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I think the activity (comments, votes, new examplary questions) on Area 51 has dropped dramatically since late Friday (UTC). What is the reason? Northern Hemisphere summer holdidays?

Is it a correct observation?

There was no such drop a week ago.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 22 down vote accepted

I think that a lot of the drop in activity can be attributed to the fact that, unlike the definition phase, there's nothing you can actually do in the commitment phase. And since the proposals with the highest interest are stuck in commitment limbo, many people have stopped visiting the site.

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Yeah, come on and launch some already :) –  bdonlan Jun 27 '10 at 0:40
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could the commitment phase be made less passive? –  Vivi Jun 27 '10 at 0:58
    
+1, only because I can't do +2... –  John C Jun 27 '10 at 1:17
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I think that the fact that the web app one hasn't gone beta with the support makes me think almost no other propositions will make it. Some subjects have over 100 commitments and I think that should be the bar for launch else people will loose interest. –  nkassis Jun 27 '10 at 1:22
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Just noticed some other threads discussing the fact that the webapp site hasn't launched due to technical delays. So my previous post is useless –  nkassis Jun 27 '10 at 1:58
    
@Vivi The commit phase is expected to speed up significantly (hours to days) once the system is established - see Robert Cartaino's reply here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/54980/… –  Colonel Sponsz Jun 27 '10 at 12:41
    
@Colonel Sponsz: thanks for that. I still think we should be allowed to make comments and give feedback, or do something other than just wait during the commit phase –  Vivi Jun 28 '10 at 0:17
    
@nkassis It's not a numbers issue. The beta just isn't ready yet I think –  Joe Philllips Jun 28 '10 at 2:10

The drop on Area 51 is nothing compared to the drop on StackApps. It's only a few days older and now there's almost no one actively participating anymore. (There are exceptions to that, though.)

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Don't forget the normal drop on weekends on the whole family of sites. I know you suggest that there was no such drop last week, but are you sure?

You could argue that the weekly drop illustrated below is expected to be a bit less dramatic on A51 than SO, as it's less of a tool folks are using at work, but I suspect that there's still a major dropoff after every Friday night.

For the family, I think there's about a 66% drop from mid-week peaks to weekends, and close to a 60% drop from Friday to Saturday every week:

alt text

Source

I agree that @Kyle's answer (less to do in "Commit" phase than in "Define" phase) is a contributing factor, but if you're not already controlling for the weekend drop, that's more likely the bulk of it.

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yes, I am sure. I have sampled activity going several weeks back, and during all of the last weekend (and also weekends before then) there was a fairly high Area 51 activity. This weekend the activity is much lower, starting on Friday at about 1700 hours UTC. –  Peter Mortensen Jun 27 '10 at 21:32
    
@Peter, 1) thx for the edit, I corrected. 2) Fair enough, sounds like you've got a control group to compare to. Must be the combo of less to engage with in commit, plus the summer/holiday months... –  Jaydles Jun 27 '10 at 23:09

It is midsummer (aka summer solstice holiday). Many of my European colleagues are totally offline since Thursday.

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I voted on questions for a few proposals, but there are now with 16 pages of proposals. I'm not going to browse through them all to see if there are any proposals I'm interested in enough to write or vote on questions. I'm sure other people feel the same way.

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That's why there's a search bar. –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Jun 27 '10 at 7:31
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Search is fine if I want to find a proposal for a topic I'm interested in. But I'm sure I'm not the only person who "helped" proposals I didn't really care about by voting for good on- or off-topic questions. –  Ward Jun 27 '10 at 7:51
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Actually, I did browse through them all - it's interesting to see what people think (or hope) will succeed, and how they approach it. Or watching a splinter proposal that won't merge with another or widen it - sort of like the "Life of Brian" Judean People's Front versus the People's Front of Judea, etc... –  John C Jun 27 '10 at 13:15

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