Just as the title says, I am curious as to how the PM Beta is going. Is there a way to view the progress or to monitor what is still needed to transition to an official release?

I suppose that this question may not be specific to PM, but I would like to think that the PM Beta is going very well, and I would like to see it succeed in the future.

Also, are there any particular benefits to having an official release vs. being in Beta? It seems to me that the Beta site is a fully functional Stack Exchange sub-domain.

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I'll let jmort and Mark answer more completely, but "graduation" means you (a) get a site design, and (b) get listed in the footer of all SE sites. There are other changes (rep thresholds, elections for permanent mods) but those two are the biggest ones. –  Aarthi Oct 19 '12 at 17:10
    
Glad you asked, David. I'll put together a bulleted list. –  jmort253 Oct 19 '12 at 17:49

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

To get closer to graduation, here is what we need to do:

  • Vote: Give more power to the people by voting. Encourage all users to Vote Early, Vote Often. Vote on questions and answers. Vote, vote, vote! Use all 40 of your votes for a day. Go through old questions and vote. Make it a personal goal to obtain the voting badges, as it's good for our site. This increases the number of awesome users who can help moderate the site, and it encourages more people to vote. I even propose a voting contest to help jump start this.

  • Editing: If you're an editor (1000 reputation), help other users improve their posts through editing. Work to get yourself listed on the Top Editors Board. For instance, if you see a short answer with a long list of comments, try to merge information from the comments into the body of the answer. This makes the posts more valuable and easier to read. Also, spelling and grammar fixes, as well as formatting fixes, make our site look more professional and put together.

  • Close/Reopen Posts: If you're a close/reopen voter (500+ reputation), exercise this privilege on posts you know are off-topic, not constructive, etc. Leave helpful, encouraging comments, and suggest edits to help improve the post. Vote to reopen closed posts that have been improved. Up vote those that show research effort and those that show significant improvement.

  • Suggested Edits/Comments: If you only have 100+ reputation, suggest edits for improvement on posts, and leave helpful comments to help other users improve their posts. We have a lot of good answers, but together, we can make great answers. This makes the content more valuable to those people coming from Google searches, and it encourages them to share this site with others. Remember, there's a reason why posts must be helpful to future visitors. Future visitors eventually become good users who contribute their own valuable content. Edits and suggested edits are perhaps the most powerful tools for growing our site. Those with less than 1000 reputation can also get placed on the Top Editors Board.

  • Build our Chat Room: Join our chat room. It's been mostly dead, but I try to hang out in there and occasionally drop in links to posts that I think need attention. This chat room has a lot of potential to help us grow. It can be used for:

    • General PM discussions.
    • Community moderation, such as discussing how to edit/improve a post, closing, reopening, etc.
    • Discussing complex PM problems that aren't fit for Q&A.
    • General community building. What's your favorite beer? Vacation spot? How's the weather?, etc.

    • NOTE: If you want to schedule a PM event or discussion in the chat room, create a meta post. We can help you schedule it and put it on our community bulletin board.

  • Share Interesting Posts: Use the share links to share interesting questions via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Encourage others to use PMSE to solve their project management problems.

With that said, the ultimate graduation decision belongs to the Stack Exchange community management team. They've said before that sites can stay in beta for as long as it takes. As long as we continue to focus on quality and build our community, we'll remain a viable, functional beta site.

Use the chat room to discuss these points. If possible, drop by during your lunches, or hang out in chat while you're browsing Stack Exchange! The more people who hang out, the easier it will be to continue to actively discuss our march towards graduation.

Related: How close are we to coming out of beta?

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In thinking about the chat room...does the chat room support screen sharing so that community members can conduct/participate in webinar style -presentation driven discussions on a particular question? Do you think people would be interested in this? People could present their thoughts on a particular question e.g. eliciting user requirements. The Community would benefit, the OP would benefit and the presenter would get a chance to share their approach in more detail. –  Mark Phillips Oct 21 '12 at 17:03
    
Hi @MarkPhillips, the chat room is pretty basic. There are no screen sharing features; however, if screenshots are pasted in as images, they are rendered visually. So a prepared presentation might work out well. Also, links to questions that are pasted on their own line are rendered visually with the user's name, avatar, question title, and the first few lines in the question. There's also the rep limit to deal with. One must have at least 20 reputation on a Stack Exchange 2.0 site in order to participate. Alternatively, Google Hangouts could be a viable alternative. –  jmort253 Oct 21 '12 at 21:35

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