This is a public feedback on email titled "Are you having trouble accessing the ********* private beta you committed to?", not really a question.

Are you having trouble accessing the ********* private beta you committed to?

I was very passionate about the Digital Preservation beta, which was my first beta. Put a lot of effort in it (questions, answers, comments, got more rep than on all other sites I participate) - only to have that beta size closed at Mar 18.

Now I have no motivation in attending ********* private beta because everything just got wiped out - not even a badge left.

I consider the situation a bug in the overall meta-reputation encouragement system - don't think I'm the first one which was hit by this.

However, I intend to host the data dump from DP myself, because it was, and is important to me.

Or, to phrase it differently, I understand losing rep for doing things bad to the community, but what exactly was bad to the community in this case?

EDIT: This answer has a nice discussion of the overall commit-private beta stage problem.

EDIT2: I propose to retrofit a bronze badge on Area51 like e.g. "Last Man Standing - fulfilled commitment on failed proposal", and since I found StackDump, I am now not as concerned with losing the accumulated QA itself, because I can host it.

EDIT3: Created question about attributing/linking back for the data dump from closed A51 proposal

  • 2
    Why tag this [bug]? it most certainly [status-by-design]. If you want something changed, fine - start a [discussion] or post a [feature-request] if you have an idea about what should be done about it.
    – Mat
    Mar 23, 2013 at 8:57
  • This not a "code bug" aka implementation bug, but definitely a "design problem". I'll retag it though.
    – wizzard0
    Mar 23, 2013 at 8:59
  • How do you want the situation to be handled? Some sites just do not get off the ground, and the reputation earned on such a site already doesn't carry any meaning outside of that site. It's sad when a beta site doesn't gain enough traction, but such is life. Mar 23, 2013 at 9:01
  • You can still access all the questions and answers as a data dump. Mar 23, 2013 at 9:02
  • Very related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/89505/…
    – Mat
    Mar 23, 2013 at 9:02
  • To be somehow reflected in Area51 rep, for example, a badge like "Last Man Standing - commitment fulfilled, but the site died" and 5-10 rep etc.
    – wizzard0
    Mar 23, 2013 at 9:03
  • @Mat: difference being, the DP beta was collecting genuine new content, but there was not enough traction, while HTW beta has traction but no apparent direction. I consider the distinction important.
    – wizzard0
    Mar 23, 2013 at 9:05
  • @MartijnPieters I downloaded a data dump, but there's a great difference between a dump and a website - eg I can't link to it. BTW, can I import and host it elsewhere myself? That would be great.
    – wizzard0
    Mar 23, 2013 at 9:07
  • @wizzard0: didn't vote to close as dup, but read the answer. Most of it (at least) applies as well to the case you state. Think of how many startups fail in real life too.
    – Mat
    Mar 23, 2013 at 9:07
  • 1
    @EnergyNumbers - created meta.stackexchange.com/questions/173179/…
    – wizzard0
    Mar 23, 2013 at 9:21
  • @wizzard0: You can host the content yourself; it is all licensed under CC-Wiki. Mar 23, 2013 at 9:45

1 Answer 1


It's really unclear what you're asking here. What rep are you talking about? What do you mean by *** private beta? :S

Anyway, the site was close because of this:

enter image description here

Most private betas have 5-15 questions per day. This number spikes up by ~2 when you go public, and then this rapidly declines to rock bottom (~2-4 q/day) once the initial commiters run out of questions to ask. After this, for a good site, there is a slow, steady increase. For example, RaspberryPi.SE started off at 14, reached 15 at some point (I think), and then went down to 4. It's now at 5.

Keeping this in mind, one can't really expect this site to be anywhere close to the other betas when its initial q/day value (which is supposed to be more or less the highest) was less than the minimum q/day value for any other beta. In fact, most betas reaching this point (and staying there) get closed (cf Astronomy and TheoreticalPhysics).

Regarding rep: You lost your rep on that site when the site was closed. Makes sense to me, what use is rep on a nonexistant site? It is meant to be positive/negative feedback within the system of the site. The fact that the site was closed was an external effect.

  • 1
    ******** private beta is another private beta invitation I received. It is not important which one, hence I replaced it with asterisks.
    – wizzard0
    Mar 23, 2013 at 10:40
  • @wizzard0: I guessed as much, the rest is still unclear.. Mar 23, 2013 at 10:40
  • <quote> within the system of the site</quote> Within the system of Area51, because the reason that the site was closed were the rules of Area51.
    – wizzard0
    Mar 23, 2013 at 10:41
  • @wizzard0: You lost Area51 rep? Mar 23, 2013 at 10:41
  • No. The beta site is part of an Area51. The participation on betas should be reflected in Area51 rep.
    – wizzard0
    Mar 23, 2013 at 10:42
  • 4
    @wizzard0: No, it's not. A51 keeps track of it, but the beta site is still a site. Why are you so fixated on keeping the rep for that site? What will you do with it? The site doesn't exist anymore; what's the point? Mar 23, 2013 at 10:46
  • Then, why does the fulfilled commitment in the site that graduates from A51 reflected in A51 rep? I don't get the logic here.
    – wizzard0
    Mar 23, 2013 at 10:47
  • Also, yes, I am not "asking", I am "sending feedback", because the Feedback link on A51 sent me on meta.stackexchange.
    – wizzard0
    Mar 23, 2013 at 10:49
  • @wizzard0: Because it shows that you participated to a certain extent in starting up a site. It's a fixed bonus. Reflecting rep wholesale would bloat the A51 rep system. And it doesn't make much sense. Mar 23, 2013 at 10:51
  • 1
    @wizzard0: Well, my point is that rep isn't that big a deal; so IMO there's nothing to be done here :/ Mar 23, 2013 at 10:51
  • <quote>It's a fixed bonus</quote>. Yes. Exactly. And it should be awarded in this case too, probably with a different name and a smaller amount.
    – wizzard0
    Mar 23, 2013 at 10:53
  • <quote>rep isn't that big a deal</quote> this is the only place where the contributions to things which failed for "external reasons" could be reflected, isn't it?
    – wizzard0
    Mar 23, 2013 at 10:54
  • @wizzard0: ...meh. Sounds logical, but it's still a minor thing. 50 rep is pretty much nothing. And private betas rarely get closed. Mar 23, 2013 at 10:55
  • Ok, let it be nothing. Thanks.
    – wizzard0
    Mar 23, 2013 at 10:56

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