Our stats on Area 51 still look good, but they are lower than they were. After an intense initial push we have slowed down. To a certain extent this is natural, but our current pace will bring the figures below the targets in a few days from now, which would threaten our private beta.

What are the underlying causes for this? Is the slow down just due to the weekend - are people more active during the week? Or is this a sign of running out of questions? As has been pointed out by others, a high question count only helps if they are high quality questions, so it's no good just churning out questions that don't fit. I want to see discussion of how people think things are going, rather than just judge it from simplified stats.

  • $\begingroup$ Being 10 days later, I don't know if it still feels like it's slowing down for you guys who where around for the private beta, but I'm getting a sense that the really broad and general questions are being asked at the moment. This will cause people to run out of ideas fast - I think that questions should be encouraged to be much more specific, so as to provide a better fit for a SE site, but also to let ground be covered more slowly and more adequately. The broad questions are ok, but they can only keep the site working for so long. $\endgroup$
    – mechalynx
    Oct 1 '14 at 17:47
  • $\begingroup$ @ivy_lynx there are fewer questions being asked than at the very start but that's to be expected - it hasn't dropped off as much as I'd feared at the time of writing. The answer rate is still very good. I'm hoping we'll see more specific questions as we get more users - some of us are currently just trying to think of questions, rather than genuinely finding questions during working on something... $\endgroup$
    – trichoplax
    Oct 1 '14 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ @ivy_lynx a discussion of this is always welcome in chat $\endgroup$
    – trichoplax
    Oct 1 '14 at 17:53

At the moment it's private beta. There are only so many questions and answers that 208 people can ask and answer so some slow-down is to be expected.

The real test will come when it transitions to open beta and beyond...

  • $\begingroup$ I agree. The reason I raised this question is that a slow down could mean we don't reach public beta, and never have the chance to prove what a bigger community could do. $\endgroup$
    – trichoplax
    Sep 21 '14 at 9:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @githubphagocyte I really doubt that if the site doesn't emerge from private to public beta, that a bit of a slowdown in traffic over a few days is going to be the reason. In my opinion, having participated on a few sites through private beta, if the site doesn't make it out of private beta it's likely going to be because we haven't been able to reasonably define the site scope. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Sep 21 '14 at 10:56
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling I agree that a dip in traffic isn't a problem if it goes back up. My concern is that the average traffic over the whole week of the private beta may become too low. $\endgroup$
    – trichoplax
    Sep 21 '14 at 12:56
  • $\begingroup$ Sites with considerably less traffic have not only made it to public beta but have stayed in beta for a while with low questions/day etc. I don't think we're at risk of not making public beta on numbers. If that's wrong, I sure hope someone from SE will weigh in before a decision to close is made. $\endgroup$ Sep 21 '14 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ I notice that the numbers have improved again over the last 24 hours so I'm hopeful that it was just a natural weekend dip. $\endgroup$
    – trichoplax
    Sep 22 '14 at 21:23

I have two thoughts

  1. It's the weekend, people are out doing things. Let's have another look on Monday or Tuesday.
  2. A lot of people have asked their initial questions and current problems.

Unfortunately a lot of sites suffer from the beta effect where people want to get answers to their questions and problems early on because they don't know how long the beta is going to stay active. There's always going to be an initial surge.

Now will come the real test of whether the site is sustainable.


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