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Proposal: Consumer Electronics

Isn't this basically another incarnation of gadgets.se, which basically fizzled out? The problem was lots of askers .. but very few well rounded experts who could provide good answers.

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Possibly. But do you really want a moratorium on consumer electronics for all time because we had a failed site at some point in the past? It's a perfectly valid subject so, whether it's a change in the approach or the site or simply allowing the audience to embrace the subject organically, we'll have to watch for ways to assure some future site will not run into the same problems of the past.

I can't see Stack Exchange growing and going mainstream with a legacy of beliefs like "we can't have a site about electronic gadgets."

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    You lost me at organically. Let's say I'm frustrated with my Nokia [xxx] because of [xxx], I found a tag that matched via Google. Great, I'm waiting for an answer. How do you attract experts on such a broad topic? I really think the topics will outnumber the people who answer, quickly. – Tim Post Jul 9 '11 at 18:32
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    A moratorium on consumer electronics, of course not. But take a moment and really think about the scope of the site. I'm sorry, but I just see a very low answer rate here, just like we saw with gadgets. It's just too broad. SO has lots of people using lots of languages who are PASSIONATE about those languages. I've never found myself passionate regarding a cordless phone, nor any non-programmer that I know :) – Tim Post Jul 9 '11 at 18:42
  • <EndRant> I think what you'll end up with here is 40 or 50 people who are passionate regarding a site that just can't make it out of beta, once again. </EndRant> – Tim Post Jul 9 '11 at 18:46
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    We have had numerous questions on electronics.se that could fall under consumer electronics. It would be great if we had a site that we could direct them to. – Kellenjb Jul 11 '11 at 1:06
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    @kellenjb, Honestly, I would answer some Consumer electronic questions that I could as I like to design them and it is a great way to see what people really notice on electronics. On a larger note, I would answer questions to keep them off of electronics.SE, so tired of consumer electronics questions. – Kortuk Jul 11 '11 at 12:49
  • You don't need to migrate the questions off of Electronics.SE in order to ban them @Kortuk. Furthermore, the site would need a clear definition of what its not. You may have knowledge of electronics, but nobody's going to solder on his Nokia in order to fix a software problem. – Ivo Flipse Jul 11 '11 at 13:53
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    @Ivo, I was closing without that. We have had many loud complainers because there was no other home, which is what kellenjb is alluding to. On our Electronics.SE I answer in the real of consumer electronics, but if you look at the ontopic questions here I am an expert on all but 1, and on that one I can easily research to give a solid answer. Being an electronics engineer there is often a best way, many different ways with the same results, and some things in common. I can approach answering from a technical approach and in many cases I should be able to answer well. – Kortuk Jul 11 '11 at 16:14
  • @Ivo - Right now, it's a choice between Super User (where they are off-topic, and frequently closed) and Electrical Engineering (where they're also off-topic, and frequently closed). But it's hard to deter people from asking questions entirely. With a choice of "Consumer Electronics", it would be much easier to prevent off-topic questions from appearing on Super User and Electrical Engineering. – Kevin Vermeer Sep 27 '11 at 14:28
  • Just because you can ask questions about a topic doesn't mean we should cater to them @KevinVermeer Gadgets failed because there was more diversity in the gadgets than users being able to answer them. I don't think we've hit sufficient critical mass with the network yet that this isn't still true. Like most beta sites show: just building something doesn't mean the right users will come – Ivo Flipse Oct 5 '11 at 12:51
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Since this was proposed, Ask Different (for Apple/iOS) and Android Enthusiasts (for... well... Android enthusiasts) have both gone live, and between them they encompass the overwhelming majority of mobile devices on the market (phones/tablets/e-readers) as well as Apple laptop/desktop computers. Super User handles most PC-type hardware/end-user questions, including both Windows and Linux. Pretty much the only remaining class of consumer electronics that doesn't have a home is home theater components, and there is an "Audiophile/Videophile" proposal which, as proposed, will handle technical questions about home A/V components.

I say that the time for the idea of a general "Consumer Electronics" site has passed; despite the rampant success of the SO "melting pot" of general code questions spanning all programming languages, requiring participation from experts in what we might consider very different fields, the trend in the "techie" SE sites has been toward specific technologies rather than entire product classes.

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