So the Ubuntu community, and some of its leaders, have embraced ubuntu.SE so well that it's now an impressive success. Is there a distro (or some other Unix/Linux community) that (semi)officially recognizes and promotes unix.SE?

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Sadly, no distros or major *nix communities promote us. AU is a special case; as far as I know no other SE site has "official" support like they do, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. I'm fairly confident that's also the reason we didn't end up getting force-merged with them back at the beginning; their semi-official recognition from Canonical is a big deal

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Are you sure about that last point? Wasn't it more due to the opposition (the vote)? –  Tshepang Nov 24 '10 at 11:52
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@Tshepang That's why we didn't merge originally, but from my understanding the SO team was considering merging us anyway (that's what I meant by "force-merged"), and AU being adopted by Canonical was the reason they didn't. For example, this comment by Jeff on the SO blog (I got the impression later that the October announcement he was talking about was the whole AU/Canonical thing, and it would make sense) –  Michael Mrozek Nov 24 '10 at 15:08
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Speaking from a "Stack Overflow Inc" point-of-view, we have not been approached nor heard of any other distro embracing or asking for any sort of official support through unix.stackexchange.com as Canonical/Ubuntu initiated.

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There was a proposal to create an archlinux-focused SE site that has been closed. Developers, moderators and users of archlinux were not fond of this proposal.

I do not believe unix.SE needs an official sponsor. Actually, this may be a bad thing if only one or two distros officially moved their support on unix.SE: imagine if 50% of the questions were about gentoo, or opensuse, or XYZ... I would feel less confident to ask a generic unix/linux question.

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To be fair, AU didn't go over great on the Ubuntu forums either, but those things are to be expected –  Michael Mrozek Nov 24 '10 at 15:10
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I don't agree that partnership(s) are a "bad thing." Companies that recognize the value of our community will relinquish a bit of control to give their users a better product. Those that want to maintain complete control, wont. Microsoft (techie-buzz.com/tech-news/msdn-stack-overflow.html) and Goolge Android (android-developers.blogspot.com/2009/12/…) have both partnered with Stack Exchange and it hasn't harmed the diversity of those sites. More questions for a distro simply means more questions for the site. It doesn't de-value other contributions. –  Robert Cartaino Nov 24 '10 at 18:55
    
@Robert This Microsoft and Android thing is interesting (exciting). Is there meta question or blog post about these 'big' sorts of associations? –  Tshepang Nov 24 '10 at 21:25
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Here is the MSDN announcement: blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/10/…. I couldn't find one about the Android relationship, except for the official announcement I linked above: android-developers.blogspot.com/2009/12/… –  Robert Cartaino Nov 25 '10 at 1:27
    
@Robert Cartaino Partnerships are great, don't get me wrong, but do you think it would have been the same if Microsoft had been the only company to partner with SO at the beginning of SO? I think that for a general site like SO or unix, you want to grow a large and diverse userbase before making these kinds of partnerships. –  Barthelemy Nov 25 '10 at 11:16
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