It appears that a lot of users have abandoned this site?

I see lots of questions and answers from about a year ago but none of these people seems to be about any more (or at the least they're not actively participating very much). I keep seeing the same 2-3 people asking and answering each others questions. Most of these are relatively new users (like myself). It's hardly thriving in here.

Me (and a few others) are trying to ask questions(I've even asked a few I already know the answer too to keep things moving) and answers but a lot of the original users don't seem to be about.

Am I wrong? Speak up guys?

  • Perhaps people are less active in the outdoors because it's winter. I, for one, haven't had time for outdoor activities in the past months.
    – gerrit
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 11:34
  • Maybe @gerrit . I'm finding that I'm having difficulty keeping my enthusiasm up, hence this question. When I fist saw this site I thought it was amazing, I love all this kind of stuff! But I've been a little disappointed by the level of activity and I've found my enthusiasm draining.
    – user2766
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 11:50
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    I'm feeling exactly the same. I wish this site to succeed, but I find it difficult doing my share (and indeed, I'm not very active).
    – gerrit
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 11:51
  • Incidentally, I spend almost as much time in the hills in winter as I do in summer, so for me the time of year doesn't make much difference.
    – user2766
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 11:52
  • I get the feeling that this happened a lot with this site. The user count is pretty good and people are visiting. So why is the question and answer count so low?
    – user2766
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 11:56
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    This site is dying. When I first found it, there were various general questions about the outdoors. Recently (last 6 months at least) the questions have been fewer and less relevant to anything I do. It seems half the question are now about technical climbing, which I don't do, and the other half are mostly pointless or artificial. I only check in occasionally now, and apparently others are doing the same. This causes less activity, which makes it less interesting, which cause people to come here less, which causes less activity ... Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 14:23
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    @OlinLathrop, I think your always going to get questions that you're not interested in. All SE sites suffer from this. If there were enough questions coming through then you'd get more relevant to you. I wonder if anyone wants to save this site? I think I do! But what could be done?
    – user2766
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 14:56
  • @Liam: It's not just less questions, but the mix of questions has changed heavily in favor of technical climbing. Perhaps that is the only group left here that still has critical mass. Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 14:59
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    @Liam I've been enjoying our almost personal Q/A sessions haha As long as good content is being created i'll still be here :)
    – AM_Hawk
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 18:43
  • @OlinLathrop Is it possible the majority of the general questions attracting users here ahve all been answered, thus leaving only more technical questions, targeting an even smaller user group?
    – AM_Hawk
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 19:09
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    @Olin It's kind of funny, and a bit sad, but I'm part of that "technical climbing" group and I've checked in a number of times hoping for new questions to answer only to find that there are none, or at least none I wish to answer; if there are genuinely more questions in that category than others recently it must look particularly bleak to you. :-/
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 7:03
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    I'm only checking in here now once a week or so, and even then often don't find interesting question. Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 14:34
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    Yeah I wasn't on here for quite some time because I'm actually doing stuff outdoors and I'm not on the computer much. Even then I barely have time to check my email. So I suppose I'm a seasonal user, and I'm guessing I'm not the only one on this type of site. But it does seem that there isn't nearly as large a community here as I wish there was.
    – montane
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 2:48
  • Compared to, say, fitness.SE, we have much less traffic, but IMO the quality of the questions and answers is much higher. Traffic is so low that I'm wondering if it's worthwhile to keep on putting in effort. If the site doesn't graduate, then it feels like the effort is wasted. Maybe we should be folded in to fitness.SE?
    – user2169
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 1:05
  • @BenCrowell sorry, but I don´t see anything on this site related to fitness.SE. At least I think it isn´t related more to that than to cooking and DIY for instance. IMHO, it would not fit in there. Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 21:34

3 Answers 3


Believe it or not, we're actually going up on pretty much all metrics. For a long time, our q/day was around or below 1, it's now 1.8. We're maintaining our % answered and a/q, our visits have been rising steadily, as has our user base.

As for our users, I checked the top 10 users and all of them have done something (ask, answer, comment) in the last 2 months, most in the last month. They're just waiting for questions that interest them. It's a fairly common phenomenon with older users across the network.

At least as important as keeping old users is gaining new (high quality) users, so it's actually good to see several new users around asking and answering questions. So keep asking questions, tell all your friends to join, and help make the site bigger and better.

  • If all the metrics are up, then why does it feel so much less active and interesting around here lately? Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 14:35
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    Active? Winter slowdown, fairly normal. Interesting? That's just what people want to ask about. If you want other topics, ask questions about them.
    – Kevin
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 15:30
  • Questions per day is currently 1. SE defines 15 as healthy for a beta site.
    – user2169
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 1:22

I don't think that the site is dying. I can answer questions related to trekking and camping but not about technical climbing. I believe the same is true with many. We have different interests and not all questions may match one's personal interest. It's important to have a mix of questions related to different outdoor activities and we are having them now.


I'm concerned

The situation is not alarming because the site is getting questions constantly, and it's a bit better than a good few months ago, but comparing for example to Travel.SE it's not performing as well.

I don't think the problem is the saturation of many topics when it comes to possible questions. There are many tags that are niche here, but are not niche overall. For example or , which got own Area51 proposal, and have very little questions here. The pathfinding got also an Area51 proposal some time ago, but there are no questions in that area here.

I think we should do some meetup, discuss our topic and try to generate more questions on the site. If someone is living in English-speaking country, he/she surely knows a few people which would be interested in asking questions on sharing their knowledge.

What about the idea of featured tags? Each week a meta topic would start, that would discuss the scope of the tag, and then the questions would follow, aiming to saturate the scope.

  • I didn't realize the competing area 51 proposals existed. Before these specific sites are formed, we should make sure this more general site is viable first. The geocahers and pathfinders should be contributing here, not trying to start their own site, which is likely to fail anyway. As for featured tags: Bad idea since it makes all other topics feel less welcome. I know they will be allowed just as before, but it will reenforce the feeling of this site isn't for me for anyone not intereseted in the featured topic. Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 14:32
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    I don´t agree with most of your answer, but I agree that featured tags would be a nice way to encourage questions. Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 21:36
  • @OlinLathrop I don´t think this feature would be visible enough for new users to disencourage them. And experienced users knowing about it wouldn´t feel disencouraged to ask other questions since they know all are welcome. I don´t see a problem here. Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 21:38

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