This is the first StackExchange site I've been involved in as a private beta. I've heard murky rumours that not all sites make it past this phase; how can I understand what criteria this site will likely have to meet (either quantifiable or not) to graduate past the private beta, assuming that step is indeed not guaranteed? What should we as a community be focusing on to make sure we meet those criteria?


1 Answer 1


Three big factors:

  1. Are folks using the site? If no one is participating now, then opening it up to a wider audience is pointless; the folks who committed to participate in the private beta are assumed to be the most interested in seeing the site thrive, so if they're not using it then there's no reason to continue.

  2. Is the quality high? Are questions focused and clear? Are answers well-researched and comprehensive? Are real problems being solved here?

  3. Is the topic filling a unique niche? This is particularly applicable for Vi/Vim: there's a tremendous amount of overhead involved in operating a separate site, both for Stack Exchange the company and for the community involved in day-to-day maintenance. So if the majority of questions asked would fit right in on an existing site, then we're better off folding it into that site and letting the group that created it reap the benefits of being part of a much larger, richer community.

  • "if the majority of questions asked would fit right in on an existing site" -> What exactly is considered 'a majority'? The dictionary definition is 'more than half', but is this also the definition that SE uses in this case? Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 20:32
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    Half is a good starting point, @Carpetsmoker - but bear in mind that these criteria aren't independent. If factoring out such questions leaves few participants or mediocre content... Then #1 and #2 fail even if #3 does not. This was the experience we had with the first iteration of Arduino: all the good questions were on-topic for Electrical Engineering, what remained was rickety. The second time around (the site you see there now) things were different; sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right.
    – Shog9
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 20:38
  • Does the existence of SO/SU mean that this site has failed #3 right off the bat? I don't see how any question on Vim can possibly be off-topic on both SO and SU.
    – Rich
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 10:11
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    I think the Vi vs SO vs SU argument is an important one to consider. Vi questions could fit on either SE site, but I don't think there's a clear distinction on which site to use. Having an explicit vi SE site makes it much clearer where to post.
    – Cody Poll
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 2:06
  • Is the topic filling a unique niche? Hmm, it's hard to say two weeks in. It's not entirely clear to me one way or the other. What do you think Shog? Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 6:46
  • Here's my answer to that, @mixedmath: meta.vi.stackexchange.com/questions/1201/…
    – Shog9
    Commented Feb 19, 2015 at 1:51

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