Interest in a proposal doesn't necessarily correlate with being good at defining questions.

As suggested here, some proponents will likely have a very good idea of how the site should be defined, but be unable to distill that into just 5 example questions. Granted, the 5-question-limit seems like a useful heuristic to keep proposals from getting unfairly dominated by one user, or inundated with so many questions they can't meet the objective of 40 10-vote sample questions.

Request: Increase the number of questions allowed to "helpful" proponents. A simple mechanism would be to allow a new example question for every question that has ever reached 10 votes.

  • 2
    +1, 5 is really too little. If so many people hit the same limit, maybe it suggests that the limit needs to be reworked?
    – Pacerier
    Oct 17, 2014 at 15:29
  • Related Nov 27, 2014 at 20:00

1 Answer 1


In the current version of Area51 the 5 question limit should be maintained. While I have often wanted to write more than 5 questions on a proposal, the limit makes sense.

The question writing goal of Area51 is two fold, define the site AND validate there a good likelihood of having sufficient content to sustain a site. Optimal each question writer would write 4 good (10+) questions and 1 bad (0 or negative) question to help define the site. Best case with a 5 question limit this is the questions of 10 people (4 x 10 = 40 Questions with 10+ votes).

I am personally a fairly active question writer. I have written 112 of the 1460 questions on Pets.se and 94 of the 1,688 questions on Space.se On these two sites that are doing well I am contributing in the 5-10% of the question volume.

On an Area51 proposal 5 questions is 12.5% of the total 'required' questions, but if you knock it down to the 4 good and 1 bad (where bad is out of scope), than you have 10% of votes on a proposal, being from one person. Which for a beta site is equals one of your 2 or 3 highest question posters.

There are a couple of proposals that I could easily write 80 questions on, half of which could probably capture 10+ votes on an area51 proposal. If this were to occur, and the site went live, where would the other 90% of the questions that are needed to make a site prosper come from? Maybe the will come in anyhow, but if you can't get 40 top quality questions out of your prospective members with a 5 question limit, you have a very thin chance of having a successful launch.

The limit should stay at 5, in no case should it be raised for quality question writers. I could make a good argument for lowering the allowed questions to 3 per user, but given the current state of Area51 I don't think that is a good idea.

  • 2
    My understanding of the Area51 process is that the commitment phase is where you determine whether there is a critical mass of participants. Why would you want to hobble the definition phase?
    – feetwet
    Oct 17, 2014 at 17:10
  • 2
    @feetwet You can have 200+ interested parties without having the volume of questions required to sustain the proposal. As and example ebboks has been up 10 months and is currently averaging a question every other day. It got 61 questions in Definition phase and only 433 since it went live. It is friendly place to be, the scope is not limited, and it is failing to thrive. The volume of questions just does not exist. Presumably any site that can't meet the current 5 question limit would be more problematic. Oct 17, 2014 at 17:46

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