Area51

2017inReview
area51 April 25, 2012

When a Site Grows Quiet

In the lifecycle of a Stack Exchange site, we’ve long held the philosophy that “it takes as long as it takes” to build a sustainable community: How long can a site stay in beta? The simple answer is, it takes as long as it takes. We’ll wait. If a site needs more activity, go out…
Avatar for Josh Heyer
Community Manager (former)
area51 July 27, 2011

Does this site have a chance of succeeding?

Anytime you find yourself answering the same question over and over and over and over … blog post time. This is that blog post. This cycle has repeated itself on more sites than I can remember — When a new community approaches the end of their beta period, users start looking forward to graduation. So…
Avatar for Robert Cartaino
Director of Community Development (former)
area51 January 28, 2011

Area 51 Gets Organized. Let’s Talk!

Dust off your tuxedo; notify the paparazzi. You are invited to the hottest ribbon-cutting ceremony this side of Rovio. Stack Exchange is launching the long-awaited Discussion Zone of Area 51! The Discussion Zone is similar to a meta forum where users can bandy about proposal ideas, discuss promotions, and decide how to best mix and match these…
Avatar for Robert Cartaino
Director of Community Development (former)
area51 December 23, 2010

No Artificial Intelligence in Area 51

On Monday afternoon, we unceremoniously closed down a Stack Exchange site: Artificial Intelligence. Not that many would have noticed. It had an laggardly 83 questions in its 12 days of existence. It wasn’t so much the lack of questions that was of concern — a site can stay in beta as long as it takes — but the…
Avatar for Robert Cartaino
Director of Community Development (former)
area51 December 9, 2010

Talkative and Precognitive Badges

Our core functionality, as always, is Q&A; — asking great questions and providing great answers. You could certainly go months or years without ever needing to visit anything beyond the main site. But that’d be a shame. Chat – Our Third Place Did you know that real time web chat is a standard “out of…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
area51 October 21, 2010

When Will My Site Graduate?

At 90 days into beta, we’re supposed to evaluate each Area 51 beta site and either “pass” or “fail” them as full Stack Exchange sites. Some sites feel they’re not going to make it. Please do not close GIS SE The Geographic Information Systems SE site has one more day of beta. We are Excellent…
Avatar for Robert Cartaino
Director of Community Development (former)
area51 October 13, 2010

Stack Exchange Naming for Dummies

A while ago, I wrote: “Individually-branded sites felt more authentic and trustworthy. We thought that letting every Stack Exchange site have its own domain name, visual identity, logo, and brand would help the community feel more coherent. After all, nobody wants to say that they live in Housing Block 2938TC.” Well, funny thing… that didn’t…
Avatar for Joel Spolsky
Co-founder & Chairman of the Board
area51 October 1, 2010

An Area 51 Apology — and Clarification

We’d like to apologize to the Area 51 community. Allow me to explain with a diagram: In this diagram: Charlie Brown is the Area 51 community. Lucy Van Pelt is Stack Overflow Internet Services Inc. The football is the following proposals: Developer Testing, Compiler Design, and Vim. As Joel explained in Merging Season, if ……
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
area51 September 17, 2010

Merging Season

Area 51 is filling up with thousands of ideas for new Stack Exchange sites, and a pretty clear pattern has started to worry us: too many ridiculously niche proposals, overlapping proposals, and proposals that are already covered by an existing site. Do we really need a site for each individual content management system? The Stack…
Avatar for Joel Spolsky
Co-founder & Chairman of the Board
area51 September 14, 2010

Pruning season

Soon, we’re going to close down one of the 24 Stack Exchange sites that were created over the last two months. Sadly, the Gadgets Stack Exchange will go dark soon. A lot of the questions on that site were about Apple gear and Android gear; those questions can be migrated to the (beta) Apple site,…
Avatar for Joel Spolsky
Co-founder & Chairman of the Board
area51 August 14, 2010

Unix and Ubuntu: Why Both?

Update: we ultimately put this to a vote on each community. You may have noticed that two similar Area 51 site proposals have reached commitment and launched betas: ubuntu.stackexchange.com unix.stackexchange.com You might well ask: aren’t these the very same thing? Why have two communities on the same topic? What, then, is the difference between unix…
Avatar for Robert Cartaino
Director of Community Development (former)