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This has been asked before and been answered with:

Users are not allowed to vote, comment and ask questions in the commitment phase. This status is by-design

But the Area 51 FAQ states

Once you've fulfilled your commitment on a new site by asking and answering a few questions, you'll be able to commit to another site

Which for me sounds like I should be able to ask questions. How else would I be able to "fulfill my commitment"?

So I'm confused. Am I able too ask questions or not? If not, the FAQ should be worded differently.

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closed as off topic by kiamlaluno, George Stocker Jun 26 '12 at 13:53

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This is a question for They use the "area51-meta" tag for such questions. – kiamlaluno Jun 22 '12 at 14:30
I see. I tried and didn't know that discuss existed. Move the question or open a new one? – oschrenk Jun 22 '12 at 14:45
Flag the question for moving it. Who votes to close the question cannot vote to migrate the question there; only moderators can migrate the question on that site. – kiamlaluno Jun 22 '12 at 14:49
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The proposal's commitment phase is when people can commit to it.

Your commitment starts from the time you commit to the proposal and lasts until at least the second day of the public beta. You can fulfil your commitment by asking and answering questions during the private beta. There's a subtle hint that the FAQ refers to the beta phase and not the commitment phase:

Once you've fulfilled your commitment on a new site by asking and answering a few questions, you'll be able to commit to another site

Site, not proposal. But it should probably be changed to something like:

Once you've fulfilled your commitment by asking and answering a few questions during the beta stage...

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Now I get it. I vote for the wording change. Makes it more clear - at least for me. – oschrenk Jun 22 '12 at 12:46

"Fulfilling a commitment" means being moderately active (asking, answering, voting) on the beta that follows the commitment phase. If you aren't too active, you can only commit to a new site after it graduates. Of course, you have three commitment slots, so if you use them wisely (and become active during the betas), you won't have to worry about this.

The stages of site-building are:

  • Definition: Posing example questions, voting, commenting. Discussions at discuss.area51.
  • Commitment: You can't do much on area51 now except get the referral link and spread the word. This is more of a "cool your heels" phase.
  • Private beta: Only committers have access to the beta. Here, it is like a full site--you can ask, answer, vote, comment, vote-to-close, participate in meta, etc. The privileges have lowered rep requirements. Note that the questions asked in the Definition phase do not get migrated over (though you can re-ask them yourself if you want). The questions asked in the Definition phase were just examples--not meant to be answered, but rather there so that you can mash out what's on topic.
  • Public beta: Beta becomes open to the public. Rep requirements increased, but not at max. In a few weeks, you get moderators.
  • Graduate! : You get a theme, mod election, normal rep requirements, and a few other stuff. Also, the site isn't in much danger of being closed.
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