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From the What can be done with Area 51? question, it seems like the biggest complaint is that there is very little connectivity during the commitment phase. A user merely signs up, then can't do anything aside from refer other users, and see how the progress is going for the site, until the site enters beta.

What can we do to bridge the connectivity gap during the commitment phase?

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5 Answers 5

If it is possible, then it would be nice if there was some kind of "try out" site. There is room for a few questions (for example 5). That could be answered. Questions with accepted answers are removed from view. As are other questions if the total number exceeds the maximum.

This way you keep the participants interested and you get a flow of people to make the site buzzing.

And if the questions and answers are good enough they possibly could be transfered to the site if it goes life.

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Keep the discussion going on the http://discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/ side of things. If you link to the proposal in your question on that side, it automatically shows up on the proposal page as well.

Keep those committed up to date on what should be on and off topic, and keep an eye out for other proposals that could be merged into yours, as this could potentially add to your counts.

I agree with you that there should be more that can be done during the commitment phase. You can also brainstorm as to potential sites on which you could ethically advertise the new proposal. You could also think about turning this into a feature request to get a feature to practice answers to some of the on topic/off topic questions (as Gamecat has alluded to in his answer).

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I think there should be a way to mention the Proposal on Stack Exchange sites where members are likely to be interested in the proposal. I realize that some Stack Exchange members visit the Area 51, but not all do. If done by individuals, it would expose Area51 members to the Stack Exchange. Jonsca suggests "You can also brainstorm as to potential sites on which you could ethically advertise the new proposal." but it can't currently be done within Stack Exchange.

Or to shorten the Commitment stage, there could just be some kind of general daily or weekly announcement such as "xxx and xxx proposals in Area 51 have reached commitment stage. This wouldn't help the connectivity issue - but it might attract more people to commit.

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There actually is, via the community ads. Just make a community ad for it, and it'll show up. –  PearsonArtPhoto Oct 2 '12 at 13:46

The easiest thing to do would be to keep allowing the users to refine the site definition. Let them keep voting on questions at the very least, and possibly allow them to create new sample questions. This would give them something to do, which would allow people to keep coming back to the site.

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You can keep users engaged via Area51 Chat not everyone may actively use it, but many will peek in and if the room has some activity it will let users know that interest still exists.

This would be in addition to the suggestion by @jonsca to use discussion http://discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/ Discussion brings attention to your site and needs to be used in moderation as to much can feel spammy and have negative impact. Chat can be used daily and is also a good place to talk to prospective members as well as those new to the Area51 model.

Example http://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/14251/pastafarianism

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I have yet to see that work... –  PearsonArtPhoto 15 hours ago
    
@PearsonArtPhoto keep watching, I feel confident it is going to work on the example. –  James Jenkins 15 hours ago
    
Agreed, but wonder why it is so rarely used? –  Shadow Wizard 15 hours ago

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