Is there something the users of Politics.SE can do to graduate this site from being just a beta version? It seems absurd that a Stack Exchange site on a topic that is very important is still a Beta version.

I know this question might be interpreted as a duplicate of this question. But in this question, I am asking the steps we could take to help this site graduate.

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    I'm not sure there's much to discuss here. The site has not yet fulfilled the 10 questions per day (consistently) requirement. Once it does, Stack Exchange will consider graduating it. Also, what's absurd about the beta status? – yannis Feb 9 '18 at 8:48
  • What I meant was that Politics is a subject that is always current and, to me it doesn't seem right that Politics is beta while sites on religion which though important, but not happening, are normal sites. – Shantanu Hebbar Feb 9 '18 at 8:54
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    The beta status is not a comment on the importance of the subject matter. It only indicates the size of the community, and whether the community can sustain the site in the long term. For example, if the site graduated today, we'd only have 13 users with the vote to delete privilege (10K+ rep). That would be problematic as... well... we get a lot of content that shouldn't stick around for long. We are not far from graduating, but we certainly aren't there yet. – yannis Feb 9 '18 at 9:00
  • I see, I guess I got it.Only by getting more users, and more questions will we graduate. – Shantanu Hebbar Feb 9 '18 at 9:04
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    The answer would depend dramatically on whether you want the graduated site to be about political science or debates about Trump. – user4012 Feb 13 '18 at 13:13
  • @user4012 One overarching goal of the StackExchanges apart from immediate answers to questions is to create a database of expert knowledge. Now I wonder how a database of Expert knowledge about Trump would look like, but on the other hand I wouldn't be very much interested in this. But then it seems the fraction interested in political science here is also very, very small. So I guess the goal would rather be something in the middle between the two extremes. "Political science amateurs" or "Post Trump Politics" maybe. – Trilarion Feb 19 '18 at 21:41
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    @Trilarion - based on low votes PolySci questions and asnwers typically get, i'm afraid that the fraction is indeed very small. – user4012 Feb 20 '18 at 0:49
  • @user4012 Regarding the low number of votes on difficult questions, see also The bikeshed problem and Stack Exchange. – Trilarion Feb 20 '18 at 9:52

A metric for the maturity of a beta site are the area51 site stats.

As you can see we are currently doing good in most categories except questions per day:

Questions per day: 4.4

Needs Work – 10 questions per day on average is a healthy beta, 5 questions or fewer per day needs some work. A healthy site generates lots of good content to make sure users keep coming back.

We occasionally break that 10 questions per day threshold during some important political events (like during the last presidential election in the United States) but we don't hold it consistently.

So if you want this site to graduate, then post more questions. Check out the help center and see which questions you should and should not ask here and go write some. When you are looking for topics, then keep in mind that Stackexchange is an international community with people from all around the world. We got a good coverage of the basics of United States politics by now, but there are about 200 more countries in the world who also have their own political systems with their own quirks. Asking more questions about other countries might attract a wider audience to the site.

But don't forget that the area51 metrics alone are not a guarantee that the site will graduate. Which beta sites graduate and when is an executive decision made by the Stack Exchange management.


If you look at the Area51 stats you see that some graduated StackExchanges had similar numbers of questions per day at the end of their beta as Politics has currently. Example

So, from the stats on Area51 it seems to be at least possible to graduate right away. However, the final decision is taken by the StackExchange management and that's why one would have to ask them about that steps can possibly be taken.

I propose to forward this question to the StackExchange management - the feedback may prove fruitful.

What worries me most about the site is the amount of emotion involved. It's natural for such a topic but I feel like the Q&A thing of the StackExchanges just may not work well enough here. There is a large amount of negatively scoring content.

Maybe the community could discuss how to refine the scope so that controversial questions are better excluded or increase the standards like even more requiring questions to be written neutral, so that this StackExchange can be a source of high quality information about political processes instead of just another political discussion forum. This could maybe be an ongoing process.

I agree that a higher number of (interesting) questions per day may be helpful, but short of writing them ourselves and improving the quality of existing content there is not much that can be done there really.

  • The problem with politics is that it is all about perceptions. Different people have different perceptions. That is the root cause for negative or controversial questions. – Shantanu Hebbar Feb 14 '18 at 12:09
  • @ShantanuHebbar You could try to avoid such controversial questions. It's not good ending up in political discussions, focus on underlying mechanism instead or possible explanations and allow alternative possible explanations. Mark underlying assumptions as such. Maybe require a neutral point of view (at least for questions). Still it's not clear if Q&A is something for politics although I'm also positively surprised by the amount of good content here. I mostly see potential for improvement by asking better questions. – Trilarion Feb 14 '18 at 12:53
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    @Trilarion I applaud the attempt to come to a "neutral point of view," it's usually unworkable in practice. Who defines what's "neutral?" As Wikipedia clearly showed, requiring "neutral POV" is quickly abused by one side to oppress contrary opinions. Still, I don't see anything better either. – Sjoerd Feb 15 '18 at 0:18
  • @Sjoerd "Unworkable in practice" may be a bit too harsh. If this community doesn't even try to ask neutral questions, then it will probably fail anyway (my opinion). The world doesn't need another political discussion board containing content of mediocre quality. Quality is even more important than quantity here, I would say. For example, questions could be required to name more exhaustively underlying assumptions, cite more sources and display them as mere possibilities instead of facts which they rarely are. A simple change in language would make a big difference already, I think. – Trilarion Feb 15 '18 at 8:37
  • @Sjoerd I just saw a nice example. politics.stackexchange.com/questions/18240/… The question mentions the origin of a crime with certainty (not just mere possibility or opinion) while the linked content (at least there was some) clearly states that the origin of the crime is unknown. Not only does it make the question fake news (well politics, so kind of normal) but it also drags down the quality of this StackExchange. Questions and answers of this quality are not useful, or are they? I would not rely on much from here. – Trilarion Feb 15 '18 at 9:57
  • @Trilarion I think you could be expecting too much of askers, the only thing we can really hope of them is that they visit the help center tour, and even that assumption is shaky at best (not just here, any other SE site). I don't think we want to set the bar too high otherwise it will be too discouraging to new users. – Jeff Lambert Mar 14 '18 at 23:25
  • @JeffLambert I guess it depends where you draw the line between useful and useless content. Setting the standards lower will also not help in the long run when not very useful content (noise) drowns the few pearls, or does it? My idea was more like concentrating on improving the questions that get here. I guess that one could determine relatively quick if a new question actually has an interesting core or not. Improving those questions which are worth it is probably a worthwhile task. – Trilarion Mar 15 '18 at 9:18

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