Proposal: Internet of things

This proposal is lacking momentum from good questions. Part of the problem is that there is no scope described in the proposal other than the magic buzzword of the year. What should we add to the description to make it clearer what sort of community we wish to target (and am I in the wrong place supporting the proposal or not here). Drawing from the answer below, how do we focus on the right aspects for a question and answer sire (rather than a discussion forum).

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    Many of these questions are basic questions that have next to no understanding of what the internet of things is. It's kind of embarrassing for the proposals, at the very least.
    – Zizouz212
    Jul 8, 2016 at 1:38

1 Answer 1


Agreed! I originally followed this proposal because I have a lot of smart devices, and getting them to talk to each other and with my network has been a bit of a pain...largely because of poor documentation on the part of the companies that produce them. The forums that are usually set up by these companies are usually difficult to navigate and often don't have much moderation by people who know how the respective devices work.

Often, there are great unofficial resources for various devices, but they aren't well organized (often random blog posts or links to isolated forum threads) and probably don't capture the expertise of people who don't have the time or interest in setting up a super detailed blog post. Uncovering information on the smart devices seems like something that could really benefit from a Q&A format.

If people issues with networking or software frameworks, SuperUser and StackOverflow seem like the go to place for this. Asking questions about IoT and connected devices, like Hue, Nest, WeMo, LaMetric, etc. seems like it doesn't quite fit well in any one bucket.

What it is*

I've seen a couple "specific device questions should be handled by the manufacturer" type comments in the sample questions, but I think this an area where this site could shine...specifically:

  • Asking and answering questions where companies haven't been able to kick start a community of hacktivists and don't have the resources (or good sense) to do this well.
  • Asking and answering questions that span two or more different service providers/companies (which aren't usually well fielded by the "manuals" of individual products, unless there is a specific partnership between the device manufacturers.
  • At the very least, this site would be a good place to collect various resources for various devices and device type, since official and unofficial help sources, libraries, and guides tends to be dispersed in many different locations and formats.

What it is NOT*

I've seen a number of questions which pertain to the "philosophy" of IoT, it's implications, and the direction the industry may, may not, should, and should not go. While these strategic, moral, and philosophical discussions/debates are certainly worth having, I don't think the Q&A format, here, would work very well, given that there aren't particularly right or wrong answers.

I think general definition questions (what constitutes IoT and what does not) could also be fielded by the site, but I wouldn't really call it the primary objective.

  • * These definitions are my own opinions--I don't presume to speak for anyone else and am open to differing arguments Jun 25, 2016 at 9:43
  • Nice. I think you're right about the ethical side - although its important, this isn't the right place for it. Interesting point about the overlap with other sites for the more generic aspects of the technologies. Jun 25, 2016 at 11:51
  • This really isn't a good path for an IOT SE. Think of it this way; will anyone be talking about the Nest, Hue, ect next year? Maybe, maybe not. You'll be basing the whole site on products that may or may not be long standing and may not be relevant in a few years. As someone who develops IOT enabled devices it's very fast paced and ever changing and is not what you want to focus on.
    – Dom
    Jun 26, 2016 at 3:26
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    @Dom -- I'd argue that stackoverflow addresses all kinds of ephemeral technologies and frameworks (many of which have passed their time in the sun). Although, thinking about it more, you raise a fair point, since SE doesn't really have a good way of dealing with questions that are no longer relevant. Still, I think SE doesn't really adapt well to general discussions and debate, so do you propose there shouldn't be an IoT SE at all? Jun 28, 2016 at 5:37
  • @TheMadDeveloper frameworks are a fragment of what goes into an IoT device. Try asking a question about RF antenna tuning on stackoverflow which is critical in the design of certain protocols or how to deal with security issues on a specific protocol. There is a way it can be carved out, but I would say this site definition isn't it.
    – Dom
    Jun 28, 2016 at 16:19
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    There is certainly more to IoT than frameworks. I don't have much experience in hardware/signal processing/NFC/lots of other stuff essential to IoT. I'd love to get a more solid definition on this site--it's sooo close to progressing. You should answer with your take, @dom, on what would make a good IoT site :-) Jun 28, 2016 at 19:20
  • @TheMadDeveloper tbh the proposal has too many poor upvoted questions to even try to steer it in the right direction. There are a few ok ones, but most are not worth any of the votes received. IMO this proposal would better off rolled into Embedded Systems which is where all the IOT development is happening today.
    – Dom
    Jul 14, 2016 at 2:33
  • @Dom My main question is whether this site would be for users of IoT devices or developers of IoT devices, or both? Sep 17, 2016 at 19:55

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