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Thanks to everyone involved in the definition and commitment phases for Programming Language Design and Implementation on Area 51, the community has made it into the private beta phase — congratulations! Now that Programming Language Design and Implementation is in private beta, there is still work to do to reach the finish line. So what can you do to help this site progress from private to public beta?

  • Read through the help center: All of our sites have a comprehensive help center with articles explaining how most of our system works. It’s always a good idea to go through some of the articles there — especially if you're new to the Stack Exchange network.

  • Vote early, vote often: Voting is how good content gets recognized, wrong or incoherent content is signaled, and how a community of editors, closers, stewards, and moderators comes into existence in the SE network. Read more in this blog post and in this FAQ on Meta Stack Exchange, and be careful not to engage in voting fraud or sock-puppeting.

  • Discuss what your site is about on Meta: The Real Essential Questions of Every Beta is a community-curated post that lists a few of the most important things new communities should be discussing in Meta. You should be making use of your Meta site to discuss things like:

    • Are questions about [subject] on- or off-topic?
    • What should our documentation contain?
    • How should we tag questions about [subject]?
    • What's the site's “elevator pitch”?
    • How do we promote our site?
  • Edit, close, or delete content: Sometimes questions or answers need a little tweak, either because they have typos or because they don't quite fit the site's scope without some edits; you should help out by editing those posts. Sometimes questions are beyond being salvageable, though, and you should instead be closing or deleting them.

  • Invite fellow experts to the site: There's an "invite fellow experts" box on the site's right sidebar – make use of it!

  • Start building guidance for tags: Tags are an important way to sort content in our sites, and having the proper guidance on how tags should be used is essential to ensure content is properly tagged. Read more here about tagging, and here about providing tag guidance.

The site will stay in the private beta phase for up to 5 weeks, at which point the Stack Exchange Community Team will evaluate its progress. If the site establishes a self-sustaining community and a healthy volume of high-quality questions and answers within that period, it’ll move into the public beta phase; if it doesn’t, then it will be closed.


I hope that with the guidance above y'all have all the information you need to help your site succeed.

If you have any questions, thoughts, or feedback, please leave 'em in an answer below!

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  • $\begingroup$ The process is not clear to me. What are the criteria for leaving beta? What happens if after 5 weeks those criteria are not met? Does it stay in beta for long or get deleted? (closed is unclear - as closed questions on SE can be reopend) $\endgroup$ Commented May 26, 2023 at 9:14

3 Answers 3

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  • Invite fellow experts to the site: There's an "invite fellow experts" box on the site's right sidebar – make use of it!

Where, exactly?

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  • $\begingroup$ You could go to this webpage at area51 and click on the "Share this" link third down on the upper left. They used to have a box on the right column there to email invites, but it probably waits until after private beta to popup. $\endgroup$
    – Rob
    Commented May 16, 2023 at 21:05
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    $\begingroup$ It appears below the Community Bulletin and Watched/Ignored Tags section of the right sidebar on the front page of the main site (not this Meta site), as well as below the Community Bulletin but above Related/Linked Questions on individual question pages. It has a yellow background, so it should be easy to notice. $\endgroup$
    – V2Blast
    Commented May 18, 2023 at 15:31
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Woohoo! Nice to see that this site is well on its way to success!

As a note to future readers, and as mentioned in the question, voting is extremely important to the Stack Exchange model. It may not seem like it, but it's a moderation privilege, as you're moderating how content is presented on the site. Good content rises to the top, and less useful content falls below it.

Please be sure to use as many of your votes as you feel comfortable using (within reason and always being sure not to engage in voting fraud), because these first few weeks will be extremely important when defining what content is going to be highly scored for years to come.

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Close overly broad or bikeshed questions

Looking at questions from the first few days of the private beta, the site is inundated with questions that are either:

It's especially important to be strict about bad questions during the private beta. Unfortunately, at the moment, most participants seem to be very keen on asking, upvoting and not closing such questions. This makes the site look very trite to experts. So bring out the downvotes and the close votes! They're as important as the upvotes.

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