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Didn't someone already ask that? Yes, something like this has been asked and I'll provide a link for you right here, before you have to go looking for duplicates: Why is Stack Exchange split into multiple sites? In that case the OP asked about why there are so many splits. This isn't my question.

My concern is not so much about providing more sub-sites, but the way overlapping questions are handled right now. It appears every site moderator just keeps looking to find something wrong with the next question or answer she can find and will vote to close the entire thing or at least down vote it.

I understand if its really off-topic, sure close it, shut it down, make it go away, but if it's just not fitting perfectly into someones own expectation of what this exact site should be about, but other people appear to happily exchange knowledge there anyway - telling them off and closing their topics appears counterproductive and doesn't help anyone.

For example there is a site about Earth Science and one about Outdoors, one about Travel and another about Aviation, one for Health, one for Fitness, one for Sports, one for DIY home improvement and one for Crafts and one for Lifehacks.

Yes, these categories can be differentiated, but not all questions will fit exactly into one of them or can easily be asked on multiple boards at the same time (my point here).

Just like we don't have one site for Python, one for C++, one for Java, how can we justify having one site for Academia, but another one for Biology and another one for Physics and a third for Chemistry and another one for Mathematics?

What is the guy with a question about chemical equations regarding his biology experiment going to do? First, he'll try in Biology, because, you know, that's his comfort zone, but he'll be directed to go somewhere else. Then he'll try in chemistry, where he'll be told it's too mathematical a question. Then he'll try in Mathematics, where someone things this is all about general science.

See, topics can not just be categorised into small little sections and split that way - it's insane - there are interdisciplinary questions everywhere and the current direction Stack Exchange is taking is killing them off.

Yes, you can vote down and close this one, too, since it's becoming more of a complaint than a question, but I sincerely hope someone will please turn this around and see that Stack Exchange was all about bringing people together and not splitting and disecting them into smaller and smaller categories.

Don't get me wrong - I love Stack Exchange - I just don't love when people disregard valid and well written answers or questions, because they don't fit into their exact topic expectation.

Please let me know if you disagree (I am sure many people will) and why? And if you need a proper question:

Is splitting Stack Exchange into tiny sub-sites really the direction we should be taking?

My suggestion is simple - just have bigger categories - merge those sub-sites, maybe even better:

Why not allow the users to vote to merge one Stack Exchange site into another? I think this would be fair and the right approach, because it'll be a community decision, by the people who actually want to use these sites.

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    "Self-installed forum leader": actually, pro-tem moderators are chosen by SE staff, and once the site has graduated, the moderators are chosen by community votes. – Quill Mar 11 '16 at 8:43
  • Yes, I'm not referring to actual moderators, but common users, who usually gained some reputation on the forum and now think they need to take these matters into their own hands – Chris Mar 11 '16 at 8:45
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    Stack Exchange is not a forum. – JonW Mar 11 '16 at 8:52
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    You're mostly making comparisons of the sites based on their short names, not their actual content. For example, "Aviation Stack Exchange is a site for pilots, controllers, mechanics, and aviation enthusiasts." whereas "Travel Stack Exchange is for road warriors and seasoned travelers". Look at their "on topic" lists. There's no overlap. The same goes for Academia. That's about working in a scholastic setting. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the study of biology or physics. – Josh Caswell Mar 11 '16 at 8:59
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    There's no shared expertise between the sites that you've grouped. – Josh Caswell Mar 11 '16 at 9:01
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    "What is the guy with a question about chemical equations regarding his biology experiment going to do? First, he'll try in Biology, because, you know, that's his comfort zone, but he'll be directed to go somewhere else. Then he'll try in chemistry, where he'll be told it's too mathematical a question. Then he'll try in Mathematics, where someone things this is all about general science." then the question is too broad. If it's already specific and having main topicality, I don't think there will be problem, like chemical reaction in Biology would be happily answered by Biology experts. – Meta Andrew T. Mar 11 '16 at 9:07
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    Also, site creation is already a community process, supervised by SE. If there's a need to merge sites, then the former is considered a failure. – Meta Andrew T. Mar 11 '16 at 9:11
  • @JoshCaswell I know they try to be distinct, but I don't think they should, because more often than not the aviation enthusiast may travel somewhere - I'm sure there are plenty of so called off-topic questions on any of those pages, making my point that this is not a user-friendly environment, if I constantly have to be concerned that someone is going to just close my topic - people will stop using these sites and that can't be in the interest of stackexchange? – Chris Mar 11 '16 at 9:11
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    @Chris Yes, I really do want to bring specialised experts together. Otherwise we'd be Yahoo Answers. If there are enough potential questions in a specific field, and enough experts in that field then absolutely, it should a separate site. – JonW Mar 11 '16 at 9:28
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    Do you suggest that Lego, Biology, SciFi and Stack Overflow should merge? – Oded Mar 11 '16 at 9:29
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    As for merging sites - never might the technical/social issues (and glossing over what it would do to google ranks), if two sites think they want/should merge, they all have venues to suggest such a thing - on their metas and here. There is absolutely no need to create a voting system for something that will probably never happen for the very large majority of sites. – Oded Mar 11 '16 at 9:31
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    Can you be more specific? I gave two different comments that brought different things up. – Oded Mar 11 '16 at 9:40
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    And here my passing curiosity is whether Stack Overflow is too large, and if some of its larger parts should start to form their own communities. – user642796 Mar 11 '16 at 9:41
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    Downvoting on meta is different: meta.stackexchange.com/help/whats-meta – Oded Mar 11 '16 at 10:01
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    "Why not allow the users to vote to merge one Stack Exchange site into another?" Interestingly, this did happen once. The communities of Unix & Linux and AskUbuntu, two sites with significant overlap, were asked to vote on merging their sites. Can you guess what both communities decided? – yannis Mar 11 '16 at 12:30
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It is the right way as Stack Exchange is basically a group of sites, with each site designated to one subject.

In cases users do not quite know where to post a question due to the fact it fits in multiple subjects, users can ask here at MSE to determine the right site for that question. With multiple high rep users from all over the SE network, there is bound for someone to recognize that question to be well-received in a site.

Now if you combine every site into bigger categories, it may take while to ale the site, migrate thousands of posts to that site, etc. Making bigger categories is unnecessary and not wise. As we have experts and those who know about a related subject, it is better not to make a big category.

  • I agree with you on the "you can always ask on meta" argument, but not a lot of new users know that (I didn't for a long time). You area also ignoring my points about how fragmentation will make it harder to ask questions of interdisciplinary nature. Where does the Biophysics student turn to? – Chris Mar 13 '16 at 2:12

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