200

I say do it. Why? Because you lose nothing, and gain a lot People on beta sites tend to lose interest after a while - there seems to be a natural drive to get the 'beta' label off the site. It almost feels like a bad thing, and people start asking what they need to do to get rid of it. More importantly, they were promised that if they do everything right the ...


120

I think the concept is great, but the motivation for the privilege levels is somewhat flawed. It should perhaps be considered on a case-by-case basis, but the privilege threshold is one of the key reasons why, for example, I wanted Code Review to graduate. Escalated privilege thresholds is a good thing for a site - it encourages people to be more ...


109

As you seem to be renaming stages anyway, how about uncoupling the different aspects of graduation, i.e., do not enforce them to coincide? As it seems to me right now, there are six effects of graduation: Site Design: This is obviously causing most of the work and it’s reasonable that you only want to do this, if a site has sufficient activity and survival ...


98

Dropping the site design change from the graduation package is understandable. It is obviously a large amount of effort to draft, consult, and implement a design. I agree that lack of a site design is a poor excuse for holding back the growth of a site. I've lobbied hard for this proposal for a long time… … with one difference: the privilege levels need ...


95

As an active participant in a low-volume, but high-quality (well, mostly!) SE site, this is reasonably welcome news. One of the most tangible effects of "graduation" is, of course, the bespoke graphics-css-look-and-feel to reflect the ethos of the site's core interest. "Beta" sites (or whatever they might be called in future -- "niche"? "boutique"?) have ...


88

On graduated sites the community elects permanent moderators, but on beta sites "pro-tem" moderators are appointed by the SE community managers. This made sense with the original vision of beta -- it'd only be for a year or so, maybe two, and then the community would graduate and choose its own. With long-running (permanent?) beta sites, you can have ...


77

Great idea. I'm all for it. And I don't want to repeat other answers saying that. I just want to add one teeny, tiny tweak: Along with removing the "beta" label, change the site logo and base design in some visible way. Graduated-but-not-yet-designed sites can all share the same different style, and the change doesn't have to be large (maybe just a ...


76

Pops wrote in a comment on this question: Broadly speaking, this seems like a good idea. The sites that have graduated since Jan. 1, 2012 spent 17, 13, 20, 12, 6, 19, 21, 22, 42, 39, 26 and 26 months in beta. Music and Chemistry, the two sites most recently approved for graduation, spent about 40 and 30 months in beta, respectively. On average, that's ...


65

During the initial days, there are a lot of issues to be worked out. The most important questions, vary from site to site, and from private to public status. The answers to these will have a lasting effect on how your site operates for a very long time. This post attempts to aggregate the most common and important issues that should be addressed depending on ...


59

This is a rundown the major milestones each site goes through from proposal through graduation. The process may vary from time to time as we improve the process or take on “special projects” as opportunities present themselves, but for the most part, this is the gist of it. Area 51 Proposal Submission — When a new site is proposed, we do a quick sanity ...


58

I've been a long-time proponent of removing the "beta" label when it no longer makes sense. I agree that labeling a site as "beta" creates a lot of confusion… and a certain stigma when it looks like a site is never going to <quote> "get out of beta." But let's be careful not to replace this system with another set of ...


57

The beta label shouldn't have to be forever. If a site is in that stable "not graduated but not in flux either" state, the label should be removed. Right now the "beta" label lingers far too long and well past the point where there's anything provisional about a site (more than eight years for some sites). Yet the label sticks like tar to sites for years ...


56

This is awesome. Thank you. For quite some time, I've been worried about how a couple of the beta sites I'm active in are doing. This makes me feel like they're just fine, given that they match the criteria you gave. Thank you guys for the overhaul. However, can the word be spread about this? This question has been getting a lot of attention, and it is, ...


56

What do you say, should we give design-independent graduation a try? I think that the design is the least important when graduating a site. If a site is ready, just let it graduate. Why hold back? I can't think of a valid reason to not let the site graduate. Maybe it is useful for a site to see its 'implementation timeline', something that shows where in ...


