When a site open, it is useful to have as many examples of good valid/invalid questions as possible, therefore why stop governing this information just because a site is in the commitment phace?

Should we keep updating the list of examples of good valid/invalid questions even after a site has opened as a well to document what the site is about?

5 Answers 5


I understand why it is the way it is and hopefully the commitment phase will speed up as the process gets more streamlined but currently it feels like commitment is essentially a 'coma' phase - momentum builds nicely as the proposal passes through define and then comes to a complete stop in commitment as it waits for enough people to just click the one button.

This was highlighted by someone I referred to the site for a proposal which had entered the commit phase by the time he got there. He was a bit surprised that all he could do was hit 'commit' and wait an indeterminate time* before he could actually do anything. He had some questions and feedback to add but the discussion is now frozen. As someone who is never heard of the Stack family of sites before this wasn't a great first impression.

Even if the questions are frozen, I think it might be good to have some form of discussion available in the commit phase as it would keep the momentum up prior to launch and hopefully get more going from already actively engaged users during beta.

Still, this is all unexplored territory and this may stop being an issue as the Area51 system beds in to regular operations.

*. I didn't explain about the current 90% thing - I appreciate it's only temporary but didn't think it would have gone down too well on top of the inactive wait period.

  • 1
    I think this is just a weird artifact of the site being new: it takes a large percentage of the entire user base to launch a site. In the future, popular proposals will be fully committed in hours to days. For less mainstream proposals, users really should be out there evangelizing their site (not tinkering with the definition) or the site will never be created. Commented Jun 25, 2010 at 16:51

I can appreciate the enthusiasm to continue working on the proposal but it's time to move on to the job of getting the site actually created. The proposal is a means to and end and not the end goal itself. Don't over-engineer it. Most of the discussion happens in beta with the actual users of the site.

The initial proposal—emphasis on the word "initial"—has been accepted and is being used as a petition for the site to be created. People are digitally signing the proposal as a commitment to support that site. It wouldn't be right if the proposal changed behind the scenes after people have committed to it.

Besides, everyone else has moved on. You don't want a few people to continue working in virtual isolation when there isn't a lot of community around to vet the information added.

  • I was thinking of requesting some kind of mechanism to allow people who have committed to share things like e-mail addresses, instant messenger ID's .. etc so that some work could progress while waiting to get to beta. Every time I start to ask for it, I wonder if its a bad idea .. and end up not asking.
    – user50049
    Commented Jun 25, 2010 at 15:45
  • 2
    @Tim Post: I'm sure organizations work behind the scenes to get proposals created but codifying those "out-of-band collaborations" has an air of going against the public nature of the proposal process. On a related note, people are free to share personal info in their profiles if they wish to be contacted. Commented Jun 25, 2010 at 16:24
  • "it's time to move on" - so... we will be moving on soon? :)
    – John C
    Commented Jun 27, 2010 at 13:10

I think we should be able to add comments in the commit phase like we can for the definition phase. I mean the comments at the top of the page.

  • Comments can be added in your "statement of support." What other information are you suggesting would be appropriate in a "generally comment area" without being redundant? Commented Jun 25, 2010 at 16:35

Here's a use-case for allowing questions to be added in after we hit commit. I'm part of a proposal right now on the topic of theoretical computer science. we blew through the definition phase and are now in commit. The problem: We've just got some attention from the large number of folks involved in quantum computing. Their questions would be entirely legitimate for the forum, but because of the profile of people in the define phase, we didn't have any quantum-related questions.

So they come to the site, and hope to commit, but there's no way to even add questions, let alone vote on questions that they might like.

Rinse and repeat with algorithmic game theory, logic, and other such disciplines.


I don't think so. That's why there's the proposal stage. Once you get past that, you already have 5 good off-topic questions and 5 good on-topic questions. That pretty much defines the site proposal. The commitment stage is not about the content of the site, but about participation and referring more people. Furthermore, the proposed questions become real questions once the beta starts, so from this point on the addition of questions for evaluation purposes should be avoided to keep things clear.

You can of course add your questions once the beta starts.

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