The data from the previous private beta is available for download from Area 51. It's in XML format and I'm not sure the best way to view it, but even in text form it is readable.

Is this something that it would be useful for us to look through (main and meta) for ideas? I have two conflicting feelings:

  • There are a large number of questions and answers with voting information, which could provide us with useful information while building this new private beta.
  • The previous private beta failed, so maybe replaying our mistakes from last time is not a good idea.

From looking at the Area 51 stats, I get the impression that the main problem last time was too few questions on main, and I suspect there was also too little activity on meta. My guess is that there isn't anything inherently bad about the questions from last time, and they aren't the reason the private beta failed.

My instinctive response is "voting will decide" but maybe there are other things to take into account before posting them?

I'd like to see other perspectives on this to help us decide whether / how much to use the data from last time.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I don't really know what the mistakes of the previous beta were, but I'm pretty sure the questions weren't so much a problem at all. $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2015 at 20:01
  • $\begingroup$ Can anyone recommend a better way of viewing the XML files? $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2015 at 20:41

2 Answers 2


I agree on the fact that the questions were definitively NOT the problem from previous beta. It was all down to the amount of content and, if you ask me, was shut down too quickly.

To avoid the same problem I would not just say that's fine to post old questions, I would strongly encourage such practice.

I am actually more curious on how the old answers to those question should be treated. I'd say that a new answer should be provided, allowing anyway the usage of the old answers as possible research material. Doing so rather than stale copy-pastes should allow to have improvements over the already excellent answers given at that time.

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    $\begingroup$ We certainly need as many good questions as we can get - the question rate has dropped drastically. $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2015 at 21:10

We don't need to think too much about this.

If you think a question is worth asking, ask it. Voting and close voting will decide whether it fits here. Even a question that doesn't fit or is on the border is a good prompt for questions here on meta that will help define the scope more precisely.

This applies equally to questions from the previous beta.


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