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This meta post comes from a discussion I had on Area 51 (that is sadly no longer available as the proposal it was attached to is now closed)

Specifically the issue:

I thought you didn't want those questions because I hadn't seen them

So we have a problem I feel. Our questions are very mountain oriented (I'm just as guilty as anyone). A large percentage of our questions are around mountaineering (in all it's guises), camping, etc. Remember we're The Great Outdoors that includes but is not exclusive to mountain areas!

We have an ongoing problem of getting our question rate up. I feel that the key to this is to get a broader range of questions on the site (bird watching being a good example).

Does anyone have any good ideas as to how we could go about this?

What type of questions (that we don't currently have a lot of) should we have?

Should we consider seeding some of these topics (self answered Q&A or simply adding questions that you feel could be useful)?

  • Seeding is good, we could also try and unofficial weekly topic to post about? – Aravona Jun 10 '15 at 9:53
  • The weekly topic things been tried a couple of times. I don't have a problem with it per se (if anyone wants to do this go right ahead) I'm just not convinced it works. – user2766 Jun 10 '15 at 10:02
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    I've never done a weekly topic myself so jot sure if it would or not. Half the time things spring to mind from the chat talk, which definitely has helped. – Aravona Jun 10 '15 at 10:03
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    I've often wondering where the line should be drawn for relevant questions. I assumed we preferred "activities that REI is geared towards" and less "activities that Academy is geared towards", to use a US-based reference. I didn't really think hunting questions would fit, or outdoor sports like frisbee golf, for example. Back to your question-- being from the gulf coast of Texas, I wish there were more flat/hot/humid/marsh/beach/bayou/ocean questions. – Chris Mendez Jun 19 '15 at 0:57
  • Just saw a question on frisbee golf, so nevermind! – Chris Mendez Jun 19 '15 at 1:04
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There could definitely be more watersports related questions.

There have been a few kayak/canoeing ones but not many recently, and I have seen very few sailing or surfing questions. Now is definitely the time of year for such questions too.

Another thing would be more wild food/backwoods cooking type questions. Similar to Liam's question on wild garlic.

I will try and think of some questions on these topics.

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    I have many forgaging style questions up my sleeve, and the odd kayaking one! :) ... Could possibly think of an occasional surfing one too – Aravona Jun 10 '15 at 14:44
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    I agree on the water sports. I just posted the first stand-up-paddle-board question! outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/8504/… – nhinkle Jun 11 '15 at 4:58
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    I'll try and pop up some more sailing/surfing ones as they are very much up my street – Rory Alsop Jun 15 '15 at 19:05
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A couple of topics that are potentially quite large but are in need of some love are (in no particular order):

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As a participant in the discussion which sparked this post, I'm very excited to see it!

The timing is perfect because we literally just got home from a zoo and wildlife sanctuary, where we saw and learned about fascinating creatures. Now I have to go to other sites for additional information, when I want us to be that site!

I'd be happy to seed some questions in the realm of bird and animal identification and behavior, to see if they draw answers and interest. (Of course the opposite could happen, and I could be downvoted into oblivion!) In fact, I've been saving them up, but haven't posted yet because I wasn't sure which tags to use. I'm wondering if other people have had the same experience, and have shied away from posting here. Identification questions are easy, but many of my questions have to do with animal traits; behavior; habitats; interactions with people and each other, from a purely fun and educational perspective.

I just had a brief chat in The Base Camp, and was reassured. Mention was made that it might be possible to expand the description of , which currently applies mostly to food, shelter, or avoidance, and perhaps an observation tag could be added. I was told not to let that be a concern, that the questions can come first and tags added/changed as you see fit.

As for drawing people, that's not my area of expertise, but I know people from other SE sites would participate. I also believe, as you do, that many people would flock here from the bird and backyard proposals if we have positive responses to a few questions. I promise that's the last time I'll use that metaphor!!

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    :) as I said in chat, definitely don't get hung up on tags, they can be edited on your question later on if the wrong ones are used. The tags for Animals, Wildlife and Birds should cover a lot of the garden style outdoors questions :) looking forward to your questions! – Aravona Jun 11 '15 at 4:52
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    Hi Sue. Wouldn't wildlife cover everything that animal does? – user2766 Jun 11 '15 at 8:10
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I think that we should have more fishing questions I'm trying to start more discussions on fishing since my fishing proposal at area 51 was struck down as a duplicate of this site.

I hope that more people join in, as there is a large fishing community online. The only problem is that much of those guys are not used to the stack exchange format, so they may be turned away if they have to dig through a lot of climbing, bird watching, and other stuff to get to the fishing info.

One thing that I think that would help is better tags. For example: "equipment" puts fly rods together with climbing harnesses, what is pretty annoying. I want to look at my tags and find only stuff about my favorite outdoors activity. People should not be led to feel like: "I came looking for fly patterns and all I could see in the 'fishing' tag was how to gut a fish".

This is also related to diversification: if anything that can be done outdoors is part of the site, there is a lot of 'noise' and this turns away people looking for categories underrepresented in the site.

  • Hi, if you need any tags adding and don't have enough rep, if you pop into chat and ask there are several people who will likely be able to help – user2766 Jul 13 '15 at 13:58
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    Now I have rep, but thanks anyway. I still need things to be reviewed when I edit tag wikis, but it has been fast enough and I'm satisfied to that. Now I'm thinking about building enough of a fishing knowledge base so that we start to show up on google for searches about fishing stuff. – Kenji Jul 13 '15 at 14:09
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    Additionally, if you are very focused on one subject, searching on the key tag for that subject will work even before we have more detailed tags in that subject. Yes - fishing thus far has few questions, but as we have mentioned in other posts above, seeding questions in underrepresented subjects is definitely encouraged. That can help trigger growth, and if you can encourage your fishing contacts and friends to do the same, growth will happen. I think I agree with you on broad tags. Should we create "tackle" or "fishing-tackle", do you think? – Rory Alsop Jul 13 '15 at 14:09
  • I have created the tags: fishing-tackle, casting, and fly-fishing. I have also edited some of the tag wikis for fishing related stuff. I am encouraging friends to join, but I think that the best way to increase the fishing section is to get the results to show up when some one googles stuff like 'fly patterns for steelhead.' – Kenji Jul 13 '15 at 14:12
  • I've just seen one of your wiki edits. The description of a tag should include what it is but also what type of questions should the tag should be used for. Just for future reference. – user2766 Jul 13 '15 at 14:56
  • I'll add this info to the tag wiki's. Thank you for the tip. – Kenji Jul 13 '15 at 15:01
  • No problem :)!! – user2766 Jul 13 '15 at 15:07

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