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.

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    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 :) – Anonymous Penguin Nov 6 '14 at 1:28


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.

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    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 '14 at 16:59
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    Sure. I wanted to start broad to get creative juices flowing. I'll think about how it can be narrowed it down. – Andy Nov 5 '14 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.

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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.

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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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