It's raining nutty proposals right now down on area51.

Some of this thanks to HE OF THE CHANGING NAME.

And it's not even Friday afternoon.

Is this some kind of rebellion? (I must admit it was quite therapeutic asking unanswerable questions after having all my votes wiped out.)

  • 3
    They may be nutty, but they are pretty intelligent!
    – Pekka
    Commented Jun 8, 2010 at 9:53
  • I missed one: area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/3721/the-bible-code
    – Benjol
    Commented Jun 8, 2010 at 9:57
  • @Kinopiko the group is fine, it's Welbog's questions that make it look silly (for the moment.) But I would indeed consider renaming it to "Men's Fashion".
    – Pekka
    Commented Jun 8, 2010 at 10:39
  • @Kinopiko, sorry, it's Welbog's questions bringing your proposal into disrepute :)
    – Benjol
    Commented Jun 8, 2010 at 11:07
  • I think Welbog just likes the rep points.
    – rlb.usa
    Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 21:20

7 Answers 7


Area 51 is a community-moderated site in which suggestions are made and then voted on. If you don't like a suggestion, don't follow it. If you do like a suggestion, help it out. That's what community means.

So there's no need to be serially downvoting every one of my example questions, whichever one of you is doing that.

  • And I don't think the anti vote fraud mechanism works there... I miss Jeff (no offense David)
    – juan
    Commented Jun 8, 2010 at 14:19
  • 6
    @Juan no offense taken, but remember that SOFU is a very mature system, and Area 51 has only been in beta for 2 weeks. Also, you're right about the anti-fraud mechanism not working correctly...I'm pushing a fix now :) Commented Jun 8, 2010 at 14:36
  • 2
    Yet another example of why the removal of the -1 cost for a NAGE vote was a bad idea. It's just rolls out the welcome mat for abuse. Commented Jun 8, 2010 at 14:54
  • I'm ambivalent towards that @gno, because it's absolutely necessary for people to vote "not a good example", and they probably won't do it if it costs 1 rep. On the other hand, without it, it's prone to abuse...
    – juan
    Commented Jun 8, 2010 at 15:01
  • I changed my mind @gno, it should cost rep meta.stackexchange.com/questions/52622/…
    – juan
    Commented Jun 8, 2010 at 15:49
  • 4
    @Juan: I can see why you came around. The Astronomy proposal seems to be getting a significant amount of NAGE votes, probably because it has the most questions of any proposal. NAGE was really just supposed to be for clearing out duplicates and obvious silly questions. I don't understand why people can't be content to just vote for what they think is on-/off-topic and just not vote on the other stuff. Once it drops to page 2 and beyond, it seems like it's unlikely to get any votes anyway. Commented Jun 8, 2010 at 15:57
  • totally agree @gno, and thanks for coming up with NAGE
    – juan
    Commented Jun 8, 2010 at 18:09

Since it's a beta, a certain amount of silliness is allowed in order to test the system. However, since there are real proposals that people are putting a lot of time and energy into, we'd like to keep the silliness confined only to the silly proposals.

Part of testing the system is seeing how these silly proposals are handled, so they're fair game for users to flag / vote to close, but the moderators won't necessarily respond to all mod flags with a close / deletion.

When we get close to leaving beta, all the silly proposals will be cleaned out. When the site is live, silly proposals will be closed and we will deal with trolls as on the trilogy.

  • 1
    I think there should be a sort of Community Wiki mode for silly proposals so that they don't confer rep or badges. Nothing wrong with a little fun (for now) but I think it's fairly obvious that there's a rep-gaming element.
    – Aarobot
    Commented Jun 8, 2010 at 19:08
  • How about ASKING questions costing reputation? The more questions there are, the harder it is to vote coherently, and the less chance there is of any decent ones coming to the top. Of course, with this users would have to be able to delete questions in order to regain some rep.
    – Benjol
    Commented Jun 9, 2010 at 9:58



  • Does this dress make me look fat?

  • My pants have lost their button. How can I mend it using only my power tools?

  • I'm trying to make mismatching socks chic. Do you have any tips?

  • Will kilts ever become a fashion statement?

Apocalyptic Defense (ROFL in itself)

  • Can real raptors open doors like in the movies? If so, what are some ways to raptor-proof my doors?

I may have to sign up on Area 51 just to follow those proposals.

  • 2
    I take Apocalyptic Defense real seriously, the other ones... not so much
    – juan
    Commented Jun 8, 2010 at 15:02
  • 1
    The Apocalypse is super for reals don't knock it, when it comes all you will need is access to the internet and survival will be in your grasp
    – Justin
    Commented Jun 9, 2010 at 6:53

Silly proposals aren't nearly as big of a problem as sock puppet accounts whose only purpose is deriding proposals.

I have no idea whose accounts those are, but if it's not Welbog, he should probably be concerned about whomever is trying to make him look bad. And if it is him, I'm disappointed – you seemed like a better guy than that.


There is a fine line between being silly/useless and a small (geeky) area with experts and enthusiasts. We can't be the judge of which category these proposals fall into. The only proper thing to do is to wait it out and let the people show which is which.

Most of these proposals have been made to harvest rep, which is not that much different from some of the questions on SO that aims to harvest gold badges by being fun.

  • @Kinopiko You get to maje the first questions, which usually are voted heavily on, and there is badges, but true no direct rep gain.
    – googletorp
    Commented Jun 8, 2010 at 11:26
  • 2
    You do get 5 rep for each person following your proposal. Commented Jun 8, 2010 at 13:04

In reference to a comment above, I'd just like to point out that my suggestion about a site for discussion of the Bible code was not at all "nutty". It was legitimate.

In all honesty, I am a skeptic when it comes to the issue. But being a skeptic about something usually drives me to become more interested and learn more about it, so that I can either assuage or legitimize my skepticism. I made the suggestion just to get a feel if there was anyone else from the main body of SOFU that was also interested in such things. So far, not much interest from SOFU denizens, so I may try posting a link to the proposal on other related sites where there is more traffic from people who are already interested in the topic.


Actually, if one of these "Silly Sites" gets enough followers and such to make it past the first phase then I am open to it and will probably be joining a few just for the laughs. Hopefully we can have funny SE sites :)

For instance Apocalyptic Defense I am currently following. Along with it having the possibility for some hilarious things, there is actual content on there that people are interested in and that is serious.

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