There are a lot of very similar or duplicate proposals on Area 51 and it is bad if a proposal falters because half the people are following "US Civil War History" and the other half are following "US History". There should be some method of combing the two proposals.
Here is the official response
I look at proposals and often feel as you do: "ugh, this is just a subset of [other proposal]." So, what do you do? How do you know the 2nd proposal isn't the better option? There's nothing inherently correct about being first. So, I leave it and watch. A proposal is not a site.
But there will be a time where two competing proposals have such a groundswell of support that both have sufficient momentum to sail through. That is the time to look closely at the two proposals. Are they different enough to justify separate sites? Or is the demand so high that, even after accidentally splitting the audience, each side still has sufficient support. In those cases, we'll have to step in and merge the proposals for their own good.
It has to first be determined if a proposal is too broad or too narrow, and I would think that the final deciders of that would be the Team.
That would have a big side effect: high rep users would be able to post more that 5 example questions in 1 proposal:
- you ask 5 example questions in A
- you create proposal B
- you ask 5 example questions in B
- you merge B with A
Exept for that, merging the proposals give no benefit. You can as well reask your questions in the proposal you finds better and vote to close the second as duplicate.
I'd like to see something like implemented the same way duplicate questions are handled on the current sites where high rep users can "vote to close" and if enough people vote the proposal is closed with a link to the other one.
I agree. One of the great benefits of StackOverflow is being exposed to things outside my specific interest. For instance, I may only be interested in C++, but I'm bound to learn about Haskell in the process of using the site. By having proposals that are subfields of subfields of subfields, we are losing some of the natural interdisciplinary mingling that could be really beneficial to these communities.
IMHO, we now have proposals with a fair amount of overlap that could be merged into a really great site:
These also have a lot of overlap with the Statistical Analysis proposal, although they have slightly more of a computer science focus than mathematics.