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We all love The Great Outdoors Stack Exchange, but there is a whole world of people out there who need answers to their questions and don't even know that this site exists. When they arrive from Google, what will their first impression be? Let's try to look at this site through the eyes of someone who's never seen it before, and see how we stack up against the rest of the 'Net.

The Site Self-Evaluation review queue is open and populated with 10 questions that were asked and answered in the last quarter. Run a few Google searches to see how easy they are to find and compare the answers we have with the information available on other sites.

Rating the questions is only a part of the puzzle, though. Do you see a pattern of questions that should have been closed but are not? Questions or answers that could use an edit? Anything that's going really well? Post an answer below to share your thoughts and discuss these questions and the site's health with your fellow users!

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Final Results

Net Score: 13 (Excellent: 14, Satisfactory: 3, Needs Improvement: 1)


Net Score: 13 (Excellent: 14, Satisfactory: 3, Needs Improvement: 1)


Net Score: 9 (Excellent: 10, Satisfactory: 6, Needs Improvement: 1)


Net Score: 9 (Excellent: 9, Satisfactory: 8, Needs Improvement: 0)


Net Score: 9 (Excellent: 9, Satisfactory: 7, Needs Improvement: 0)


Net Score: 5 (Excellent: 7, Satisfactory: 9, Needs Improvement: 2)


Net Score: 4 (Excellent: 7, Satisfactory: 7, Needs Improvement: 3)


Net Score: 4 (Excellent: 6, Satisfactory: 7, Needs Improvement: 2)


Net Score: 0 (Excellent: 5, Satisfactory: 9, Needs Improvement: 5)


Net Score: -5 (Excellent: 1, Satisfactory: 11, Needs Improvement: 6)


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A few random thoughts

We're really struggling to keep the question rate up. Despite numerous attempts to promote this it's still too low.

We have a good core group of users who visit the site regularly and ask/answer questions but the solution needs to be getting more people involved.

We've definitely seen some new users about the place, people like shemseger who has rocketed up the stats this year, but we seem to of lost some core users too. So new bloods coming in, but they're only replacing users leaving.

We used to have an issue about questions drying up in the winter, this seems to of been resolved by more people interested in winter subjects (climbing, winter mountaineering, etc.) So maybe when the summer comes around again we'll get a boost from that?

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    Maybe, but we shouldn't rely on it. There is enough to do in wintertime too! – Wills Feb 6 '15 at 18:57
  • I've noticed this as well. I think that a lot of people who come here are already outdoor enthusiasts and probably don't want to ask basic and intermediate questions just for the sake of improving stats. I've had hard time coming up with questions myself-- a lot of them are already answered. And when I come up with problems outdoors, I forget by the time I'm near a computer. – Chris Mendez Apr 19 '15 at 0:59
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These are my thoughts after completing a survey of 10 posts.

Out of the ten questions I rated 7 as excellent and would defend each as excellent. They all had more than one answer and at least one well written and often well researched. The other 3 had decent answers but each could use a niche expert. I would argue those are good questions to have around because it gives something for new users to get involved in.

I also reviewed a new user and it was solid. I don't have an answer but I'm gonna keep my eye on it because I'm worried about the guy's teeth.

As for expanding the user base I don't have any silver bullets. I will say I think continuing to target niche groups is a good way to expand questions and users. SO at the very beginning could easily target niches with programming languages. I've seen the Sci-Fi SE target niches by hosting a Matrix Week or Star Trek Week and those seem to generate traffic.

Edit: I should add for anyone who doesn't review the Area 51 stats: http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/3659/the-great-outdoors

The only thing SE says we need to work on is questions per day. Our site visits looks pretty awesome at 3,199/day. Forcing questions is never going to help so we need to find new groups to compliment the currently popular tags. I love backpacking, but there are increasingly fewer backpacking related questions to ask.

  • WHY would you put tree sap on your TEETH????!!! WHY?! lol – user2766 Feb 4 '15 at 15:02
  • @Liam - I don't know but that is the first time in years of using SE/SO that I really felt bad for having 0 information to help. All I can do is try to direct other people there. – Justin C Feb 4 '15 at 15:11
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    I don't think the Q/A were so good this time. So I rated excellent only rarely. This maybe has to do with the questions selected because I had a tough time to find the questions on the first sites of google. We had multiple answers on most questions but often I got better results googling. – Wills Feb 6 '15 at 18:59

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