"Software Recommendations" was created in a time when the sheer size of our software developer audience gave them the collateral to give this a shot. "Hardware Recommendations" later expanded on that idea and it's struggling critically with nearly half the questions either deleted or closed. Since then, proposals have pushed out even further into website recommendations, book recommendations, travel recommendations, idea exchanges, essay reviews, textbook errata, job scams registries, software comparisons, suggest-a-song —

I don't have any regrets with the sites we tried, but hardware and software search is about as far as we can take this format; we don't wish to keep expanding this model any further.

I can appreciate that you have [other] questions you would love to ask on a Stack Exchange site, but gathering up questions from a community where they're not wanted doesn't seem to make them work any better here. Honestly, where we should be spending our energy is in figuring out how to make the best of these questions work on our existing sites, but that's a big boat to steer and we need a lot of software support and a buy-in from the communities that host these subjects.

I know it's frustrating to have a proposal closed. I was hoping to come here with a more affirmative statement of the types of proposals that do work, but saying "proposals should be about an area of study (not a type of question)" doesn't quite cover it. Someday I hope to replace Area 51 with "Stack Exchange Labs" where folks can experiment harmlessly with site ideas to see how they pan out, but in a time where we've committed continuing support of the sites we launch, we don't want to optimize for sites that are not well-supported by our format.

  • My proposal was good did I put it in the wrong section? – Alex Sep 25 '16 at 22:16
  • @Alex No, you're fine. Re-read the post. We are no longer building sites of this type. – Robert Cartaino Sep 25 '16 at 22:29
  • How was I supposed to know that? – Alex Sep 26 '16 at 0:08
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    @alex I posted an announcement at the top of the proposal when It was closed. – Robert Cartaino Sep 26 '16 at 0:15
  • How was I supposed to know BEFORE I posted the site proposal – Alex Sep 26 '16 at 0:23
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    @Alex You're really not expected to know everything unless you're up to speed on the 10's of thousands of meta posts discussing all the features and support issues of Stack Exchange. That's why there's a very broad base of community-lead moderation to help users through the process and provide this type of guidance. – Robert Cartaino Sep 26 '16 at 0:30
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    The frank comments are refreshing, especially compared to statements made elsewhere. "... we don't wish to keep expanding this model any further." is perfectly acceptable, it's your time/money/software/etc. and you're free to do with it as you "wish." It's also nice to see acknowledgement of the complexities of sites like SO with words like ".. that's a big boat to steer and we need a lot of software support and a buy-in from the communities ..." – Dan Mar 1 '17 at 14:10
  • I can see that having *.recommendation sites are a bad idea but what if there was a single recommendation site, perhaps with tags such as Arts, Science, History etc? – bye Jun 2 '17 at 12:05
  • Thanks for linking me to this. Just wondering though, what differentiates a site like codereview from a site like my proposal (Writing Review) ? – Adi219 Aug 25 at 18:54
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    @Adi219 You can replace the word reviews for recommendations and the post above is equally applicable. Such questions pose the same type of problem; there is no problem statement to be solved definitively; no correct answer — just a broad premise tossed out for general input and feedback by whomever wishes to chime in. Nothing anyone says is inherent wrong or even most valid. SE is about vetting information. These types of open discussions do not work well in our Q&A format. That is why such questions are not accepted by the Writers Stack Exchange site set up to host this subject. – Robert Cartaino Aug 25 at 19:02
  • But, using your logic, codereview shouldn't be allowed and shouldn't exist, as it wouldn't do well. On the contrary, codereview is up and flourishing. You say it doesn't work well with the format but codereview has many active questions and contributing users, so I don't quite see what'd be wrong with a Writing Review page. I hope you see my point of view. – Adi219 Aug 25 at 19:11
  • Code review was created in 2011, and performing a peer code review of best practices is nothing like asking how this death scene can be more emotional. Writing and other types of reviews has been proposed many many times and they never went anywhere. In the meantime, we’ve seen a lot of proposals and created a few sites soliciting these types of broad discussions and collaborations. It just was not a good fit for how our Q&A works, so we decided to no longer accept proposals trying to expand on that premise. – Robert Cartaino Aug 25 at 19:27
  • Ahh, fair enough :) – Adi219 Aug 26 at 12:46

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