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One of the visible metrics on Area 51 is the questions per day. The excellent level of this metric is 15 questions per day. Currently, there are 40 graduated sites in the network excluding Stack Apps, out of which 13 fall below this level, and three are at exactly this level.

So, 33% of the graduated sites are not fulfilling the questions/day metric. Even then, these have active communities around them and are doing well.

So, what is the reasoning behind the number being 15? Does it need to change?

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Firstly, most beta sites dont't have to worry that much about green stats, they need to stay out of the red. If you look at it, 15q/day is just as hard/time consuming as the other stats. And note that it's not mandatory to reach all green to graduate. You need to just show that you can sustain yourself and are growing well. –  Manishearth Jul 12 '13 at 3:50
    
It's actually quite like school -- you need to know a lot more than you'll need later on in life to graduate. Even though most graduated people don't know, say, calculus, they still teach it in high school. There's less scrutiny once you graduate, so graduation standards are high. –  Manishearth Jul 12 '13 at 3:57

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Originally, it wasn't 15 questions per day. It was 1500 questions per beta, with betas limited to 90 days - at the end of that time, you were expected to either graduate or close. 1500/90 is roughly 16.667 questions per day - I think we can agree that 15 is a cleaner-looking number. We've long ago transitioned to a model that looks at usage trends rather than hard numbers for graduation (and site-closing) purposes, but that metric still hangs around.

Where did 1500 questions come from? I don't know; I'll wager it was based on the beta numbers for previously successful sites, but Robert C can correct me if I'm wrong.

I will note that that sites which don't hit this during the private beta tend to be in rough shape. Some get by with less and go on to recover and do well, but... It's always worrying when less than half of the folks committed to a proposal manage to ask a single question.

Regardless, this generally isn't something you want to stress over unless folks are leaving and not coming back because there's nothing to do. As Robert wrote way back when,

As long as the questions and answers are of high quality, and people get answers to their questions, you shouldn’t worry about the site actually being closed.

For more information, see:

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