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We've been in public beta for a couple weeks now. I'm noticing a trend: Few questions. We started strong in the private beta, but we are currently at less than 1 new question per day, according to the Area 51 stats. The guidelines say that 15 is a healthy beta and 5 or fewer needs some work. Likely related to the few questions we are receiving, is the low amount of traffic (currently at 103 per day) and the lower number of high ranking users. In good news though, nearly 15% of our user base falls into the "avid users" category. We also have a high number of answers per question, which is great.

From what I'm seeing, we have a small dedicated community which is wonderful. But, to help the site grow (and survive the beta period on Stack Exchange) we have a couple metrics that need to be improved.

So, my question is, how do we promote our site? We have three answers to this question already. To summarize those answers: Using word of mouth, without spamming, promote your community on other sites by having great content.

Do we have content to draw in community leaders/builders/moderators from other areas of the internet? I believe we do. We have 18 posts with a score of 15 or higher and 61 posts with a score of 10 or higher. We have highly upvoted content - meaning many of us agree that it is either a good question or a good answer.

What steps should we be taking to promote Moderators as the Q&A site to go to for community building expertise?

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    "Moderators.stackexchange.com? Oh, it's a site for (moderators | Stack Exchange moderators) and I'm not a (moderator | Stack Exchange moderator). Guess there's no point in me clicking that link, then." – Air Aug 18 '14 at 15:56
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    Don't worry, every site goes through this. – Gilles Aug 18 '14 at 19:10
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    I think this is still a relevant question. I'm tempted to re-ask it as a duplicate to push it back up as a new/active meta question. I like CB, and visit it daily... often sad to see it's been 3+ days since a new question was asked. What if we renamed to "Community Engagement"? – Baronz Mar 10 '16 at 16:22
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We started strong in the private beta, but we are currently at less than 1 new question per day, according to the Area 51 stats. The guidelines say that 15 is a healthy beta and 5 or fewer needs some work.

First of all, I'm going to relate this to Arduino SE, where I am also a moderator. Check!: subtle promotion of site :D

At first, there were a ton of questions. Many went on the hot questions list... all was good. Then, gradually, our usage statistics went down dramatically. I think we suffered a bigger drop in activity because of of the SE moderators that left after about a week. Now, we have 6.1 questions per day.

Likely related to the few questions we are receiving, is the low amount of traffic (currently at 103 per day) and the lower number of high ranking users. In good news though, nearly 15% of our user base falls into the "avid users" category. We also have a high number of answers per question, which is great.

Those aren't the actual figures, IIRC it is the median, not the current. Only moderators have that information, but that's secret (sshhhh!!!).

Anyway, what now? A few things:

  • The core users should ask questions themselves. At this stage highly hypothetical questions won't help us, but if you can think about a real situation that you weren't sure what to do, that would formulate a great question.
  • If you have something you'd like to share with other moderators or just a tricky situation, you can ask and answer your own question. Note: it is generally nice to post your answer quickly after you post the question so a user just trying to genuinely help others won't get mad.
  • Promote, promote, promote! Since a lot of moderators work together, you might want to suggest it to them. You don't have to sound spammy... when you're both not sure of what to do, mention that you're a user of this site and go and post a question. Even better, post it ASAP and then after you've gotten great answers, share them a link saying, "I asked this question. Look what great answers I got!" They might remember this site next time they have a problem.

At this point, it is okay if we only get users who ask but not answer, since we seem to have a lot of rep-hungry, knowledgeable people in the community that will answer all the questions. We do have a 100% answered rate :)

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    Here is a blog post where I promoted the site; I offer this as an example. I talked about the site, and I linked to some specific questions that I had asked (on the theory that some of my readers are interested in some of the same things I am -- and I know of specific ones who are). The latter allows me to give a "curated" sample view in addition to whatever happens to be on the front page when they visit. – Monica Cellio Aug 19 '14 at 13:09
  • Basically same thing on Puzzling as well </not-so-subtle-promotion> – Doorknob Aug 20 '14 at 12:59
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Consider changing the name of the site to something that doesn't make the site appear to be for moderators only, Should we change our name to make implicit that our scope goes beyond mere moderation? touches on this.

Existing members that want to promote the site could think about including the link in various places, if no one knows about the site then no one will come. The various stack exchange profiles that each member has could be a good starting point.

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I just found this SE community, so please take the following suggestions with large grains of salt:

  1. Better define the target subject matter: IMHO it's unclear what sorts of communities are/aren't within scope: geographical, political, shared-interests, online-only, fictional or not-yet-realized communities? Lacking such clarity (and see also #3), I think you're scaring people away!

  2. Better define the audience. Again, as a non-moderator, am I welcome here on not?? (Still unsure, and IMHO that's a big problem.)

  3. Stop discouraging traffic -- and especially new/prospective participants -- by downvoting or closing questions, especially until questions 1 and 2 are better addressed, ease up on downvoting or closing questions that aren't wildly offensive or off topic

  • Regarding #3, do you have a few examples where you think we were over burdensome? I'm probably biased, but I don't think we're overly negative. – Andy Dec 28 '16 at 16:02
  • Regarding #2, everybody is welcome here -- community managers/moderators/admins, community members, academics studying communities, people considering starting their own communities, the just plain curious... thank you for joining us and for jumping into the meta discussion. – Monica Cellio Dec 30 '16 at 1:59

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