According to this question, and this one, the main hurdle to our graduation is the number of questions per day.

I went and looked at some graduated sites, and found that not all had perfect stats when graduating. In fact, some where weak on multiple parameters, and some had fewer questions/day than we do. (Couldn't find current stats for graduated sites. Does that require moderator tools?)


  • Seasoned Advice was merely "okay" on both questions/day and visits/day.
  • Travel, and Sf/F both were merely "okay" on questions/day and answer ratio.
  • Photography, Christianity, Bicycles and RPGs all had "Needs Work" on questions/day, three out of the four were also merely "okay" on another stat, while the fourth had a mere 3.4 questions/day upon graduating. Our stats are better than that.

Given that other sites have graduated with worse stats than we have, and with worse stats than are demanded of us, and given that all those sites are currently considered healthy and productive members of the SE society, why can't we graduate?

It appears to me that we are being held to a standard that multiple other sites have not been held to. Why?

Edit: having looked further, I found that the following sites are allowed non-beta status despite falling short of the 10 questions/day standard: Emacs - 9.8, puzzling - 9.7, Mi Yodya - 9.4, Photography - 9.4, Cryptography - 9.0, Webmasters - 8.6, Movies&TV - 8.3, Seasoned Advice - 8.2, AI - 7.6, Japanese Language - 7.2, UX - 6.1, CraftCMS - 4.9, Bicycles - 3.9, Christianity - 3.9, Theoretical Computer Science - 3.1, Quantum Computing - 3.0, Sceptics - 2.4, Patents - 0.9, Expression Engine - 0.6, Stack Apps - 0.5. (source)

Which makes the question even more striking: Why are we held to a different standard than other SEs? Why are SEs with less than 1 (!) question a day allowed non-beta status, while we are being denied the same?

Quite strikingly, Quantum Computing is 10 months old. So it was allowed non-beta status with only 3 questions a day at the same time as we were denied it. While telling us 'no', another site with worse stats was told 'yes'.

  • Current questions/day stats aren't in one convenient place, but you can go to a site, search for "is:q" to get a count of questions, go to the Area 51 page to get the date private beta started, and do math. In the case of Seasoned Advice, for example, there are 20,679 questions and it has been 3134 days since the start of private beta on 2010-06-15, which is 6.6 QPD over the life of the site. Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 5:24
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    All that said, I believe Area 51 reports a rolling average, not average since the beginning of time. I don't know what the period is on that. In the last 90 days the same site has had 720 questions, meaning 8 QPD in that period. Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 5:24
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    @MonicaCellio The best example to support our case is probably Christianity: they currently have 10,783 questions - not a whole lot more than us, and they've been around for a year longer than us. They also currently have 307 unanswered questions, compared to our 9. Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 0:22
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    Can't you just look at the All Sites page for current site stats? They show for the last two weeks, same window as the historical "at the time of launch" area 51 data.
    – Troyen
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 9:10
  • @Troyen haven't thought of it really. It shows total number of questions rather than questions/day, so one cannot know what their recent standings on this parameter are. I do see that Artificial Intelligence has a mere 75% answered questions, and in three years of existence it has less than 3000 questions, suggesting it probably doesn't have 10, or even 5, questions/day. ru.stackoverflow.com has an answer ratio of 1.1 and 73% answered questions. Software Recommendations stands on 56% answered questions. Lots and lots of sites with imperfect stats. Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 9:40
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    Questions per day is the second column from the right.
    – Troyen
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 9:47
  • @Troyen Ah, list view instead of grid view. Haven't even noticed the option was there. Thanks! Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 9:54
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    +1 I completely agree with you and @MonicaCellio. It is one thing to have a strict rule about what it takes to graduate. But when they bend it over and over and then tell us "but now we're gonna be strict" it stings. It's crazy to me that they'd put through Quantum Computing only 10 months ago and tell us this. When they weren't even close to the supposed requirement. I'm all for pushing this. They don't have to graduate 100 sites to justify ours. We have excellent stats except for this one.
    – Cyn
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 21:04
  • Question: In Area 51 area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/1623?phase=beta where it says our average questions per day is 4.5, what time period is that for? Because if we're told we must reach 10 questions/day to graduate but this is for all time, starting now, we would have to have 15 questions/day for 8 years to reach that goal. Or many more a day to do it faster. That seems rather unreasonable. On quick count, we do seem to be averaging around 5/day now. So how is that stat counted on Area 51? And how is it counted for graduation purposes?
    – Cyn
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 23:28
  • @Cyn, Troyen says it's for the last two weeks (see his comment above). I don't actually know, but it makes sense that it isn't for all time. (Not that "makes sense" can always be relied on...) Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 23:44
  • Okay, that is better then. How long do we have to sustain it? I mean if a bunch of us make a concerted effect for a month, might that do it?
    – Cyn
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 23:56
  • @Cyn I think that was already discussed here: writing.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1721/… Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 0:07
  • I know, I'm the one who said don't do it. But if we only had to do it for, say, a month...
    – Cyn
    Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 0:08
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    I will say too that I'm dismayed to see a huge number of beta sites around just as long as us and with more q/day, though often their other stats are just okay and not excellent like ours are. But still... something is wrong. It's like they expect all sites to be like Stack Overflow.
    – Cyn
    Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 0:11
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    @Cyn If you hover your mouse over the 4.4 questions per day stat the tooltip says "averaged over the past two weeks". I'm assuming the tooltip is accurate, but it's been several years since I've tried to calculate it myself.
    – Troyen
    Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 10:54

