16

Once again there is a debate with a new user going on about a closed question appealing to the fact that the site name is Personal Finance & Money.

Typical exchange:

High Rep user: Closing your question because it isn't about personal finance.
OP: Well, it is personal to me, and the site is called "Personal Finance & Money" after all.
High Rep user: Still off-topic, read the FAQ.

In this case OP kind of has a point, it is confusion. If we aren't opening the scope to non-personal finance questions why confuse the issue with the naming of the site?

And again today

Since this site deals with "& money", I felt it was on topic.

  • 5
    We just got that logo, now you want to change it? – MrChrister Mar 29 '14 at 1:16
  • Would this mean that money.stackexchange would just be called Personal Finance? Is that problematic having the url and the name be non-overlapping rough synonyms? – NL7 Apr 1 '14 at 19:28
  • 1
    @NL7 See my updated answer for the URL aspect. We wouldn't be the first SE with a non-overlapping mnemonic & full name. – Chris W. Rea Apr 1 '14 at 19:43
  • @Chris - Thanks, that's helpful. Then I guess I have no real opinion on the change either way. I come here by bookmark icon or by the SE dropdown box anyway, so URL is not very critical. – NL7 Apr 1 '14 at 20:12
  • JohnFx: Congratulations. Now that you've become an elected representative, can you get Stack Exchange Inc. to follow through on this one for us? :) – Chris W. Rea Apr 10 '14 at 1:29
  • Are macroeconomic questions on-topic here? I see a fair number of them as well – Nick T Apr 17 '14 at 16:18
15

Historical context

I chose and proposed the name Personal Finance & Money in my original Area 51 definition for this site for one simple reason: the name we had under the Stack Exchange "1.0" model, prior to the "2.0" changes, was Basically Money. Keeping "Money" was a tip of the hat, continuity, w.r.t. the site's original brand.

While I'm talking about the original name, the "Basically" part was meant to indicate the site's general goal to help people be financially literate, being the basics needed to manage one's own finances and investments—i.e. not a site for quants or pro traders ("it is my day job") type questions, not for corporate finance (beyond what retail investors would want to know for investing, or self-employed individuals operating as a corp), not for academia. But those restrictions were never spelled out. Early on, I cared more about getting questions and building a community, and less about corralling the topics.

Then, having to later go through the Area 51 site definition process under the evolved SE 2.0 model forced me to think more about what the site should really be about, and I decided the laser focus and root name needed to reflect personal finance (including what I think of as household & family finance) as the umbrella over other topics. I didn't want the proposal to fail for lack of clarity on this! The original site was loose (e.g. economics was never explicitly off-topic) because I didn't have to gain community support for launching—I owned it. But for SE 2.0, I had to convince people to support the concept, so there needed to be a firm-enough concept to support.

But at the same time, I also wanted the "& Money" in the name, following "Personal Finance", to help transition the existing brand and community into the new SE 2.0 world. "Basically Money? Yeah, that site has become the new [Personal Finance &] Money site under stackexchange.com."  That was my thinking.

So "Money" is baggage, from the past. Baggage is all. By itself, it is a vestige, not intended to be defining. This definition plus community-driven meta evolution since are what define us.

Back to the present

IMHO, we'll always have the "money" in our URL money.stackexchange.com. I don't see any reasonable way of replacing that without upsetting a lot. And even if it could be done, I like the mnemonic. (Consider how Home Improvement has the URL diy.stackexchange.com.)

Yet, three years later, if taking the word "Money" out of the full English site name, and the logo, would alleviate some confusion and sharpen the focus that had been intended, then I'm in favour of doing that. But please keep the main URL as-is.

However, without "Money" in the name, the URL might not be as memorable to new users who would only see this site referred to as "Personal Finance".

TL;DR

Let's do it. It would also be advisable for Stack Exchange Inc., coincident with removing the "& Money" part, to also add a domain name alias for the site:

  • personalfinance.stackexchange.com should be added as a permanent redirect (301) to the existing money.* domain name.

Your thoughts and opinions are welcome. You folks govern this place now :)

  • 3
    Thanks Chris for the complete explanation with context. While I feel its something we MAY want to change, there is NO pressing need to do it Now ... we can take this up with some other upgrades. It would also help get SE inputs on the efforts to go about doing it. – Dheer Apr 2 '14 at 8:16
  • There are a couple of outstanding design tweaks we'd posted about here, too, so yes there could be a few things changed all together. – Chris W. Rea Apr 2 '14 at 14:44
11

I don't think it matters.

Every StackExchange site I've ever participated on has had this exact problem:

But XYZ should be on topic here!

The "& Money" just adds local flavor to the problem. It's also been my experience that most people who come, post one or two off topic questions and leave were never really interested in the site, but rather looking for a place to talk about their off topic ... topic.

8

I will take a stab at outright dissent.

Leaving Strictly "Personal Finance" give no room to move into small proprietorships or small business. The community has been against that move for a long time, but as other SE sites close, we are getting more and more "well, where then" questions. We can invite not only those questions but the people who answer them. Even if that doesn't happen anytime soon, it could.

I vote leaving it as it is. (But I defer to the considerable majority)

  • I'm leaning towards agreeing here. We should probably start the discussion of what topics can be added to on-topic in the short term. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Apr 11 '14 at 20:51
5

I'm open to the change but not for this reason.

