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Moderator pro tem nominations generally happen about a week into public beta, and are influenced by the community (according to the blog post).

Just how early should a new site start their meta question for pro tem nominations (or indeed, the other 6 beta questions)? In private beta? or when they graduate to public beta?

The general idea that the blog post gives me is that it should be as soon as possible, but private beta feels a little early, with only a handful of meta users

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Use your best judgement; there is no set rule for this.

The private beta is usually only around a week long, so most sites start the nomination thread at the end of that or early into public beta. This works out fairly well since that gives the users on the site a few days to get a feel for things and decide whether or not to nominate themselves or someone else.

We usually come in about a week or so into public beta to start looking for volunteers.

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