At time of posting, there were just over 8k questions in the main worldbuilding, and over 800 questions in the meta

At a good time, there will be a few questions per hour, but sometimes it can go hours before a new question rolls around

does anyone have any ideas to make the worldbuilding community (my favorite stack exchange) larger and more active?

  • $\begingroup$ Í don't know about you, but I don't even manage to keep up with the current influx of questions, I don't know how anyone would handle a faster influx :/ $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Oct 2 '16 at 12:21
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    $\begingroup$ I believe it's already quite extensive and large. The problem with the few hours thing you described could just simply be due to certain factors like real life priorities (yes all of us have lives) and different time periods. To be honest, there's so many questions I haven't even read nor seen before. $\endgroup$ – Skye Oct 2 '16 at 12:41
  • $\begingroup$ Personally, I think the pace of question is good. There are enough questions to keep the site interesting for old users and attract new users but not too much to feel lost in the flow. It is possible to read every question and every answers with some effort. That is not something a human can do on a much larger SE. Most of the users are in Europe/North America so the downtimes tend to be when it<s the night in these areas and during the weekends usually. $\endgroup$ – Vincent Oct 2 '16 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ I've noticed that peak hours are weekdays, during American business hours. We get an influx of questions then, and it tapers off during the evenings and weekends. $\endgroup$ – Ranger Oct 3 '16 at 15:00

Besides Worldbuilding, I moderate two other sites, History of Science & Mathematics and Mythology. These are sites that get maybe one or two questions a day, at best, and these are the sites where we've had this sort of discussion before - how to grow the sites.

Worldbuilding is, by comparison, gigantic. We get 20 questions per day and almost 10,000 visitors daily. We have an enormous userbase that consistently contributes questions, answers, and comments, raises flags, votes by the truckload, and in general forms a very vibrant community - which is more important than anything else. This is why we graduated early this year. The Community team was confident that we have enough activity to be a self-sustaining site for a long time to come, and so we left beta and became a full-fledged Stack Exchange site. And, might I add, our activity has skyrocketed since then. So we're well above the threshold for a very healthy site.

I'm guessing your previous Stack Exchange experience is on the really big sites, judging from your profile - Stack Overflow, Mathematics, etc. I come from the opposite - the small sites, many of which are still in beta and may never "graduate". Some of these sites might get half a dozen questions a day, while others, as I've said, get only a couple. I guess my perspective, then, is different from most people here. Worldbuilding seems enormous to me (because it is!), and frankly, I'm really happy with how it's grown over the past two years.

Another thing to consider is that worldbuilding is a relatively niche topic (in comparison to certain other sites). Very few people worldbuild, in comparison with the millions (?) of programmers out there. I'm pretty certain we'll never match Mathematics, Physics, Super User, or Stack Overflow in traffic. There simply aren't enough people interested. But there are enough, and we're getting more every day.

I guess the point of this spiel is that we're a healthy community, in a number of ways, and compared to many sites, we're already quite large. I think focusing our efforts on growth isn't very important at this stage in the site's life. We always love to have more users, and more content, but we also need to think about a lot of other issues the community faces: question quality, fleshing out the scope, dealing with site policies, and a lot more. After a lot of work, we've grown a large community. But we still have other challenges ahead.

I'm not saying site growth is unimportant, and growing the site now requires different thinking from growing it when it was a wee beta site, in the early months. But we're at a good place already.

And if I can say one more thing, it's this: Thank you so much for asking this question. You've been here for two months, and I have to say, not many relatively new users care about how a site's doing. You're one of the exceptions, and I'm glad to see that this is your favorite site.

I, for the record, concur.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm worried for when the questions start getting to the point that every new question is a duplicate, hopefully that gonna be a long time away though. $\endgroup$ – Skye Oct 3 '16 at 12:54
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    $\begingroup$ @Skye we were afraid of that 2 years ago but we still have a decent number of questions.Ok some do get close but few are duplicates. $\endgroup$ – Vincent Oct 3 '16 at 14:57
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    $\begingroup$ This... this was so beautiful. Wipes away tear $\endgroup$ – Ranger Oct 4 '16 at 13:44

I suggest we stop closing so many posts. I agree with many of the too-broad closures, but many of the off-topic closures are too strict. Worldbuilding accounts for everything in the world. Almost anything could be an important plot element to a story. If you need help with a plot element of your story, then shouldn't this be the place to go?

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    $\begingroup$ Except, we specifically call out elements of plot as off-topic. We're here to help create the world the story occurs in, not the story itself. We have, can, and do accept questions that flirt with the line between story and world, but James makes a good point here from one of the scope discussions. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Oct 4 '16 at 18:06

I'm new and don't see a problem here per se, but:

  1. Get worldbuilding.SE into the sidebar at reddit's worldbuilding subreddit. The churn there is almost too high, but that means more eyes hungry for resources.
  2. Similar to what @kingledion suggested, relaxing the "too broad" condition on certain types of questions might help. There are worldbuilding-related questions that don't have objective answers and would probably be rejected from science stacks.
    For example: Checking a (con)world map with oceanic currents or Köppen climates indicated could be rejected as "too broad" because of the complexity of the subject or the guesswork required, but also can't be narrowed down beyond a certain point. That question is either being lost to another stack (seems unlikely) or another site entirely.

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