How to find where to start?
Paraphrased and expanded on "How do I start a new site?"
If your area of knowledge does not already have its own SE site, then go ahead and propose it, since sites for Stack Exchange are free of cost to users.
However, it is asked that you at least have an enthusiastic and committed group of users who have a lot of expertise in that area who are willing to check in regularly and ask/answer questions.
To start a new proposal, (assuming you're already on the main site area51.stackexchange.com), just go to one of the proposal tabs and click the link that says [Propose a new _____ site].
What is considered committing, and why is it different from "follow and design"?
Paraphrased and expanded on "Someone proposed a great site. How do I get involved?" and "How do I refer users?"
Generally, what you're describing as "follow and design" is what is known as the "define" stage of creating a new Stack Exchange site. This is where you are supposed to define what the new SE site is about.
The "commit" phase after that is basically a petition for the site's creation, where users are asked to digitally "sign" the proposal with your full name (not shown) to help assure that the site will have an active community in those critical early days.
This is also where you can refer the site to friends using a special referral link. If the user commits, you'll be recorded as the referrer, however it won't be counted if the user has not yet verified their address.
What counts as sample questions?
Paraphrased and expanded on "What makes good questions?"
In general, a good question is
- A real expert question that is able to be answered.
- A question that does not have a broad area of focus.
An example of this is (that satisfies both points) "How is the concept of identity studied within contemporary multicultural societies?" asked by Acquisitor of Wisdom on the Anthropology and Sociology proposal.
This is because
- It's a real expert question when concerning the field of anthropology/sociology
- Even though studying the concept of identity is a broad area of focus, it's narrowed down by asking about how it's studied specifically in contemporary multicultural societies.
It's occasionally mentioned how we also discuss what's okay, not okay, considered for approval, etc. Would these be counted as discussions or questions?
This is where I should clear something up. In the FAQ, it says
- Off topic questions are important, too.
This, in my truly honest opinion, think that this is horribly worded. This makes it seem like off topic questions on the proposal are okay. However, it's not.
What it seems like the people who wrote the Area51 FAQ were trying to get across was that if you're unsure if a question is on topic for the proposal, then ask it anyways, because then other users can tell you if it's not on topic.
However, the waters are muddied by that single bullet point because now people will probably think that blatantly off topic questions on a proposal are okay, even though it's obviously not.
Therefore, this should probably be worded as
- If you are unsure whether a question is on topic for a proposal or not, ask it anyways.
However, if anyone would like to clear up anything I missed, that would be perfectly fine with me.