I have my concerns about some of the quality of the answers and advice being given on the site. Then we are faced with a barrage of questions, imploring more feedback about downvotes.
At this stage (my opinion), I don't think we are quite ready to go public.
Firstly: an expert does not have to be a professional, but they need enough education (whether it be formal or not) coupled with experience to have expertise.
There are many people here with a reasonable degree of expertise.
This is not about me, I am using myself as an example, because I know my experience:
I am not a professional, I have worked professionally within parts of the pets fields, have studied and carried out much volunteer work for welfare organisations and within dog clubs. In some aspects of these topics, I some genuine expertise. In many I certainly don't and yet I see people post answers and I know my knowledge base of that topic is stronger. (I know that many other members here would feel the same way)
Continually people are jumping in out of their depth in comments and answers. I really wish this would stop. I am not making a comment under the post about a downvote, I'm posting in Meta about it.
If we want the site to be worth anything more than what can be found in a random google search, we need to lift our game with. The time is now, before we go public and then have a flood of mediocre, substandard and downright dangerous posts.
I truly appreciate the likes of chad and JamesJ keeping me honest on the rabbit posts, lifting my game. Seriously, people need to stop pussy (or doggy) footing around and take stock. It's not a reputation race. We need quality. Seriously, when posting a decent answer, it takes, time, and effort. Even if it's a topic I know inside out, to write a decent answer takes time, more so if you need to provide links and quotes. It is good for our community to push for better quality.
Votes float posts, yes, but if we can't get a handle on quality in private beta, what is going to happen when we have a flood of people, whos' neighbor owned a dog or a cat, or saw a rabbit on the television and do a quick google search, answer and it's accepted.