I'm asking this about Home Improvement but it applies to all slow moving sites.

Just what are the criteria that a site has to meet to go fully live with it's own design etc.

Home Improvement now has 3 Okays and 2 Excellents for it's stats, but there's absolutely no indication of what the site is doing that's keeping it in beta.

Could we have more transparency over the scores a site has to meet in order to progress to the next phase.

  • Great question!
    – Maniero
    Commented Jan 28, 2011 at 1:45
  • 3
    I wonder if the criteria are kept intentionally private to avoid gaming of that last step before going to a live site. Commented Jan 28, 2011 at 2:11
  • I feel the same about Geographic Information Systems. It has been in beta for 189 days and already has 3 Excellents and 2 Okays.
    – Jaime Soto
    Commented Jan 28, 2011 at 3:48
  • 4
    If gaming the system would mean getting a lot of new users and questions on a site, we would even encourage gaming @Russell Steen
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Jan 28, 2011 at 16:50
  • 1
    @Russell - the only gaming would be to increase the users, visitors, questions and answers - so I don't see how this could harm the site.
    – ChrisF
    Commented Jan 29, 2011 at 22:12

2 Answers 2


Home Improvement is one of my favorite sites, so I hope it does come out of beta. That said, it is showing relatively steady indicators (visitors, traffic, question rates, etc) rather than growing indicators, so we think it needs more time to hit critical mass.

What we generally see with a (non-pathological) Stack Exchange site is nice, steady traffic going kind of horizontally for a while, then, at some unpredictable point, we hit critical mass and POW the site starts to grow every week. When this critical mass point is hit, the horizontal curves all tilt up and to the right and start climbing inexorably. This is the right point for a site to come out of public beta.

We're happy to cultivate a site in public beta for as long as necessary. We're also happy to do whatever it takes to help a site get to critical mass. For many sites, we're sending top participants to conferences to evangelize the site. Some sites, like diy.se, really just need another dozen regular contributors to break out of their boring horizontal trends and start climbing up and to the right.


The site has now fully launched - hooray!

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