According to 2020: a year in closing

In 2020 the number of questions posted on Windows Phone was 30, seven of which were asked and closed. The total number of questions closed that year was eight.

The statistics for the site are not great. Fewer than 3,500 questions have been asked in 9.6 years. That's crazy. How has it survived so long?

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I didn't know what the Twitter link referred to, so I clicked, and saw the Stack Exchange site has its own Twitter account with just nine followers.

This is even more remarkable considering that Windows has stopped producing their phones since 2017

Microsoft began to prioritize software development and integrations with Android and iOS instead, and ceased active development of Windows 10 Mobile in 2017. (Wikipedia)

Hey, maybe it has a group of hardcore users that hang out in chat? Let's take a peek…

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Erm, I guess not.

The site manages to recruit new users though…

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It looks like a small ads (classified ads) page from yonder day :)

How badly does a Stack Exchange site have to do before it is laid permanently to rest?

UPDATE (19 December, 2021)

To be clear, I had and have nothing absolutely nothing against the users or the community of Windows Phone. I have never joined the site and I have had no interactions whatsoever with any user or moderator on that site. Despite the fact that the site is almost defunct there are some nostalgic Stack Exchange users who believe this site should remain open because its answers are still useful.

On the other hand, my question was closed as a duplicate and I must infer that the answer is found in this excerpt from an announcement posted in 2015: Graduation, site closure, and a clearer outlook on the health of SE sites

Tangible guidelines for site closure (aka Reasons why you shouldn’t be afraid)

[…]The precedent was set early on that sites had two options; graduate, or get shut down. This created a lot of unnecessary angst for our smaller and mid-sized communities. Lots of folks on excellent sites assumed that since they hadn’t cleared the graduation hurdle yet, we might come in and turn off the lights at anytime. Not exactly great for morale.

Thanks to many devoted users, it’s grown clear that smaller SE sites can do a great job of maintaining themselves and producing high quality Q&A. Not every site is going to be a blockbuster success, but our small sites are serving their own communities well. We’re proud of you, and we want you here.

What does this mean? If there's enough moderation for a public beta site to consistently remain free of spam, for flags to be cleared, and for our Code of Conduct to be upheld, your site will remain open. However, if community leaders drop off, flags sit without being addressed, and we can’t find any suitable volunteers to step forward, the site gets closed.

As of this post, not a single site currently active in our network is at risk of being closed. Closing public beta sites is a rare occurrence; we expect it to stay that way.

Pertinent Facts

Windows Phone graduated in August 2019 and is therefore not a Beta site. In 2021 there are currently nine open questions with a total positive score of 1.

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  • @Glorfindel ah! I did look before posting. Did not see that one. But my question is more focused on the individual site. Oct 13, 2021 at 12:47
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    I have been loudly debating suggesting rescoping it as a more general site - Kaios is essentially the 'third' phone OS at this point and there's a few other niche OSes and phones that might have a potential community... Oct 13, 2021 at 12:58
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    This would be a great use case of being able to see when someone was last logged into the site. Then we could see if the elected mods are still around, and how many curators are still floating about.
    – Makoto
    Oct 13, 2021 at 14:43
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    While it's okay to ask about how bad things need to get before a site is deleted, this site is not the place to argue for or against closing/deleting a specific site. If anyone really feels the urge to do so, take it up on Windows Phone SE meta or file a "Contact Us" form. I've cleaned up the comments arguing about that.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Oct 13, 2021 at 14:52
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    @Tinkeringbell: I guess this presents itself with a paradox. If a site doesn't seem to be active, yet we're encouraging discussion about this happen on their Meta site (which - as of right now, I can see about four years' worth of posts without having to scroll my mouse wheel), then are we really able to facilitate discussion? Wouldn't MSE be a better place to bring an issue with a site like this to light so that it actually has a chance of being discussed versus just being ignored?
    – Makoto
    Oct 13, 2021 at 15:11
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    @Makoto If no one ever posts on meta, there are going to be no meta posts. But no, I don't think the people here on Meta.SE should at any point in time be given the 'power' to discuss closing down other sites. If you see a site that's overrun with spam, that's overrun with bad posts, if your flags are languishing for weeks, feel free to raise it on the local meta or escalate it using 'Contact Us'... our opinions here don't matter after all, it's either the site's community or the staff that has to make a decision.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Oct 13, 2021 at 15:15
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    @Tinkeringbell: Yeah, it's likely out of our hands, but I think that some reverence should be given to ghost town communities. If the community that makes the decision doesn't exist, then suggesting that the community should make the decision is a whole misnomer unto itself.
    – Makoto
    Oct 13, 2021 at 15:17
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    @Makoto okay, I edited the first comment to include the bit I mentioned in a second, about using Contact Us. But I still stand by my point that Meta SE and its regulars have no business discussing closing/deleting a specific site.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Oct 13, 2021 at 15:23
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    The final question you ask - how badly an SE site has to do before it's closed - is answered in Graduation, site closure, and a clearer outlook on the health of SE sites. Oct 13, 2021 at 18:20
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    Windows Phone site has been archived (aka closed) in November, 2022. Nov 17, 2022 at 14:04

1 Answer 1


How badly does a Stack Exchange site have to do before it is laid permanently to rest?

This is answered in this post: A site needs to meet two conditions to be considered for closing. It needs to be inactive/have stopped producing helpful content, and it needs to lack the caretakers needed for flags and spam to be handled.

Windows Phone SE exists because the content on it might still be helpful to people, and given that questions still end up closed, it's probably safe to assume flags and spam are still handled. So there's no need to shut the site down and hide the content in a data dump.


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