Apologies for the inflammatory title. There are a lot of bad proposals on Area 51. And a lot of bad ones come from users with very low rep, often without even 200 rep on any single site.

Perhaps it would be worthwhile to limit Area51 proposal to those people with at least a rudimentary understanding of what Stack Exchange is, and how it works and does not work? Perhaps we could do this with a rep requirement?

Or maybe this isn't even an issue, and the Area51 mods like a good chuckle as much as the rest of us?

  • 2325 42nd Street Northwest Condominium ? What? Why? Jan 31 '14 at 12:58
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    @FallenAngel It looks like a lovely building. Jan 31 '14 at 13:05
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    How does rep earned on programming site corresponds with ability to propose and participate in sites like Relationships and Dating? In real life these are not connected (at best).
    – Mołot
    Jan 31 '14 at 13:42
  • @Molot I believe his intent is less "Experience on the site's topic" as much as "familiarity with the Stack Exchange model", which is kinda the same usage of reputation as we have for the whole privilege system in general.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jan 31 '14 at 13:47
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    @GraceNote sadly, one cannot earn any experience if he is not familiar with topic already covered by one of existing sites, no matter how well he knows the site, network etc. So by implementing this feature request Stack Exchange would only allow proposals overlapping with existing sites, with rare exceptions when someone is good and reputable at X but interested in unrelated Y.
    – Mołot
    Jan 31 '14 at 13:50
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    Hey, don't pick on Stack Overflow (in Canadian).
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Jan 31 '14 at 16:39

At the time it was proposed, IT Security was proposed by a fellow with less than 200 reputation network wide. In fact, he had only 20 reputation on Stack Overflow.

Drupal Answers was proposed by someone without much Stack Exchange presence at all.

Both of these sites not only worked, but they were some of the early graduates on the network, which we give to sites who can not just hit good levels, but sustain good growth of those numbers. And this was back before we had as strong of "ideals" as the network has these days.

The thing is, the proposer only exists to propose an idea. It's up to the site's supporters to make it work. Those are who are important. There's actually no small number of cases where the proposer has actually fallen off the face of the earth for all we know, and yet the site turned out tremendously well.

Bad ideas get culled, good ideas get taken care of. The process works regardless of who came up with the idea first.

  • Thanks for answering the question!
    – fredley
    Jan 31 '14 at 13:18

I see no problem there.

To have a good idea about a new site you don't need to be a high-rep Stack Exchange user. You could only use the site without participation for years and have no rep but know how it works. And even if you don't know how it works you can still have a good Q&A site idea. Why exclude those persons from suggesting?

And even if some proposals aren't that great - so what?! You can create only 1 per day and if it does not get any attention it gets deleted (automatically?). Currently there aren't really so many proposals - so there is no flood of useless ones.


I think your question from title is rhetoric ;P and your real question is about current reputation concept on Area51.

Actually this is not a problem of rep requirements to create a proposal - you need 50 rep to create one! The actual problem is, you get exactly that amount of rep upon registration! So the number of proposals you can create is limited only by your determination and resources (namely free time and money).

I think it is a problem. Some people are creating proposals for temporary events, such as Arab Spring or current situation on Ukraine. I think they were opening fora wherever possible to register, and Area51 was one of that things. There are also very many proposals, which pure sense is to try to earn some reputation for the OP (they are even sometimes not asking any example questions in order not to get downvoted, counting only for some 'sympathy follow').

I think that the amount of 'startup reputation' should not be enough to create proposal. Asking questions - yes, upvoting - not yet, they should first learn what is good and what is bad question.

Should we require some network reputation (like 200 on any site) before creating a proposal? I think it makes sense, it would be good, actually, to require some meta or moderating activity as well, but it's harder to measure. Since you need at least 100 people with 200 rep for proposal to reach beta phase, requiring the starter to be one of them isn't something restricting.

There should be also limit on creating proposals. 365 per year is much too much.


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