2 Answers 2


I agree with you. We are a high-quality site that has been around for almost a decade. We have 10,000 visitors per day for our library of over 7600 answered questions. We are making the Internet better.

At our level of maturity, the "beta" label is ridiculous. It's insulting, embarrassing, and demoralizing.

We raised this issue almost a year ago in one of the questions you linked. In an answer from June 2018, Jon Ericson, a community manager, basically said that (a) they've firmed up the 10QPD requirement since those other sites graduated and precedent won't help us, but (b) the new design would make this problem go away so we should be patient. At the time I was encouraged by this. Then months and months passed.

We've been patient. We've been more than patient. At least removing the "beta" misnomer is something SE could do right now, independent of the larger design problem. There are other sites with the beta design but not the beta label; we wouldn't be alone in that. I raised this in comments on Jon's answer a couple months ago. That didn't go so well:

Do we need to develop the full set of policies for all 100 sites before we can drop the word from the name of one very obviously not-beta site? (There are probably a few other obvious cases too.) SE does sometimes make a quick localized change well in advance of the broader change (most recently, HNQ). I really worry that we're alienating users and prospective users here. – Monica Cellio♦ Nov 14 '18 at 22:56

@MonicaCellio: Well, there are nearly a 100 not-really-beta sites out there. ;-) Unfortunately, we've allowed the concept of beta and graduation to drift to a rather unhelpful place for everyone. Removing the word symbolizes something to new users and existing users of other sites. The exciting thing about having a standard theme is that will allow us to provide much better customizations than simply dropping the beta label. (For instance, I'm working with the design team to allow custom color schemes.) And that does require some planning unless we fail to learn from the HNQ mess. – Jon Ericson♦ Nov 14 '18 at 23:03

A custom design would be great, but in the meantime, since that's going to take months if not years, I'm asking to remove the ridiculous "beta" label. SE allowed the HNQ change to stand instead of reverting it, so "see where that quick decision got us" doesn't really apply -- it's a sustained decision at this point. But I don't want to argue about HNQ; I want to do something for this longstanding, high-quality community that has been waiting years to be allowed to be one of the big kids, and waiting nine months now from this most recent request. It's demoralizing. Can't we fix this? – Monica Cellio♦ Nov 15 '18 at 18:26

(There's a little more there. He asked me to propose a metric to judge other beta sites, I replied, and there it sits.)

At this point I don't know how to get Stack Exchange to consider our petition. We've received no constructive feedback about issues we need to fix; I've heard no concerns about quality, community engagement, and the like -- just a magic number that we can probably never meet.

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    Yeh, I saw that discussion in the comments. I felt Jon was extremely unhelpful. I wondered if the high number of precedents (the ones linked above are the most extreme ones - there are more) could help our case. Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 10:00
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    @Galastel: I'm sorry my comments are unhelpful. I can only report what's going on right now. Now that the holidays have passed, the community team is coming back to discussing a plan for simplifying site transitions. I'm hopeful I'll have more satisfying answers soon. Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 23:18
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    @JonEricson I still don't understand - considering all the above precedents, considering we've been talking about graduation for a year now, why is simplification of site transitions needed before we can graduate? Why can't we graduate right now? Why are we treated differently from so many other sites, as if we're a bastard child in the SE family? Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 23:53
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    @JonEricson In particular, how can it be that Quantum Computing was allowed to graduate with 3 questions per day, and merely "okay" on three (!) other stats (so only one stat was in the green) at the exact same time as you were telling us that we must have 10 questions per day, so that all five of our stats would be green? The exact same time - we raised the issue in February, they graduated in March! Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 12:00
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    @Galastel: I think you are asking the wrong questions. That's not a surprise since we've long been working with a binary beta => gradation switch that never worked the way it ought to. I wrote about breaking up with graduation that explains my thoughts in more detail. What I'd like to encourage you to do is start thinking about what design elements fit Writing SE. This is already a great site! Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 18:01
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    @JonEricson at this point I feel discouraged to discuss design elements, because I feel a strong lack of confidence that we're ever moving away from the "beta" status, and that any such discussion would not turn out to be merely theoretical. As a step towards rebuilding trust, how about removing the "beta" label right now? And an announcement from you to the effect that we are moving forwards towards having a graduated site, so discussing design elements is actually relevant? Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 18:44
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    Yeah, even if we don't get full "graduation" at least take off the Beta label and allow us some of the things that Betas can't do (custom migration paths, etc). Also, the reason, I presume, that rep requirements are so much lower in Betas is because rep is harder to get on a low volume stack. Yet in Writing, it's just not so. My personal rep is highest here and, overall, we have an order of magnitude higher number of "avid users" than is required. Changing rep milestones to match those of established sites would be a good thing IMHO (even if I'd lose some privileges myself).
    – Cyn
    Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 16:09
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    @Cyn Absolutely. The rep issue is yet another proof that we shouldn't be beta. Reputation gain here is on par with "graduated" sites, and there's a large number of "avid users". So there's enough people to perform reviewing tasks, and the first privileges come too early, before people really know what to do with them. (I was going "skip, skip, skip" for months, wanting to be involved since I had the option, but not really knowing enough to make useful decisions.) Yet another way the "beta" status harms us. Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 1:22
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    100% agreed. I'm very active on another Beta, Genealogy, and just finally got over 1000 rep. It took me forever because there's hardly any posts there and the ones that do exist don't get read by enough people with active accounts. In their case, staying Beta makes sense. They simply don't have the activity to move forward quickly enough. But we do.
    – Cyn
    Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 1:27
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    I think we're onto something here: beyond the perceived unfairness of unequal treatment, and the fact that we find the "beta" label insulting, we have two objective claims regarding how the "beta" status actually causes damage to our site: the reputation/privileges issue, and our need for multiple migration paths. The "design elements" @JonEricson talks about are rather lower on the priority list than those issues. (Not that we don't want them - we do. It's just that other things are more pressing.) Monica, is there any way you can raise this with SE? Perhaps on Meta Stack Exchange? Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 13:36
  • @Galastel it appears that I don't have any special privilege with SE on this point, since I've raised it before and, yet, here we still sit with the "beta" label. Would you care to raise it on MSE? For the broader audience it'd be good to note that other sites are in our boat too, acknowledge the broader dismantling of "graduation" eventually, and make the more-immediate request in that context. Also, linking to prior discussions here so people don't say "take it to your own meta" would be good. If you don't want to post there I understand (and I can); if you do I'm happy to help you craft. Commented Jan 20, 2019 at 23:27
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    @MonicaCellio Will do. If not tomorrow, then the day after. (It's half past two a.m for me at the moment, so definitely not now.) I think I can craft it, and you're more than welcome to edit afterwards. Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 0:31
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    It is done. Here: meta.stackexchange.com/q/322781/386257 Feel free to edit. I got rather angry by the whole thing, so the post reads a bit like a call to arms. Only thing it lacks: youtube.com/watch?v=Zf71gy3uME4 If you feel it's too much, you can tone it down. Or you can add the music instead. :) Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 0:44
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    @Galastel thank you! Re the soundtrack, while it's tempting, do keep in mind that things did not end well for the people singing that song... (On the other hand, if you can write a Writing/SE-themed contrafait/filk, I bet we could make a recording happen.) Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 1:42
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    Checked today, we have 5.8 questions/day. We've moved from "needs work" to "Okay". So now we have no red stats - we have four greens and one orange. All the more reason to graduate. I updated the post in Meta Stack Exchange with this information. @JonEricson, we're still waiting for some sort of response. You're a community manager. Well, you've got one angry community here. Commented Feb 2, 2019 at 12:02

Writing.SE is among the 29 SE sites that were graduated weeks ago for "good measure" Congratulations to our 29 oldest beta sites - They're now no longer beta!

They say that graduation criteria for beta sites are currently discussed but that these 29 were obviously targetted, so they did not wait.

Congratulations to you all. This question was quoted in that sub comment.

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