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On 16 Dec 2021, our site is officially moving out of Beta!

Our understanding is that the decision for that was based on reasons that included the length of time we have been in Beta.

In the immediate aftermath, the only visible difference will be the removal of our Beta label, but there are a few things to look forward to later.

  • Election- In Beta, our moderators have served on a pro-tem basis. With the site graduating, there will be an election sometime next year.
  • Site features- Not immediate, but we should start to get certain full site features, like being selectable as a migration site by other sites in the network and the ability to host community ads.
  • Site customization- this is probably later still, but we are now on the path to getting some aesthetic upgrades. Probably nothing too fancy early on, but probably a custom color scheme, maybe a logo.

With this, we want to take the time to thank everyone who has put their time into making this site a great resource for genealogists and family historians, and a great community to interact with. This wouldn't be happening without all your hard work over the last 9 years!

This announcement copied much of its content from a similar announcement for another site that appears to be graduating.

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    I shall watch with interest what difference the changes in privileges between a beta and a graduated site makes to how the site operates. Close/Open votes probably won't be affected, as so few people cast them anyway; likewise editing. So we might not suffer too much... We might even benefit from a restriction on the users who can create tags. It will take a while to see how things shake out.
    – user104
    Nov 18 '21 at 16:52
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Apparently we had a choice about this. 'For this group of eligible communities, we allowed the communities to stay in Beta if they didn’t feel ready to leave that state yet..'. Congratulations to the 58 sites that just left Beta

Did I miss being consulted?

At least we get to keep the lowered reputation thresholds that Beta sites have. I assume that the mods didn't know this, or else they would have said so.

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    I was not aware that we were keeping the lowered reputation thresholds or that there was an opportunity to consult with our community as to whether it wanted to remain in Beta. My sense was that most in our community were keen for G&FH SE to lose its Beta label. I let the community know that we were soon to graduate as soon as I was certain we had SE staff permission to do so.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Dec 16 '21 at 22:36
  • @PolyGeo Another stellar example of SE's communications processes, then. I see we might get a new design... sometime... probably never; and the moderator elections might not be happen if there aren't enough candidates. But we lost the Beta label. So there's something to celebrate. Right?
    – user104
    Dec 17 '21 at 7:14
  • I think losing the Beta label, alone, is worthy of celebration. I felt SE communicated well, but not perfectly.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Dec 17 '21 at 7:52
  • @PolyGeo you'll have to point me to the post on Meta StackExchange about site leaving beta status (not the one announcing it's happened), but one raising the possibility of it happening and seeking site feedback. Or did it all happen behind closed doors and only involving mods? In which case, I can't agree that SE communicated well. However, it's water under the bridge...
    – user104
    Dec 17 '21 at 11:08
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    I announced to the community that it would be happening nearly a month before it actually did happen. I did not ask whether anyone in our community would object strongly to that happening because I was not asked to do that. Voting on the post and no answers expressing opposing views gave me confidence that our site losing its Beta label was the direction its community wanted to head.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Dec 17 '21 at 23:56
  • @PolyGeo, I wasn't criticising you, so no need to be defensive; I was criticising the SE communications process for which you aren't responsible. As you know, I've never been bothered by the beta label but don't object to losing it. I was more worried about reputation thresholds, and would've welcomed reassurance that they wouldn't change, but you've already said you didn't know that (just reinforces the SE communications failure). Had we been consulted, I'd have raised the reputation threshold issue and (I hope) been reassured.... I'll raise the consultation issue on Meta.Stackexchange.
    – user104
    Dec 18 '21 at 16:58
  • @PolyGeo meta.stackexchange.com/a/374228/195988 confirms some sites did get the information -- what went wrong here?
    – user104
    Dec 18 '21 at 18:57
  • You know that the moderator chat room is moderator/company confidential, and I'm only privy to the contents of one Beta site mod room. I'm not convinced anything occurred that warrants a post mortem. As in any conversation there was slight ambiguity, in this case as to whether we could alert our community to its impending graduation immediately. As soon as that was cleared up I announced it using a post based largely on that of a moderator from another site.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Dec 18 '21 at 21:49
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    I made a mistake when I said that "I was not aware that we were keeping the lowered reputation thresholds". Combing through the mod chat once again I can see a sentence saying that was the case. I apologize for having overlooked that on my first few reads.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Dec 19 '21 at 7:39
  • @PolyGeo "I'm not convinced anything occurred that warrants a post mortem." It's what didn't happen that needs explaining :) . I can understand missing a sentence in a chat (although I'd have thought the Mod Team covered the subject in a less easy to miss form); I'm more worried that on 18th November (for example) the IPS mod asked on their meta if the site should leave Beta interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/q/4054/34126, which was a couple of days after you told us that we were leaving willy-nilly. So something else went missing in the communications to the mod team here...
    – user104
    Dec 19 '21 at 10:44
  • IPS mods would have been in a different chat, possibly with a different staff member. I suspect that one or more of their mods expressed concerns about losing their Beta label and asked whether it was OK to poll their site as to whether it wanted to.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Dec 19 '21 at 11:04
  • @PolyGeo, so was there a problem with the SE communications process -- they didn't communicate the same messages to all the sites? The Meta post definitely says: " For this group of eligible communities, we allowed the communities to stay in Beta if they didn’t feel ready to leave that state yet. " but maybe that wasn't stated consistently.
    – user104
    Dec 19 '21 at 11:12
  • And surely it wasn't left to the mods discretion whether they consulted or not -- it's not a mods role to make decisions on behalf of their community when the community hasn't had the chance to express an opinion on the matter in question. (Of course mods can and should implement agreed site policies/preferences but the most recent discussion in Meta genealogy.meta.stackexchange.com/q/3507/6485 had two votes for staying in Beta and 1 against, hardly mandate either way).
    – user104
    Dec 19 '21 at 11:16
  • If it's any comfort, a lot of the graduated sites didn't hold a discussion, so it really sounds as if it was an SE communication problem.
    – user104
    Dec 19 '21 at 11:18
  • I was only in one moderator chat with one staff member, and I was happy with the communication process. I did not express any concerns about losing our Beta status because I had none, and was delighted to learn that would be happening and when. My concerns were only about if we were able to announce it, so I waited until I had that reassurance, and I started to see other sites announcing.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Dec 19 '21 at 11:22

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