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It is increasingly clear that: we will not have a unique domain name.

See the following discussions on Meta.SO here, Meta WebApps here.

Also, see the recent blog post on the issue of domain name.

Our consensus so far is that: We should have our own unique domain name. (See: Shall we defend crossvalidated?)

Given the above conflict in about SO's decision and our own preferences what if anything should we do about it?

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I mostly with @bgbg's answer, but disagree with the sentiment. Yes, we could have started the community somewhere else to begin with, but we started it here with certain expectations for how this would be handled, and it has been an every-changing target.

I don't think that migrating makes sense. A domain name is important, but not that important. SE has the best software, infrastructure, etc. And I really believe that their heart is in the right place. Many of the other sites about to come out of beta have either (a) terrible names selected or (b) no name selected. We are somewhat in a minority.

I also don't think that the answer is to do nothing. We should continue to push back on Robert Cartaino. In my opinion, the sites that have selected good names, should get to use those names. The sites that have not, should continue as blah.se.

And more generally, it would be good if the stackexchange team would follow through on their idea of including the communities in these decisions.

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    $\begingroup$ A unique domain name is really important. Just the other day I mentioned our site to a colleague of mine who has never heard about SO much less about stackexchange. It was a real pain to explain all the history of SO, SE etc by way of background to explain the current domain name. It would have been much simpler to say: "Go to crossvalidated.com which is a cool Q&A site". The whole stackexchange.com thing is a distraction when promoting the site. (What is this stackexchange.com? Oh, it is SO? Does that mean it is for programmers and not me? ...) $\endgroup$ – svadali Oct 5 '10 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ The way that it's set up right now, we will probably have the domain name, but it will just get redirected. I'm not sure what that will mean w.r.t. you telling people to go there. I'm not happy about this either, I simply don't think that migration is a good option. $\endgroup$ – Shane Oct 5 '10 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ Is there any way to find out what metrics the SE team are using to gauge the "success" or viability of a site? (Number of views, questions asked, etc.) It would help in addressing their concerns directly and formulating a response. $\endgroup$ – ars Oct 5 '10 at 19:56
  • $\begingroup$ @ars Everything that I have seen is very vague. In principle, every site that graduates from beta should be considered (as I see it). The domain name question is being set aside because "it's hard", not because of the lack of popularity on the sites... $\endgroup$ – Shane Oct 5 '10 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking of Atwood's comments: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/66443/… where he suggests site success may earn some privileges. This seemed a little backward to me given that a similar fuss could have been raised over StackOverflow, MathOverflow, SuperUser, etc in their nascent stages. Reading between the lines, I wondered if there was some metric that we could appeal to -- e.g. compare our stats at this stage with those of SO, MO, etc at similar stages in their lifetimes. $\endgroup$ – ars Oct 5 '10 at 21:49
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what if anything should we do about it?

The short answer -- nothing. We (the community) had the possibility to set up an independent site using any freely available StackExchange-like engines (there are quite a few of them). Nevertheless, due to many reasons (reputation of SE, lack of an opinion leader, etc), we voted with our feet and came here, to StackExchange. By doing this we have to accept our hosts' conditions. We can ask them politely, but at the end of the day it's their call. And it is ours too. "It's a free country" -- anyone can set up a competing site and try convincing people use it, instead of SE. I'm very pessimistic about this option though.

EDIT When I said "it's a free country", I meant that we can move to another site as a block. But you know what? It's not gonna happen.

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  • $\begingroup$ we can always vote with our feet and move as a block to another site. Not an ideal option (given the work we have put in developing this site) but something to keep at the back of our mind. $\endgroup$ – svadali Oct 5 '10 at 13:51
  • $\begingroup$ We could migrate it within a day... $\endgroup$ – user88 Oct 5 '10 at 14:27
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Don't lose hope! We have a point to be an exception here. Better start gathering arguments why it should stay.

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I'm a noob -- so don't put too much in my opinion, but (to up credibility a little) I've been a computer engineer for about 10 years, read most of Joel's books, and tried this collaborative shtuff before -- so I'll toss in my two cents.

I feel like basically, Joel et. al. created this awesome building in which to house a library (now this isn't Wikipedia, but gimme a sec) and now they're letting us use it for free. We (or I should say thankfully, you) petitioned to create a new reading room and bookshelves called "Statistical Analysis". We meet here and talk about the things we want to talk about -- seems like the group is developing significant cohesion -- but they aren't asking for us to pay rent.

So now the question of a name comes up and it's like you want to move the reading room & bookshelves to a new building which they have to build for us. Now I know this is the web, a single address is cheap, we picked a good name, but it almost sounds like you're saying we deserve our own identity, separate from the original initiative.

Personally, I think they've done us a huge favor - I've already had several questions answered here, one I asked, a few I stumbled upon, and a few I discovered in trying to answer questions for others. But I don't want to dissociate from the SO/SE brand because, IMO, the did a damn fine job making the site. Further, because I can see the quality of Q&A on SO, I can come over here and expect and receive the same level of quality. It's also really easy to wander to other rooms for those slightly off-topic questions...

That said, if they're willing to purchase a website and redirect it to our room, stats.stackexchange.com, that would be great! It's a bit of a mouthful to get out on the elevator ride up. Then as @Srikant said, we don't need to go into a long explanation about SO, just say -- go to CrossValidated.com and get good shtuff. :O) I would liken this to saying -- hey, we've got a lot of traffic (any you know these walls are pretty thin right??) would you mind if we construct a new door? We'll tell people about it, that way our traffic won't clog the front entrance. Besides, this one's a little closer to the Stat department / a little more convenient for us to remember where it is (especially us noobs -- you know how freshmen are always getting lost..).

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    $\begingroup$ Hmm. Two points, I guess. First, don't discount the contribution of the community -- the knowledge base and activity here is a direct result of the many people involved other than the site owners. Second, I don't think anyone is unappreciative the SE team's commitment and what they've made available, not to mention the ongoing work in figuring out where to take all of this. This is simply the community putting in their bits to influence the direction. I think the SE team encourages this -- or at least, that's my understanding. $\endgroup$ – ars Oct 7 '10 at 5:33
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. I understand and agree -- I upvoted @Shane's answer before I wrote mine. I was just worried by other's perceived desire to migrate and felt the need to defend -- all be it with a bit asinine of an example -- the idea of requesting a simple redirecting front door. $\endgroup$ – M. Tibbits Oct 7 '10 at 11:34

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