I don't think the commitment phase on Area 51 takes too long, as many have suggested. I just think there's not enough to do for members that have actually committed. So here my proposal:

Open the meta site at 30% in the commitment phase so the community can start thinking about the big questions before the site has gone to beta. Anyone that commited (or suggested questions and committed) should be able to participate. That way, the community has something to do and feels involved, without losing the security of knowing there's a group of people to actually participate in the beta once it's there (not having that security is the risk of a shorter commitment phase).

I'm not sure if it should really be the meta that opens, though. It could probably be a forum-like site that's embedded within area 51 or whatever, but that's not the point. The point is keeping people involved during the long waiting period.

  • Just thought of this, it probably won't work unless it's strictly moderated; people would start asking questions that would belong on the final site. Oh well, i'll just leave it here for you to downvote ;-) Commented Jul 17, 2010 at 0:27
  • 3
    Opening the Meta site would be a good idea. In fact, maybe it should open immediately in the commitment phase, even. Either way, I like this idea. Commented Jul 17, 2010 at 0:54
  • I very much like the idea of opening the meta site during the commitment phase. Commented Aug 2, 2010 at 21:57

3 Answers 3


After having seen several privates beta's now, I know for sure that having meta discussion beforehand isn't going to solve anything.

We need real world problems, with real world questions and based on THOSE decide what the scope of the site will be.

You can try and define all you want, but in the end, you'll only be defining the edges of your own imagination...

  • a very good point -- observed real world behavior has a way of defying all predictions Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 8:21
  • Note that this comes from someone who pratically begged for Meta's since the proposal phases!
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 9:03
  • "We need real world problems, with real world questions" -- then scrap the commitment phase, and open up the damn beta earlier, and let it last a bit longer. Commented Apr 21, 2011 at 23:22

Actually, I think this would be the perfect use of a room in our new currently-in-beta-preview-testing "Third Place".

And now that I look, I am seeing that there are already a few rooms dealing with Area 51 proposals already.


During the commitment phase, you should be evangelizing the site proposal, and referring others via the widgets we provide.

(this is also how you build the referral numbers for the proposal that are attached to you in this proposal, aka Mafia Wars.)


At least, referring others is how you can help get the proposal to reach 100% and move to private beta, anyway...

  • I would love to evangelize the site and refer friends, but I'm not allowed to without myself commiting to a site I, even if I have no interest myself. Commented Aug 2, 2010 at 22:02
  • If you attract a new person during the commitment phase they are just going to very confused about using it, especially since there's nothing they can do on it during this stage. There really needs to be a better way to attract Stack Exchange users during this phase. I'm waiting to evangelize the site to newbies until it's in the Beta stage.
    – Jeni
    Commented Oct 2, 2012 at 12:08

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