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Shouldn't proposals that are heading towards beta have some other way for committees to stay engaged?

A more general question than just adding comments or discussion to proposals that are in the commit phase. This would be most beneficial for proposals that might not have an immediate following but are steadily advancing through the commit phase (I'm basing my idea off the Physics proposal which has 2 or 3 commits a day and will eventually make it to 100%).

I think a Stack Exchange site has a much better chance of survival if committees have a way to contribute and stick around between definition and beta. What ideas do we have to keep people around?

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There are a lot of similar questions. I also went on meta today for this reason. So I guess it is something important for several people to be able to do something during this commitment phase and to start to communicate within the building community. –  Julien N Aug 23 '10 at 12:37

2 Answers 2

This relates to at least two other questions: on following proposals, and on losing momentum. To the extent that this propose-commit-private-public cycle is itself an experiment in the creation of successful Q&A sites, it seems to me that at least the commit part of the process needs some more tinkering. Specifically, I personally would like to see

  • the ability to continue discussing proposals and adding questions
  • maybe even a forum where committed participants can chat about meta issues relating to the proposal.

I understand that the proposals in private and public beta right now might provide additional data for the success of the commit formula and the commit stage itself, and I am eager to hear if anything has been gleaned yet.

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Along those same lines, I was thinking that meta.x.stackexchange.com would open in the commitment phase. It's like discussion, but directed towards how to manage the site when it (hopefully) appears. –  Nick Jul 19 '10 at 2:16

This already exists: you're supposed to be evangelizing the site proposal, and referring others via the widgets we provide.

(this is also how you build the referral numbers for the proposal that are attached to you in this proposal, aka Mafia Wars.)

At least, referring others is how you can help get the proposal to reach 100% and move to private beta, anyway...

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So you're saying that all commit-level interaction should be happening outside of area51, less committing itself? –  Nick Jul 19 '10 at 2:59
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@nick perhaps -- if you want to grow a community, you have to reach outside the current "geek" sphere to do so IMO. Those who know about Area 51, the Trilogy, etc.. already would be on Area 51 if they were interested. –  Jeff Atwood Jul 19 '10 at 3:23
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No doubt - but once you bring new users in from outside the current stack sphere (and see the Physics proposal if you'd like to see a good example of this), they could use a good place to keep themselves interested. –  Nick Jul 19 '10 at 3:35
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the only motivation for new users of a proposed Q&A site to go out and further evangelize is the reputation they gain on area51, and the future likelihood of the site actually forming. for most users, the first is basically useless - who cares about area51 rep, especially when the commit calcs are so murky. As for the second, it would then help to have a potential committer be able to ask others about the site itself and gather more info from the community –  Suresh Jul 19 '10 at 4:08
    
@suresh except that A51 users with enough rep can influence site proposal closing, site proposal merging, etcetera. I'll also tell you right now that multi-site rep is weighed fairly heavily in commit calculations. –  Jeff Atwood Jul 19 '10 at 5:37

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