8

Since Community site self-evaluations were shut down last year, there hasn't been any replacement for them, which leaves it down to us to evaluate our own progress.

Therefore, I propose that we do just that - evaluate how we're doing as a whole. This includes answering questions such as

  • are we getting discovered by the outside world?
  • are we answering questions fully and appropriately?
  • how satisfied are our users, both old and new?
  • is there sufficient moderation? (a moderator review two months ago seemed to indicate yes - is this still the case?)
  • how are our various stats doing?
  • what do we still need to work on? What are the biggest issues we face?

There are some ideas for statistics to evaluate in this meta answer; feel free to use those or make up your own. It's not all about stats, though - how the site feels and how its users feel about it is equally important.

How are we doing?

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7

Are we getting discovered?

Unfortunately, none of us have access to the site analytics yet so we don't have hard data. However, based on activity on the site, I'd say we are being discovered. I'm not sure where the traffic is coming from, but some of the off topic questions are probably from users being referred here incorrectly. Users that arrive with good questions (or answers) are sticking around for a while, which is good.

Are we answering fully/appropriately?

For the vast majority of questions with answers, I say yes.

There have been some amazing answers recently (this entire thread is great). Not all are that high quality, but overall I'm happy with most.

I do get frustrated when I see ones that simply Google searched for the user, though. Ones that provide recommendations "according to reviews" and with little more than that are not what we are here for. That's not a high quality recommendation. Unfortunately, I'm been seeing more of these.

How satisfied are our users, both old and new?

I've shared my frustrations with the community before. The good questions generally get good recommendations. Unfortunately, scattered in those good questions, we see many technical support questions and a lot of "I want a new thing" questions with no details.

Is there sufficient moderation?

No, but not at the moderator level.

We have been in beta for 239 days (according to Area 51). We have 2 users with 2000 rep and 0 users with 3000 rep. We seem to be voting less often (both positively and negatively). Remember, reputation and user involvement is what drives Stack Exchange.

How are our various stats doing?

We can all see what Area 51 says:

  • 3.4 questions a day (needs work, especially if we are closing a decent chunk of those as off topic)
  • 68% answered (low, but not fatal)
  • 99 avid users (users about 150 rep)
  • 1.6 answer ratio. This has been dropping in recent weeks. I'm not sure if it's because users are happy once an answer is posted or if they don't have other suggestions, but competing answers are not a bad thing.
  • 315 visits per day. This has been increasing.

Some other stats that I've noticed:

  • Out of 787 questions on the site right now, only 273 of those have an accepted answer.
  • I mentioned above that we've been voting less. The data backs this up. Let's work on improving how we vote - both positive and negative votes are important.

    Votes per week

  • The number of active users we have seems to fluctuate between 40 and 50 users a week. There was a clear spike around November (hello Black Friday and Christmas shoppers!).

Active users per week

The above tables and queries were taken from a query written by Code Review user rolfl (I believe he was a moderator at the time) which shows additional information.

What do we still need to work on?

Voting and user moderation. We want a high quality site. That means we need to be involved as much as we can.

We also need to work on our off topic questions. There are a lot of them. Previous discussions haven't seemed to help much. Unfortunately, I haven't come up with any further suggestions either.

What are the biggest issues we face?

Quality. We have plenty of high quality (and very high quality) content. That needs to continue and the low quality stuff needs to be eliminated, downvoted, and discouraged.

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  • "Unfortunately, none of us have access to the site analytics yet" - Shouldn't the pro temp mods have access? – SEJPM May 16 '16 at 21:07
  • Yes, the mods have access. No one else has that privilege yet, though. – Andy May 16 '16 at 21:08
5

I'm quite new user to whole Stack Exchange. I was always looking for answers on StackOverflow but never as an active user. Hardware Recs were the reason why I started to actively using this community.

Despite my small experience (~4 months) I will share my thougts about this site:

are we getting discovered by the outside world?

Yes. We can see many questions and answers posted by new users so it is the best proof that we are discovered. Additionally Stack Exchange "forum model" is more comfortable than "classic model" it will attract more and more hardware enthusiasts so I'm absolutely certain that Hardware Recs will get popularity.

are we answering questions fully and appropriately?

Yes and no. If we are answering questions the answers mostly are really good, like: 1(latest),2,3,4. But there is a lot of "good" questions not answered at all I personally added bounty to my not answered questions (1,2) to try encourage users to find a good answers to it and the result is not satisfying only one user answered (2 answers) one question. Additionally we can find questions like this: 1,2,3 which still has no answer...

how satisfied are our users, both old and new?

It's good. At the beggining it was really hard to understand scope of this site. I was trying to answer off topic questions but moderators really helped me to understand it and provided much feedback through comments. If this level of feedback will stay on site new users will easily understand rules and it will be easier for them to stay here.

is there sufficient moderation?

Yes. Like I said in earlier question.

how are our various stats doing?

I don't know exact values but what I can tell without them is that we need more votes and answers so we need more active users.

what do we still need to work on? What are the biggest issues we face?

  • active users
  • votes
  • answers

How are we doing?

Good but we need time. I'm actually happy with the scope of this site because on most hardware forums majority of questions looks like Gaming PC to $1500 and answers looks like ctrl+C -> ctrl+V. Here we can find really valuable threads like: 1,2,3,4 and the answers are full and valuable. If this site will maintain quality of answers and moderation it will grow fast what will eliminate all downsides listed by me earlier.

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  • 1
    It's great to hear from someone who isn't as experienced with the SE platform, too - thanks! – ArtOfCode May 10 '16 at 10:43
  • "At the beggining it was really hard to understand scope of this site. I was trying to answer off topic questions but moderators really helped me to understand it and provided much feedback through comments. If this level of feedback will stay on site new users will easily understand rules and it will be easier for them to stay here." This is really encouraging to hear. – Andy May 10 '16 at 17:23
  • @Andy It's just good work it should be praised. – ivaan May 11 '16 at 9:05

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