How are we doing along the way to graduating Beta?

I know that certain things are required and that if they aren't met the site simply closes.

When is our "deadline" (if I understand correctly that there is one)? What do our stats look like (questions/day, etc.)? How are we doing on the path towards graduating beta?

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    Beyond the stats on Area 51, I only have a pretty informal sense of the process and our status. My feeling is that there are a lot of intangibles here, around how the community is developing and so on. (However, as far as I know we're making great progress towards graduation and are in no danger of being shut down.)
    – Joseph Weissman Mod
    Feb 14, 2013 at 6:09
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    @JosephWeissman seem to have a nice, but small, community of active users. That should help us I would hope.
    – Dennis
    Feb 14, 2013 at 6:11

1 Answer 1


If we compare ourselves to the standards of a typical (and technical) SE site, we're pretty far from graduating beta because we don't have nearly the kind of stats they generally look for. However, that doesn't mean there isn't a place for Philosophy.SE; I just think that given the topic (philosophy being something relatively slowly changing, compared to our ever evolving understanding physics or biology or computer sciences) and the SE-imposed format (academic, focused questions, try not to "do" philosophy as much, etc.) that we are going to inherently have less content to work with.

However, there will always be those questions that are too "meta" for other sites which fit perfectly for us, and that I think is an important niche to have, among our primary purpose which is to be a place where people can ask specific, answerable questions about philosophy.

The admins probably do recognize the importance of this niche we fill on some level, but I suspect there is also politics involved. I.E., if they let a site like philosophy graduate beta with relatively low stats, they would have to deal with swarms of people complaining about their proposals being closed while having similar stats. That's probably something they don't want to deal with, and so we stay beta.

Ironically, graduating beta may actually give us the boost we need, since I think a good number of people leave because they don't think the site will last and don't want to invest their time and effort only to have all their points mean nothing when the site goes down. While one might frown upon the idea of people helping others only for "internet points", it's actually a huge draw an effective psychological strategy that keeps probably more than 50% of users coming back to these sites.

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    I really hope you're right about the graduation boost. Thanks for your view.
    – iphigenie
    Feb 15, 2013 at 18:12
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    Part of me worries about this niche. While, on the one hand, philosophy can be seen as concerned with foundational questions in many other fields, I fear that this sort of attitude might lead to Philosophy.SE becoming a waste-bin for bad questions from other sites. In my short time as an active member here I've already seen a few examples of questions migrated here from other sites only to be closed for much the same reasons the other site migrated the question. It would be nice if we can reach some middle-ground here, but I imagine that will only come once we establish the site more.
    – Dennis
    Feb 18, 2013 at 7:46
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    Questions should only be migrated if they are quality, answerable questions, so if we're getting junk it's the fault of the originating site. So far, I haven't seen this to be a real problem. The bigger problem I see is that while often they are interesting questions with lots of potential, sometimes they aren't worded appropriately for a philosophy audience and require a certain level of technical knowledge which we may not possess. But that's fine. We just don't have a large-enough and rounded-enough steady membership to answer every conceivably good question we get. That takes time. :)
    – stoicfury
    Feb 18, 2013 at 21:31

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