The question rate needs improving on this site.

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thoughts, suggestions?

Moving in the right direction

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Were up to 2.7 now. Highest I've seen it in about 12 months, good work people!

  • I forgot where I can find those stats like questions per day. Please help me out here :) – Wills Jul 16 '14 at 21:29
  • area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/3659/the-great-outdoors (just a note 2.7 now!) – Aravona Jul 17 '14 at 7:13
  • It's on Area51 @EverythingRightPlace – user2766 Jul 17 '14 at 8:04
  • If we'd hit 15 Q/day, would this end the beta phase? – Wills Jul 17 '14 at 15:31
  • the definition in the faq just says critical mass @EverythingRightPlace, I'm not sure TBH – user2766 Jul 17 '14 at 15:36
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    we're at 3.3 now :) – Aravona Jul 18 '14 at 14:41
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    Back down to 1.5, folks. :/ – J. Musser Oct 21 '14 at 15:31

I would suggest that we are more open and less stringent on questions being asked. At least until we reach a good volume of daily questions (~10 a day).

Instead of having an army of people ready to close questions for the smallest of reasons, we should aim to have an army of people ready to edit and improve questions being asked.

We should revisit our rules and add more lee way to encourage traditional forum users to join the discussion on TGO. Once we have a good expert base, we can work toward improving those base rules to help shape higher quality content.

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    According to this search outdoors.stackexchange.com/search?tab=newest&q=closed%3ayes only ten questions asked this year are closed. (I believe my rep would allow me to see any deleted closed questions, but I didn't see any on the list.) I don't see an army of people ready to close questions for the smallest of reasons, not by a long shot. Further, it is insanely difficult to get stricter later - people keep linking to old questions demanding to know why they are ok when the new question is not. Many a site has learned this lesson already. We might as well take advantage of that wisdom. – Kate Gregory Jul 9 '14 at 16:34
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    I agree with Kate - there are a number of closed/deleted spam questions as well, but they would also be quickly dealt with no matter what. The key here is more questions. – Rory Alsop Jul 9 '14 at 17:43
  • Can't argue with the numbers. :) This is an overstatement based on my impression of how many time I have to choose "leave open". It is interesting to note that the statistics do not include previously closed questions that were subsequently reopen. @RoryAlsop More questions; sure. My point is more users, more questions. I believe being overly strict will make some users walk away to TGO own disadvantage. – ppl Jul 10 '14 at 1:01
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    Maybe there aren't so many closed topics here but still I second the opinion of @ppl. I myself are sometimes in temptation to be as strict as I am used to from SO. But still I believe we should use other standards here. Btw I think we have lots of new users the last couple of weeks. – Wills Jul 10 '14 at 12:06
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    There haven't been a lot of questions actually closed, but in many cases people have made negative comments on questions that might have had the effect of making the person feel unwelcome. – Ben Crowell Jul 10 '14 at 17:59
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    I don't see a lot of closed questions, so not closing any questions wouldn't add much traffic, and possibly hurt due to the higher noise level. – Olin Lathrop Jul 11 '14 at 21:43
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    @OlinLathrop In the past year or so I had to cast a close vote initiated by a different user about 55 times. Many of which were first time users. As an outsider, I would probably consider it rude and may choose not to involve myself in such a site. – ppl Jul 15 '14 at 3:33
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    Just to follow up on this, I think quite a few of us took this on board and leeway was incorporated into the site. I'm probably just as guilty of coming to this site with a Stack Overflow mentality it appeared the consensus was that this doesn't work here. So I'd suggest that this answer was listened to and acted upon. – user2766 Aug 6 '14 at 12:11

I feel some question seeding


some self answered questions

Would help to generate interest and get things moving a little.

Bear in mind all questions still need to be of a good quality and abide by the rules! Who knows you may learn something new too!

