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We have been in Beta for just a little bit over 900 days now, which is 1000% of the minimal required number of days. (I am aware that this is just the minimum, still: impressive)

First of all, I am very happy we made it this far in the first place and I just love the site. I come here more and more frequently to read interesting questions and answer and help people out. I think we have a very good community with a lot of movie and TV knowledge and can be proud of our 95% answer rate, which is quite a lot considering that this is a field with some very hard questions about sometimes obscure works of art.

One problem I see is that many avid users, me among them, are eager for graduation, but the whole process is very untransparent.

Apart from the odd self evaluation, it has gone very silent since our last discussion about this topic and I think it would be helpful to know where we stand. As I understand our moderators have no direct line to the powers that be or at least cannot get any update on this.

My main question is:
Does SE expect us (as the community) to further develop the site before a graduation is possible or is there another reason (out of our hands) why it has not happened yet?

If the site is just not quite there yet, what exactly are areas that need to improve so that a graduation gets more likely?

While improving the site overall by getting more questions per day, more avid users and a better Meta participation is always a goal for us, it would certainly be useful to know if we should focus or efforts in any particular direction.

If we would know where SE sees our weaknesses, I am certain that many users would be additionally motivated to improve the site in that direction, whereas the current silence might be demotivating for some.

Overall I think our stats and development look very good (we rank second among betas in traffic and we have many high rep users), but of course I don't have all the facts.

PS: I am aware there is a similar question from 2012, but I really think we should revisit this topic and try to get new input.

  • It is a bit disheartening to be away from this site for so long and come back to see it is still in Beta. I remember before it was brought up that more answers should be provided however that's not always feasible. – Kevin Howell May 21 '14 at 13:38
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Well I'm pleased to echo Robert Cartaino's comment below that Movies.SE is slated for graduation.

However please note that its uncertain when the actual process of starting a design will happen, as there is a significant backlog of sites to graduate. Get ready your ideas for a theme and/or a name!

Of course it will be important to continue to grow the site - in terms of numbers and quality of questions and answers!

  • You are correct to a degree about the 'direct line' - like you I am just a movie enthusiast who happened to volunteer at the right moment to help out, but I am in email contact with SE about this - particularly in the period that we were down to one regular moderator. – iandotkelly May 21 '14 at 4:07
  • Can I ask, is it possible to graduate to full site status without getting "Excellent" on all the site stats listed on Area 51? – Andrew Martin May 21 '14 at 7:12
  • @AndrewMartin I strongly believe so. I think other sites have done it before and the 15 questions per day goal is far from realistic in the near future anyway (let alone the question/answer ratio, which would require putting pseudo-answers into many already answered and accepted questions). – Napoleon Wilson May 21 '14 at 8:44
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    @NapoleonWilson: Not to mention many questions on this site only require a single answer. – Andrew Martin May 21 '14 at 10:08
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    @AndrewMartin Only if that first answer is correct, exhaustive and complete enough, not everyone writes the perfect answer on the first go, even if it is an obvious one. – Napoleon Wilson May 21 '14 at 10:33
  • Ian nailed it down. It is possible for a site to graduate without all excellents (just peruse A51). But increasing quality should always be at the top of the list for everyone :D – Tablemaker May 21 '14 at 13:08
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    @AndrewMartin I think many questions could use a second answer, even if the first one is great, simply to give another perspective on the topic and explain things in different words. But of course when the first answer already is perfect, it's very discouraging to write one. :) – magnattic May 21 '14 at 14:23
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    @iandotkelly Thanks for trying to answer my questions even though you can't reveal the reasons. I just find it very odd that apparently the reasons for not graduating are not site-related/out of our hands, but at the same time other betas are graduating left and right. What is that all about? – magnattic May 21 '14 at 14:26
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    iandotkelly, you are free to let folks know that Movies SE is slated for graduation. It's not a state secret; it's just something that's still in the planning stages, so we simply prefer to avoid a big anti-climatic announcement if nothing happens soon after while we catch up on the backlog of site designs. But if it was implied that you need to "keep the current status somewhat under wraps", we need to adjust that message. So there ya go; cat's outta the bag. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, this site is ready to go. Congratulations! – Robert Cartaino May 21 '14 at 15:49
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    @AndrewMartin Interesting that you bring them up, because those, while of course having only one exactly correct answer, can often elicit many different alternatives until the correct one is found. But what am I nitpicking when THERE'S OBVIOUSLY MORE IMPORTANT NEWS OUT THAT NEED TO BE CELEBRATED! – Napoleon Wilson May 21 '14 at 16:11
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    @RobertCartaino: You should stick that in as an answer to give it more publicity :) – Andrew Martin May 21 '14 at 16:26
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    @AndrewMartin .... I will happily update this answer when I am back from lunch! It's great news that I don't have to be vague like I thought I had to be! – iandotkelly May 21 '14 at 16:30
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    @iandotkelly Vagueness is our job :D – Tablemaker May 21 '14 at 16:30
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    @iandotkelly Yeah, saying that you're graduated, but we're not announcing it officially until we're closer to actually moving forward doesn't work so well when it puts folks like yourself in the position of saying "I know, but I can't tell you." It's just so cloak-and-dagger and not at all what was intended. – Robert Cartaino May 21 '14 at 18:12
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    @RobertCartaino Thank you very much for letting the cat out of the bag! These are happy news for this community indeed. – magnattic May 21 '14 at 21:17
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I have two issues with the site graduating:

