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During the beta process of a site a handful of metrics are gathered to determine if the site will be successful:

  • questions per day
  • % of questions answered
  • # of avid users
  • answer ratio
  • visits per day

I don't know the exact values for these metrics to promote a site from beta to launched, but what if a launched site no longer meets these criteria? Will the site be taken down?

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@Robert It sounds like the OP here is talking about a site that's graduated beta, which the dupes don't discuss (unless I'm missing something). – waiwai933 Jan 26 '11 at 2:59
@waiwai933: Ah, correct. Re-opened. – Robert Cartaino Jan 26 '11 at 3:07

The whole point of the onerous

Area 51 proposal → private beta → public beta → public

process is to demonstrate a site's viability.

For that reason, I think it is highly unlikely we would shut down a public, fully graduated site.

If we had to shut down public sites, it means our entire strategy is wrong -- so we might all want to quit the company at that point.

I'm not saying it will never happen, but it's more likely a handful of sites may never leave public beta.

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If you decide to quit the company, please leave SO and MSO with me. I will take care of it. I'll even sign something that says I can't try to make money off of it. – jjnguy Jan 26 '11 at 4:00
I agree that this probably won't happen. If it were to happen I wouldn't expect it anytime soon. The thought that crossed my mind was what if a topic fell out of popularity. Hypothetical example: what if development on Ubuntu stopped? Over time people would stop using it and working with it. They would no longer have a need for the site and it would just sit there and linger with low traffic (probably only spammers and such). Would the site just remain around? What would protect the high quality content from just deteriorating? – brainimus Jan 26 '11 at 21:31

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