Firstly, I think that I understand the relation between Stack Overflow and Canonical and the roles of each one in the manage of Ask Ubuntu site. Here are some related questions:

In short, the site is made by community and for community, but some of users are indeed Canonical employees, so the site can be considered a kind of user support for a specific product, the Ubuntu's products in the case.

No problems with it, but I was thinking about and I haven't figured out any other SE site that works in the same way. There are any other one?

Besides, I didn't found any rule to propose a new site in Area 51 that works like a support page for a specific product and I'm curious about it.

What I mean is, if Apple contact Stack Overflow in the future to turn Ask Different in a official support channel, it would be possible?

If so, can I propose a SE site in Area 51 for my product and use it as a official support channel with my logo, trademark and specific rules (assuming that this product exists and it is popular for a specific Q&A site created following the rules of Area 51)?

There are some rules to deal with it?

  • 2
    Plenty of (responsive/responsible) companies have users that watch tags on StackOverflow. They've tried official support (oh lawd, f*cebook), but that never worked out well, as they drew off-topic support questions, and while employee volunteers watching tags is nice, enforcing a minimal attention required by a deal isn't. – user1228 Oct 23 '15 at 14:22
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    Product support Q&A seems to be one of two viable use cases for Stack Overflow teams, the other being job ads. If you want this, give feedback on Meta SO. – Jeffrey Bosboom Oct 24 '15 at 0:18

We get a lot of requests from project teams about how they can use Stack Exchange to support their communities, so we do end up with a lot of "official channels" pitching in to help the folks who are asking about their products on our current sites. But their role does not include any type of ownership or control over the site. Their participation is like that of any other community member motivated to help folks with problems they've likely seen before.

We have been approached for various types of "partnerships" to create a site, but they don't usually go anywhere because we require ceding so much control back to the community. We've never been contacted by Apple, but we have become an part of the official support for Microsoft's MSDN; same for Android Development. You mentioned Ubuntu. We have a site for SharePoint, WordPress, Drupal, Salesforce, Blender, Mathematica, Windows Phone, Arduino, and about a half-dozen content managers, but those were created by the grass-roots efforts of their community, and those sites have no official ties to the project at all.

Sites on Stack Exchange are ultimately created and built by a community. If you have a project that you would like to see supported in Stack Exchange, most project teams find it better to support the subject as a tag on one of our existing sites. But if you have a project that doesn't fit any of our current subjects, feel free to propose it. That doesn't give you any special privileges to impose specific rules or to brand it with your logo or anything like that. But if you have a large community enthusiastic enough to build and support a new site, you can start with the proposal process on Area 51.


From Can I support my product on this site? in the help center of every site:1

[Site] can help support your product but it can't be the only support. There are issues that only you can address, and if you send your users to [Site] for them they'll just get frustrated. Guide your users in where to ask what -- something along the lines of the following:

Types of questions and where to ask:

  • How do I? -- ask on [Site] (tell them what tags to use -- your product tag at minimum)
  • I got this error, why? -- ask on [Site]
  • I got this error and I'm sure it's a bug -- report it on your own site
  • I have an idea/request -- report it on your own site
  • Why do you? -- ask in your own community (support forum, etc)
  • When will you? -- ask in your own community

1 Yeah, that makes more sense on some sites than others; I'm not sure what products Meta.SE might be called on to support. But it's easier to make the help center global and just accept this quirk.

  • Meta.SE supports ... well, SE. Sadly, it is the only support site for same. :P – Nathan Tuggy Oct 24 '15 at 1:48

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