  1. The site has 2 moderators, will more be elected as part of the graduation?
  2. There is 1 20k user on the site (with Nobby almost there), this means community moderation is pretty limited, as the community lacks enough people to clean things up on their own.

So the site is lacking in moderation resources on both the Moderator and Community fronts. What's the plan to remedy this?

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    1) one is surely mitigated by an election as soon as graduated. Though I can't see much to the help of 2) for now, let's just hope Oliver_C and Nobby don't candidate for moderators. ;-) – Napoleon Wilson May 26 '14 at 8:03
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    But also, looking at the privileges, the 15k+ powers aren't really that important/often necessary any way, and for 10k (which is "only" delete and review queue either) there are already 8-10 users. For the current activity that should certainly suffice, and with higher activity comes more overall rep anyway. So while this is a valid and reasonable concern, I'm not sure it's really a big problem at all. – Napoleon Wilson May 26 '14 at 8:22
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    Regarding 1): It's easy to forget this because they are doing such an excellent job, but as far as I understand it until graduation our mods are only "pro tempore". There should be proper elections when we leave beta. Regarding 2) I think Napoleon Wilson is right, the most important privileges for maintenance are not the the ones at 20k, that's also why Area 51 does not list this as a requirement for graduation. It says a site should have 5 users with more than 3k rep, we have 43, so we should be more than fine. – magnattic May 26 '14 at 9:08
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    Also, many users that don't have as much rep here have tons of rep on other SE sites. I think the experience is there, but since this is somewhat of a lower traffic site, it's harder to gain that much rep here. – JohnP May 26 '14 at 14:35
  • Bring it Elections. Vote for world piece ;) – Ankit Sharma May 27 '14 at 6:09
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    @JohnP: Definitely the case. Some days there is just isn't enough going on on the site to generate any major reputation. It doesn't mean we're not in the background keeping track though :) – Andrew Martin May 27 '14 at 15:16
  • This would be great as a question. My answer is that when we were down to 1 moderator, that was not adequate (and doesn't allow for vacation etc) and why I asked for more pro-tem moderators to be appointed. Now that TylerShads is back, 2 is manageable, but 3 would be much preferred. I would like an election for at least 3 moderators on graduation. Like others have commented, we have quite a few active 10k users, so I think 3 active mods + high rep users should be fine. – iandotkelly Jun 2 '14 at 1:38

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