I am calculating the differences between graduated betas v.s. discontinued betas for an academic paper.

When an unsuccessful beta is discontinued - e.g. Theoretical Physics - a note is placed "closed after 233 days in beta".

When a successful beta graduates, no note is placed - e.g. The Workplace - instead, there is a statement "This Stack Exchange site's beta was successful, so it launched 8 months ago" without exactly specifying how long the site was in beta.

How can I work out how long a successful beta was in beta phase for?

  • just out of curiousity - why?
    – user273376
    Nov 16, 2014 at 6:45
  • I am interested in identifying the threshold of success vs the threshold of failure for a beta site. I am analyzing about 110 factors in my model at the moment. When does a good run result in sustained momentum? When is the "kiss of death" due to lack of take-up in a beta site - really the kiss of the death?
    – gajooge
    Nov 16, 2014 at 6:47
  • Note that on the right side of the Area 51 site, you have the starts of the private and public beta, respectively in a format like “2 years ago”. When you hover it, you get a tooltip with the exact dates, however. Unfortunately, I would not know a similar way to acquare the precise launch date.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Nov 16, 2014 at 19:50

1 Answer 1


You can use Stack Exchange API for this: the method /sites returns the beginning dates of private beta, public beta, and the graduation date for every SE 2.0 site. For example, Home Improvement has

"launch_date": 1299110400,
"open_beta_date": 1280275200,
"closed_beta_date": 1279670400,

These are Unix timestamps; taking the difference between launch_date and open_beta_date, you get the duration of public beta in seconds.

  • 3
    Hope Improvement sounds like a site the world sorely needs. Unfortunately, it looks like we missed the boat and only provided Home Improvement instead.
    – jmac
    Nov 16, 2014 at 7:49

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