In considering the elevator pitch it seems to me that any good elevator pitch for a product or service which is entering an existing market includes a simple means or device to distinguish this product from existing products and demonstrate what you can get here that you cannot get from the existing market.

This leads to the problem that DevOps is not a role and includes multiple disciplines. This means that this DevOps SE overlaps subject matter with several other SEs. Now, some of Stack Exchange's best sites overlap - Ask Ubuntu, Unix, Superuser, and Serverfault all overlap significantly - so clearly overlap is not necessarily considered "bad". At the same time, if we want to continue to exist, we have certain metrics and measures of success we have to meet and this overlap causes competition - and we are competing for eyeballs!

While overlap may be acceptable, there is still some unease about it. This leads to my first question:

  • Do we need to distinguish ourselves from these other sites to be successful?

If the answer is yes, the next question or problem, is

  • How do we do that?

For example, one thing we could do is provide a list of acceptable topics and allow questions specific to automation software. But this still means that we will get python questions for Salt Stack and Ruby questions Puppet - questions that are nearly purely programming-related and bound to be better supported by other Stack Exchange sites.

Finally, we also need to know not just how we distinguish what is on or off-topic (which is really squishy, nebulous and arbitrary at this time), but how we can boil that down succinctly into an elevator pitch. It seems to me until we answer the two questions above, it is unclear how users of this site get any value from it that they could not otherwise already get on one of the many overlapping sister sites and we will be unable to put together a successful or good elevator pitch.

  • Related questions from Area51 definition phase for background: 1 2 3 – Tensibai Jun 19 '17 at 16:05
  • I kind of agree, but devops being what it is, trying to get the elevator pitch by on-topicness would be banging our heads on wall. Hence the up to bottom work starting by the elevator pitch instead of bottom up starting by actual subjects :) It's easier to derive on-topicness from the elevator pitch exactly because the elevator pitch enforce a very short description, after that for all subjects the question will be 'Does it fit into the elevator pitch in some way ?' – Tensibai Jun 19 '17 at 16:12

After some reflection, the thought occurs to me that most of the existing Stack Exchange questions are oriented around minutiae - how do I do specific thing X. There is not, however a good place zooming out and looking at the system holistically. Perhaps this would be a good way to give some focus to the DevOps stack exchange:

Questions should be architectural or systematic in nature and take a sufficiently high-level view - in contrast to why does this option on this specific software suite not work? This seems to me to be entirely compatible with DevOps which was a fresh look at the system of software delivery and not specific components of the business of software delivery.

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