Suppose the discussion on Area 51 identifies

  • Uncontested possible merges (Like "Graphic Design" and "Fonts & Typography")

  • The renaming of sites that are currently in beta in order to change / extend their scope (Like "Graphic Design" to "Design")

What will happen next? How is a merge decision reached and executed? Does Robert Cartaino scan the discussions and initiate merges that are uncontested? Or will each participant in a proposal that is about to be merged with another be asked to join the conversation and vote on the decision? If yes, how will that happen?

How would a renaming be agreed on? Will there be a vote? Where would a renaming discussion have to take place, on Area 51 or on the site's Meta?

  • I don't understand the question. Isn't the answer just "Robert will email a dev, and they'll fix it"?
    – Benjol
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 13:07
  • @Benjol I added some more detail.
    – Pekka
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 13:11
  • 2
    Good question. It seems a consensus has been reached to merge US Politics and World Politics with Politics but no sign has been given by the SE team. I'm left wondering if something else needs to be done.
    – Borror0
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 13:17

2 Answers 2


Many of the discussions in Area 51 can be handled by the community processes (vote to close, etc). But proposals that need manual intervention (merges, etc) will be considered and handled much like [feature-requests] and [bugs] in meta.

The [change-request] Tag

Discussions start out as proposal-building activities. But if the discussion concludes that external intervention is needed, it should be tagged as a [change-request] (I will be re-tagging the previous discussions, but feel free to start using this tag now).

I can review change requests and see which have built up a clear consensus. That does not mean that only highly-voted suggestions will get implemented, nor does it mean that every discussion will result in action. I have already found the discussions in Area 51 helpful for weighing in on the issues, but there will be that occasional cantankerous issue where no action is currently warranted. Sometimes proposals simply have to stand on their own and compete.

When particularly difficult or important discussions come up, I can contact proposal followers and link them to the discussion for their input.

Reserved Tags

When a decision is warranted, I have a set of reserved tags to mark the status of a discussion:

  • [status-completed]
    The request has been processed or implemented.

  • [status-declined]
    Indicates change-requests that cannot or will not be implemented at the present time.

  • [status-deferred]
    Meaning "deferred" to the community. Used when the request can (and should) be handled by the EXISTING Area 51 mechanisms. Users are quick to jump in with discussions and requests before trying the mechanisms already in Area 51. For example, many of the requests to close duplicate proposals can be handled through voting; although, sometimes duplicates may be summarily closed if they duplicate existing sites or clearly detract from competing proposals.

  • [status-planned]
    Changes are pending some feature, action, or future date.

  • [status-review]
    Indicates that a change may have merit but is still under consideration, perhaps pending a clear community consensus. This interim response will prove useful when an important issue comes up needing further input. I can tag the discussion [status-review], contact the proposal followers by email, and wait for the incoming response.

  • This sounds great, thanks for the detailed reply.
    – Pekka
    Commented Feb 5, 2011 at 0:39
  • 1
    There's also a [merge-request] tag that is getting a bit of use.
    – naught101
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 7:57
  • This is where having up votes and down votes visible on SE would really help.
    – naught101
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 7:58

Very good question. I wanna know what Robert Cartaino has to say but I can answer for myself:

If no official guideline is settled I will flag for moderation attention to merge/close it and set the status-completed.

If there is a consensus about a renaming any 2000+ user could renaming it and flag it asking for status-completed.

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