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I have recently made an "Astrobiology" proposal on Area 51 (which was my first proposal). When I stumbled apon the "Please community link to the community...Area 51 cannot find that community for you" text field I was very confused. I thought this text field could represent my SE site URL (because that would be the community I would be hosting) so I chose astrobiology.stackexchange.com for that field.

I later found out that a bunch of Area51 crawlers and/or moderators deleted my proposal because "astrobiology.stackexchange.com" seemed not to be valid for the "Area 51 cannot find that community" text field.

Soon after, I read through the Area 51 FAQ and found out that the people behind Area 51 want all of our proposals to have an "enthusiastic, committed group of expert users who check in regularly". I have not met in person or thought of any users, expert or not, who I can trust here on Area 51 or even in the entire Stack Exchange network. Do you want me to link a username? I'm pretty confused.

If the community URL is invalid, then what does this community text field represent? What should I type in next time I try to re-propose Astrobiology.SE?

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Update:

The prompt in the submission form now reads:

Create a Proposal

  1. no change
  2. no change
  3. Please link to the organization or website where you will be organizing support for your proposal:

    Please note: Stack Exchange does not have a community to build your site. If you do not have a community or organization to back your efforts, please do not submit an application for a site.

Original Post:

The text leading up to that prompt reads:

When you submit a proposal for a site, it is generally assumed you have access to an audience to build it. Area 51 cannot find that community for you.

That seems straightforward enough. The form then asks:

Please link to the community (or announcement) who will be supporting this proposal:

You're interpreting "community" too narrowly. We're looking for some indication that you have access to an Internet site somewhere with a community to actually build this thing.

Area 51 no longer supports a process where folks post random ideas in hopes that someone else might build it for them. Unfortunately, Area 51 simply does not have the audience to build a site for you. After 10,000+ proposal with statistically few having any support whatsoever, we've moved towards a model of being a place where enthusiastic Internet communities can create a Stack Exchange site. You can read more about this in Changes to the Area 51 Process v3.0.

Sorry about the confusion. I guess I need to to take another whack at describing what we are looking for here (I'm on it).

  • I did find an astrobiology subreddit at reddit.com/r/Astrobiology. Do you think this would be a candidate? It's just a normal subreddit containing questions about astrobiology. Does it really have expert users? – Nirvana Jan 31 at 22:03
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    @Nirvana First, have you explored our Biology, Space Exploration, and Astronomy sites? I know astro-<fields> tend to be cross-discipline, but we don't generally approve sites if the majority of the example questions can already be asked on another SE site. – Robert Cartaino Jan 31 at 22:07
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    Second, You would need to rally whatever community you intend to build this to see if they are interested first. If you post a proposal with the expectation you'll advertise it later, it takes a lot of momentum to get a proposal through, so if it stalls or delays in the earliest days, it doesn't have a chance. – Robert Cartaino Jan 31 at 22:07
  • I do now know that astrobiology is a thing on Astronomy Stack Exchange. Do you think it should remain in place of my Astrobiology proposal? Also, how do I advertise this proposal? Do I have tell fellow SE users "Hey, we have an Astrobiology site in the works!" or something? – Nirvana Feb 2 at 6:36
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    @Nirvana Area 51 currently is accepting proposals for subject which cannot already be asked on other SE sites. If the subject is presumedly on topic on Astronomy, I would suggest directing folks there to ask your questions. Even if it was later demonstrated that Astrobiology was not a good fit, support still has to come from elsewhere; we do not have the community here to build it. The last three times someone proposed Astrobiology without an organization to back it, it received 3 followers, 3 followers, and 1 follower respectively. We cannot repeat that cycle. – Robert Cartaino Feb 3 at 19:33
  • Please see the update to my post. I hope that clarifies the requirement. – Robert Cartaino Feb 3 at 19:33

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