TL;DR: This is not a "dump and go" site for people that don't have a place for their questions, but almost a reverse Area 51 process. This is for high-quality lost questions to find the right site proposal that they deserve, not get stuck on an unsuitable site.

Should there be a mini-site for questions that don't currently fit in anywhere (don't have a site for the topic) in the Stack Exchange Network?


Perhaps as an extra-bit for Area 51, where any well-introduced user, when they have already had a good search around for where a question should go, and perhaps asked in Meta, can post a question. There the question could be housed, linked to a few tags, and with experienced users' help could improve the wording of this question.

Meanwhile, anyone on the main section of Area 51, could request to link either the whole tag (though a proposed site's question on the tag page), or the individual question (through an answer) easily to a proposal, and the question's creator will be notified that there might be a site for them, so that any Area 51 proposal would get a small boost.

I have come up with some questions that don't fit in the network and I don't want them to remain unasked / unanswered due to having nowhere to go. Similarly, I find creating a proposal in Area 51 incredibly challenging because although example question titles for an individual site are created during definition phase, creating a proposal from example questions is much harder. If there is a site for questions with the following features and restrictions, I think that it would be a good temporary home for lost questions and would not devolve into our hyphenated pals.

Proposed features/restrictions:

  • Only association bonus (or higher network reputation, consensus pending) users can ask questions, since they have a view of good question layout.
  • "Where should question x go?", questions should be preferably asked before going here, to avoid mass-closing of questions on the minisite. However, this site is for when the answer is: "this is a good question, and it should really have a place on this site, but there isn't anywhere at all". Instead of turning users away, or encouraging them to create a proposal (which is hard, especially when trying to define a relatively broad site for a very few questions that share a narrow scope), they could use this site.
  • Finding the answer to the question, is finding an Area 51 site for the question in order to get a good quality answer for the question, once there are enough professionals or dedicated enthusiasts to answer it.
  • Accepting an answer, is accepting that the proposed site fits the question's target audience, and should be intergrated into the Area 51 proposal (much like questions about a proposal are automatically added to the proposal page).
  • Tags follow the normal guidelines, and perhaps have higher rep creation requirements to avoid one tag per question and similar issues.
  • Once a tag is big enough for its own site, it will be considered in meta along with the standard proposal system, then eventually mass movals combined with a super-burnination-redirect system, some builtin moderator system, once the proposal enters Private Beta.
  • Area 51 proposals could have a section of the page with a small box, "Your proposal might already have a few more questions:". This could start at the middle of the definition phase, or maybe at the commit to avoid the initial purpose of the site being squashed by the influx. The question concerned can be be re-worded to fit the proposed site better while keeping the original purpose.
  • The original question creator will be notified of an "answer" to their question (a place where the question could go), and can then they can help the proposal with their input.
  • Private betas on the topic will have these questions migrated there. Users will be encouraged to use the site, to match up potentially active users with their interest's site. This also gives new sites good questions which they can further fine-tune to the site's needs.
  • All questions that are now on-topic for an existing site will be considered for migration, and tags on that topic will be heavily, if not forceably discouraged, offering users the chance to move their question over to a Private/Public Beta or graduated site if they or others agree that it is the right place for the question.

If you think that the idea can be improved, feel free to suggest improvements, or post reasons why / why not.

