Currently you can commit to only three proposals, because likely you won't be able to actually follow them as closely in the beta as you are supposed to. This is ok, but could be better.

Instead, the system could allow you to commit to as many proposals as you wish, but as soon as two or three of them would go beta at the same time, all your other commitments would be temporarily disabled (just as if you uncommitted).

  • That could result in a lot of volatility. Sep 12, 2011 at 14:46
  • 2
    A little bit, but now we have stagnant projects. The more pressing problem now is that you would get better results committing only to project which are about to go into beta, leaving alone those who are struggling. It doesn't make much sense having to do this sort of meta-playing to improve the chances of success.
    – o0'.
    Sep 12, 2011 at 14:54
  • That's a fair point. Sep 12, 2011 at 15:29
  • 1
    Relevent: discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/questions/1950/…
    – DForck42
    Sep 12, 2011 at 18:43
  • great idea. If you want to adapt AREA51 process/system, explain your idea on meta.SO, there is more attention and discussion imho. This site is more or less for discussion of problems on specific proposals. There are many questions tagged as AREA51 on MSO Sep 14, 2011 at 23:22

2 Answers 2


That would defeat the entire purpose of "commitment." The goal of commitment is to find people who will actually show up on opening day, not just to find more people who will click on a link.

Starting a new site is hard; Pushing a site through commitment is supposed to be hard. If users can simply commit to everything in sight, all we would end up with is a significant decrease in follow-through, resulting in more failed private betas.

There are a lot of fans of Stack Exchange (in the abstract sense), many of whom are more than willing to say "Yeah, there should be a site about…", but very few who will actually show up to the private beta once the site is created. That's when we need them.

A Better Solution is on the Way…

We will be adding adding a reminder email to let followers and committers know when a proposal has reach 60% and again at 90%. If you follow a proposal, you will receive notices when the proposal is much more imminent. That's when it is time to tell your friends and commit the the proposal so you get an invite to the private beta.

  • 3
    I understand your point, but there still remains the problem that it is better to commit to the projects which are more about to start, doing a sort of meta-gaming which I find quite depressing.
    – o0'.
    Sep 13, 2011 at 19:08
  • robert you have to explain why proposals like astronomy/philosophy fullfilling your commitments hurdles are nearly imploding in community dynamics/quality. Alot 200+ programmers where hobby interested in it, but now no one asks questions as most commiters dont really practice astronomical observation or questions about modern philosophy. Your system works excellent for strong hobbies like parenting, cooking, gaming, but here it clearly fails and rather drives away than attracts true experts on this fields, as very few and low quality questions. Programmers are no experts in any field... Sep 14, 2011 at 23:20
  • @WernerSchmitt I'd say that this makes the Area51 model work. If the wrong people are committed, the site wont make it (that's the point). You cannot just take that same site and expect experts to join it if they didn't agree with the scope. You'd need a new proposal to attract them. At the same time, you cannot launch a site for people that haven't experienced the SE model, so participation is necessary in order to get passed commitment. I think these 2 properties do a great job at determining failure so far. I just wish that the moderators would let the system work instead of merging/closing
    – Kevin Peno
    Dec 2, 2011 at 18:00
  • @KevinPeno they close very few launched proposals, there are a lot beta sites not matching the needed requirement numbers for months, but still not closed. They dont have really clear criterions. Normally they should close e.g. philosophy.SE, it gets no attention with current level and number of questions, Experts still join stackoverflow, but not philosophy student will ever join philosophy.SE. And in the end SE is trying to yield higher quality than quora and reddit. A new philosophy proposal could attract more experts, but I doubt they kill it. Merging proposals in broad topics is wrong way Jan 5, 2012 at 15:37

So, to restate what you're saying, you're essentially saying that people should be able to commit to more than 3 proposals, but you'll only be able to actively participate in 3 private betas until you've met your commitment, and you would be taken out of the numbers from other commitments until you have an "availability slot".

That's an interesting concept

  • Exactly, thanks for the re-wording :)
    – o0'.
    Sep 13, 2011 at 15:17

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