Given that most people that have chosen to commit are not experts, how is it reasonable to ask for the following?:

I commit to participate actively in XYZ for at least three months, especially during the private beta, and to ask or answer at least ten questions.

I have not given a singe answer as this is something I'm not able to do due to the lack of knowledge. At least it would be irresponsible for me to do so.

I asked a couple of questions, but those are obviously not the most desired as I have too less knowledge. In fact I have no experience, but that's what you Stack Exchange is looking for.

If you tell people to ask or answer at least ten questions, isn't it to be expected to have questions and maybe even answers that don't meet the requirements for having an expert site?

How are people, like me, supposed to follow the instructions told on the commitment page?

Not picking on words, but what does participate actively actually mean? Would be voting on questions and answers be active or passive?

Voting on interesting questions is most likely to be possible for anyone (though the questions might be off-topic anyway), to some degree for answers, but without being an expert it is rather difficult to know or check if the answers given are actually correct.

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    $\begingroup$ I was up to 8 question/answers, but after the confusion in one of them and reading the repeated concerns about 'professional' questions raised here in meta, I recognise that I am just an enthusiast, and are simply taking my leave and not wasting the time of the 'higher ups' of this site with my contributions. $\endgroup$ – user92 Jul 21 '13 at 9:10
  • $\begingroup$ @damien: Don't worry too much about it. Looking at your questions, they tend to focus a bit on sci-fi stuff, but you are getting closer. Just keep trying to improve the quality of both questions and answers, and you'll get there soon enough. I don't mean to be discouraging, I just don't want to see this site closed on account of poor questions. I've had that happen once, it wasn't fun... $\endgroup$ – PearsonArtPhoto Jul 21 '13 at 11:53
  • $\begingroup$ If you don't try you won't learn and you definitely wont be able to ask the more advanced questions. $\endgroup$ – user39 Jul 21 '13 at 14:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Damien I couldn't have said it better myself. I decided that being enthusiast has the disadvantage in moving this site forward. I'll stick around and answer questions that interest me but the lack of clarity and what feels biased down voting is turning me off to the idea. $\endgroup$ – John Riselvato Jul 21 '13 at 16:00
  • $\begingroup$ @PearsonArtPhoto for that reason, I think I should leave this site and let you guys have your 'professional site'. $\endgroup$ – user92 Jul 21 '13 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ @kurtnelle I have tried, 8 in fact, but it appears what I write is no good - not professional enough $\endgroup$ – user92 Jul 21 '13 at 21:33
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnRiselvato it is indeed very discouraging. Not sure why they said "..and for enthusiasts" when they clearly wanted professionals. I have sent an account deletion request by email, so I won't be contributing any further. $\endgroup$ – user92 Jul 21 '13 at 21:34

At the private beta stage of site development, asking questions or providing answers that get down voted, or deleted help to define the scopes site. So well intentioned questions/answers that get negative feedback actually help improve the site.

Don't take the negative personally, realize that what you are doing is helping define the site and do your best.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for "Don't take the negative personally, realize that what you are doing is helping define the site and do your best." $\endgroup$ – Erik Jul 21 '13 at 17:05
  • $\begingroup$ Certainly not taking it personally, but are very discouraged and confused $\endgroup$ – user92 Jul 21 '13 at 23:08
  • $\begingroup$ @James it sounds like you have participated in some Private Betas? how many? Does downvoted questions or questions that are voted to be closed hurt the chances of the Private Beta to move on to the Public Beta stage? $\endgroup$ – user1271772 Apr 7 at 3:25

If you can't answer questions, then asking them will work. Looking at your questions, you are doing a pretty decent job, so keep it up!

As far as answering questions, sometimes it takes a bit of research to find the right answer. I almost never have the right answer completely available, I have to do some form of research. Once you've done it a few times, then it actually becomes easier, making it easier in the long run to answer more questions. Also, you tend to learn a lot. I can't tell you the number of times that I've gone to Stack Overflow and looked up some of my answers, and though, gee, I didn't realize I knew that... I've learned a ton in the process.

As far as being active, well, it means keeping an eye on the site, asking/answering questions when you can, and upvoting the good content. The minimum to "fulfill" a commitment is 10 posts (Questions or answers), but you certainly shouldn't stop there.

If you decide after being a part of the site that it isn't for you, then that's okay. I've been a part of 11 private betas now, and in a few cases, I discovered the site really wasn't for me. Just try to do the best you can with fulfilling the 10 posts, upvote things while you can, and even ask questions much later on if you can. But at least try to do that.

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    $\begingroup$ If I can come up with questions that appear relevant to me I'll ask them. Sticking around is something I could do anyway. It is not that I'd say 10 questions are enough and that I'm done. $\endgroup$ – bastik Jul 21 '13 at 12:02
  • $\begingroup$ There have been a few sites I committed to, and I realized I wasn't an expert. For those, I simply answered/asked 10 questions, and left. Do the best you can, that's what's really important. $\endgroup$ – PearsonArtPhoto Jul 21 '13 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ My main concern was and is that with an high percentage of average users that committed (over 50% are Just curious and Beginner/Learner) while anyone is asked to ask ten questions that their relevance might be questionable. Yes, I do what I can do. $\endgroup$ – bastik Jul 21 '13 at 12:08
  • $\begingroup$ What happens when, like me, you apparently can't do either? $\endgroup$ – user92 Jul 21 '13 at 19:51

Change "and" to "or"

I commit to participate actively in XYZ for at least three months, especially during the private beta, OR to ask or answer at least ten questions.

If your an enthusiasts, your going to be here for much more then 3 months so doing this easy enough. Reading the questions and answers, identifying the good & bad one, and learning are all part of the experience and the commitment. Up voting and viewing good questions and answers is an important part of the process.

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    $\begingroup$ The quote is from the official Area51 form that you get presented when you click "Commit". $\endgroup$ – bastik Jul 21 '13 at 11:10

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