New members often push back on what's on topic, and after a bit of debate, are never seen again. Perhaps what's needed is an invitation to a new user to read through what's on and off topic and read through the top dozen questions. Once they understand the scope of the board and the fact that it's not a discussion board they are welcome to stay and find value here.

That said, the Money is probably either misleading or redundant, depending on how much beer you've had.

  • Agreed Money is redundant, or implicit in personal finance – Dheer Mar 29 '14 at 6:18
  • 3
    It's there for historical reasons. The site was money, before it was personal finance. – C. Ross Mar 29 '14 at 11:45
  • 5
    Understood Ross. But Apple Computer dropped the 'computer' and we survived. And an entire Planet was cancelled. So I'm flexible here. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Mar 29 '14 at 14:56
  • @JoeTaxpayer I'm not saying it's non-negotiable, just trying to give context. – C. Ross Mar 29 '14 at 20:09
  • @Joe Apple Computer dropped the Computer when Paul and Ringo let them, not a day before:-) – littleadv Mar 30 '14 at 0:47
  • 1
    Ok. Now can you explain Pluto to me? – JTP - Apologise to Monica Mar 30 '14 at 2:08
  • @JoeTaxpayer - No one thought it was big enough to be a planet if it was only the size of Texas. (I may have to avoid visiting Texas for a few years because of that comment--they seem to take those things personally.) For the pedantic: I mean diameter; not surface area. – NL - Apologize to Monica Mar 31 '14 at 18:32
  • @C.Ross Your comment re: context made me want to answer. You're both right, IMHO. – Chris W. Rea Apr 1 '14 at 19:45
  • @NathanL - what is the diameter of Texas? =D – warren Apr 11 '14 at 14:17
  • @warren Thanks for the additional pedantry, I was actually referring to pluto's diameter, which is still a bit larger than width of Texas, but now my joke is ruined (if it was ever even mildly funny) so thanks for making me explain it. – NL - Apologize to Monica Apr 15 '14 at 16:42
  • @NathanL - hence the grinny face (=D) .. I was trying to add to your joke that Texas doesn't really have a diameter. But I apparently failed :( – warren Apr 15 '14 at 22:30
5

I'm deferring this for now.

Initial concerns when the proposal was still incubating revolved around "Personal Finance" and "Money" not being mutually exclusive in any context, and therefore redundant. We've grown to realize that there's a bit more wiggle room within interpretation than we believed, which is how we've arrived to this discussion.

Given that:

  • We have a codified design in place, with branded promotional items
  • The URL itself remains money, which would be extremely difficult (practically impossible, as in could be a six month drop to almost no traffic) to change
  • There's not really any conclusive evidence that dropping money, while keeping the URL the same will have any profound impact

... we're reluctant to consider the change at this time. While having "& Money" provides a cop-out for not reading the enormous amount of help we give users asking their first question, I don't feel that taking it out is going to make much of a dent.

The size and establishment that you've achieved is commendable - this site has come quite a long way. However, with that, you're going to see your share of off-topic, or marginally on-topic questions because people are going to try floating them in the hopes they receive an answer before they're closed - no design or UI change is going to prevent that.

If we can come up with compelling evidence that the change would prevent the majority of these, we're open to discuss it again - which is why this is marked as deferred.

Minor changes to text only work when people read and care, and I just don't see the rewards of this being large enough to justify the work involved. I'm not saying that it won't help, I just don't believe it will help enough.

1

This thread looks a bit old, but I came into meta looking for exactly this topic, so I'll put in my thoughts as a relatively new user.

What this community apparently wants is questions on "personal finance and personal money issues."

It's no doubt true that if you read the help, you'll see that broader questions about money are out of scope, but everything else about the site enforces the idea that it's "personal finance" & "money" (with "money" left broad, and the ampersand taken to mean union of topics, not intersection.)

It's not just the name but also, for example, the logo, which visually separates the "personal finance" from the "money" by using different scripts. The list of active questions also tends to give this impression — depending somewhat on when a user lands on the page relative to when the moderators close and put on hold off-topic questions.

As a newcomer, it also seems to me that there's not a lot of consistency on calling some things in or out. (Maybe there is a consistency that I don't see, but that doesn't help.)

I don't think it's bad to keep the URL starting with "money" while changing the logo to "personal finance" only. No one will ever notice except the people who hang out here now. That would be a relatively easy change that would clarify what the group seems to want here.

  • +1 and I completely agree with everything you wrote above. With respect to the consistency that you're not seeing, do the other questions at meta about small business questions, economics, etc. help clarify that we want everything to somehow relate (and not too weakly) back to personal finance? – Chris W. Rea Dec 4 '15 at 14:50
  • 1
    @ChrisW.Rea I get the spirit of linking to PF. The "inconsistencies" - IMO come b/c the rules - to some extent - deal with why a poster wants an answer not what is asked. Example linked. A 7k+ user challenged this question because on its face it's just about bond rates. Most times I think this question gets closed as being "economics" - In this case a 8k+ user defended it on the obvious grounds that one might invest based on the answer. Feels arbitrary. money.stackexchange.com/questions/56269/… – user32479 Dec 5 '15 at 2:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .