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There is a Google proposal in Area 51. It was proposed on December 11th so it's still quite new. It's scope is currently defined as:

Google web apps, desktop software, and Android and Chrome OS

One of the comments on the proposal page suggested that the creator should attempt to appeal to this site in order to expand this sites focus, rather than create a new semi-related site.

Would it make sense to expand the focus of this site? Does the scope quoted above (or parts of it) seem like it could be incorporated into Android Enthusiasts?

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    For the record, I like how focused a just-Android scope is... just thought it was interesting. – gary Dec 16 '10 at 4:20
  • it was closed? for what reason? – Louis Rhys Dec 21 '10 at 2:56
  • @Louis: Because it would cannibalize existing sites. – ale Dec 22 '10 at 14:42
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I would say that an entire Google SE would have some of the same problems as the Gadgets SE had.

Currently Android is a pretty well defined scope that does seem to have a wide breadth of questions but they have the advantage that despite the breadth, there is a massive overlap and familiarity across it all. I think that every regular question answerer on here has at least a passing familiarity with the topics covered in 95% of questions here; we may not all have installed a custom ROM on our phone, or own an LG device, or be interested in apps about [X], or use a bluetooth headset, or whatever but you know enough to recognize a clear question or helpful answer in any of those. There are common threads across it all.

A site about "Google" is going to have a lot of different silos of knowledge. There are going to be Gmail users, who've never even seen an Android device and Chrome browser users who've never even heard of Chrome OS, Froogle users who wouldn't know a Reader RSS feed if it slapped them in the face, and Google Apps company admins who just want to keep their company's email running. Will this attract enough real experts in all of those areas?

That's quite apart from the fact that the site will have a big overlap with other Stack Exchange sites, like Webapps (for all of Google's web properties), SuperUser (for all the desktop apps and presumably ChromeOS when it launches), ServerFault (for things like the Google search device), StackOverflow (for programming against all these platforms) and of course us. Can it attract enough experts to it when they'll also need to look at two (or more) sites relevant to a particular interest. Currently Android makes sense, as it doesn't actually overlap with any of the other sites: Web Apps are quite clearly different from smartphone apps, smartphone questions are unwelcome on SuperUser and programming questions are unwelcome here.

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    Ah, our poor, departed Gadgets. I miss her. – ale Dec 16 '10 at 17:04
  • +1 good point about Gadgets – Bryan Denny Dec 20 '10 at 17:19
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A large percentage of the questions on WebApps are for Google products. The proposed site would cannibalize that.

Google doesn't have too many desktop apps (Earth, Picasa, SketchUp) and, considering their Chrome focus they aren't likely to get many more. So SuperUser wouldn't lose too much.

You could also expect an infestation of frustrated website owners trying to make a buck to just pepper the site with questions about their page rank.

On the other hand...

It's sometimes difficult to get the right site. Questions on Gmail, for instance, sometimes are as on-topic on WebApps as they are here. A "Google" site would help with that.

There is an Apple.SE in beta which covers the same sort of scope. A Google.SE would analogous and probably about the same size. Android seems like it's barely large enough to support its own StackExchange site.

Google coughed up money to sponsor several tags on StackOverflow (notably Chrome and Android). They even point developers visiting http://developers.android.com to StackOverflow. I think it's likely that a Google Q&A site would attract a lot of attention from them. Maybe even some real Googlers.

Ultimately though...

The proposal has been closed.

Would it make sense to transition Android.SE to, say, a site covering Google OSes? Maybe. Moreso if the rumored merger of ChromeOS and Android were every to come to pass.

  • Ahh, was wondering where Google Docs would be... When I consider that iOS:OS X :: Android OS:Chrome OS, Chrome OS may live on a bunch of SE sites (such as here as well as SO and SU). – gary Dec 16 '10 at 17:01
  • I can see a certain sense with a ChromeOS merger, especially if the two OSs themselves get closer, but where would the line be drawn? What about Google TV? That is actually based on Android, but is clearly different enough that I don't think anyone's even thought of asking a Google TV question here. – GAThrawn Dec 16 '10 at 20:40
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    I think Google TV would be on-topic here. Certainly all of the big Android news blogs are covering it. – ale Dec 16 '10 at 20:52
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It like creating a site devoted to ALL MICROSOFT PRODUCTS.

People will be asking questions about the intricacies of configuring Exchange Server, F#.NET libraries, and the best ways of using Bob.

  1. scope is too broad
  2. everything in that scope is already covered by existing site

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