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One cannot help but notice that StackExchange communities have widely different scopes. For example, SO encompasses a large variety of software engineering subjects with questions on every level, while Math got split into MO, mathematics, cross-validated, and mathematica; electrical engineering has Arduino spin-off; Computer Science has TCS spin-off; etc. Quite often one sees two things of a similar scope, one a tag in a wide SE community and another an SE community of its own. Sometimes one even sees a tag (i.e. arduino in EE) identical to a whole community.

Are there reasons for that? Are there guidelines that would indicate whether a certain thing should be a tag or a community?

  • Stack Overflow has a stack-overflow tag. What do you think about that?! – Laurel May 2 '16 at 20:58
  • @Laurel: :-) :-) – Michael May 2 '16 at 21:40
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That there is a tag has the same name as a site doesn't say much.

For example, there is the apple tag on Stack Overflow. Also there is Ask Different. Both sites are complementary: questions on the use of devices is off-topic on Stack Overflow, but not in Ask Different. Programming questions on Apple devices are off-topic on Ask Different, but not on Stack Overflow.

Sometimes site scopes do overlap, that is something that can't be prevented. And maybe one day some sites will even merge if their scopes get almost identical. Still, the community can be very different among sites, so that is something to consider too.

To answer your question: yes, there are some guidelines on the creation of a site. One of them is that they shouldn't overlap with another site. In time sites can evolve, of course.

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