I have just received my first Yearling badge and was surprised to notice that it has been a year already.

When we started, it wasn't clear if this site could flourish - now, a year later I think we have proved that we it can.

But we still are a "beta" site and I would like to know: Whats left to do to become a "proper" site?

What do we need? A layout? A logo? A fancy hat?

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    Not sure in detail, but as a pointer you can check our stats at Area51, which indicates we need to work on answering more questions (or deleting those we can't – oops... #D) Currently we excel in 3/5 items, are "OK" in a 4th – and #5 "needs work"...
    – Izzy Mod
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 16:45
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    @Izzy: I don't think we should ever delete a question just because it has no answer yet. New apps get created every day, sometimes even starting from an idea expressed on Software Recommendations.
    – Nicolas Raoul Mod
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 2:50
  • @NicolasRaoul I'm 100% certain Izzy was making a joke. No one wants to delete questions just because they don't have an answer :) Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 4:55
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    Oh – OK, in that case... Naahh! Angelo's 100% right, @NicolasRaoul – you definitely missed the smiley on that, including the "oops" #D
    – Izzy Mod
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 12:23

4 Answers 4


Today, the SE team updated the criteria for when they "would close or graduate a Q&A site":

The TL;DR:

  1. When a site starts to consistently receive 10 questions/day, we’ll consider it for graduation.
  2. If a public beta site does not produce consistently helpful content, and lacks the caretakers needed for flags and spam to get handled and our Be Nice policy to be upheld, it will be closed.

And from the comments, to the question if there is a minimum age:

there isn't a hard date when a site suddenly becomes eligible, but we are thinking roughly a year at least, maybe a little less. The 90 day graduation is truly a thing of the past.

We fulfil all the easily measurable requirements:

  • We get more than 10 questions per day (currently 12.3)
  • We are older than a year (currently 482 days in beta)

And for the more subjective ones, from my point of view:

  • I think we do "produce consistently helpful content", but it’s hard(er) to measure this for us, as unanswered questions are not necessarily a sign of lacking user/expert involvement.

  • I think we have great caretakers: off-topic questions get closed (and spam questions deleted) quickly, questions that should be improved get constructive feedback in the comments, low-quality answers get comments/deleted, the review queues (and, I assume, flags, too) are under control.

So I’d assume that the CMs should consider us for graduation now.

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    I disagree with your judgement of unanswered questions. I think they do reflect a lack of expertise, and one that is structural in how the site is designed. We insist on pretty specific questions, but we don't have an audience to match. This is really the sort of problem that distinguishes a site that's looking for its marks from a well-established site, and thus should hold us off for graduation. Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 20:50
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    Regarding caretakers, I do think we have good ones. Having been a moderator on several sites, I'm pretty happy with the way people leave helpful comments on posts that could be improved, bad content is flagged, questions can be closed without moderator intervention, etc. Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 20:51

Our Area 51 stats look fairly decent, but they're mostly a red herring in this sort of thing. If they're all red, we need to sit up and take notice, but having all/most of them green doesn't mean we're on the fast track to graduation. I've mentioned before why I think that the relatively low % Answered isn't anything to worry too much about.

There are sites that have been in beta for more than 3 years. We need to focus on still closing poor questions, deleting poor answers, and in general keeping the site running. Eventually we'll hit critical mass and get our own shiny colors.

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    The stats say it clearly: we need to focus on (more) good answers
    – user416
    Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 14:36
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    @JanDoggen Except I'm not sure that stat fully applies to this kind of site. We certainly shouldn't start answering low quality questions just to make the number turn green - we should close them just like we normally do. And we shouldn't start recommending software we haven't used before. Since we require questions here to be very specific, that number will be low - very few people are going to know where you can find a turboencabulator reciprocation dinglearm simulator.
    – user46
    Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 14:40
  • Wow, how did you come across that! From Turboencabulator: The turbo-encabulator has now reached a high level of development, and it’s being successfully used in the operation of novertrunnions. Moreover, whenever a forescent skor motion is required, it may also be employed in conjunction with a drawn reciprocation dingle arm, to reduce sinusoidal repleneration. Watch the reciprocating dingle arm in motion here
    – user416
    Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 14:49
  • @Undo I think finding that one is easy as the words are specific enough that any search engine will do, but having personal experience with and recommending one (over others) is the hard part. Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 5:08
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    I mostly agree with Undo's comment. But while I find personal experience strongly recommended, I wouldn't say it's a must. If e.g. the guy on the desk next to me used to run the Turboencabulator daily, and always praised it in highest tones which convinced me of its greatness, that should be a sufficient substitute even if I personally never felt the need to even try it once ;)
    – Izzy Mod
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 12:29

Our number of "avid users" is not growing fast: 153 after 3 months, 275 after a year.
The solution is to spend more time reading questions and voting on them. That will give more privileges to people who deserve to them, allowing them to participate in moderation.

Also, I feel we could handle more questions per day. Diversified questions bring new answerers via search engines.

Our visits/day has grown a lot recently, and I guess SE look at that closely, as advertisement is part of their business model.


The thing that worries me is how few upvotes questions tend to get. If I look at the top questions of the month, very few have more than 3 upvotes.

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