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I've came across this reason for rejection of a proposal:

This proposal covers the same ground as another proposal; it would tend to drain audience from another Stack Exchange site.

Why is the latter part of the reason something negative. First of all, the audience will not get lost, it just migrates somewhere else within the SE universe. And secondly, in my opinion that's actually a benefit when a specific audience is getting gathered instead of getting ignored (or at least not getting enough attention) on other, more broad platforms.

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There is a network effect that multiplies the value of each users' participation when they work together to build a larger site, so having the same number of users spread across several smaller sites does not simply redistribute the value of each participant.

But as I wrote in "Apparently This is a Duplicate", sometimes a case to be made that members of an untapped community might not even recognize themselves as part of the larger subject, so we might on occasion spin off a site if it will capture a significantly untapped audience… but that is not the same as splitting off subjects into increasingly smaller slices simply to give folks their own space.

  • Although I accepted your answer (since it does answer my crucial question) I still don't see the network effect threatened here. The network is SE and the communities are only flavours of the network. Using the Wikipedia example of the "telephone", normally your fine when you want to call someone in your own country but you've got to put addional area code in front of every phone number when you want to call someone outside of your country. It's an obstacle but you're still very much part of the network. It's not giving space it's grouping based on commonality (aka 'tagging'). – Jim McAdams Jul 28 '15 at 18:57

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