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Reduce the reputation requirements for editing and approving edits during the very early beta

Chemistry.SE recently went to public beta. Now, we still are a young site, and don't have that many users with enough privileges.

Some privileges that are pretty important:

  • Editing (Only 1 user).
  • Approve suggested edits (only 1 user). We should either be able to edit easily or have enough people with access to the edit queue.
  • View votecounts (2 users).. This one is important since it helps in determining on-topicness in the early stages.
  • Vote-to-close (7 users, not all active) This one is obviously important. Our first close in public beta required an SE staff vote.

Now, in about a week, we'll probably have enough users getting enough rep to get those privileges. But, for now, we're sort of ill-equipped.

I propose this: Smoothly "glissando" transition from the private beta rep requirements to the public beta requirements, atleast for the privileges listed above. Sudden changes make no sense--there is no matching sudden change in the site, except for increased activity due to the public beta (and we ought to be better-equipped to deal with it, not worse-equipped).

At least until the pro-tems are chosen, can public betas glissando smoothly transition the rep requirements? Please?

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    The core idea here isn't bad, but I can't get over the use of "glissando" as an action. Please do not verb the nouns. – Pops May 11 '12 at 7:40
  • @PopularDemand: I was wondering how long it would be before someone caught that :P . Any better words? "Glide"? Or "Smoothly transition"? I think I'll use the latter – Manishearth May 11 '12 at 7:42
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    @PopularDemand: Though "glissando" is a verb in Italian. Go figure :/ – Manishearth May 11 '12 at 7:45
  • I've made a nearly identical feature request in the past – Mad Scientist May 11 '12 at 9:09
  • @Fabian: Aah. CV-dupe then :/ – Manishearth May 11 '12 at 9:12

You're not the first person to notice this, but almost all suggestions brought forth (even for graduated sites) involve making changes to the way the system works, when really, some introspection is what's needed.

The site has ~250 posts (questions + answers), yet only 5 people have voted on more than 100 of them as of writing this. The next cluster is in the 40-50 range (i.e. 20% of posts), and then a steep fall off. You yourself have voted only 40 times in the 2 weeks it has been in private beta. Why? Private beta is the time when everyone is supposed to be actively participating in all aspects of the site.

Voting is your currency. You'll have to spend it in order to have a thriving economy. If you hoard your votes (which serves no purpose really, because the left overs expire at the end of the day), then the economy stagnates. Changes to the engine cannot help overcome apathy.

Similarly, only one user has done any significant editing on the site. Most have done less than 10... if no one was editing any way, you're not missing out on anything, right? Just keep suggesting edits and users with privileges to approve (currently 1) will take care of it.

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    Just a note: I'm not a chemist, so many times I don't know what a post is talking about. Hence I don't vote on it. That user has done significant editing since he has the editing privilege (and got it early in the private beta stage). Alright, then, I'll go ahead suggesting edits. – Manishearth May 11 '12 at 8:08
  • Also, most of the edits I would like to make involve math formatting--it greatly improves the post but is a trivial change. So I tend to shy away from suggesting those edits, due to there being only one user with enough rep to approve them. – Manishearth May 11 '12 at 8:12
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    Well, then that's unfortunate... Private betas are supposed to be populated with users who are either experts or at least understand the subject. When people sign up because it is "cool" or because they had fun growing copper sulphate crystals as a kid, it lowers the progress of the site. Not blaming you in particular — this is a common trend in Area 51 proposals, especially among those where people think they know enough to participate, but actually don't. – Lorem Ipsum May 11 '12 at 8:23
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    Oh no I understand chemistry pretty well. I just can't comment on the research-level stuff. I can participate a lot, though I don't answer much since many questions already have answers much better than what I would post. I do ask tons of (hopefully good) questions. checks Alright, I've asked 15 questions, given 5 answers, and only two posts have been on an "easy" topic. I think I'll dig back and cast some votes--I went on vacation for half the private beta so a lot of questions missed my notice. – Manishearth May 11 '12 at 8:28

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