This might get downvoted but I'm with you on this one. It was not all that long ago that I put out feelers to give BuddyPress/BuddyBoss its own SO for similar reasons. Prior to Tom's answer, I pretty much saw Automatic as synonymous with WordPress. I imagine others might have that view as well.
Regardless of pedigree, WooCommerce, BuddyPress, BBPress, and others have a more natural home here than anywhere else. Assuming we differentiate between development and support questions I do not see why they cannot be adopted here.
I am broadly in support of Jesse Nickles' first suggestion - selectively open up WPSO to WooCommerce. Especially if we are willing to take the time to build really solid and worthwhile resources. Perhaps as community wiki QnAs (more on that in a moment).
Might I suggest that we go further and also consider other framework-like and widely developed with plugins (such as BuddyPress and BBPress) for trial inclusion too? Perhaps maintaining a shortlist of topic areas to experimentally expand into in the near future. This way we could nurture potential new WordPress developers and grow our community.
The past seems to still remain starkly in the mind of longer serving members. I am aware of the history of this community and how badly things went the first time. And I can see why there might be a sense of once bitten twice shy. However, Falling down is no reason not to get back up and try again - slightly older and slightly wiser.
I, for one, am willing to invest time learning WooCommerce (which I have never used) and BuddyPress (which I have begun developing with) in order to be able to offer new users quality development answers.
Perhaps, what we need to do is to sharply differentiate between development questions (as always on-topic) and support questions (always off-topic).
This brings me to my next point - beefy answers to thin questions. I came here today to suggest that we community wiki some QnAs. This one might be a perfect example case for doing so. It might be the ideal way to turn otherwise thin content into teachable and informative content. It is quite likely that two or more thin questions with thin answers could be combined into a beefier question and answer in community wiki form.
After all, SO is - effectively - an FAQ written large. So why not create some common questions and answers (as a community wiki) either on Meta or even on the main WPSO? For example, "who makes WordPress?" and "Does Automatic own WordPress?" - stuff we can point new users to.
Other example questions to wiki might be:
- Where can I bug report ___________?
- What is the first point of support for ______________?
- Where is the documentation for ____________?
Such questions could be used to point new users who ask support questions, plugin recommendation questions, and other clearly off-topic-but-touching-on-WordPress questions to resources that can help them.
Perhaps we can turn our current model of, "no, no, no, and also no" into, "I think you might be looking for this...".