Looking at the stats for this site on Area51, all of them are marked "excellent". Of course, stats are not the only criteria used to determine graduation. But they are one of the criteria used, and given that this site's stats are different from most betas, I think it's a reasonable question whether this Stack will graduate earlier than most betas. So I would love some insight on whether, say, this site would be ready to graduate after ninety days if it maintains it's current questions per day ratio.

To clarify my question: I'm not saying that it's a good idea for this site to graduate as soon as possible. I'm just looking for more insight into the process.

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    Isn't it too early to discuss this? We've not even made up our minds about the help/on-topic or Tour pages. – NVZ Sep 3 '17 at 20:17
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    @NVZ if I hadn't asked this question, someone would have seen all the green labels on Area51 and asked it instead. But I think it is likely that this site will maintain a high questions per day, which is basically the only stat used in these decisions. So I think this question is less premature than it would be on another site. – user288 Sep 3 '17 at 20:18
  • Fair enough. And to that someone, I'd have asked the same thing. Nevertheless I'm curious to see an answer to this. – NVZ Sep 3 '17 at 20:44
  • @NVZ I think there is a compelling argument that if there are enough users and enough questions and enough activity to support moderator elections/the features that come with graduation, then a site should graduate. Which perhaps might come very early for this site, given its current stats. But there's a lot of ambiguity around the process; I'm hoping for more clarification. – user288 Sep 3 '17 at 20:46
  • Re: I'm not saying that it's a good idea for this site to graduate as soon as possible. Why not? Why not graduate as soon as possible? Of course, we don't have to hurry. But soon as possible is a good enough time line. – NVZ Sep 3 '17 at 20:51
  • @NVZ I don't know, maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I just want to learn more about the process. Graduation isn't actually anything I have control over. – user288 Sep 3 '17 at 20:51
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  • @NVZ because the site has a large userbase already, some will think about graduation without worrying about setting up basic pages. It's similar to being able to do science or art because you have others hunting and harvesting for you. – Ooker Sep 6 '17 at 14:17

Forget about "graduation". Honestly. It's such a woefully deceptive name, and it means almost nothing to the future of this site. You can read more about the state of this site and the next steps here:

Graduation, site closure, and a clearer outlook on the health of SE sites

Long story short, this site is essentially done. The lowered beta-reputation levels will increase when we have enough users to handle it; you'll have an election as soon as it's viable, and the design team generally starts poking around when you can maintain about 10 questions/day.

So how do we get rid of that 'beta' label?

It's unfortunate that this is still a thing. The concept of a "beta site" continues to be a contentious source of confusion and disappointment despite my (rejected) efforts to simplify this process. You can read more about my efforts here and here:

For all intents and purposes, graduation isn't the end goal of this site. Actually, it barely exists in any way that (still) matters — it's been hacked on and mashed up into "design-independent graduations"… and we regularly hold elections before a site is actually graduated. We are slowly creeping towards a workflow based on the meritocracy I outlined years ago in my post above. I just wish we would get rid of the spaghetti of misnomers making this site sound like so much less that it is.

Your job now is to just use the site and make it great. Stop looking at the labels; they don't mean anything useful… or productive.

So relax and enjoy your (fully functional) site!

  • Hey Robert, could you clear up some confusion for me? Here you basically said that once a site is public beta for a few weeks it's done, which I read as "at no risk of closure (unless everyone abandons it, of course)". In a recent conversation about an A51 proposal in commitment, you told me that if the site turns out to be just "(other site) 2.0" it'll be closed. That would probably take more than a few weeks to become clear. Was that a special case, or is this one -- maybe you're not saying young betas in general are ok but you're confident of this one? Thanks, just trying to understand. – Monica Cellio Sep 5 '17 at 2:10
  • @MonicaCellio It's rare, but you're right that there can be viability issues that can only be resolved after the site goes public. We don't have a formal process of evaluating early public betas with an eye towards closing them (abandonment aside), but if it becomes clear a site does not "work" early on (days to weeks?), it seems reasonable to act. Personally, I'd like to formalize that process with clear objectives about what constitutes "success" (Proposal ⇒ Private Beta ⇒ Public Beta ⇒ Full Site). That's the entire point of the "Beta" post I linked above. I think this site is past that. – Robert Cartaino Sep 5 '17 at 15:29
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    What happens if a site start with bells and flame, 100 questions/day ratio, then after half year when the flame dies, it falls to less than one question per day? I suspect this might happen here. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Sep 6 '17 at 14:16
  • @ShadowWizard but a site is not a meme, the requirements exist to make sure the site is not a meme... – Ooker Sep 6 '17 at 14:21
  • @ShadowWizard Read that first link in my post. That's what the article is about. – Robert Cartaino Sep 6 '17 at 14:25
  • @Robert so TL;DR this will cause the site to be closed? – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Sep 6 '17 at 14:29
  • @ShadowWizard No, sites are not closed if the question rate drops. Are we reading the same article? Don't TL:DR if you're just going to guess. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/257614/… – Robert Cartaino Sep 6 '17 at 14:36
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    @Robert so not only <1 question per day, also lack of answers and lack of active users which is possible result of such drop in overall activity. And yes: "If a public beta site does not produce consistently helpful content, and lacks the caretakers needed for flags and spam to get handled and our Be Nice policy to be upheld, it will be closed" – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Sep 6 '17 at 14:39

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