This is a question for the site admins, rather than the mods. What currently prevents Politics.SE from being officially launched, given how well it performs in terms of popularity, number of users, number of questions, etc?

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    Might be related for every question regarding beta sites asking for graduation: Writing.SE clamours for graduation
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Apr 9, 2019 at 6:24
  • @AndrewT. wow, didn't realize there are sites that are hurt even more by SE's irrational site graduation policies Commented Apr 9, 2019 at 21:04

2 Answers 2


I remember reading somewhere on Meta (not sure which site), that the question rate should (I know there may be exceptions) be steadily above a certain threshold (Area51 lists 10+).

Basing myself on data from the site-analytics (5K+ rep), this year we had 34 days during which 10 or more questions were asked and 63 days with fewer than 10 questions asked.

As such, I think we have not reached the steady growth that we want to achieve before graduation. To give an impression, see the plot below: enter image description here

In particular, my takeaway from this plot is that the question rate is all over the place. Of course, many question these days are related to Brexit, which may not be a sustainable source for questions.

Weekdays also seem to be a determining factor. The lines here represent the average number of questions per day of the week: enter image description here

We have previously seen this with the US elections, which also sparked many questions, but those peeks were short lived, after the election the question rate went down again.

My guess is that we need sustainable growth before graduation is a serious option. To that end, it may be more interesting to look at the weekly question rate considering not only how many but also what type of questions are asked. Indeed, the site analytics do not provide an easy way to categorise questions based on subject (e.g. US election, Brexit, Catalan independence which are event-related versus US constitution, political theory and parliamentary procedure which are more general). I think there needs to be at least a balance where we have a steady stream (maybe not as big as 10, but maybe more like 4/5) of general questions which are supplemented by a good amount of more thematic questions.

After all, this is Politics.SE, not CurrentAffairs.SE. ;)

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    I agree that what your answer says is the current rationality for keeping this site in beta, and it matches what was answered to the same question before. My issue is that I don't buy it, especially when I see other sites in the network that are graduated but do not receive 10 questions per day. Can we compare your plot with e.g. Skeptics or Seasoned Advice?
    – user5155
    Commented Apr 9, 2019 at 12:25
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    I don't want to pick on those sites specifically, I visit both regularly, and they may have graduated under a different system. But while we may not consistently hit 10 questions per day, our user base metrics dwarf both of those.
    – user5155
    Commented Apr 9, 2019 at 12:25
  • @JeffLambert unfortunately I don't have the site analytics privilege on those sites. But I do know those graduated a long time ago and the metrics weren't followed as strictly back then. Consider the last paragraph here.
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Apr 9, 2019 at 12:30
  • What software did you use to build this plot? Commented Apr 12, 2019 at 19:01
  • @JonathanReez R with ggplot2.
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Apr 12, 2019 at 19:10

At present, it seems that graduation is broken

There hasn't really been a comprehensive solution regarding how this would work juggling ~173 sites, much less deciding which sites would be eligible and when/how it actually gets done. So efforts to handle each request one site at a time have been caught up in indecision, confusion, and a growing back log… which is not a good experience for everyone involved. In my opinion, the time for perpetual "beta" labels and holding back much-need features awaiting "graduation" has long passed.


I'm not precluding any intermediate action by waiting for some sweeping, comprehensive fix — it's worth noting that many beta sites are now having elections if the moderation team needs more help — but I am seeing a renewed drive for fixing this process once and for all, so hopefully we can roll this out more agile-y (release early, release often) so we can get sites going again sooner rather than later .

So, basically, we're going to leave beta in 6 to 8 weeks...

Anecdotally, we're still not consistently above the magical 10 questions per day, and we struggle with the answer ratio being below 2.5. Part of that is the nature of the topic: politics is something that people don't always think of every day. We saw it spike to 11/day in 2016, but it fell off soon after. We've been hovering at 10 of late, but we're below it again.

In all honesty, we're just going to have to wait for SE to sort their process out. The metrics put forth don't really work, and they don't seem to be in a rush to change them.

  • We've been hovering at 10 of late, but we're below it again. I think that's a more seasonal trend (on the weekdays). When I have some more time I might make periodogram as explained in that answer to get a better understanding of slow and busy times and what time-related factors are in play (probably also monthly seasonality).
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Apr 11, 2019 at 23:00

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