The 29 Beta sites that are 7+ years old no longer have the "Beta" label!

Our site was the 30'th oldest, at 6 years 10 months, so we just missed the 7 year cutoff.

PolyGeo commented without mentioning our site as being the one so close yet so far.

So we now become the oldest site that is still beta. "Sigh". We'll have to wait a bit longer.

Our 7 years have now ticked over, as you can see from the current state of our first question: Obtaining personnel records about Panama Canal without going to Panama?

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


This is the part of the announcement that I'd like to emphasize.

Around the same time we recognized that "small sites" may never hit that target but they can still be successful sites and they wouldn't be at risk of closure unless they failed to maintain moderation levels to keep spam at bay and the questions on-topic and of good quality. This was a great step towards helping y'all feel that your communities would be safe from closure.

Are we:

  • keeping spam at bay?
  • keeping questions on-topic?
  • maintaining good quality questions?

My concern is that in the desire to meet the 10+ questions per day metric, we not doing what we could to make sure we have questions of good quality.

What can we do better? I'd like to see:

  • more effort to welcome newcomers when they ask their first question
  • answers that will help more people than just the single person who wrote the question
  • community members using comments to improve the question, instead of answering questions in the comments, or having extended conversations in the comments
  • question titles which are about the kind of problem the person is trying to solve, not the specific family they want to know about

A friend of mine who is a Stack Exchange user on other sites calls her philosophy of answering SE questions "teaching someone to fish, instead of just giving them the fish". Have we talked about the process of doing research, or are we just showing off superior lookup skills? Simply looking up a missing record for someone -- the "here's your fish" approach -- doesn't help anyone else learn how to solve a similar problem.

  • If I find an answer for somebody, I try to show how I did it to provide a worked example for others to follow -- answers that just provide a 'fact' should be down-voted IMO. Brings us back to having a meta-question on providing 'good answers'.
    – user6485
    Aug 8, 2019 at 10:14
  • 1
    I sometimes provide a comment when I'm in a hurry in the hopes that it will provide a springboard to others to write an answer.
    – user6485
    Aug 8, 2019 at 10:15
  • And I suppose I ought to resuscitate the DNA canonical questions I was working on, except I'm bogged down in the autosomal DNA one... Which will mean that the unhelpful flood of 'Is this my aunt?' questions can be closed as duplicates.
    – user6485
    Aug 8, 2019 at 10:16
  • I too have done the "comment in a hurry because I don't have time to do an answer" -- I am not excluding myself. But what concerns me is when this generates a discussion in the comments. We're essentially shoehorning a discussion forum into SE when we do that. If I had wanted to be part of a regular bulletin board, I would have done that.
    – Jan Murphy Mod
    Aug 8, 2019 at 20:15
  • Personally, I will never down-vote an answer that actually answers the question. I may not up-vote an answer that simply provides a fact, but - as long as it actually answers what was asked - I won't down-vote either. As the Help Centre puts it Brevity is acceptable, but fuller explanations are better. Aug 16, 2019 at 19:10

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .