So, I'm aware that the first few Stack Exchange sites were pushed into private beta one at a time so that the team could work out the kinks in the process. I'm also aware that the commitment counter was scaled by 90% for a while to prevent sites from automatically reaching the beta stage. But now I see that there are several proposals at 100% commitment whose betas have not yet started.

  • Is it still the case that sites need to be manually "released" into the beta phase after they have reached 100% commitment?
  • If so, is there any estimate of when (or if) the entering-beta process will become fully automatic?
  • In the long term, can we expect there to be a waiting period between when a site proposal reaches 100% commitment and when its beta starts?

Commitment 100%
(source: ellipsix.net)

EDIT: At Kenny's request:

More freehand question marks
(source: ellipsix.net)

  • I've said this elsewhere but there might be a delay built in just to be sure that the relevant counter is really at 100%. For example, to cope with a question vote being taken back or someone who had committed backing out at the last minute.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jul 10, 2010 at 18:31
  • 6
    Need more free-hand question marks.
    – kennytm
    Jul 10, 2010 at 19:02
  • As requested ;-)
    – David Z
    Jul 10, 2010 at 19:09
  • 3
    Actually unicorns (though they're probably not my best work)
    – David Z
    Jul 10, 2010 at 22:13
  • I see lack of freehand questionmark on the first image :angry face:
    – glasnt
    Jul 11, 2010 at 23:52
  • No more pictures :-(
    – mbq
    Nov 16, 2011 at 13:46
  • Fixed, it was a server migration
    – David Z
    Nov 16, 2011 at 18:27

2 Answers 2


Right now it's still manual. There are two gating factors to the number of new sites we can create.

  1. How many sites can we manage ourselves, both in terms of server capacity and in terms of our own team's bandwidth?
  2. How many sites have enough commitment to succeed?

We want to study some of the data about the first sites:

  • What percentage of committers actually participated?
  • How should the commitment score actually be calculated?
  • What kind of commitment level can really guarantee a successful site?
  • How much overlap is there between committers? If two sites have no overlap in committers, they can be launched in parallel, but if two sites have 90% overlap in committers, launching them at the same time would hurt them both. Maybe.

These are very open questions which we are now trying to study... we don't even have a plan for how many sites we can launch this week, and we may end up tweaking the commitment score fairly soon. Any feedback on these questions is, needless to say, most welcome, and if you're the kind of person with advanced data analysis skilz, we need your help!

  • 1
    Will your gadgets proposal make it to beta this week? Jul 12, 2010 at 1:08

Personally, I would expect it to continue to be manual because the SO team will probably want to review the proposal before launching it into beta, as well as needing to choose and setup the temporary domain and logo.

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