Recently the Area 51 os.se proposal launched into private beta, but it was cancelled due to lack of engagement by users. Some discussion, background, and history is in this chat room.

In cs.se there has been some complaint (including by moderators) about how a lot of new Area 51 proposals seems like they might coincide/ overlap with cs.se scope, topics, tags, etc.

However it seems tricky to inform Area 51 users interested in new proposals to try out cs.se.

Idea: allow a community ad mechanism in Area 51. The idea is that this would work just like normal community ads except they are displayed on Area 51 proposals that seem to overlap existing communities. They might be approved via the standard six-vote threshold mechanism, etc. So for example cs.se users who think that a new Area 51 group overlaps with their scope, they could create a community ad for cs.se that would appear on the Area 51 proposal page to attempt to nudge users toward engaging with an existing Stack Exchange community, rather than attempting to create a new group, which in general is difficult, time consuming, and/or a very dicey proposition.

Somewhat related, Overlapping Area 51 proposals (not overlapping Stack Overflow)

1 Answer 1


What is wrong with a 'discussion' talking directly to the people in the proposal itself?

For anyone looking at a proposal, an active discussion is big and bold and engaging (a place people can type and respond)… and it's embedded right into the workflow of the reading the proposal itself.

An "advertisement", in comparison, is off to the side and kind of passive. First you'll have to convince the original site that the new proposal doesn't have any merit at all. Then you have to work up an interesting ad, post it, and get the up-votes to get it displayed.

That sounds like a very roundabout way to "nudge" people in one direction in comparison to just talking to them directly.

I don't see the need for this.

  • not sure what you mean "convince the original site the new proposal doesnt have any merit". in scenarios sketched out in the question, the area51 site proposals are presumed to have merit due to many users joining. am not saying this is going to solve all kinds of problems (as you mention in chat area51 system has annoyances, maybe some unresolvable), only that maybe its worth experimenting with. agreed the discussion section is the typical place for this, but somehow it seems to be having little impact even when an se mod shows up to encourage users to try out their idea on an existing site.
    – vzn
    Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 17:22
  • 1
    In my experience, talking them directly has no effect. Maybe in part because we're talking to at most one person — by and large followers don't follow any of the discussions (I don't blame them, given that there's no way to be automatically notified of discussions). Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 19:42

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