This site started private beta before July 2012, so it is no longer "beta", it is a full site by our definition. We've removed the word "beta" from your site banner because we believe that you aren't really a beta site any more, even if you don't get ten questions per day.

Banner that reads "Congratulations" in three-dimensional white text with red, yellow and blue confetti.

What this means for you:

  • the "Beta" is removed from your banner
  • the site is moved to the "Launched" sites list on Area 51 - which will also remove the A51 info box from the right sidebar
  • retain beta reputation levels
  • Your current election is still a pro-tem election but we will schedule full-site elections no sooner than 6 months after it ends

This is the start of a process that we are already discussing internally and will be bringing to the network for public discussion once the plan is finalized. My hope is that this will mean the end of the monolith we currently refer to as "Graduation" in favor of a well-defined set of small targets to achieve the various elements that made up "Graduation".

I'm sure you have many questions - please feel free to ask and I'll answer what I can. It helps me out a lot if you can limit answers to focus on a single question/subject rather than asking a dozen questions in one answer.

Please feel free to follow the MSE discussion for more background on this decision. You can ask questions either here or there; I'll try to keep up with all of them. Your mods also have some info, so they may be answering in my stead.

Thanks so much for your patience and stay tuned!

  • 9
    Fantastic! Thanks! Looking forward to finalizing all the details (rep levels should change, for example). Woo hoo!!!!
    – Cyn
    Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 21:39
  • 10
    Excellent news! It is so gratifying to see our efforts and solid community produce results! Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 21:49
  • 7
    Congratulations everybody!
    – NofP
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 0:36
  • 7
    I've visited a few (ex-beta) meta sites, and it's telling that, so far, this is the one site that has received the news with the greatest enthusiasm and appreciation.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 5:58
  • 5
    It's a fantastic change that we've been waiting for for a very long time @Mari-LouA. Thank you very much Catija (and the StackExchange company in general) for these awesome news! Looking forward to more details about the process.
    – Secespitus
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 7:02
  • 3
    I saw some comments on the Meta-Meta thread were mad about 7 years -- but I think that since it is a full HS or College degree and then some -- sustaining a community that long with otherwise good metrics is a worthy achievement, and I think an addendum like an arbitrary length of time (perhaps only 4 or 5 years) is a fine metric. Not every site of any type (not just SE ones) sticks around even 2 years! Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 16:10
  • 2
    woohoo! yay us! Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 12:21
  • Nice, I'm very glad to see this! Looking forward to a cool design!
    – PoorYorick
    Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 16:06
  • 3
    That's great news!!! Thank you! It's wonderful to see something we've wanted for so long finally happening, and so gratifying to know that we were heard, that the fact that we kept on asking made a difference. Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 22:25
  • 5
    @Mari-LouA Jumping up and down with excitement over here. :) When you invest time in something, when you commit to it, it matters to you among other reasons because you've given something of yourself to it. We have, as a community, committed ourselves to getting ourselves out of beta. It was no longer just something we "want", but something we've put effort into achieving. To see that bit of ourselves that we've put into this come to fruition - it's an amazing feeling. :) Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 22:54
  • Nice! Joined this SE not so long ago, and I'm glad I found it... To older members: good job : ) Commented Aug 13, 2019 at 11:28
  • Yay!!!!! Finally!
    – user34214
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 14:46

4 Answers 4


This was addressed on the MSE post, but I'm bringing it here because it's Writing.SE specific.

When will we be assessed for a change in reputation levels for privileges? And what are the criteria?

I completely agree that this needs to be site by site, as many of the newly un-betatized sites are low participation and it takes a lot of time to build up rep.

Here on Writing, however, building rep is reasonably fast. As fast as on one of the regular graduated sites that is active (like Worldbuilding). For example, it's not uncommon for someone to hit the election voter threshold (150 points) after just 1-2 decent answers. On lower participation sites, even super great answers rarely go over 5 upvotes.

I would like to see Writing's rep levels be at the regular standard levels.

  • 1
    It has been in the past, the user point/permission levels go up when the site gets its site design. Mechanics.SE has been graduated for nearly three years and we are still at the lower thresholds. The site design process will soon be starting for us, so I'm expecting the point/permissions levels to change with it. As a word of caution, even with good voting on your site, don't be so quick to wish for the higher levels ... a lot of people who had the permissions and are actively doing moderation work will no longer be doing it ... which leaves a lot more work for the mods. Just a thought. Commented Aug 9, 2019 at 18:46
  • 1
    @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 That's a fair point. The "Cast close and reopen votes" privilege requires 500 points on Beta sites and 3000 points elsewhere. We have 69 users who have at least 3000 points, and of course not all are active and not all of those bother with the review queues or check them frequently. And we already can take 24 hours or more to nuke answers that are obviously inappropriate (but that aren't spam or super awful). Worldbuilding has closer to 400 users with rep 3000+. OTOH, part of that is a site culture thing, as we currently have around 750 users with enough rep to do this now.
    – Cyn
    Commented Aug 9, 2019 at 20:15

Is there already a rough outline just for the order of new "features", such as:

  • community ads
  • reputation levels
  • site design
  • ...

