Proposal: Personal Manufacturing

At the moment, there is a relatively strong interest in this proposal (246 of 200 committers in total) however there is still too little interest from established stack exchange users (75/100 committers with 200+ rep on any other site).

Unfortunately, while we can see the graph of committers over time, I can't find a graph of experienced committers over time. It feels to me like we have stagnated though.

As far as I see it, there are two main ways to get out of the doldrums:

  1. Recruit more experienced stack exchange users (200+ rep on any other site).
  2. Encourage existing committers to gain more experience.

There are, however also ways to combine the two.

If you ask questions on other sites about personal manufacturing issues, mentioning this proposal, then we get the dual benefit of bringing this proposal to the attention of more experienced stack exchange users who are interested in the topic, and improving the reputation of less experienced stack exchange users. If you use your referral link, i.e. the Share This link you see when you visit the proposal Area 51 page, then you will be credited with every person who uses that link to find the proposal.

Most proposals have some overlap with other existing stack exchange sites, and for Personal Manufacturing the obvious ones are stackoverflow and electronics, so these are great places to ask questions about the programming and control aspects our proposal. There is already a strong Arduino community of electronics for instance (currently around 800 questions tagged as such).

Even if you can't think of Personal Manufacturing related questions to ask on other sites in the stack exchange network sites, you can still improve your personal reputation on another site by asking questions relevant to that site and answering other peoples questions - Pick a topic that interests you and hang out there for a while.

For instance if you are interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy or Roleplaying Games, ask and answer questions on those sites. Ditto if you are a parent or interested in sports. There are plenty of sites where you can pick up a some reputation and 200 really isn't difficult to achieve once you get started, no matter how difficult those first few points of rep might appear.

So, those are my ideas for getting us into beta. What other ideas do people have to promote this proposal?

  • 1
    @ Mark Booth: Okay, all delete my comments, attempting to think of an existing meaningful way for you to reach your goal. If I think of anything I'll post an answer!
    – blunders
    Commented Apr 30, 2012 at 17:00
  • Since you only need 20 more users at this point, my suggestion would be to search for existing SE users and engage them. Here's what I mean: (1) use SE only Google searches with topic related keywords to find users (2) review questions/answers/comments (3) if you find an experienced user that you're able to either post a comment/answer to that's not on the proposal already AND active, post meaningful/ontopic context with a promo for the proposal using a bit.ly link (5) do this 10 times, see how well it works based on link click and proposal commit by the users engaged. What do you think?
    – blunders
    Commented May 15, 2012 at 17:28
  • Sadly usually see a pile on effect once we reach that critical mass and hit 100%. If they could just pile on now we could move into beta.
    – Chad
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 19:14

1 Answer 1


According to this meta discussion, the requirements are:

We've tweaked the formula a few times since this was originally posted, based on the data from the first site betas. I've corrected the formula above to be the very latest. In general, we've tweaked the value of high-rep users downwards since they don't seem to be that much more likely to contribute, and given brand new users a bit of a boost as well.

The final commitment percentage of a proposal is equal to the MINIMUM of these three numbers:

Total Commitment Score (above) / 500
Total # of committers / 200
Total # of committers with 200+ rep on a single site / 100

Put another way, every proposal that launches must satisfy these three criteria:

A total Commitment Score of 500,
200 committers
100 committers with at least 200 rep on a single site

Right now there's no easy way to tell which of these your proposal is lagging in, except for #2 because it's easy to see when your % complete is equal to # of committers / 200.

Also, commitments decay over time (10% over 6 months):


We've added a decay factor to commitment votes on Area 51. This applies only to the Commitment Score portion. Basically, the older a vote is, the more it decays. This is very gradual: something like 10% over 6 months. If a user is very committed, they can "renew" their vote by visiting the proposal while logged in.

It'd be important to have users interested in the proposal to visit the proposal page every so often to renew the commitment.

Certainly, other proposals have faced this issue - having committed folks get more points on the sites that they already belong to would help a lot. Getting the word out via social media and word of mouth would also be a great way to bring new commitments to the proposal.

Good luck - look forward to seeing how things turn out!

  • The issue at the moment is not so much the committment score, it is users with high reputation on other sites. I think if we can motivate a couple of more high-reputation users (what about you? ;-) the committment score will reach 100% by itself.
    – Till B
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 7:26
  • @TillB - Agreed, none of the sites I've been committed to were held back by their commitment score, it has mostly been because of lack of experienced users.
    – Mark Booth
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 10:14

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