closed What precisely is missing before we can switch from private to public beta?

+5 votes
107 views
asked Aug 16, 2015 in Meta by Daniel Mietchen (1,170 points)
closed Nov 23, 2015 by ArtOfCode

The best info I found on that was at http://meta.stackexchange.com/a/63403/293511, which states:

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 participate if invited by some user who had commited and is participating), being only available to the users that had committed before. After that period you will be able to participate in public beta, which is the phase in which the site is still 'being tested', but everyone can visit it and participate. This is explained in this answer.

However, none of this informs us as to what precisely is missing on the Open Science Stack Exchange to move ahead towards the public beta (now that that week is over), nor who is to make that decision when and based on what criteria. Any pointers welcome.



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closed with the note: No longer relevant
commented Aug 17, 2015 by Zizouz212 (320 points)
@DanielMietchen That's not necessarily what the question implies. Perhaps you should word the title moreso such as *"What is required for a site to go public?"*

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commented Aug 17, 2015 by Zizouz212 (320 points)
@just_curious Don't mistake that post: That was intended for public betas looking onto graduation: not necessarily private betas.

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commented Aug 17, 2015 by Zizouz212 (320 points)
Also, I would essentially be duplicating my thoughts if I were to write an answer, but here is a link to another answer I wrote that *comprehensively* answers the question with my thoughts: http://meta.openscience.stackexchange.com/a/55/2

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commented Aug 17, 2015 by Daniel Mietchen (1,170 points)
That other answer of yours does not answer this question of mine, as it does not indicate what precisely is missing - it provides stats and concludes on that basis that the site won't make it to the next level, but does not give an indication as to what the precise requirements are to get there - hence my more specific question here.

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commented Aug 17, 2015 by just_curious (60 points)
For a short time, I have thought that SE has [become more tolerant](http://meta.stackexchange.com/q/257614) towards smaller high-level communities that naturally have a slower turning time, as long as they keep spam-free and moderated. But now it seems this seemingly increased tolerance for smaller slower high-quality communities has been an [illusion](http://meta.stackexchange.com/a/263607), the hammers keep falling as before, but now it happens already in private instead of in public beta. Nevertheless, I will have a now question for the mainpage tomorrow ...

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3 Answers

+3 votes
answered Aug 16, 2015 by HDE 226868 (320 points)

Grace Note's answer to What is the Stack Exchange (Staff) process of launching a site? is the most in-depth information set I can find for an authoritative reference on the issue.

Specifically,

  • Private Beta Evaluation — After one week, we will evaluate how the private beta is doing. If the content looks strong and the community highly engaged, we will open the site to the public. If there are any problems (or the community simply needs more time to develop) we may extend a private beta out to a second week. But once the stage is set and everything looks good, it’s time to open the the doors to the public.

  • Proposal Reboot — On occasion, a community might not be able to get it together during the private beta. There may be nothing wrong with the subject itself. Perhaps we didn’t quite get the scope right, or the community just wasn’t well-equipped to pull it off. But whatever the case, sometimes we just have to close a private beta and (hopefully) send the idea back to the drawing board as a new proposal to try and get it right the second time around.



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commented Aug 17, 2015 by Zizouz212 (320 points)
Actually, I believe they evaluate sites after 2-3 weeks now, instead of the single week. Read that somewhere on Meta SE I think, but I don't exactly no where...

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commented Aug 17, 2015 by HDE 226868 (320 points)
@DanielMietchen The evaluation is internal, so only the Community Managers and other employees would know the details.

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commented Aug 17, 2015 by just_curious (60 points)
@HDE226868 this is unfortunate. It would be much much better and more helpful, if these SE Community managers would figure out the best way to success TOGETHER with the community they are considering, instead of meeting behind the sceene to decide among themself and the community just has to accept that decisions announced without any possibility to have a voice in it or even to object.

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commented Aug 17, 2015 by Daniel Mietchen (1,170 points)
So someone probably did an evaluation of the site, and concluded to extend the beta for a week. Where can we read about the results of this evaluation? Have any users been asked to comment on the findings?

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+1 vote
answered Aug 17, 2015 by Zizouz212 (320 points)

As far as I can tell, each site is different. Each site has varying communities with respective qualities.

As for the duration of a private beta, the answer provided by HDE 226868 is informative, and provides a basic stepping stone into the process. However, don't take it literally - exceptions are made. If I remember correctly, private beta are now allowed to take up to 3 weeks before they go public, and this is becoming common across all sites: Open Source, a site having gone through 54 days of beta at the time of this writing, went public on day 21 (I'm quite sure).

As for the decision, it will likely be taken by the Community Managers. In fact, you should already recognize a few: particularly Robert Cartaino. There will also be other community managers that will also take the decision. The decision to shut down, or go public lies with them. It is the job of the community to demonstrate that they should go public.

This site is on Day 12 of beta at the time of this writing. You can probably expect a decision/announcement to be made within a few days regarding the status of the site. Whatever the case is, be patient. Continue doing your job as a community member, by posting valuable, quality content to the main portion of the site.

In the mean time, I encourage you to read a few blog posts that may provide some additional insight:



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+1 vote
answered Aug 19, 2015 by kenorb (425 points)

I guess the site lack of action/activity and effort therefore the site is closing instead of going public.



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commented Aug 17, 2015 by Daniel Mietchen (1,170 points)
As pointed out in multiple posts by multiple people, forcing an open science site through a non-open bottleneck and evaluating it on that basis seems to be the bottleneck.

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