Crossposted from StackApps as per a request in there.

I'm currently designing an app for the StackApps beta. One of the challenges I found when writing descriptions and user-facing material for my app is how to refer to the "trilogy" + StackExchange.

Are Stack Overflow, Super User and Server Fault part of StackExchange, or are they separate?

If they are separate, is there a better term than "the trilogy" (which is probably incomprehensible to people not as familiar with the site), and what should we call the combination of them and Stack Overflow?

  • 2
    Looking at Robert's final comment here makes me consider that "Trilogy" will basically refer to the original 4 sites as a significant unit, even if everything will be part of one big Stack Exchange Network. So I think distinguishing the "trilogy" will probably only be necessary when you need to point at those sites in specific.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jun 3 '10 at 15:02
  • So does that mean that "Stack Exchange" includes the trilogy? Basically, if I'm trying to say "this app works with StackOverflow, ServerFault, SuperUser, and whatever StackExchange sites may be added", can I can just say "this works with StackExchange sites"? Jun 3 '10 at 15:06
  • 1
    Looking through all of the announcements, there's a lot of mention that the trilogy will soon be moved to the same code base as the Stack Exchange 2.0 sites. So I imagine that any app that works with SE2.0 will work with the trilogy, and vice versa. However, I can't find any concrete statement of whether the sites of the trilogy will be considered part of the Stack Exchange Network in name.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jun 3 '10 at 15:18
  • 1
    Oh, here it is. David Fullerton states that the trilogy will basically be the "founders" of the Stack Exchange Network. So you should be perfectly fine to state "this works with Stack Exchange sites".
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jun 3 '10 at 15:21
  • Stack Stuff? __
    – kennytm
    Jun 3 '10 at 18:10

See the full usage document linked from the legal link in the footer:

Guidelines for the Use of the Stack Exchange Trademarks

The excerpt (below) is a little more rigidly formal than using (unofficial) terms like "the Trilogy" but this is how the name use is described under...

Stack Overflow Internet Services Inc. is the official name of the company, but you are welcome to say Stack Overflow Inc. to disambiguate between the site for programmers and the company.

Stack Overflow is a programmer Q&A site on the Stack Exchange Network. As a name, Stack Overflow, is always written "Stack Overflow" (two words, capital letters). The website domain name is always written stackoverflow.com (no CamelCase, single word capitalization rules apply). Currently, all Stack Exchange Network sites follow this convention: Server Fault (serverfault.com), Super User (superuser.com), etc.

A Stack Exchange site is a Q&A website built on the technology of Stack Overflow Inc. The phrase "Stack Exchange" is generally used as an adjective, not a noun. One would say "Propose a Stack Exchange site on Area 51" (correct), not "Propose a Stack Exchange on Area 51" (wrong).

The Stack Exchange Network refers to the collection of Stack Exchange sites and services.

Area 51 (two words) is the site used to propose new Stack Exchange sites for the Stack Exchange Network.

The Stack Exchange API allows users to write applications based on the Stack Exchange engine. The API is always referred to as "Stack Exchange API", even if the application is written for a specific site (i.e. never Stack Overflow API, Server Fault API, etc.).

The Stack Overflow Blog is the company blog which talks about everything we're doing on all our sites and what the company itself is doing.

  • Does this mean the occasional "Stack Overflow LLC" I see now and then is outdated/incorrect?
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jun 3 '10 at 17:33
  • 1
    @ccomet: Yes, completely incorrect. It no longer exists, legally and otherwise. Jun 3 '10 at 17:34
  • 1
    It's "Area 51" but [area51]. The discrepancy will keep prompting users to say Area51. Should the tag be renamed to [area-51]?
    – Gnome
    Jun 3 '10 at 17:51
  • 1
    @TheCat I imagine the tag can remain [area51], just like we keep [stackoverflow]. This may have been discussed, though, and if not, it may even be a good topic of a discussion.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jun 3 '10 at 17:58
  • I suppose we still have users that say StackOverflow, but we manage, somehow. @cco
    – Gnome
    Jun 3 '10 at 18:00
  • 1
    [area-51] seems a bit pedantic. No one will remember and we'll end up with two tags. Maybe when we have tag synonyms. Jun 3 '10 at 18:31
  • @Robert, we should put this as a link in the FAQ Jun 7 '10 at 21:29
  • 1
    [area-51] is considered a synonym of the master tag [area51], as of 3 Oct 2010: meta.stackoverflow.com/tags/area51/synonyms
    – Pops
    Oct 8 '10 at 13:31

It is simply the Stack Exchange Network now. Stack Overflow, Server Fault, and Super User were the first members.

From another meta post:

Stack Exchange is no longer a separate product: it's now the name for the entire network, of which Stack Overflow, Server Fault, and Super User are the founding members.


I propose we colloquially refer to them as "Overflow Flavored" sites.

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