  • 1
    I am not a sock! See my profile for proof...
    – wizzwizz2
    May 30, 2017 at 20:39
  • 2
    @JasonC Different accounts, different people. We do know each other though. I'm trying to remain unbiased - I did not directly access this page, rather browsed Meta Stack Exchange and came across the question. I suggested an edit to it because I saw improvements that could be made. The names are a coincidence - if I were setting up a sock network (BIG if - I won't do this) I would not make it so obvious.
    – wizzwizz4
    May 30, 2017 at 20:41
  • Removing idea for tagless queue as it encourages many tags for no gain...
    – wizzwizz2
    May 30, 2017 at 20:53
  • 2
    I'm really struggling with understanding how this would be beneficial to the entity that is SE. This sounds like a dumping ground for bad questions and a site that would be too broad and also would take away from sites that do exist. If everything is on topic, then it means that it could attract any question that might actually have a home. There are also some types of questions that will never have a home here. SE isn't here to satisfy every question. Who are the experts? The number one rule of SE is that sites have to have a group of experts!
    – Catija
    May 30, 2017 at 20:55
  • 1
    @Catija Those sort of bad questions would be closed, there still will be a strong enforcement of the q and a format, as defined by the community already countless times. Too broad would still exist, along with all other close reasons. Only high-rep users would be allowed anyway (maybe higher than association bonus). Questions that already have a site would not be on-topic on the existing site. Timezone / sleep limitations mean somebody else may need to work on this idea for me.
    – wizzwizz2
    May 30, 2017 at 21:07
  • @wizzwizz4 Who are you and what have you done with wizzwizz3??
    – Jason C
    May 30, 2017 at 21:16
  • 1
    @JasonC You're the first person to bring that up on the network. wizzwizz3 was my old account name on a different site before the account name stopped working during login migration - I'm thinking of using it as an actual sockpuppet (for testing chatbots).
    – wizzwizz4
    May 30, 2017 at 21:19
  • 1
    So of the many issues with this proposal, one of the major ones is: What do you do when enough questions about a particular "off-topic" subject have been asked that you essentially have enough material to post a new site? What do you do with all that content? Also, this essentially creates a "path of least resistance" for questions that don't have a site to call home, relative to a proper Area 51 proposal, which seems like it would only reduce the effort put in to constructing and supporting a proposal, polishing it off, posting good examples, and damage that process in general.
    – Jason C
    May 30, 2017 at 21:20
  • 3
    100 rep is NOT a "high rep user". "On topic elsewhere" has never been a reason to close a question on a site and I don't see it being very welcoming to people to have a site where so many questions are closed. It also makes the site into a "where do I ask this" site... which MSE already is. It also means that, instead of adding to our ecosystem of sites by proposing a new site, people just chuck it on this one and go.
    – Catija
    May 30, 2017 at 21:25
  • 1
    Here is off topic question: when wizzwizz6 will arrive? May 30, 2017 at 21:45
  • 1
    Wait... so this isn't a Q&A site? The questions wouldn't be answered, only asked? Isn't that what A51 is? Also, I contest that having a lot of rep on a site does not mean you know the subjectmatter of all 100+sites on the network... or whether they even exist at all. The wide variety of re-suggested topics that are closed as duplicate proposals on A51 proves that...
    – Catija
    May 30, 2017 at 21:54
  • 5
    Who exactly is the expert audience that will answer all of these random questions that don't fit into any other site? Sites aren't "topics" - SE sites are communities. It is really hard to get a proposal off the ground, but that's just because it's really hard to build a community, even when you aren't starting completely from scratch. You can't just group random questions from random people, add some technology and expect it to become a community. Sorry, that sounds harsher than I meant it to be, but I'm in a hurry. If I add smilies would that help or hurt? :)
    – ColleenV
    May 30, 2017 at 23:32
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    Not a response to your previous comment, but fyi, this tangentially related thing just popped up on Area 51. Also there is this, not sure if that was linked above already.
    – Jason C
    Jun 5, 2017 at 17:40
  • 1
    As for what you should do about this, well... that's a good question. I feel like maybe you should rollback to your previous revision (which Caleb's answer below is addressing, btw), wait a few days for folks to forget about this post (you can't, and probably shouldn't, delete this), then try again from scratch in a new post. Disclaimer: No idea how well that will actually go over, but that's my gut, fwiw. The recent change is very drastic.
    – Jason C
    Jun 5, 2017 at 17:44
  • 1
    @wizzwizz2 I have no good advice for you, sorry. Do whatever you think makes sense. I wouldn't overthink it.
    – Jason C
    Jun 6, 2017 at 19:40

1 Answer 1


I don't think this sounds like a good idea. It's far too complicated for too little potential benefit. There is already much confusion surrounding the very notion of off-topic questions, and then you have Area 51 where people cannot seem to get the hand of not answering sample questions. This seems like it would just clutter things up even more.

Also, who would it really serve? The people asking the questions that get stuck in limbo without a site to host their question aren't going to be helped. If they are interested in a site proposal Area 51 is a good place to channel their interest, but they won't get gratified by topical questions right away (not for months or years until a site proposal goes through). I also don't think the site definition process will be expedited by having some holding ground for previously off-topic questions. The existing system of parsing such candidate questions down to just a title as a sample seems better in the long run.

  • They will be helped, eventually, and for those who are prepared to ask on Meta, they don't want a rushed/quick answer to their question, they usually want others to benefit from it. And if their few questions in limbo help others, and create a site where their future similar questions can be asked, that isn't a bad thing... is it?
    – wizzwizz2
    Jun 3, 2017 at 19:51
  • It would serve others,and those creating/helping with proposals. And just a question title won't help if a good well formatted question can be made in the site's name. This could prevent "Could this site really produce good questions?" questions, stop the flood of 1-5 person proposals (as they could tell if anyone shared their view), and help an early definition site gain traction. I'll just find some examples...
    – wizzwizz2
    Jun 3, 2017 at 19:57
  • And these are ones that could just be stopped by a tiny, simple process in the middle. What is a great shame is A51 proposals being stopped because even though they are popular, they are stopped as dupe, or even though they are very well thought out, there is not yet the people for them. These people then often either then leave empty-handed and leave the idea, perhaps even the community (if that was to be their first site), more importantly, the community doesn't get built.
    – wizzwizz2
    Jun 3, 2017 at 20:18
  • And if they have a good question that they have, whether or not it will be answered, they may much rather to have it here waiting, in order to help build a community, than on our hyphenated-friends, or left to be trolled and misused by generic-search-engine Answers.
    – wizzwizz2
    Jun 3, 2017 at 20:27
  • The entire purpose of this site is to house good-quality off-topic questions, showing others the difference between off-topic and bad question, and improving the quality of Area 51 example questions.
    – wizzwizz2
    Jun 3, 2017 at 20:50

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