Robert Cartaino commented to this question

On the 2.5 answer requirement — there is no such requirement. If you are looking at the Area 51 stats, I would largely ignore that page in a "health report card" context. It's an old school, antiquated attempt to measure the performance of a site by the sum of its parts, but those one-size-fits-all stats weren't a terribly effective way to measure the overall health of every community. We're looking for about 150-200+ questions during the 3-week private beta. That's a much better indication of whether you're attracting enough users to become a public site

Robert does not mention the distribution of users who are asking those 200+ questions.

We of course want as much diversity as possible in the questions authors however I was wondering if there exists an actual metric that is observed by SE gods to measure this ? If so then how can we assess if we are doing ok with regard to authors diversity ?

1 Answer 1


The private beta (lasting typically three weeks) is the last phase to show if a site works in actual practice before it launches as a public site. The goal is to assure there is enough interest from an avid, enthusiastic community to manage and grow this site. After years of trying to measure this in numerous ways, we found one simple metric with a very high correlation of success:

150-200+ questions in the first three weeks.

It's a deceptively simple metric. Asking interesting, intriguing questions naturally generates a lot of attention and curiosity which leads to more activity and content… organically.

One of the biggest problems that "under staffed" sites face is trying to do more with fewer people. It is not difficult to spot. When there aren't enough users (typically from faking their way through Area 51), a few people will start churning out streams of robo-questions — mundane, uninspired questions which start to look like the chapter headings of your typical instruction manual, and the front page is strewn with the same blocks of user name(s) over and over and over (i.e. to hit the numbers at any cost, regardless of the health of the site).

This site doesn't have that problem. At the one-week mark, you've exceeded 100 questions with reasonably diverse participation and questions asked out of genuine need and interest. But don't mess that up by forcing it; you can (and should) invite more people to help build this site. But on your current trajectory, I don't foresee any problem launching this site.

  • 3
    Thanks a lot for your time and answers, your guidance is truly appreciated!
    – Ezy
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 16:29
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    Incidentally, I may formalize that metric someday, or in an upcoming project — e.g. "post {x} questions by {y} users to advance; you have 30 days to complete that process" — but to date, it has not been necessary. Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 17:04

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