From your announcement it looks like we will first get the "real election" in 6+ months and then the rest is up to internal discussions, currently without any estimate for a complete official outline. Is that correct? Or is there something else you can share about the general "roadmap" of unlocked features for not-beta sites, such as "First beta label, then election, then rep level, then ..."?

Or will the new process be more akin to unlocking badges?

  • > 10 Questions per day == site design
  • > 5.000 visitors per day == community ads
  • > 50 users each with > 3.000 reputation == higher rep levels
  • ...
  • 3
    It's all sort of up for grabs. One of the major reasons we leave community ads as part of graduation is because it's a lot of manual work to create those posts every year. If we can get it automated, there's not really any reason to introduce it as part of public beta. Site designs will have to say very hard to get because we don't know how much design development time we can commit to. We've got a wait list of 8-10 right now and it takes about a month to get through one, so the more we add to the list, the more time it takes... for these 29 sites, that'd be three years if we did them all.
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 14:18
  • 4
    Graduations are also very much a manual process - so that we're unable to run more than 1-2 at a time per person (we have one person running full site and one person running beta elections, so there's usually about 3-4 at a time, in total). But one of the things that's supposed to happen this year is an automated elections process that will make it much easier for us to run many elections simultaneously.
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 14:20
  • @Catija Thanks for the updates, sounds good. Looking forward to future updates about the process!
    – Secespitus
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 18:43
  • 3
    @Catija sounds good, and makes perfect sense that the things that can be done automatically will come first. What about the reputation levels for privileges? Is adjusting that to graduates site levels as easy as one click, or a more complex process? Cyn talks about it above, and the topic has been raised quite recently here: writing.meta.stackexchange.com/q/2115/14704 Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 22:22
  • @Catija Have the automated elections been implemented? If so, was an announcement made?
    – Mast
    Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 10:21
  • @Mast No, Shog was the one building it
    – Secespitus
    Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 11:12

Will the winner of the current election need to run for reelection in 6 months?

  • 1
    Yeah. This is still a pro-tem election.
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 0:39
  • @Catija Please define that. Is the answer to my question yes or no?
    – Cyn
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 0:42
  • 8
    The answer is yes... I'm curious (because I want to avoid confusion in the future) what about my response made you doubt the answer? All pro-tem mods must run in the site's first full election. That's not necessarily known generally. Is that what caused confusion?
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 0:45
  • @Catija "Pro-tem" is not a phrase I'm very familiar with; you don't see it a lot. I know what it means officially but it is not clear to me that "full-site elections" means every moderator position is up for grabs.
    – Cyn
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 0:48
  • 3
    Ah. It's our default term here for moderators appointed or elected during beta: writing.meta.stackexchange.com/q/140/27869
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 0:50
  • @Catija Nodding. I just wasn't sure what the practical ramifications are. As one of the candidates for the moderator position, I felt it was important to know these details for sure. :-D Thanks!
    – Cyn
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 1:11
  • 6
    It can be a little confusing because, historically, SE appointed pro-tempore moderators on beta sites. More recently they've been running elections when adding to a team, but these elections are a little lighter-weight than "full" elections. When we have a full election (in six months or more), it will be to elect a full slate of moderators; anybody who has a pro-tem diamond who wants to continue will need to nominate then. (When I learned of the de-beta-ing -- and, let me tell you, sitting on this for two days was hard! -- the status of our current election was my first question.) Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 1:23
  • 1
    @Catija Pro-Term really isn't the most common phrase. I understand that it is the term you use internally, but I think it is a little dangerous to assume that everyone who reads it knows immediately what it means or further what it implies.
    – Weckar E.
    Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 13:38
  • @WeckarE. If by "Internally" you mean "it's built into the language of the site". Sure. But it's not an internal term in so much as we only use it administratively. We're aware that not all users on a site may be aware of all of the specific terms we use but, as I linked, we use it everywhere we talk about beta moderators. I'm always happy to clarify, though. :D
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 13:42

Why will this site be having a full-site election in 6 months, yet your MSE announcement just says "full-site elections will be delayed but will be scheduled eventually."

Does this mean that you've decided on this site's full-election schedule specifically, but not those of the other sites yet? If anything, I'd argue that a site that just got a new moderator could be left without another election for longer than those sites that haven't had a new moderator in a while.

Or is there some other reason that this site has had a specific decision made that's different from the other sites?

(Oh, I was perhaps confused by the other question here. It's not necessarily the case that it will be in 6 months, just that it will be no sooner than 6 months. Still, I'm confused by the more specific timeline here than in the MSE post.)

  • 4
    The announcement mentions that the election will be "no sooner than 6 months after it ends", which means 6 + x months with an undefined "x". It just means the to-be-elected pro-tem mod will stay a mod for at least half a year so that the mod won't have to be re-elected in a couple weeks. Nothing says we will be the first not-beta-anymore site with a full election. At least that's how I am reading it. It's probably only relevant here because other sites are not all currently having pro-tem elections.
    – Secespitus
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 12:50
  • 6
    Most sites aren't currently scheduled for an election and haven't had one recently so I wanted to give y'all an assurance that you wouldn't be thrown into the election process again in a couple of weeks/months. There's a similar clarification on Spanish.SE, which is getting ready to start an election, too.
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 14:23

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