Jon Ericson recently posted a Meta discussion about how boost the amount of questions on the site, and promote activity in topics that may otherwise receive only a small amount of attention. I've seen it utilized1 on other2 sites3 and it seems4 to do fairly well. Here's how it works:

  • If you have an idea for a topic, add it as an answer below. Please use one topic per answer.
  • Next week, I or a volunteer (henceforth known as "the organizer") selects one of the topics (highest voted) and writes up a new meta post introducing the challenge for the week. The topic will be associated with a specific tag or tag set so that we can count how many questions were asked.
  • Anyone who wants to participate simply has to asks about the topic of the week and tag it with the appropriate tag.
  • At the end of the challenge, the organizer posts an answer to the challenge with a count of how many questions were asked and anything else they feel like highlighting.
  • The organizer picks a new topic and starts back on the second bullet.

Note: It's fine to ask a question you know the answer to, and posting your own question/answer is good.

You can add topics to this list at any time, and if(when) we run out, this challenge series ends.

  • 2
    It might be an interesting twist to make some of the topics more like a game based on votes (i.e. overcoming an obstacle with a user) so people become competitive and want to compete (people are really competitive) to get more attention. Best if we could make it fun and add great content to our site :) Nov 6, 2014 at 1:28

4 Answers 4



Non-digital communities.

We've said we support non-digital communities, but we have no questions. Let's start a series of questions related to this aspect of our site.

One example of a more focused "non-digital communities" theme is questions related to your neighborhood. Any community defined primarily by geographic area or physical proximity might qualify as a neighborhood. The term typically implies a residential area but could also refer to: stores in a particular section of a shopping mall; suites in an industrial complex housing different businesses/teams; people who work near each other in an office building; etc.

Another example is committees, clubs, etc. These might have officers who are in charge of aspects of the organization, or they might be consensus-driven organizations where all members have the same status and privileges.

Chosen for the inaugural challenge.

  • 1
    I like where you're going with this, but can we focus it more? "Non-digital communities" is pretty broad and we have no examples to seed that niche.
    – Air
    Nov 5, 2014 at 16:59
  • 1
    Sure. I wanted to start broad to get creative juices flowing. I'll think about how it can be narrowed it down.
    – Andy Mod
    Nov 5, 2014 at 17:10


has many questions about how to encourage a new user to conform to site policies. I think we can expand this tag to include questions about engaging new users, encouraging them to stick around, and not hammering them over the head with rules.



Let's ask questions about transitions. No community is static; communities grow and shrink, become more or less active, etc. How do we keep them functional when this happens? How do we add some structure to a community that's now too large to run by consensus? How do we migrate a community from one platform to another? (That's not a technical question but a community one.) How do we respond to shrinking -- or even dying -- communities?

This isn't a tag but a general idea. We've had a couple questions in this space; I suspect there are more to be asked yet.


We might get some mileage out of questions about working with short-term/temporary communities. Anything from a one-day training, workshop or hackathon, to a several-months long cohort of classmates or co-workers.

I think these questions would tend to favor offline communities but by no means exclude online communities – MOOCs, kickstarter backers, etc.

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