I realize that new stackexchange proposals normally come through Area 51. However, there is a process associated with creaeting a stackexchange website. I want to know why creating new stackexchange websites isn't easier or simpler than going through the proposal process on Area 51.

There are a host of StackOverflow clones that I can use to create my own Q&A website. but I'm already familiar with StackOverflow and its quirks and would ike to stick with it, if possible.


What comes to mind for the proposal process is a pricing model for new communities to pay per month. Something like Discourse's pricing plan: http://www.discourse.org/buy/

But what I would really like is having the ability to make a new sister stackexchange site to be really cheap. Something more akin to how just anyone can make a mailing list, or the way anyone can make and moderate a subreddit on Reddit. Subreddits still get to be part of the community of Reddit, and mailing lists can easily include anyone who already has an email address. There is no approval process with making a new subreddit. You can make one immediately.

Facebook groups are kind of related to subreddits and mailing lists, since enough people use Facebook for it to be a big deal.

I see the accounts on StackExchange to be a lot like how an email address or a reddit account operates. It's something that can be leveraged with newer communities easily, and without needing a separate account. OAuth exists, but I don't see the two as the same thing.

We once provided a subscription service, and it failed miserably. We thought at the time that if the software were widely-available to create sites that worked a lot like Stack Overflow on [your topic], other people would create awesome sites in every imaginable subject space.

It didn't work. Thousands of sites were opened… and shut down the same year. We do not want to open ghost towns; hence, the proove-the-need-first approval process.

Over time, we'll make this process more foolproof so anyone who has the resources and the wherewithal to create a successful site will be able to do so. But until then, creating 3rd-party, white label sites using Stack Exchange is not in the cards.

This article has become a bit dated, but it covers the gist of it:

Changes to Stack Exchange

  • Ah, useful link, documenting the history, thanks. Though, that does ghost towns do seem to be an issue with Reddit too, but they manage to mitigate it. – Ehtesh Choudhury Jun 7 '13 at 0:51

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