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I while ago I suggested adding this functionality to Area51: Automatically suggest similar proposals for Area 51 site suggestions which was accepted. This stopped lots of duplicate sites appearing on Area51.

Now I would like to propose what I think is the next logical step: search existing sites. There are many coming online and this is likely only to increase.

For example, today I tried entering Developer as a new site in Area51. It mentions existing Area51 proposals but not StackOverflow, Programmers or Game Development.

So I think the ideal solution will not only search titles but also descriptions of all existing sites.

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It does include the proposals of sites that were created through Area 51. The only sites not included are Stack Overflow, Server Fault, and Super User, since they don't have proposals.

As far as I can tell, the dupes we're seeing on Area 51 that really belong in one of those existing sites (SOFU) are all from people who already know about them, but want a more niche-y site for their own interests. I doubt showing SOFU in the dupe results would deter those people.

If you're seeing some proposals that you think we should be discouraging / blocking at the creation phase, could you link to them? I agree there are lots of dupes, but usually when we say "this is a dupe of X" the response isn't, "Oh, I didn't know about X", it's "I know about X, but we really need our own site because...". For example, MMO Games, Everything XML, Videography, Programming Language ... all of those feature the proposal creator arguing against merging into an existing site / proposal which they already knew about.

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