5

Following this policy and this answer, I assume that new sites have low chances to be closed for too low activity level in public beta, but high chances to be closed to the same reason at the end or during private beta.

Are there some specific requirements/recommendations for activity levels in private beta? Or is this solely opinion-based?

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    I think this is also asking for same but have no answer. – Abhishek Gurjar Jan 30 '17 at 13:37
  • @Abhishekgurjar, yeah, exactly. Still, I'll leave my own question, as: (1) that question was long ago; (2) I was told such questions are in scope of meta, not Area51. So, I believe I have chance for answer. – Sasha Jan 30 '17 at 13:54
6

I hate to put even arbitrary numbers out there because folks tend to fixate on the numbers instead of the exercise itself.

The purpose of a private beta is to show that:

  • The topic has enough interest to succeed
  • The topic works pretty naturally within the framework of objective Q&A
  • High quality, original information about the topic is abundant after a short private beta period.

It's the third one that requires a bit of interpretation on our part. If a site has 150 questions with answers that just paraphrase Wikipedia, that site has a problem that would probably cause it to (at the least) be held back in private beta for a while longer.

If a site only manages to get 40 questions but they all have fantastic, in-depth answers, then we'd be very inclined to give it more time and see what happens.

If a site only manages to get 30 - 40 questions, and the quality is just not that great, then we'd probably be letting them know that it just didn't work.

So really, the best advice - shoot for as much high quality information as you can. Don't try to hit an arbitrary number of questions, because what you'll end up doing is just diminishing the overall quality of the site through deliberate content generation rather than asking actual questions about problems that you have, or recently had.

Any quality issues? Any signs that they ran out of things to ask? Any major problems getting the topic to fit our Q&A framework? - these are the most important questions we ask when we evaluate a private beta. The answer to these questions should be "no!"

Did they manage to hit (arbitrary) number of questions? Do you think they could if we gave them another week? If the answer to either of these is "yes", then you go public, or get a bit more time.

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  • One more thing: AFAIK, users on language-learning sites are allowed to write questions and answers in target language. How interpretation can be done in such case? Won't such questions and answers (in target language) be accidentally excluded from consideration when analyzing quality of content added during private beta? – Sasha Jan 30 '17 at 20:10
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    @Sasha No. One of the first things we evaluate is how people are actually using the site. While translation tools aren't the best, it's relatively easy for us to determine if the site is generating stuff that is original and seemingly useful. Emphasis on original there, and not a bunch of stuff that merely cites other resources. – Tim Post Jan 30 '17 at 20:17

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