I was wondering what are the criteria where we are lacking before we go full public/graduate. The term "critical mass" is used often but is not properly defined. From the FAQs and other questions, it seems the two main criteria for graduation are:

  • The stats of the site on Area 51: These look reasonably good to me over the last few days. The number of questions is a little low (and I know it is a very important criteria), but it is still "Okay" and not a "Worrying" red.
  • The number of core high reputation users: As I understand, once the site graduates, the reputations for privileges will increase, and so a set of high rep users are needed who can moderate/flag/close questions effectively. Are we short on these? The stats page shows this is actually "Excellent".

So what areas do we need to improve upon to be able to fully graduate, and what can be done about it?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ As far as I know, the Area51 stats have been obsolete for some time. I'll let the staff speak on their behalf, but I'll say that I'm not concerned about our progress if I compare the figures available to me with other beta sites of similar age. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Dec 20, 2012 at 15:02
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ As for privileges, the milestones on graduated sites are 2k (editing), 3k (closing) and 10k (mod tools). That's why the numbers of 2k and 3k users are included in the stats. I think we have a reasonable pool of people able and willing to community-moderate, which is indeed important. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Dec 20, 2012 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Raphael I agree that we do indeed have a pool of people who are the core group, are willing to community moderate, and answer questions expertly. I also agree that this is important. So, in your opinion, are we doing fine? $\endgroup$
    – Paresh
    Dec 20, 2012 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Raphael And that is why I asked this question. I felt we are doing reasonably well on both fronts. So, are there other criteria, or do we actually need to improve on some front? $\endgroup$
    – Paresh
    Dec 20, 2012 at 15:34
  • $\begingroup$ Well, we have to keep in mind that a graduated site is likely expected to generate a profit for SE Inc, so there are probably conditions that are (superficially) independent of how the community is doing. I don't know what the staff are looking at in particular; let's wait for their answer. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Dec 20, 2012 at 16:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Raphael, compared to triology sites other sites are negligible regarding profit. Making profit is not a criteria as far as I know. The main criteria as I understand it is sustainability and long-term health (also to some extent compatibility with the rest of SE network). My impression is that Computer Science is generally viewed quite positively. $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Dec 21, 2012 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ The most recent graduate seems to be Mathematica, so if want to compare the statistics looking at theirs might be helpful. $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Dec 21, 2012 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Kaveh Thanks for the stats. It looks to me that we are doing reasonably well. $\endgroup$
    – Paresh
    Dec 21, 2012 at 23:19
  • $\begingroup$ yes it appears that there may be both "hard" critiera (reported), and "soft"/subjective critiera for acceptance of graduation. @raphael re your comment. stackexchange has not responded. as moderator can you ask them directly what specifically the hard/soft criteria are? maybe there is a ref somewhere? maybe they can reply here? $\endgroup$
    – vzn
    Jun 14, 2013 at 18:33

1 Answer 1


Nine months later, apparently not much [stops us from graduating]. Provided we continue doing what we do as well as we have been doing it.

Or so says Shog9.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .