Two months ago Mark Cassidy launched a proposal to start a Sitecore site on Stack Exchange. At Sitecore Symposium, it was announced that the Sitecore proposal was the fastest proposal ever on Area 51 (Stack Exchange's New Site Staging Zone) to garner enough support to move into private beta. On September 13, just a month (!!!) after the proposal was started on Area 51, the private beta for the Sitecore Stack Exchange site launched at sitecore.stackexchange.com.

On Monday the Stack Exchange team announced that the Sitecore site will be closed on October 7 due to low activity during the private beta. However, the Sitecore community rallied together, voiced their dissent, and pumped up activity on the private beta site enough to get the private beta extended to October 18. This is where you come in!

Get Access!

If you don't have access to sitecore.stackexchange.com, fill out the Sitecore Stack Exchange Access Request Form and someone from the community will send you an invite within 24 hours.

Get Active!

We've got just two weeks to boost involvement on the site enough to get promoted to public beta. During private beta, we're not getting any search engine help--the site isn't yet visible to the public. For this private beta to succeed, we need deliberate activity from the Sitecore community (you!). Area 51 makes it clear what metrics the site is being graded by...

Questions Per Day (Ask Questions)

According to the Area 51 proposal page, "10 questions per day on average is a healthy beta". We need to stay at or above this mark.

Get on the site and ask questions. Don't be nervous! The Sitecore community is one of the best communities you'll find on the web--everyone wants to help you! You have tons of questions when you're doing Sitecore development or using Sitecore every day.

Instead of going to your favorite search engine or Slack, ask on the Sitecore Stack Exchange site first and then do research. If you find the answer, post it in response to your question. Everyone will benefit.

This isn't a site for only development questions. Any questions related to Sitecore are appropriate. You don't have to be a developer to participate. We're looking forward to participation from everyone that uses Sitecore from developers to marketers to content authors. If your question is about Sitecore, it's a good candidate for the site!

Percent Answered (Answer Questions)

According to the Area 51 proposal page, "90% [of questions] answered is a healthy beta". Share your expertise! Find questions that haven't yet been answered and give them your best shot.

You can find questions to answer here: http://sitecore.stackexchange.com/questions

User Activity (Participate)

The Area 51 proposal page wants to see users being active (and getting reputation). For a healthy beta it's recommended our site have:

  • 150 users with 200+ reputation
  • 10 users with 2,000+ reputation
  • 5 users with 3,000+ reputation

Getting reputation is easy.

  • Link your Sitecore Stack Exchange profile with your other Stack Exchange network profiles. This will give you an immediate 100 reputation bonus.
  • Get badges. Badges give you goals to accomplish and things to do. You will get reputation as you earn badges.
  • Ask questions. Good questions will get upvotes, which turns into reputation for you.
  • Answer questions. Good answers will get upvotes, which turns into reputation for you. Sometimes they get marked as the accepted answer, which is even more reputation for you!
  • Comment on questions and answers for clarification. Good comments will get upvotes, which turns into reputation for you.
  • Upvote answers and questions. Other members need reputation too! Make sure that you're upvoting good answers and questions as you use the site.

Answers Per Question (Answer Questions)

According to the Area 51 proposal page, "2.5 answers per question is good". That means that even if someone has answered a question, don't walk away.

If you've got something to add to the conversation, add your answer, even if one has already been accepted as the correct answer. I can't count how many times I've seen questions on Stack Overflow where the accepted answer isn't the most upvoted answer (or the best answer, frankly).

Visits Per Day (Visit the Site)

According to the Area 51 proposal page, "1,500 visits per day is good". If you're already doing the above, this one is a freebie. Go to the site daily; tell your co-workers to go to the site daily; tell your mom to go to the site daily!

Spread the Word!

If you have co-workers, friends, or clients that work with Sitecore, tell them about the private beta and send them an invite, get them to leave a comment here for an invite, or ask for an invite on Slack. The more people that know about it, the more activity we'll have.

See you on the Sitecore Stack Exchange site!

This post originally appeared on the Perficient Microsoft blog.