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What is the benefit of committing to a site? So far the only benefit is getting to participate in the 1-week private beta. That's a bit weak don't you think?

I say committing should give some sort of Area51 reputation benefit. Some ideas could be

  • Answers and Questions during the beta period have a percentage of their vote's reputation sent to Area 51
  • A weekly reputation boost for maintaining your "commitment" (visiting 3 times per week, answering a few questions, and asking 3 questions)

Anyone else have ideas?

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3  
What can you use A51 rep points for...? –  Shog9 Jun 30 '10 at 23:17
6  
Tax Breaks, someone to be there when you are sick, growing old together.... –  Kyle Brandt Jun 30 '10 at 23:45

7 Answers 7

up vote 5 down vote accepted

We want people committing to a site for one reason, only: because they are going to use the site!

Any other gains or fringe benefits has to be, essentially, insignificant... otherwise you create different motivations other than the one we are trying to measure: commitment.

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Isn't the primary benefit of committing making the site exist? If not enough people commit, there's no site at all. I find that to be quite an incentive.

Likewise, the activity during the beta is actually a requirement to keep the site alive.

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Well yes of course but reputation is still suppose to be a good way of nudging people to do what is intended. –  Earlz Jun 30 '10 at 22:52
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@Earlz I don't see how reputation on Area 51 is necessarily going to help. What about the multitude of users who only want to see one or two sites come to life? The only reputation worth it for them is the stuff they get anyway by participating in the Beta. I think the fact that if there is no commitment, the site collapses, that seems to be a very strong nudge to get things done. –  Grace Note Jun 30 '10 at 22:55

I would think commitment to a site such as this is akin to any other sort of commitment or relationship. Loyalty and trust are built amongst people engaged in said commitment, and all can gain something out of it.

The more you put in, the more you get out of it - if you put in lots of information, people will see your examples and follow them. If people are afraid to speak up, then no one speaks up, and in turn, questions don't get answers. That should be reward enough, on top of whatever else is offered already. Just because you do something, doesn't mean you HAVE to be rewarded. Doing good for the sake of good is often worth more.

Do you suppose that the knowledge you have gleaned from this family of sites is not worth as much as Area 51 reputation points or whathaveyou?

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Especially there should be some incentive for people that could answer questions. For people that want to ask a lot of questions there is the intrinsic incentive that they want to have a place where they get their questions answered.

On the other hand the people who know the topic and could answer all the questions really need additional incentive to commit. They can live as well without the site and have to be convinced that it's fun to spend lots of time answering questions without much real gain for themselves. Since a Q&A site without answers isn't all that useful, the people with the answers should be convinced to commit to the site, and so there should be some incentive to do so.

Also those incentives shouldn't be on are51, they should be on the site that is being created. Badges, privileges and other shiny things for the site they want to create. If I help a site to be a success I rather want that to be known on that site and in that community instead off on area51.

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Founder

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There is the Founder badge. Stricter, of course, than just commitment, but I think it's a lot nicer to have. –  Grace Note Jun 30 '10 at 23:01
    
@Grace, thanks, edited. –  Lance Roberts Jun 30 '10 at 23:03

In addition to what's been mentioned you can also participate in the private beta. You may be able to be invited to the private beta, but committing guarantees a spot.

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  • Enabling the site to actually enter the next stage.
  • Access to 1 week of private beta to be able to set up the bare bones of the site BEFORE it is shown to the public in the public beta, and to make sure the basics of the site work.
  • The ability to build a track record as one of the more important, high quality answer giving, people of the site, even before anyone else. (Will you be the Jon Skeet of that new site?)
  • Before I forget... Founder (under certain conditions.)

and... to answer your question.... I expect the reputation will later be added to the "combined reputation of all stackexchange sites" on area 51.

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