I know this has been asked previously, but not recently. So, why haven't we moved out of Beta? We are doing well on all fronts except for questions asked and at this point it would be really hard to fix given it is averaging over four years.
Under current guidelines there are two reasons a "beta" stack might expect to see its status change:
- (Good) Its consistently getting more than 10 questions a day.
- (Bad) Its not producing consistently helpful content, and its community isn't strong enough to perform the self-moderation function a healthy stack requires.
In the first case, this is what will generally get a site considered for promotion out of beta. We simply aren't there. A quick check shows me we had 8 new questions posted in the last 24 hours, which is a fairly good day for us. Not a barn-burner, but probably better than average. Using my super mod powers, I'm not supposed to give detailed specifics, but I think I can fairly say we've been bumping around above and below the 5-per-day line for years.
In the second case, this is what will get a site closed. Again we have spurts, but I don't think we're anywhere near that level of problem. I'm not empowered with these decisions, but I think we have a very good community here. We mods may slack a bit on occasion on flag handling, but the community seems to be doing a great job of taking care of problematic questions and answers all on its own even when we don't.
So that leaves us in the middle. Despite what the name may lead you to believe, there's no reason why a stack couldn't stay "beta" forever, if that's where it belongs. Sure, that makes "beta" a bit of a misnomer. There's been some talk of changing the name, but that doesn't appear imminent.
A rough rule of thumb that I've seen on my sites is that sites with questions in the five figures (>10,000) are "graduated," and the ones still in beta have fewer questions. We're just a bit more than halfway there, and hopefully we'll graduate when we get to (or approach), 10,000.