20

We are currently in the needs work section on Area 51. We were at a pretty healthy rate right away but this number is slowly dropping and needs to be improved if the site is to keep up its current views and draw in new members.

Does anybody have any suggestions for driving more questions too the site?

  • We had the same thing over at security a year ago- after the initial rush you do get a slump, bu t this isn't fatal. Will post up an answer about our experiences when I get home. – Rory Alsop Feb 17 '12 at 23:19
  • I'll agree, this is the typical of a site. Typically, the first 2 days are extremely busy, the next few are down, the first days of public beta give a small boost, followed by a slump again, and then it slowly starts to ramp up to being a very popular site most of the time. Don't worry. – PearsonArtPhoto Feb 19 '12 at 0:56
  • We really do need more questions - at the moment there should be about 30 times the amount there actually are... – berry120 Oct 15 '12 at 15:54
8

A quick update - in the UK we have the camping and caravanning club, who provide a monthly magazine to all members as well as a website which has some questions and answers on general outdoors topics. I will see if I can add some links from there or connect with them in some way.


Just some stats from Security Stack Exchange so you can get a feel for what might be right:

At the initial private beta we actually had 5 times more questions and answers per day than we do now, but this dipped to a fifth of where we currently are by a month of coming out of beta, and we were quite worried for a short while.

What we focused on then was ensuring good quality answers, monitoring tags SE-wide to check for questions which might be appropriate to migrate and most importantly of all, spreading the word:

  • twitter - especially around industry conferences - if a topic came up we'd ask a question on it, then tweet the link along with the conference hashtag
  • blog - post interesting questions or answers on our personal blogs
  • events - we let the SE staff know about key industry events and got sponsorship to some of them to attend, spread the word etc
  • numbers - we tried to get more of the community onto chat and meta so they could come up with ideas and help out (trying to do this with a handful of individuals is hard work)

As things came back up past the key thresholds, it spiralled up and became much easier to sustain and increase growth.

Try a bit of everything, and hopefully we can make this site successful.

7
  • Promote the site on various national outdoor discussion forums. The downside is that the visitors there might not speak English very well and therefore will have little interest in the English-spoken site; the upside is that there’s a lot of experience and healthy community we would heartily welcome here.

  • Promote the site outsides – in mountain logbooks, geocaching logs et cetera. This has to be done with taste so that it doesn’t become annoying.

  • If you have a blog, it goes without saying that you should write a short pitch and link to the site.

  • There’s a whole blog post on the Stack Overflow blog about site promotion.

7

Its February. Most of users here are on the Northern hemisphere. Having a look at the questions we already have, I think most of the people didn't really need the answer - many of them participated in the Beta probably just because of being enthusiastic with the launching site or to fulfill their commitment. This "kickstart" effect is probably fading now.

I really think this website is seasonal thing - as the spring will approach, the web will become more alive, more questions will come, and these will be more practical and focused.

I don't want to say we should stop propagating the website, on the contrary. Just want to say that the season itself will bring us most questions :-)

  • 2
    I'm more likely to be on the computer in the winter and actually outdoors in the summer. A bump is always nice, but I think a steady promotion and conscious effort is really needed for the site to take off. Above all, great content. Pearls of answers that will drive google searches seems a better strategy to me than waiting. – bmike Mar 2 '12 at 6:56
  • 1
    Here is the google trend on the search of the keyword hiking. We can see that it is VERY cyclical with the season. google.com/trends/… – Russell Steen Jun 13 '12 at 15:44
5

A good way would be to encourage outdoor proffessionals, who provide commercial trainings etc. in survival, camping etc. to promote themselves as experts by answering a lot of questions on this site.

This mechanism is working, for example on polish portal Goldenline, where survival experts are very active in the survival group. They are answering the questions so that the visitors would see how good specialists they are ;) They get the applause (this is what the badges are for?) and we get the great content that will drive visitors from search engines and make them interesting in registering to ask their own questions.

This would be, however, propably only experts from english-speaking word. Polish experts are promoting themselves on Polish-language site for Polish-speaking audience, for example. Nevertheless, even with that limitation, it would be a great booster for our site.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .