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According to Area51,

This site is in

Public Beta

Anyone can participate!

This site has finished its beta and will be launching very soon.

IIRC, the tentative launch date was at 90 days from private beta, and we're at 97 days right now.

So, what are we waiting for? What should we do when it happens? What needs to be done before it happens?

Our current stats are:

  • 7.5 questions per day: Okay – 15 questions per day on average is a healthy beta, 5 questions or fewer per day is worrying.
  • 99% of questions answered: Excellent – 90% answered is a healthy beta, 80% answered is worrying.
  • 204 avid users, 1,996 total users: Excellent - Recommended breakdown:
    • 150 users with 200+ rep (currently 204 users with 200+ rep)
    • 10 users with 2,000+ rep (currently 24 users with 2,000+ rep)
    • 5 users with 3,000+ rep (currently 15 users with 3,000+ rep)
  • 2.5 answer:question ratio: Excellent – 2.5 answers per question is good, only 1 answer per question is worrying.
  • 1,556 visits/day: Excellent – 1,500 visits per day is good, 500 visits per day is worrying.

This puts us at 4 Excellent stats, and 1 OK stat. These numbers are probably inflated because we were seeded by Chiphacker content. I've been checking this status page fairly regularly, and they've removed the 'Total questions' stat, which had been falsely inflated due to the Chiphacker seeding.

The only thing that I'd like to see happen before we go public is turning our focus more toward professional engineering. We're hobbyist heavy right now, which discourages experts and professionals from joining.

The recent closing of the AI Beta and, of course, 'When Will My Site Graduate' are recommended reading.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "We're hobbyist heavy right now, which discourages experts and professionals from joining." It does? By what logic? \$\endgroup\$ – endolith Jan 5 '11 at 15:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @endolith - That's been a mantra at SE for a while now: "The pro sites will attract the enthusiasts, but not the other way around." The logic is that when a pro EE comes along searching for an answer to a question, and sees a bunch of questions about Arduinos, home PCB etching, homework, and basic electronics, they won't feel at home. When a hobbyist visits a site and sees a couple questions they understand, and a lot of smart EEs talking about stuff they're not familiar with, they'll want to join in. \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Jan 5 '11 at 17:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ [continued] Take a look at eeweb.com - a managed content source for professionals. Way down on the bottom, there's a single article about the RepRap. Everything else on the page at the moment is marketed to professionals. \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Jan 5 '11 at 17:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd be curious as to what you think an example of a "professional EE question" is... \$\endgroup\$ – vicatcu Jan 5 '11 at 19:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not a professional EE (yet), so I can't be sure, but I'd venture that RF emissions compliance, FCC et. al. certification, automated PCB assembly, sourcing of parts in large quantities, evaluation of equipment valued at >$5,000 without dismissing it as 'too expensive', employee training tools, industrial static control, temperature certification for automotive/aerospace parts etc. would all be questions that a professional engineer might have that would not be as popular on this site as questions about Arduinos, home PCB etching, homework, and basic electronics. \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Jan 5 '11 at 19:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'll crank up the geek knob. \$\endgroup\$ – tyblu Jan 5 '11 at 20:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ but "E&R is not a EE site" or so I was told here electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/8363/#comment-12119 \$\endgroup\$ – markrages Jan 5 '11 at 21:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mark - I used 'EE' to refer to a professional who (sometimes) works with (some of) the topics which we discuss here. I believe that E&R is roughly centered within the areas of expertise of an electronics/electrical engineer. The comment you linked to did not say that EEs are unwelcome or even that they're not the target audience. It said that questions about programming for PCs or mathematics (Which an EE might encounter) are not suited for E&R. The two letters 'EE' are much shorter than professionals who have questions and answers relevant to E&R. Can we use EE to mean that? \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Jan 5 '11 at 22:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Case in point: At the moment I'm wrestling with a little Visual C++ GUI which helps with PCB manufacture. \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Jan 5 '11 at 22:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess I could understand that if it was some esoteric mathematical discipline, but signal processing was at the heart of my EE curriculum. \$\endgroup\$ – markrages Jan 5 '11 at 23:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think we've yet reached a consensus on where DSP falls. With respect to this discussion, that question was oriented to experts much better than others that have been popular, and I wish it had been better received even if (and I said 'if' intentionally!) it was off topic a little. I'd love to see questions like that one every day on this site. We can work to shift the content over so that just the most relevant questions are asked, but it will be much more difficult to shift users from hobbyist to expert. \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Jan 5 '11 at 23:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ So if DSP is undecided, is continuous-time signal processing on topic? How about a switched-capacitor filter design like I'm working on now? These are interesting topics to a practicing engineer. Any topic involving those horrible plastic "breadboards" is not. \$\endgroup\$ – markrages Jan 6 '11 at 0:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mark - In my humble opinion, those topics are absolutely on topic. I'd drop the pejorative and superlative language in your last sentence, though - 'Breadboards are not interesting to some engineering specialties' would be more accurate. If you want to discuss this further, bring it up on chat or ask a separate question: this comment thread has gone way off topic, and I'm sorry for my part in that. \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Jan 6 '11 at 0:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was just using the breadboard as an example of what professionals don't want to see, speaking as a professional myself. (offtopic: They are great for students and hobbyists, but because of strays and no ground plane they are only suited to prototyping low-speed digital circuits... but low-speed digital circuits aren't tricky to design and don't really need prototyping. bit.ly/iial8l ) \$\endgroup\$ – markrages Jan 6 '11 at 0:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ I wish they would just call this stack exchange electrical engineering. I would feel comfortable with any question here that had to do with any of the topics I studied as an undergraduate EE - computer architecture, electronics, control theory, dsp & communications, electromagnetics (rf & power), and vlsi/ic fabrication. \$\endgroup\$ – krapht Jan 11 '11 at 22:28
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You'll know you are close to launching when Jin posts a design question on meta with some ideas -- we're not quite there yet, but you are coming soon. Hang in there! :)

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