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Why do sites that are active SE 1.0 sites still go through private beta? I'm thinking of which went from being open 1 day, to private the next.

I understand the private beta for new sites, but does it make sense for sites migrating from Stack Exchange 1.0?

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Update: refer to David Fullerton's answer at… ... " imported sites from now on will skip private beta ". – Chris W. Rea Sep 23 '10 at 13:30

Excellent question.

I wish I would have thought of this issue in advance of the migration, to raise it earlier.

Today, I had a top user of the SE 1.0 site, who did not commit to the proposal at area51, get in touch with me to express concern about why they couldn't log in to the site.

So, in hindsight, I think that registered users of an SE 1.0 site being migrated should be made able to access the SE 2.0 version of the site during private beta, as if they had committed to the area51 proposal ... i.e. grandfather all SE 1.0-registered users into the SE 2.0 private beta. After all, many such users were committed to the site already, if not committed-in-fact at area51.

Even though I had a "support our proposal" link pasted at, I suspect users (even regulars) that didn't grok Stack Overflow didn't bother to commit at area51.

As for unregistered / new users, I agree with Robert's answer, to keep it somewhat limited for testing.

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A limited beta is for testing and ramping up to full production.

You see a few hundred messages and a long list of users and it looks like a finished site. But behind the scenes, there are thousands of database settings, network configurations, hamster wheels, and mispelled HMLT tags that you have to get just right.

You don't want to open the doors to thousands of people on day one only to find that the domain name doesn't work or that the load balancer only allows eight people in at a time.

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If that is the case, I recommend that instead of redirecting from to, put a landing page which explains why the community went dark and that they should expect to see it open again in x days. – Alex B Aug 7 '10 at 18:41
+1 for "HMLT" tags – Jared Harley Aug 7 '10 at 20:37
Could you leave the original sites active as read-only during private beta and/or allow oldsite users to join in the private beta without the need of commitment? – Tobias Kienzler Aug 11 '10 at 7:15
@Tobias Kienzler: The original sites are still active. The new site's private beta is part of a slow, controlled test prior to public access. Private beta is reserved for users who explicitly express and interest in participating through their commitment. Besides, we can't white list users who do not have accounts in the SE Network. – Robert Cartaino Aug 11 '10 at 11:57
♦: In that case you could at least add a "what happened" link when redirecting from a "migrating" SE-1.0 site, currently it is indeed confusing, just like @AlexB said – Tobias Kienzler Aug 11 '10 at 12:33

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