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As Stack Exchange sites are beginning to graduate from beta, they are moving out of the beta rep benchmarks for abilities. This means that almost all users lose some of their abilities. Not a big deal on an individual level, but it also means that the community loses some of its policing abilities. Webapps, for instance, cannot close a question through community vote as only one non-mod has the ability to vote to close. While Cooking (where I'm active) technically has enough users to vote to close (with the new rep benchmarks), I'm not sure enough of them are active to actually get a 5-vote close.

This seems to me to be a bit of an issue, since the site was running smoothly in beta, but then loses some of those abilities immediately upon going live. Maybe it won't cause any issue, but it seems a little weird.

A proposal for a solution: When the site moves out of beta, existing beta members have their rep-gained abilities grandfathered in for [x] months. This would allow the community to keep policing itself and give existing users a grace period to gain the necessary rep, while also setting a higher bar for new users and not setting a shifting target for rep benchmarks.

Thoughts?

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This question gives me a fairly strong deja-vu... –  badp Oct 8 '10 at 23:26

3 Answers 3

I don't think I can back this. This would not be fun to implement. Having interim rep levels would be marginally better (which hasn't been a popular idea), but even then it would just be yet another beta stage on top of the private and public betas. We don't need 4 beta stages. If the site is going to graduate, it needs to graduate. Perhaps basing graduation off of number of users at the different rep levels instead of a hard 90 days would be a better indication of a community's ability to self-police and readiness to be a real site.

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Question on WebApps asking about this after we graduated: meta.webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/704/… –  Rebecca Chernoff Oct 8 '10 at 22:48
    
Question on MSO before you launched: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/65535/… –  badp Oct 8 '10 at 23:32
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Perhaps basing graduation off of number of users at the different rep levels instead of a hard 90 days would be a better indication of a community's ability to self-police and readiness to be a real site. yes please. Can we revisit? Is this the current policy? –  jcolebrand Feb 24 '11 at 1:16

I think that's a great idea. Do it!

(answer added for voting, since the question has gotten upvotes, but no one seems to have answered in the affirmative yet)

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I understand Jeff and rchern's points of view. I don't necessarily disagree, but I've added this answer so that people can vote for the suggestion rather than just upvoting the question, which has slightly ambiguous connotation. –  yossarian Oct 9 '10 at 3:12
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For feature requests, voting on the question is voting for the idea. At least, it is these days. –  Martijn Pieters Jan 9 at 16:10

In addition to rchern's (excellent) analysis, consider: you really need communities to be voting so they have a stable "economy".

What you're proposing is to devalue the currency of rep which isn't fixing the underlying problem, just duct-taping over it.

I'd also argue it is the role of the pro-tem mods to stay on top of sites and moderate them while they're growing in their "just outta beta" state.

But in short: VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

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I think that cooking has actually had pretty healthy voting. Maybe webapps hasn't had as much. But it seems that traffic and question frequency seem to be a bigger problem on cooking than that the community doesn't vote. –  yossarian Oct 9 '10 at 3:10

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