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Launching a new community with enough contributors even though disagreements exist

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Suppose that I have suggested a community idea which has been heavily downvoted.

Now, if I can gather enough people interested in contributing to the community regularly, then will this idea be planned to launch by the community team while it has many downvotes?

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9 comments

Yes... The thing is, the amount of people who disagree with you should tell you how successful you'll be in doing that Moshi‭ 7 months ago

Huh, I didn't realize I had the ability to close posts by myself... Moshi‭ 7 months ago

What I don't get in the specific case is why we can't have one math site and one physics site. The math site is gonna happen by the looks of it. In case it will be hard to find enough users to support a dedicated physics site, make one called natural science and include chemistry, astronomics etc as well. The site could have different categories for physics, chemistry and so on. Lundin‭ 7 months ago

@Lundin Your suggestion can be a good one. However, my question is general, not limited to a specific case. By the way, as I explained in this site proposal, I cannot hope that we have an alive math community. MathPhysics‭ 7 months ago

Why not? SE has five different math sites, why can't we have a single one? Seems to me that the potential for a math site is great, much bigger than some more niche topic sites that we've already launched. Lundin‭ 7 months ago

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1 answer

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One of the things we look for in a new site is enough interested participants to make it viable. We now ask people to make their interest known, because votes don't necessarily correlate with intended participation. Sometimes an upvote means "I want this" and sometimes it means "yeah, that sounds like a good idea (but not my area and I wouldn't participate)". Votes, by themselves, don't mean much.

What is much more important than voting is the feedback that a proposal gets -- positive, negative, and absent. We read all the answers and comments. If people have reasons for opposing a proposal and express them, we consider that. If they just downvote, that's much weaker signal -- same as with upvotes. A controversial proposal will lead us to tread more carefully, but downvotes alone aren't what blocks proposals.

In general we want communities to define their own scopes and identities. However, as hosts of a network of communities, we also pay some attention to the bounds among communities. If a new site overlaps an existing one without clear differentiation, that's going to confuse our users so we'll ask for more work to be done. For example, we have an Outdoors site; if somebody proposed an Extreme Sports site, scope to include hang-gliding and bungee-jumping and rock-climbing without a harness, we'd ask them to address the overlap. We have a Writing site; if somebody proposed a Technical Communications site, we'd likewise ask them to address that overlap. That one actually happened on SE, but SE didn't address the overlap, instead allowing a site to proceed that was 95% a subset of another one. The new site failed in private beta and lots of people were frustrated by the whole thing. We don't want to repeat that mistake.

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3 comments

Thanks for your answer. I accept this answer. So, I conclude from your answer that even if there are enough participants for a community, the community team will not launch it in case it overlaps considerably an existing one, right? MathPhysics‭ 7 months ago

@MathPhysics I don't want to speak in absolutes. We'll want to discuss it and make sure the overlap can be addressed. There can be more than one community for a topic; people just have to be able to tell where to go for what. For example, we wouldn't block a general engineering site because EE exists, and we wouldn't tell them they aren't allowed to have EE questions on their site; we'd ask them to work with EE on guidance for the users they'll share. Monica Cellio‭ 7 months ago

Sometimes the answer to overlap can be different framing, e.g. taking the physics part of the math & physics proposal and forming a natural sciences proposal. Monica Cellio‭ 7 months ago

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