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I think R.SE is almost 2 years old now and doing pretty good. Isn't it time to give our site a nice icon? I know we are still in beta, but I think it will help make the site feel more complete and polished.

I vote for a simple robot arm icon like danijar showed in this post: What should the theme and layout look like?

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Generally, sites with the beta theme get their initials in a cartoon question bubble. The primary reason is that we create several sites a month so we need an easy-to-produce design icon consistent with the beta theme and the other sites on the network. If you look through the list of sites, you'll notice the occasional beta favicon that's not in the Latin alphabet. (By my reckoning, that includes Anime, Arduino, Aviation, Chess, LEGO® Answers, Poker, and Puzzling??) But all those symbols are Unicode glyphs.

As pointed out in the comments, Craft CMS has a custom icon. (That's not without trouble of its own, however.) To give you the back story, shortly before private beta, the company behind Craft CMS contacted us with a complete set of icons which they graciously gave us permission to use. It wasn't really a partnership since we hadn't heard from (or, in my case, of) the company before the proposal was submitted to Area 51. We didn't go asking for it. We also would not have considered using the icon if it were not the logo of the product that makes up 100% of the topic space of the site.

If you found a Unicode glyph that unambiguously expressed "Robotics", we would consider changing your favicon. But I think your efforts would be better rewarded if you focused on increasing participation on the site. Name and icon changes have historically made little measurable impact on the activity on a site. We are still trying to figure out what can be done to propel a site from a solid, but slow beta to graduation. One thing I'd like to suggest is a weekly topic challenge.

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My understanding is that we would need to be a substantially more active site for it to be worth Stack Exchange spending the time and effort to graduate us. See the When Will My Site Graduate? blog post and the Be clearer on what a beta site needs to graduate question over on meta.

For the moment we should probably just be grateful that we haven't been closed for low activity (as has happened in the past) and try to promote Robotics as the go-to place for asking robotics questions.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ok. I wasn't sure if this was something under our control or theirs. But I could swear I saw other Beta sites with custom icons at one time. Oh well, in the mean time, I'll keep contributing to and promoting Robotics StackExchange. $\endgroup$ – Ben Oct 27 '14 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ I can't recall having ever see one @Ben, but if you come across one, let us know and we'll see how it came about. $\endgroup$ – Mark Booth Oct 27 '14 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ Craft CMS seems to have a slightly custom icon and it is Beta. It has slightly better stats than us. Their icon is colored, nothing fancy, and their page doesn't have a background like the other established pages. -- It might be worth opening the discussion with them. If we can help them out, and make their work easier it might be worth it. A more custom, "official" looking site may help our numbers grow. $\endgroup$ – Ben Oct 27 '14 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @Ben - It's been suggested that this was just someone being creative when the site was made, but it does seem to be consistent with the product branding, and the Craft CMS SE site is being promoted on the product site, so there may have been a small co-branding element to it. There doesn't appear to have been any meta discussions or area 51 posts requesting it and I doubt it will change again before graduation. $\endgroup$ – Mark Booth Oct 28 '14 at 0:38

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