34

It occurred to us that it didn't really make sense that you could participate in a private beta if you committed on Area 51 anytime up to the launch of the private beta, but not once it started. We still want private betas to be limited to users who are actively interested in building a site (vs. lurkers or drive-bys,) so we're not letting anyone with the ...


26

We're not really ready to announce this quite yet, but you might surmise from the title that this is a site "For Students of HarvardX CS50x: Introduction to Computer Science." The Area 51 link is just following a template that, in this case, doesn't apply.


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 ...


22

I agree that this could be useful, and I think the best place for it is the inbox, since it's a notification about something you signed up for. (You could probably make an argument for it being in the achievements box because not every proposal makes it into private beta, so it is something of an achievement, but I think the inbox is more intuitive.) It ...


20

It's not pointless. While it does appear to be bolted-on (and it is), it's not pointless. The main purpose: people often arrive late to things, and when it comes to proposals, we really need those people. Having it is mostly for usability, and it serves two important scenarios: I know I committed to this darn thing but dangit I can't remember what email I ...


19

We no longer check against a list of committers. The old system was quite robust -- so much so that nearly every private beta had people emailing us for help getting in. We finally decided that making these secure was just not that important, and made it so anyone with the link could get in.


18

If people want to spend their rep in that way, knowing the limited audience, why stop them? Every per-site or per-type-of-site customization has a cost in implementation and maintenance (and possible interactions with other features), so this should only be done when there's a strong argument. I don't think "that wouldn't be an effective choice" is a ...


17

Instead of customizing the help content (more about that in a bit), let's remove the page about private beta from the help center entirely and instead make a canned, featured meta post at the start of private beta. (It can be post #1.) Featured posts stay featured for a month, which is long enough to cover private beta, and they appear in the Community ...


16

Update: The 'share' link is now included in all private betas. Yes. I've already written this up internally. Since the private betas are no longer strictly "members only", the reason for this change is not as prevalent as it once was. If someone stumbles across one of these links somewhere on the Internet, they can now find their way into the site by ...


16

I closed both Embedded Systems private betas. In terms of the negative feelings closing a site causes, both were difficult decisions. In objective terms, however, I'm entirely comfortable. As I wrote the first time around: Have you ever run across an awesome blog post and went to read the rest of the site only to discover the author gave it up after a ...


16

We could pre-load all sorts of text into a new site (we won't), but that doesn't actually help create a community to answer questions or to help curate that content. Content has ownership, and a healthy community keeps that content updated and cared for. When you dump a bunch of legacy content into a new site, you start with a foundation with essentially ...


16

The purpose of a private beta is to build up enough of a site that you can open for business to the public. That means: A body of questions and answers of the type you want to see on the site. Don't fill it up with basic questions; you're building a site for experts. But do ask questions that your private-beta users can answer; nobody wants to see "0 ...


15

The Real Essential Questions of Every Beta is an attempt at a community curated resourcefaq to document what's important, what needs discussion and also, what helps rally people together on a newly launched site. If the post gets to FAQ status, then it could be used. I think this community maintained resource may prove to be more helpful for early beta ...


15

The reason was an inconsistency between the settings: Aviation isn't activated as a hat-receiving site on winterbash2013.stackexchange.com, but our network default setting on the Q&A sites for "should the Winter Bash JavaScript" be included is "yes" (because that's 95 out of 111 sites). The newly created Aviation site inherited the network default and ...


14

The Stack Overflow in Portuguese Beta is not open yet, but it's coming in a couple of weeks. The proposal is quite old and we had no idea how many people were still interested in joining the site. That's why we asked you to fill that form, so people who are still actively interested on the site can get in first. As Anna said, this isn't like our other Beta ...


13

Private Beta is the phase that precedes Public Beta. So if some site is already on public beta, you can't 'create a private beta account'. To participate in private beta you'd have to commit to the proposal on area 51, before the site is launched. Then the site will go into private beta for about a week (during which users who did not commit can only ...


13

Please read this first. Seriously: http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2008/07/stack-overflow-private-beta-begins/ The beta site is at: http://beta.stackoverflow.com/ Login is your email address, and the password is "falkensmaze" without the quotes. (note that these credentials aren't an actual account on Stack Overflow; they only exist to ...


13

It would depend on the circumstances surrounding SE staff needing to contact someone. Remember, the Stack Exchange community team are the folks that moderate new sites before pro-tem moderators are appointed. Copyright is hard, especially in areas of the world where the concept doesn't really exist. Sometimes folks go and grab and post external content in ...


13

My concern is that at the end of week 3, there will be even less activity. This could potentially lead to the SE team seeing this and saying "oh, this beta isn't very active - better close it". Usually new communities are concerned that we didn't give them enough time. Either way, there's really no need to be concerned. We are accustomed to monitoring how ...


12

There was a private beta for Stack Overflow - it was in July 2008! The badge is site-specific, so you get it for a site when you participate in the private beta for that site. It's way too late to get it for Stack Overflow, but if you commit to a site on Area 51 and ask and answer questions in its private beta, you'll get the badge for that site.


12

In order to earn the beta badge, you not only have to have signed up for the site during its definition stage before being launched, but you have to actively participate. This means asking and answering some minimum threshold of questions. The numbers you are looking at indicate that at least 6262 people signed up ahead of time but only 2157 crossed the ...


12

Surely there is a very useful benefit to this roundabout system, isn't there? The private beta is a fragile but crucial time in a site's development, setting the culture, the mood, the level and the scope of the site. This roundabout way ensures that not just anyone can walk in and start doing whatever they want. It allows people who know and understand ...


12

Before discussing solutions, let's first establish that there's a problem that needs solving. I will grant you that the bonus doesn't have quite the same effect on a private beta since most privileges have already been scaled down, but it also does no harm. If anything, it does some good by making it easier for people who have experience with another site ...


12

What happens to the reputation of users of a private beta when it is closed? What does reputation mean on a closed site? I'd expect nothing, as the site is closed down - there are no users, there is no reputation. Is it counted anywhere on the SE network? No. The single possible exception is if that site is what caused the association bonus to apply, ...


12

This is not limited to launching beta sites. Looks like many major changes take place on Tuesday. Few more examples: Stack Overflow Homepage Changes Launch of the iOS app Updating version of jQuery As for why, I assume because it gives the team time to prepare for whole day (Monday), then time to fix bugs for the rest of the week. Doing it before ...


11

The main issues were/are : We had 40 questions on day one and about 5/day after that which is very low for a private beta. Visits/day have been dropping since day one. (They have increased since yesterday) We have had just 5 people sign up in the past 3 days, which means users have not been inviting others to participate which is critical to site success ...


11

Private Beta - only available to those users who committed to the Area 51 proposal or have been invited by an existing member. Has a plain graphical design that is shared by other sites. You can earn privileges with far less reputation than normal. Normally lasts 7 days, or until the site is "gelled" enough and has enough high quality content on the home ...


11

I'll answer generally, as this isn't specific to pets, but more to how private betas work. The Area 51 process is supposed to guarantee that a small, but sufficient core of users will be on the site and actively building it during the private beta. We'd be a little worried if a bounty went unnoticed during this time, because it might suggest that not many ...


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