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According to the answer What are the success criteria for an Area 51 beta site? when the site after 90 days in beta becomes eligible for graduation as a full site, it will be launched. However, most of the sites don't fullfill this criteria in 90 days.

Then it is written:

If the site has not reached these goals by 90 days in beta, it can remain a beta site as long as it continues to show steady progress. But if the beta site is showing a general, unrecoverable, downward trend, it may be closed as inviable.

From that I could understant that the site that failed to fullfill that criteria in 90 days, can be trapped in public beta forever. And once in falls in downward trend, it can be closed.

Take an example: Personal Finance and Money

It stays in beta for almost 2 years, have all goals to excellent, only number of questions is good (5,1 a day). OK, everything could be excelent, but:

Role-playing Games were started, and it have much worse statistics in the start moment. The number of questions per day was 3,4, with status Needs work.

From the following examples, I see no rule, when the site trapped in public beta phase will be started (or if it will be started).

So, please, could you say, why Role-playing Games stared, and why Personal Finance and Money has not, and what criteria would be taken into accout to start other betas, such as Travel etc.?

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One year later, I thought I'd mention that the Personal Finance and Money site is going to graduate soon. See meta.money.stackexchange.com/questions/691/… –  Chris W. Rea Jul 30 '13 at 20:04
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1 Answer

up vote 13 down vote accepted

failed to fullfill that criteria in 90 days, it can be trapped

No, 90 days is NOT a do-or-die date; Not in the least.

90 days is a minimum length. Most sites will take much longer. Longer-running betas are not in some sort of failure mode, nor are they "trapped."

It's blog post time…

Does this site have a chance of succeeding?

Once you're done poking around the numbers, the decision to graduate (or not yet) is about lock in. You're trying to determine if the work of "community building" is done. That's not easily measured by the numbers so I can't point you to "the criteria." It's more about … "Has the site grown into a stable and growing collection of high-quality content with a community that all-but-guarantees continued success for a long time to come?" RPG has; Personal Finance has not.

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So, It's more about intuition than the numbers? –  Łukasz 웃 L ツ Jun 14 '12 at 13:17
    
@lechlukasz: Absolutely. And that's how you want it. Numbers are a useful indicator, a rough estimate. The real decision is made based on the community that builds up, the "feel" of the site that's created, and that's a call for the SE community liaisons, with input from the community itself. –  Ziv Jun 14 '12 at 18:19
    
Well, does it means that it is acceptable to keep asking on the meta, about what is missing for the site to leave beta (let's say, every 3 months or so)? –  Łukasz 웃 L ツ Jun 14 '12 at 18:34
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