There are many off-topic questions on discuss.area51.se: off topic not because they shouldn't have been created, or because the OP was mistaken, or anything like that.

They are questions that have become off topic because—when initially asked—they were about proposed sites, but those proposals have since become actual beta sites. At that point, these questions belong on the new site's meta, not here.


When they're on a new site's meta, the people who really care—the stakeholders who committed— can discuss the questions and make decisions on how to get their betas off on the right foot. If the questions stay here, they're either abandoned (bad), or, they get occasional drive-by comments from random users (worse).

I'm happy to migrate them when betas begin, but as this is a new concept, I wanted a discussion first. Your thoughts?

  • 2
    Seems fine to me. Commented Sep 11, 2011 at 1:50
  • 1
    Definitely has my vote.
    – rcollyer
    Commented Sep 11, 2011 at 2:14
  • I think they should be migrated. Bonus feature: already things to discuss in the first minutes of the site going live. Commented Sep 11, 2011 at 5:18
  • 1
    Also a closed question here that might be appropriate for the Linguistics meta site: discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/questions/2773
    – moberley
    Commented Sep 11, 2011 at 8:08
  • I agree with migrating them, however they should be kept publicly available during private beta Commented Sep 12, 2011 at 15:34
  • 3
    @Dori I guessed so... then again everyone who wants to participate in these discussions should have committed and therefore have access to the private beta as well though Commented Sep 12, 2011 at 18:29
  • @Dori: If you are going to migrate the TP question, it might be an idea to do so sooner rather than later. The user who posted it doesn't have enough rep to post on meta, and so is leaving links to the area51 question as comments on questions in the beta site. I don't really want to post it myself, as I don't want it to be misconstrued as coming from me, as I'm not sure how I feel about the idea. Migrating it might save a lot of clutter in the comments. Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 7:02
  • Why not close these questions on a51 as soon as the site goes into beta, with a link to the new beta site? It seems this would address everyone's concerns--the discussions would be directed to the proper place (rather than having duplicate discussions), and only relevant discussions would actually be re-opened on the new meta site (addressing @RobertCartaino's concern).
    – Flimzy
    Commented Nov 4, 2011 at 9:31

4 Answers 4


I would say definitely yes. Migrating these questions to meta would surely help to better shape the actual site.

But I was also thinking about something else. Even Linguistics passed Definition, I feel many issues about its 'definition' still remain uncertain (hence my prolonged question about its scope..). It feels like 'definition' is still taking place a little bit during Commitment. Just not sure if this is anything to worry about.


I have an opposing point of view, but I don't think Area 51 discussions (with their answers, voting, and consensus) should be routinely imported into a new Stack Exchange site.

If an issue is important to a site, it should be raised in their meta and discussed by the community that is going to be actually be using the site. If the issue is important, it will be brought up and discussed again… in the context of THAT community. We shouldn't get in the habit of importing legacy discussions, all pre-voted on and decided by users who may or may not be actually be part of that community.

The community of Area 51 — those helping build these "proposals" — are not necessarily the same people who are charged with actually growing and running the actual site they launch. Area 51 is about starting a basic framework and gauging interest in a topic. Rarely are the questions of the 'Definition' phase, the comments, or the associated discussions unilaterally binding on the site that gets created. Subsuming a previous discussion from Area 51 as a fait accompli would be doing just that.

The actual work of defining the scope, behaviors, and governance of the site actually fall to the community actually using the site. They are the experts on staff, and they have to live with the decisions and actions they take… not the external decisions made by those who may not even be using the site.

  • “The community of Area 51 — those helping build these "proposals" — are not necessarily the same people who are charged with actually growing and running the actual site they launch.” ——— I don't necessarily agree. I think that the people building the proposals are precisely the people who are going to be participating in the site when it goes Beta and then is eventually launched.
    – chharvey
    Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 1:31
  • @chharvey Typically more than half the people committing to a proposal don't end up using the site at all; that plus the sizable contingent of "Area 51 regulars" who participate in almost every proposal in general... the community of Area 51 is not all that representative of the people who will actually build and use the site after it is created. Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 13:35
  • Interesting. I would not have thought that. If you would be so kind as to add some references to your answer I will undo my downvote.
    – chharvey
    Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 13:38

Sounds like a good plan to me, but what would happen to disucssions are are about two proposals that are decided to be left seperate? Would it go to whichever one made it to beta first?


I would tend to agree, but you have to consider DForck42’s answer, in the case of a question concerning multiple SE proposals/sites.

You must also consider the 60-day limit on migrating questions. Especially since proposals stay on Area51 for much longer than 60 days.

  • The 60-day limit doesn't apply to CMs (who I believe are the only diamond-wielders on Area 51 anyway). Commented Jan 17, 2017 at 15:22

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