Continuing off of the legality question (Legality of creating a SE replica using SE's content), There were many different ideas on different features we may add and remove (some listed below). I (and others) wanted to get an idea of the amount of support for creating a StackExchange replica. If you do support creating new StackExchange, what things would you change? After thinking about it, my guess is it would be entirely possible. The entire StackExchange community could work together. Server Vault for managing the servers, StackOverflow for writing the code, all the language sites for making things in different languages, etc.

Some ideas (I am not saying I am in support of any of these. Just ideas that were put out)

  • Getting rid of reputation entirely
  • Allowing people to signup using their SE account in order to transfer reputation
  • Automatic rep depletion to encourage recent activity
  • Chat system using Matrix, Slack, or Discourse
  • Completely open source

I have voted to close this question as off topic. I would delete it but I want to keep the votes and answers for reference.

  • 10
    "StackOverflow for writing the code" ...but I thought StackOverflow was not a code writing service.
    – VLAZ
    Oct 6, 2019 at 19:39
  • 7
    'Getting rid of reputation entirely' and 'Automatic rep depletion to encourage recent activity' yet 'Allowing people to signup using their SE account in order to transfer reputation' - Doesn't quite make sense. Also penalizing folk for not using a service which they provide their free time and expertise to answer questions will make your new site fail even quicker.
    – Script47
    Oct 6, 2019 at 19:41
  • 1
    There are some SE clones out there. However SE has the best software for now, and it is at least a lot of time to be able to beat it. And also, due to the Metcalfe law, it would be no easy or quick task even if you have the best software ever. Oct 6, 2019 at 19:42
  • 2
    @VLAZ I am not saying using StackOverflow to write the code, I am saying the community involved with StackOverflow has the knowledge and skills to write the code necessary. Oct 6, 2019 at 19:43
  • @JBis it was a joke based on the oft repeated variation of a comment "SO is not a code writing service" that is a response to some bad questions that give a task but no attempt or research just "I have to do X".
    – VLAZ
    Oct 6, 2019 at 19:45
  • @Script47 Each idea is individual. Obv transferring rep and getting rid of rep are not compatible. Oct 6, 2019 at 19:46
  • 4
    You'd also need quite a bit of hardware and internet connectivity, and people maintaining that, even when getting only part of the traffic: stackexchange.com/performance
    – Arjan
    Oct 6, 2019 at 20:06
  • 1
    I personally don't support creating a new SE. Oct 6, 2019 at 20:08
  • 4
    I think it is a good question, but this is not the right site to ask it. You wouldn't ask on facebook how to build a better facebook site, would you?
    – user603947
    Oct 6, 2019 at 20:40
  • I have often heard in the last months that people would like to try out an alternative to this, if there was one. I guess this means there would be some interest but of course it should not be discussed here but elsewhere (Discord maybe). I even like some of the ideas presented here. Oct 8, 2019 at 18:48

2 Answers 2


The secret sauce of Stack Exchange is not the software; it's the communities.

By Stack Exchange's own admission, the software is just an artifact, an elaborate communication mechanism and enforcement of the community rules and norms. The communities are where the real value lies, and you can't get those back by simply writing some software and hanging out a shingle.

Please refrain from subverting the network in this way. Stack Exchange has no obligation to host any of our conversations; they certainly don't have to host advertising that moves their user communities into alternate venues.

  • 5
    Well it appears the community is not happy with StackExchange's management, or at least their recent behavior. The software is very good but we can't directly copy it for legal reasons (we also don't have the source code). | Fair enough. I can delete the question if necessary. Oct 6, 2019 at 19:57
  • 3
    It's all very well to be unhappy with the management, but unlike the Q&A content you cannot copy and paste the community onto a different platform overnight. At a bare minimum you'd have to establish some sort of community belief that you were equipped to perform a better job of running the 34th biggest website on the internet.
    – Will
    Oct 7, 2019 at 8:34
  • @Will it does not need the complete community to move, "just" many of the experts in a few interlinked tags. Most likely new tags that are not yet in wide spread use, (like C# was at the time of StackOverflow creation) . Oct 14, 2019 at 11:12
  • @IanRingrose if you limit the proposition to subjects where there is not already valuable content accumulated on Stack Exchange then the question of content migration becomes a moot point; you can just set up a competitor and build from scratch. I'd challenge you to identify tags whose experts don't also work with other, well-established Stack Exchange tag subjects, or don't mind hopping back and forth between two platforms though.
    – Will
    Oct 14, 2019 at 12:26
  • @Will no different to when stackoverflow started Oct 14, 2019 at 12:29
  • 1
    @IanRingrose the existence of Stack Overflow is a pretty massive difference. The competing content that predated Stack Overflow was never so well centralised and certainly wasn't organised in an identical format, as is proposed here.
    – Will
    Oct 14, 2019 at 12:40

If a new alternative to SE were to be developped, I think many folks would join up. Some out of disgust with staff; others in protest; many simply because it's a new platform in which to build communities.

I am reminded of Imzy. That got started by disaffected Reddit employees. I made use of Imzy up to the end (it lasted barely a year and a half) and I thought it really was superior to Reddit in every way. That said, if someone were to try and start up a New Stack Exchange, they'd do well to learn from Imzy's tale.

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