I have been thinking something recently as a result from conversations in the comments in this SE's meta. I would like to share my thoughts with you because I am a little confused.
I can only guess that in the beginning of the SE sites there were a few major areas like Stack Overflow, Mathematics, Physics, Electrical Engineering etc. Those sites covered distinct areas so anyone knew exactly if their question was on or off topic.
Now things are quite different. If we consider our SE site, Electrical Engineering encompasses a huge number of areas. But there are now so many SE beta sites that are relevant with ours: Signal Processing, Arduino, Robotics, Amateur Radio, Reverse Engineering and there are countless more waiting to enter into the beta phase.
What gets me confused is that there is a huge overlap between this site and so many others that I have a hard time categorizing the questions into on topic and off topic. And given that this is only the start, in the future this is going to get worse.
I am afraid that what started as Electrical Engineering is going to end up interested only in a very specific type of questions which will be only about electronics.
It is my belief that what makes out SE site so great is exactly this plethora of areas of interest. An Electrical/Electronics Engineer has to know so many things for a project (Power Electronics and electromotors for the power, electronics for the implementation, CAD tools for its design, microcontrollers for the control and so much more) that when you see the questions that are asked here you learn so many things!
Also there is a lot of confusion both in this site and in others as to what questions can be asked, as you can see in a lot of comments (and it is completely logical because of the new SE sites). For instance I had a question about MSP430 in a robotics project and when I asked in Robotics SE they told me to ask here although I had already asked here and they told me to ask in Robotics!
I am not against the other SE sites, on the contrary I like them and I believe that when someone is working solemnly with a specific technology then he must join them because in the long run he will be able to get better and of higher quality answers.
The way I see it, one approach would be to welcome here posts that are relevant to this site either there is a specific SE site about them or not (like DSP, Arduino etc) but to remind the person that asks that they could also look for answers in other SE sites (provided that they exist). This way this site will really be a library for answers to questions around Electrical Engineering and also there would not be that confusion regarding the relevance of the questions.
I personally don't think that this fragmentations is a good thing not now and especially not in the future when I can only assume that there will be a lot of other overlapping SE sites. I don't mean the creation of new SE sites, I mean the rejection of questions from on site and the transfer into another.
I know that this does not concern only this site but also a lot of others (for instance Stack Overflow overlaps with Programmers, Code Review and a lot more waiting the beta phase) so this could also be posted in the meta site but I would like to see if you share my concerns.
What do you think? Do you concern about that?