Somewhere around the blogs etc documenting Stackoverflow beta, someone asked "what's a good community size," and someone (Jeff?) answered along the lines of "we found it really started to work when it went north of 1000 people." I can't find the attribution right now... what's the link?
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It was in reference to podcast 18. They were discussing the early Stack Overflow beta. At that point, 1,000 people had already answered a question with at least one up-vote (Teacher badge). The tone of the conversation was that Stack Overflow was declared "a success." I brought it up as a data point to consider. Not necessarily a minimum size for a "good community."
In more recent podcasts (episode 70), they talk about the success of StackExchange sites and the minimum number of knowledgeable people needed to make a site worthwhile. Joel's response: The minimum number of users needed answering questions: one.