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Proposals on being closed as duplicates have the following message :

This proposal would tend to drain audience from an existing Stack Exchange site.

What is the threshold for deciding whether a proposal will drain audience from other sites ?

Some of the proposals closed with this reason had 30-40% of followers that were following only that specific proposal.

Is this not enough ?

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Duplicates are not determined by the number of people who use related sites (or follow other proposals). Duplicates are determined by the scope of the subject and the example questions being asked.

There's a blog post covering how we divide and scope sites:

Merging Season

That blog post has become a bit dated. We've evolved and refined our criteria for what constitutes a "duplicate site." The basic premise is "if the community is already being well-served by an existing site, the proposal is likely to be considered a duplicate." In other words: "does the proposal add anything new to the network?" We don't generally want to create vanity sites where folks want their own site splintered off just because.

But those are broad generalities that don't comprehensively describe all situations. It's preferable to discuss duplicates based on the their individual circumstances and merits.

  • Seeing the reasoning in the blog post, how did Programmers, CS or CSTheory, Code Golf come into being ? A lot of the questions of each would not have troubled anyone on Stack Overflow back in 2010-11 – asheeshr Jan 25 '13 at 16:09
  • Stack Overflow became big enough to focus on "coding problems" specifically. See the respective FAQs. Code Golf is an unconventional use of our platform, and mostly created as a polite, albeit experimental, nod to a huge expert community. – Robert Cartaino Jan 25 '13 at 16:53
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    I am not talking about now, but three to four years back. It would not have been big enough to justify the carving out of different sites for specialties within programming. Yet each of those sites did come up and are doing well. Applying the same logic here, even if a proposal is a subset (not completely, but partially) but with a sufficient and active following, why not let it move forward and launch ? The followers will provide enough matter and keep the site going and over time, the site will grow as people invest more time into it.More time=>more, better content=>more people=>more time... – asheeshr Jan 25 '13 at 17:38

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