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What will happen if an SE site that is a sub-topic of another site flunks beta? Will the posts simply be deleted? Or could they be migrated to an appropriate trilogy site?

For example, if the Linux/Unix/Ubuntu/Whatever site dies a horrible death before its beta period ends, could its questions be migrated to Server Fault? Surely there will be some quality posts worth preserving, even if the beta is judged an embarrassing failure.

(I don't mean to pick on that particular site. I just needed an example).

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Well, the general scenario seems to be deletion. Since migration capabilities aren't currently being supported by the beta sites, though, it's questionable whether there would be any retention mechanism for these "subtopics". – Grace Note Aug 24 '10 at 21:35

Questions can be migrated, either individually or en masse. Obviously, if a site is failing there's a good chance a lot of the questions won't be worth saving either - but for those that are, and are on-topic on another site, migrations are appropriate. The best way to initiate this is to start a meta discussion and build a list of questions worth migrating, then pass that list on to us.

Even questions that aren't migrated aren't totally lost - when a site is closed, its questions, answers, comments, etc. are preserved in a data dump posted to the Area 51 proposal that spawned it. Enterprising readers are free to re-post these (with attribution) on a different Stack Exchange site or a site of their own creation.

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Gadgets has left a stench of something, a burning hole. The first corpse of SE betas lies in wait for autopsy and an update to this answer. – random Oct 25 '10 at 4:10

Ideally they will release a full data dump. That seems to be the best option for me. That way the data is still available.

Alternately, they could still allow access through the API. Just add a new status to a site (deleted). That would make it easy for people to write apps to browse the old data.

(I suppose you could do that with a data dump too)

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I would say that upon the site being deemed a failure they should put on the announcement banner "this site is a failed beta" or something similar and make everything read-only. The administrators should then look at which questions are having a steady amount of views on the dead beta and consider migrating them to an active site and making these questions do a 302 permanent-redirect and then eventually taking the site offline permanently and leaving us with a data dump once all of the "good" questions have been moved to more appropriate active sites.

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