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    I went through a phase of doing this a while back (self-answered questions) - but feel we need something more. Over on music.se they ran a competition for the best question on a set topic every couple of weeks that won a prize of £20 ish value - perhaps that would be worth investigating here? – berry120 Jul 9 '14 at 18:02
  • not sure anyone would be willing to stump up the cash @berry120. Unless you volunteering? :) – user2766 Jul 10 '14 at 9:20
  • Stack exchange did for the music one. Perhaps they won't, but it's worth asking! – berry120 Jul 10 '14 at 14:18
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    If a self-answered question is valuable, it's worth doing for its own sake. But it's not going to contribute significantly to solving the problem. We're an order of magnitude below where we need to be. – Ben Crowell Jul 10 '14 at 18:04
  • I really like the event idea. One could also try to provide reputation as a price - maybe more easily to get a sponsor for this? – Paul Paulsen Jul 15 '14 at 16:03
  • Anybody got any idea how to go about doing this? – user2766 Jul 15 '14 at 16:24
  • @Liam we'd need to get in contact with a Stack Exchange Community Manager. Sam Brand has helped us run promotions on Bicycles.SE and Super User before. If you want to put together a promotion proposal, let's talk in chat sometime - I have a bit of experience with it from other SE sites. – nhinkle Jul 21 '14 at 22:41
  • Hi @nhinkle. Something has been started on this. RoryAlsop has raised it with the relevant people. Feel free to pop into chat and discuss. – user2766 Jul 22 '14 at 13:47

From my experience on TGO today - I talked through some questions in the chat, and those that we decided were on topic I still posted up. But it also let me get some answers to a more off topic question (was on topic for me but not really everyone else!). One thing I would do again is post a question that I have brought up in the chatroom, this would then still allow others to see it despite the fact I may already have an answer (and would allow others to post their answers up as well).

I think it also helped me word the question better having actually already talked it through, ignoring questions just because they are in the chatroom and not migrating them onto the site seems a little redundant as it prevents other people easily seeing them, but the chat is a great way to talk things through first.

  • Yes, good point. I don't think we use chat enough. – user2766 Jul 14 '14 at 15:22
  • I also prefer to check a question is on topic first, and if not scrap / reword it to be on topic. – Aravona Jul 14 '14 at 15:23

I think that question seeding and trying to get more publicity are the best answers for this. If there are not enough questions per day, it is either a result of people not thinking they will find an answer here or of not enough people knowing about this site.

Seed questions, ask good questions that will cause people to stumble across this site as they do their own searches. Also, building up a better bank of answered questions will simply be useful for users and visitors.

On the publicity side, sharing links to TGO on personal websites, blogs, and social media might be a great way to garner more attention.

If we want TGO to survive, we need to make it a fantastic resource, then convince everyone else that it is a fantastic resource.

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    TGO is on my personal outdoors blog - whatever little traffic we can send over we will, I should definitely tweet it a bit though! :) good answer – Aravona Aug 21 '14 at 12:29

I don't see any realistic chance of raising the number of questions by an order of magnitude. The only realistic chance I see is to combine with fitness.SE. The topics may not be that closely related, but they do overlap, and fitness has a question rate several times greater than ours.

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    I think this is a good suggestion but I feel that TGO is already too broad; backpacking, climbing, fishing/hunting, survival etc. – ppl Jul 10 '14 at 18:34
  • @ppl: I agree, but I think the alternative is for TGO to die. – Ben Crowell Jul 10 '14 at 19:20
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    I don't like the idea of combining with fitness.SE. This might get really broad. Why do you think, TGO will die and we can't be able to push the traffic here? Are there really that few people out there who are interested in this kind of topics? If we look e.g. in the climbing gyms, this can't be true. – Wills Jul 10 '14 at 21:49
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    I think very little of our content is fitness related. Some of it is and your always going to get some cross over (same with Travel), but, for example no way are fitness going to accept questions such as How to fix a leak in a fibreglass kayak? or How can you navigate without a compass or GPS. – user2766 Jul 11 '14 at 9:26
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    I downvoted this answer as I don't think that fitness and outdoor should be merged. – Nikos Alexandris Jul 11 '14 at 13:48
  • @EverythingRightPlace: Why do you think, TGO will die and we can't be able to push the traffic here? I don't think TGO will die. I think it's already dead. Are there really that few people out there who are interested in this kind of topics? There are plenty of such people. The problem is that they've never heard of outdoors.SE. – Ben Crowell Jul 12 '14 at 17:06
  • Now TGO has gone up further to 2 questions a day - my problem is mainly a lot of the questions I have in my head I think might come under off topic. – Aravona Jul 14 '14 at 7:30
  • I've thought along similar lines in the past @BenCrowell. When it comes down to it though, I'm on SO everyday (work) and my real passion is "the outdoors" so I don't mind contributing. I'd love this site to work, I think it would be a great benefit, if it does it does, if it doesn't it doesn't. – user2766 Jul 14 '14 at 8:04
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    If TGO is about to merge, I don´t see any reason why it should be fitness. Many of the equipment related things are fit for DIY, and I see more overlap with Sustainable Living than with fitness. – Paul Paulsen Jul 15 '14 at 16:08

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