38

I think we should consider doing away with the label entirely. The whole concept of waiting for "graduation" to get the features you need is too restrictive… no matter what you call it. Instead, we should be looking at unbundling all the features that communities can really use when they have sufficient support to use them effectively. What does ...


34

What does "Losing the BETA" do to a site's activity? It is hard to anticipate the impact of the "graduation" process. The following is a SEDE query that shows the graduation impact on all the sites I am aware of that have graduated in the past 2 years or so (using this SEDE query to identify elections). Each image is a link to the SEDE ...


34

Stéphane Martin also does site designs. Although the designer lineup can change at any time. How many beta sites can SE design team get graduated per year? Several*. Definitely several*. Seriously, we don't know. The design backlog is currently shrinking now that more than just Jin is working on the designs. How long each takes varies by site, although ...


32

This is a typical growth pattern for a Stack Exchange site. The scale is highly variable but most sites go through similar phases. rolfl wrote a Data Explorer query which shows actual examples (see a few recently-graduated ones here). The initial slump is not always visible at this scale. The sites that fail in private beta start are mostly the ones that ...


31

This was an experimental partnership with edX. We were essentially testing out how our engine might work as a replacement for their class forums. They educate people. Online. For free. We like that, so we were willing to see if we can help or not. Unfortunately it didn't work. If it did, we would have invested more time clarifying the difference between ...


28

The main puzzling part is why there isn't a single edX site where each course is a separate tag. This would allow edX students to cross-pollinate knowledge, handle "edX meta" questions in a single place, keep more transient information like course deadlines or whatnot off Stack Exchange where it doesn't belong and generally have a single, larger, more ...


28

Just in case you might miss it. Grace Note in a comment to an answer: Music and Japanese were in the loop before we set the new criteria. Aviation hit "eligibility" on October 19th. All 3 had delayed graduations, the former because of the whole design thing and the latter due to the pileup of graduations from implementing design independent. We ...


26

Some data to complement the sketch given by Gilles. I picked two recent graduates and two beta sites that are just about to graduate. The graphs show posts per day. I used moderate smoothing, trying not to lose the sharp peak at the beginning. Workplace graduated 2014-02-21 Money graduated 2014-02-26 Graphic Design is getting its own design. ...


26

Let's not remove the "beta" language but rather, make it meaningful. The programming analogy has its roots in SO's raison d'être, the hoary origins of the SE network, and suggests the obvious solution. beta sites are "early days" sites, still finding a voice, refining what is on- and off-topic, establishing a community of users, attracting specialists and ...


26

I'm with you on just about… all of this. A few months ago, I wrote a promising proposal called "An Objective Site Life Cycle" which accomplished about 90% of what you described above. It was ultimately pushed out in favor of splitting up the graduation process (baby steps), but the main tenet of this proposal was to present a completely objective and ...


25

There's no grandfathering of privileges of any kind. You'll immediately be held to the new privileges threshold and lose any privileges you no longer quality for. Similarly if you got a downvote at 3000 rep on a graduated site and now have 2998 rep, you'll (practically) immediately lose your close-vote ability.


25

This is an absolutely terrible idea. The last thing that any community needs is some self-righteous "Stack Exchange citizen" to complain that they suck without ever bothering to participate. Before I get to making my point, let me illustrate why I get pissed off by people like you — you have 0 votes cast and only 1 answer that was migrated from Signal ...


25

I would suggest removing the "beta" label altogether, and simply let the theme indicate if is a beta site or not. This removes the possible stigma of the "beta" label on sites drawing new visitors away, while still allowing experienced Stack Exchange users to identify it as a beta site.


24

I don't know if you're joking or not, so I'll answer as if this were a serious proposal. ELL is a serious StackExchange site like any other, centered at trying to help people learn English. If people are posting "garbled questions or answers in barely intelligible English", then their contributions are not going to uphold the standards of posts on the SE ...


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