In the latest post on the Stack Overflow blog titled "Stack Overflow Around the World", Joel Spolsky mentions the following (emphasis mine):

One thing we discovered early on about setting up new Stack Exchange communities is that they only work if you have a critical mass of experienced users who know how the system works. The Area 51 process is designed to insure that we only open sites for which we have a group of committed users. This process has worked well: so far we’ve opened 40+ sites of which only two failed.

But I'm not sure I understand what constitutes a failure based on the number mentioned:

  • If you only consider officially "launched" sites, I don't believe there are any.
  • If you consider sites that made it to beta, there are actually three:
  • Of course, if you consider all the proposals that were closed, there are dozens (-ish?) of them.

The closest match seems to be the failed beta sites, so is it just a typo and it really should be three?

Or is there some other segment of SE sites (or even SE sites I'm not thinking of) that Stack Exchange, Inc. considers a failure?

  • No need to rub it in @studiohack
    – Ivo Flipse
    Apr 29, 2011 at 0:02

2 Answers 2


Joel just misspoke (mistyped?). There have been three site failures, which you listed. I fixed the blog post.


Joel remains sort of distant from SE daily operations, so he's probably not aware that it is now 3.

  • 25
    Or perhaps Joel doesn't even believe the Atheism SE site ever existed? Apr 7, 2011 at 20:09
  • 13
    it's hard to believe in atheism Apr 7, 2011 at 21:16
  • 4
    I'm skeptical about the whole process.
    – mmyers
    Apr 7, 2011 at 22:33
  • 3
    The question is, did it believe in Joel?
    – Rosinante
    Apr 29, 2011 at 1:56

You must log in to answer this question.