  • Great, thanks Anna! I think your answer will also be useful for journalists/bloggers, etc.
    – Baumr
    Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 16:10

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