We're now in a stage where there is only one thing that is not marked as excellent in our Area 51 stats - the number of questions per day (which is stuck recently at about 5.5). My question is: what will happen when we hit 15 questions per day, i.e. when all the conditions are marked as excellent? Will we graduate instantly? If not, how much time should we stay on that "level of excellence" to graduate? The Area 51 FAQ doesn't really explain it very well.
We've been asking similar questions on the CS site a lot in the past few months. The stackexchange employees are (understandably) unable to make predictions about readiness, but you can sort of see that there are a few things that really matter to them.
The following blog post gives the official story (as of 3.5 years ago): http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/10/when-will-my-site-graduate/.
What seems to matter is:
- Sites graduate approximately in the order of "traffic". Not completely, but it's probably the first thing they look at. They also seem to want the majority of the traffic to be coming from search engines, rather than people browsing the internal links of the site. (I don't know where you go to see that stat though.)
- The number of users with 2000+ and 3000+ reputation matters a lot. After graduation you need 2000+ reputation to edit posts and 3000+ reputation to vote to close a question. Right now philosophy.se has 18 users with rep above 2000, and 10 of those have rep above 3000. You should take a look at the review stats. How many of the top reviewers have a rep over 3000? (The top reviewer, responsible for more than 20% of the reviews, isn't even over 2000).
- There are any number of qualitative ways in which the moderators seem to evaluate the health of a site. (Is there an active chat? Are a significant number of people taking part in the monthly self evals? Are the self evals improving over time? Is the community sufficiently broad, or is it a sub-community of the larger academic community? (On CS, for example, there are a lot of high-ranked users from the Theory side of the CS community, but far fewer "applied practitioners."))
- Stack exchange has two graphic designers, and they are very busy. As I understand it, no one will promise that the site will graduate until the day they assign one of the graphic designers to work with you. I haven't kept track, but I'd estimate that no more than one or two sites graduates a month, no matter how many are "ready."
I think academia just graduated. They are currently getting around 7.9k hits per day, and have over 50 users with rep over 3000. So stats near theirs seem like what might be required to graduate.
CodeReview is also in a state of what seems to be infinite beta, if you search through our Meta you will find what is necessary for a beta site to graduate, I assume that you are missing high rep users or something like that.
on this post How is Code Review doing right now? CR Meta goes through a series of Posts and information that show what CR needs in order to Graduate, there are also several SEDE Queries that we perform to check on certain statistics. there are several people that do a wonderful job creating these queries there and would be more than happy to help you. drop in sometime and ask.
ask around in The Second Monitor about the queries and such.