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As a new contributor on this website, I often wonder how this community got to where it is, and how important conventions were established. After getting a lot of feedback from experienced users, I'm starting to develop a sense of how things work and who people are. But I still have a lot of questions. So here, I'll spell out what I've learned, and I hope that others can fill in the gaps for me.

It all began with StackExchange

As a site within the Stack Exchange Network, Skeptics builds on the StackExchange software and community guidelines, some of which are enforced by the software itself. There are many sites within the network, and it is easy to move among them. StackExchange has a policy for the creation of new sites...

When was Skeptics founded?

According to the badges, there were 32 participants in the beta. Who all started on March 4, 2011 at 18:05 (GMT). Was there any vision statement that was more elaborate than the "about" page? Who were the founders?

According to the 90-day evaluation, the number of users was high, though the numbers of questions and answers was low -- but that seems to be appropriate due to the nature of the site.

When did the moderators get their red pens?

There seem to be annual elections.

That's about all I could find, here are my remaining questions about the history:

  • When did the site leave Beta, what changed at that point?
  • Who were the initial leaders (e.g. moderators, editors, voters)?
  • What were the major milestones?
  • Were there any major changes to the vision or policies of the community?

And finally, perhaps the moderators would like to share their vision for the future of the site, and their opinion on what needs the most attention.

  • Adam, I am really enjoying your curiosity and the trip down memory lane. :) – Larian LeQuella Nov 26 '13 at 19:31
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Just tackling the fact-based parts to the question:

  • 6-Sep-2010: It was initially proposed by @rjstelling - Thanks, Richard!

  • 24-Feb-2011: Private beta started.

  • 4-Mar-2011: Public beta started.

  • 16-Mar-2011: Initial pro tempore moderators were initially appointed by StackExchange (based on community nominations during the beta. The initial round was @Sklivvz, @Fabian and @Borror0.

  • 28-Jun-2011: @OddThinking was appointed as pro tempore moderator when the mods needed some more help.

  • 21-Mar-2012: Public design is launched. Site officially graduates. Graduated sites are distinguished by having elected mods, unique design, higher rep requirements for privileges and more active promotion by StackExchange, amongst other minor changes.

  • 11-May-2012: First elections are held for four moderators. Pro tem moderators @Oddthinking and @Borror0 do not stand for election. Pro tem moderators @Sklivvz and @Fabian are "re-elected" (ratified?). @LarianLeQuella and @KonradRudolph are elected for the first time.

  • 9-Apr-2013: Because some of the existing mods have less available time and because @Sklivvz is transitioning from mod to StackExchange employee, a second round of additional moderator elections completed, @Borror0 and @Oddthinking run this time, and are welcomed back, and @Jamiec becomes a new moderator.

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