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While I'm familiar with Area 51, it's not a section of StackExchange that I trawl through very often. So, I often find that there are new Beta sites for Area 51 projects I didn't even realize existed.

Of course, many times, these sites will be about subjects which I have no interest in. Sometimes, they will be things I just have a passing interest in - not quite interested enough to be a regular contributor, but it's still a StackExchange site I'd like to know is around for me to check before praying to Google. And then, of course, there will be the occasional gem that represents a subject I am very interested in - something I could be a strong contributor to in some form, and would like to help grow.

So, my question is: Is there a way for StackExchange users to choose to be alerted to when any Area 51 project (not just projects they've committed to or followed) goes into Public Beta? If not, I think this would be a great feature to add in order to attract users to the Beta site.

I wouldn't be surprised to know that this is something that gets posted to a blog somewhere regularly, but I don't really follow the blogs myself except for what posts get bumped into the chat rooms. So, I believe the feature might be a bit more useful if it was implemented via some sort of e-mail alert or a notification in the Global Inbox. Again, this should be an opt-in feature.

Is this something already available, which I'm not aware of? If not, could it be implemented in some form?

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2 Answers 2

While there is not currently a way for users to be alerted each time there is a new beta site, you can always browse http://stackexchange.com/sites#newest. That will show you all sites that have graduated or are in public beta (with #newest sorting them newest first, but there are other sort options). You do have to manually check, but it should be easier to navigate than Area 51.

We probably will not implement email or global inbox notifications each time a new site is created because most people will probably become very annoyed with them. Additionally, we're currently redesigning Area 51 to make it easier and faster to propose and launch sites, so we will hopefully be creating more new sites in a much shorter period of time once that redesign is done. If we alerted every user each time a site was created (even if it was an opt-in notification), it would probably get very annoying, very quickly.

But, you never know. :)

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Another angle to approach this from might be an "Area 51 newsletter", which particularly has a section highlighting public betas and site graduations. Give the users the ability to opt-in to this on a monthly or weekly basis. If the newsletter could also contain more interesting information and/or statistics, that would help reduce user annoyance. –  Iszi Aug 3 '12 at 23:54
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You can subscribe to the Stack Exchange sites rss feed (linked to at the bottom of stackexchange.com/sites). It only includes public beta sites.

If you want alerts when private betas begin as well, just follow the proposal on Area 51, and you will receive an email when the beta begins.

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I don't follow RSS feeds. I was hoping to see a more SE-integrated feature, or at least e-mail alerting. –  Iszi Aug 3 '12 at 23:50
    
@Iszi - As Emmett said, follow the proposals. That way you'll get informed as the site moves through it's various phases. –  jmort253 Aug 4 '12 at 1:12
    
@jmort253 That presumes I have time to regularly and actively trawl through Area 51 and sort through the SNR to find proposals I'm interested in following. As I've stated, this is not something I do often. It would be much easier to facilitate a passive monitoring mechanism as I've suggested. This would also help bring attention to interesting proposals that I might yet still miss, due to the nature of being human, even if I did monitor Area 51 more actively. –  Iszi Aug 4 '12 at 1:16
    
Maybe it's a good time to pick up the RSS feeds... it seems like this problem already has a solution. :) As far as development time goes, Area 51 is going through some changes, so it might be awhile before requests such as this might be considered, unless of course the changes involve something like this. If I were you, I'd download an RSS feedreader and get notifications through my browser. Hope this helps! :) –  jmort253 Aug 4 '12 at 2:36
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