Was there any site in the Stack Exchange network that managed to become a full-featured SE site, i.e. got out of beta, and then got closed after some time, due to not having enough attention? Or, if a site becomes a full-blown SE network member, does that guarantee that it will be there "forever"?

Yes, this question is just to feed my curiosity and for no other reason.

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    So you are looking for sites that got out of Beta and then were closed? Oct 17, 2014 at 8:01
  • @psubsee2003 Yeap... if there are any.
    – trejder
    Oct 17, 2014 at 8:02
  • I want to say there was... I thought I remember reading that somewhere... looking for it now Oct 17, 2014 at 8:03
  • If you find it, place this as an answer, not as a comment, right?
    – trejder
    Oct 17, 2014 at 8:04
  • 2
    – gnat
    Oct 17, 2014 at 8:10
  • @gnat Post as an answer?
    – Scimonster
    Oct 17, 2014 at 9:21
  • 1
    @Scimonster too slippery for that (some readers may complain that technically, what happened to NPR doesn't fully qualify as "closed")
    – gnat
    Oct 17, 2014 at 9:23
  • @gnat But still... this, plus some explanation (copy of comment) plus assumption, that there wasn't any site, that technically got out of Beta and then was completely, permanently closed, would become a good answer to this question in my opinion.
    – trejder
    Oct 17, 2014 at 9:26
  • @trejder okay there you go - reposted into answer
    – gnat
    Oct 17, 2014 at 9:39
  • anyone remember if careers was a 1.0 or 2.0 site? It's gone now... Oct 17, 2014 at 9:41

2 Answers 2


The Windows Phone site was closed in November 2022 after having left beta in August 2019.

So far, this is the only circumstance where this played out exactly as you describe, where a site that got out of beta was ultimately shut down. However, keep in mind that at the time you asked your question, "graduation" was a one-package deal, with a design and increased privilege requirements happening at the same time as leaving beta. In June 2015, those two things were split off from leaving beta. So far, there's not been any site which has had the "full package" (leaving beta, getting a design, and getting increased privilege levels) shut down.


Technically, this doesn't fully qualify as a closure, but the story of NPR (Not Programming Related) is pretty much like it. Some time after graduation site was renamed, its scope was heavily redefined1 and lots of old questions were removed:

NPR was supposed to be a site where questions that were too subjective / broad for Stack Overflow would find a new home... It didn't take long for everyone to realize that the site was not working, and most people just didn't bother with it...

First, Joel warned us that the site was "degrading into fairly stupid water-cooler nonsense" and then Jeff stepped in, and enforced the infamous subjective guidelines. It took more than a few months for people to realize that NPR's (by then already renamed to Programmers) scope had changed drastically...

Then came the clean-ups... we cleaned up all the content that no longer fit the site's scope. After a few months of intense Meta drama, we deleted about 2K questions. And then some...

The site... existed for more than a few months, and it failed. Horribly....

Further reading

1 Technically, site renaming occurred and attempt to redefine scope started prior to graduation but detailed story indicates that the real shift happened much later and took place between Dec '10 and April '12 or even longer.

  • 1
    Software Engineering was called this since the private beta. The scope kept evolving after graduation, and there was a massive cleanup effort, but the foundations of the shift from programmer-cartoons.SE to software-engineering.SE had been laid during the beta. Oct 17, 2014 at 10:15
  • thanks @Gilles - edited to account for that
    – gnat
    Oct 17, 2014 at 11:53
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    Your edit doesn't change the facts. By the time progse graduated, the scope shift had already become policy. It took a couple of years to ramp up policy enforcement and clean up the legacy, but there was no fundamental scope redefinition (minor evolution, to be sure) after graduation. Progse did change after graduating from being the laughingstock of the network to being more average, but that was a matter of quality and perception, not a matter of scope. Oct 17, 2014 at 12:01
  • @Gilles my edit refers detailed story that reflects facts and dates as closely and authoritatively as it gets ("user8" is Mark Trapp, who was the moderator back then). As for "evolution", you better leave this interpretation for someone else; I am at Programmers since 2011 and what I saw during these years looked like anything but "evolution"
    – gnat
    Oct 17, 2014 at 12:19
  • ...per my observations, shift to evolution happened somewhere in between Mar '13 and Feb '14
    – gnat
    Oct 17, 2014 at 12:32

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