A Round of Applause to Our Community
If you're a member of PMSE and have posted a question, an answer, upvoted or downvoted something, left a comment, opened or closed a question, or posted in meta and helped contribute to our quality scope changes, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back!
So are we done now?
No! We are not done. We're not out of the woods yet. Starting something new is exciting, thrilling, and energizing. But maintaining those newfound strengths and wins takes courage, patience, and persistence, even in our weakest of moments, and I don't want to see our site slip back into the world where anything goes. That will not lead to graduation.
I understand that the principle concern, the perceived elephant in the room, is that Stack Exchange may close our site down because there aren't enough questions.
The community managers have never, ever, not even once said that quantity is more important than quality, yet these falsehoods persist. I understand that this is your worry, but time and time again I've seen the same statements repeated by the SE team that they don't judge sites based on Area51 metrics.
For instance, when Bicycles SE was still in beta, someone asked Must we have 15 questions per day and over 1,500 visits per day to graduate?. Here is Robert Cartaino's answer:
We find that the best way to attract user to a site is by highlighting your most intriguing questions. Most users find this site through search engines. So, as long as you are asking QUALITY questions, users will continue to find the site and, hopefully, become contributors of their own.
That's why quality is so important at this stage. You want to ASSURE that users who stumble across one of your questions will see your front page and say "Wow, this is the site for me!" — and that's how the site will grow to graduation.
Don't panic. It will happen soon enough. Just keep the quality high and use those social bookmarks.
Example Launched Site With "Needs Work" Metric for Questions per Day
One thing I see on just about every beta site on our network are people arguing the point that it's okay to sacrifice quality for quantity. Some of you have made this argument here on PMSE. I may have even succumbed to this line of thinking on occasion, but it's just plain wrong.
I want to share with you something that I hope proves my point, or at least strongly supports the idea that the Stack Exchange team won't shut our site down just because of the questions per day metric:
What they've been telling us is true, that the little red "Needs work" Area51 metric isn't something we should fear. Here's why:
Bicycles SE launched in July/August 2011, and were in beta for almost a year! At the end of their beta, most of their stats were just a little lower than ours. Most importantly, they had that little red "Needs Work" message appearing as their questions per day metric.
Here is a post from Robert Cartaino that explains the minimum that is required to leave beta and launch.
Please read this carefully. It's important that we understand that QUALITY is of the utmost importance if we are to succeed!