The Area 51 status for Money.SE reads thusly:

This site will remain in beta indefinitely so it can grow; we will continue to evaluate its site statistics and overall health.

Why the concern with how it's going now? If I recall correctly, other sites were launched before there were five "excellent" benchmarks, but maybe I'm wrong?

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From what I've heard mumbling about (not from strict higher ups, mind you), Money's one of the most likely candidates to be next out. –  Grace Note Apr 4 '11 at 15:29
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The site has been in beta for over two years now. I'm starting to think it is never gonna happen. –  JohnFx Mar 23 '12 at 14:34
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Update: We're next in line for graduation! See chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/11562316#11562316 –  Chris W. Rea Oct 7 '13 at 20:36
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4 Answers

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Personal Finance and Money is doing pretty good, by the numbers.

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But the primary hesitation comes from the lack of growth the site is seeing:

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It's not unusual for sites to start out with this steady traffic going kind of horizontally for a while. Then, at some unpredictable point, POW the site hits a critical mass — it's a "tipping point" where the traffic starts climbing inexorably. That's where the success of the site is all but guaranteed… and that's what prompts graduation from beta.

But we haven't seen that point with Finance, yet.

Your traffic trends show hints some early hints that there might be a tipping point at hand. It's too early to say. There have been some promising signs of upward growth. 80% of this site's traffic is coming from search engines, so people are finding this site. That is very promising.

Unfortunately, new users with flat traffic means that you are hemorrhaging users through attrition. Users are finding the site, but they're not sticking around as regular, contributing users.

There is a steady, but uncomfortably small group of users providing the majority of quality content on this site. You have to attract and keep new, high-quality users here by providing the highest possible quality content. That means rigorous community self-moderation and promoting your best, most intriguing questions.

We have found that, by far, the most effective way to bring new users into a site is to link to your most intriguing questions. Most of the SE Network's largest spikes in traffic were due to linking and passing on interesting questions! Use those social bookmarking tools!

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If you can maintain a trend of that kind of unstoppable growth we see in other SE sites, we'll be able to graduate. Keep up the hard work and keep that quality high. It looks like you are almost there. All we need is that last push!

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How does that compare, say, to diy.stackexchange.com, which graduated a month ago, with worse statistics? Did they hit the "tipping point"? Graduate us already, dammit ;-) –  Chris W. Rea Apr 8 '11 at 18:27
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@Chris W. Rea : Well, compare that to DIY's growth. i.imgur.com/nIYF1.png It starts with that same steady, horizontal pattern -- Then see what happens on Nov 1st? That's the type of "tipping point" I was referring to. –  Robert Cartaino Apr 8 '11 at 18:47
    
@RobertCartaino Does that coincide with more traffic from Google? And if so, how concentrated is the traffic across various pages on the site, or is it spread out? SE analytics don't tell us about which pages get the traffic. Big gap. Did DIY, perhaps, get lucky with one or two good questions that were a hit with the search engines and generated most of that growth curve? –  Chris W. Rea Apr 8 '11 at 19:57
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Related: Is there a way to sort questions in a Stack Exchange site by # views ? I can do that with my own questions, but not site-wide it seems. –  Chris W. Rea Apr 8 '11 at 19:59
    
@Chris W. Rea: There's no "sort by #view" option but you can search using the views: operator. Posts over 5000 views: money.stackexchange.com/search?q=views:5000 . For posts over 3,000 views: views:3000 ; over 1,000 views: views:1000 , etc. –  Robert Cartaino Apr 8 '11 at 20:29
    
@Robert Thanks, good to know about that feature! –  Chris W. Rea Apr 9 '11 at 15:21
    
@Chris W. Rea: I updated the post to include, hopefully, helpful guidance about where to go from here. –  Robert Cartaino Apr 9 '11 at 16:34
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@Robert I was thinking... perhaps there is some second-order statistic relating to visit growth and/or view growth that could be computed for displayed at area51, adding to the existing set of numbers? If a tipping point is indeed a critical component for graduation, some scoring may be helpful. –  Chris W. Rea Apr 10 '11 at 12:43
    
Thanks. This feels like the first time we got a real answer. Slow trending and high churn do make for a launch. We have the rest of the stats, but we need to really push for more folks to come visit. –  MrChrister Apr 12 '11 at 1:48
    
Any update on this? Are we able to access these charts/stats or is it for mods only? –  JoeTaxpayer Jan 7 '12 at 16:19
    
@JoeTaxpayer No, the analytics are still only accessible by the moderators. I made a note for the developers to explore ways of making more of this information known as part of a larger "making sites more self-sufficient" project. It may not happen immediately, but it makes sense as part of a larger initiative we are trying to instill in these sites. –  Robert Cartaino Jan 8 '12 at 17:13
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Thanks, Robert. Have the stats improved since your April response? Are we closer to coming out of beta? –  JoeTaxpayer Jan 8 '12 at 19:03
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@JoeTaxpayer: No, unfortunately, the traffic has been down steadily since that April date (i.stack.imgur.com/ytWS7.png). I don't know what that means in terms of coming out of beta. We are starting to re-work the whole idea of the life cycle for a site and what it means to be in beta or graduated, etc, so anything I say now will likely be completely obsolete by mid year. All I can say now is to enjoy the site and hang tight while we assess, learn, and act on the experience we've accumulated growing these sites over the last three years. –  Robert Cartaino Jan 8 '12 at 23:53
    
@RobertCartaino Any further updates on our traffic numbers? After beta Economics and Literature closed in early May (both sites I participated in a lot), I have felt a lot more concern. Are we doing any better than in January of this year, or even April 2011? It feels like there are some better, more interesting questions on the site recently, but that's only my opinion, casual observation. –  Feral Oink Jun 17 '12 at 18:22
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Hmm, last time I checked the questions per day was 6.5 and today it's 6.4. Not exactly climbing. I guess the best two things we can do to get this site out of beta are:
1) Ask more questions!
2) Link to good questions!

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I think only the key statistics of Number of Questions per day is low.
Once we improve on that, we should be launched. Over a period of time the number of questions per day is growing slowly or steadly and I think its just a matter of time the site would be launched.

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The site is still going well, but the number of questions per day became 3.6, which is lower than the minimum value prefixed for that parameter.

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The other parameters are very good, but the fact the questions are less than 4 per day is probably worrying. Without much questions, the site cannot grown: Less questions means less answers, and less reputation for users.

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