90 days in beta is the first serious milestone for a new Stack Exchange site, as mentioned in the Area51 proposal page. Currently our stats are:

  • Questions per day: 3.5

    Needs Work – 15 questions per day on average is a healthy beta, 5 questions or fewer per day needs some work. A healthy site generates lots of good content to make sure users keep coming back.

  • Answered: 100% (wow!)

    Excellent – 90% answered is a healthy beta, 80% answered needs some work. In the beta it's especially important that when new visitors ask questions they usually get a good answer.

  • Avid users: 160, total users: 1626

    Excellent – Every site needs a solid group of core users to assist in moderating the site.

  • Answer ratio: 3.7

    Excellent – 2.5 answers per question is good, only 1 answer per question needs some work. In a healthy site, questions receive multiple answers and the best answer is voted to the top.

  • Visits/day: 529

    Okay – 1,500 visits per day is good, 500 visits per day needs some work. A great site benefits people outside the community. Eventually, 90% of a site's traffic should come from search engines.

All our stats are better than the last time I took a snapshot, except our questions per day that has dropped significantly from 5.8 to 3.5. That's a bit worrying, but not really alarming (imho), as (again imho) the quality of our questions and answers has been rising constantly. And, quality > quantity.

There are four areas that I think we should concentrate a bit, in order to help the site grow even further:

  1. Editing

    Our all time editors page is a bit sad to look at, we only have 22 editors in total. I think most of our posts are from native English speakers and that leaves little opportunity for edits, still we can do better. Regulars keep in mind to encourage edits any chance you get, if, for example, you accept a great edit suggestion from a newer user, post a comment thanking them for the edit, and who knows we might get another compulsive editor.

  2. Voting

    Our all time voters page looks a lot better than the editors one, still we only have 4 members with over 400 votes (that's just 10 days of voting, people!). gnat has already addressed the issue in an earlier Meta question, but I'd like to re-iterate that voting does a lot more than separating good content from bad one, it also spreads reputation and gradually gives our more active members access to more and more privileges & tools, enlarging the core group of moderators (we are all moderators, not just our three diamonds). Proper voting also encourages and engages users, reinforcing the constructive answers/questions we want to see more of.

  3. Chat

    Again, this has been brought up recently, by Rarity, in two Meta questions. Our chat room feels a bit deserted, and it won't get any action unless you (yes, you) say something interesting in it. Don't wait for someone else to speak up, even if you're alone in there, just say anything, sometimes it just takes a simple "hello everyone" for a conversation to start! If you have anything to ask, about a question or an answer, about the site in general, the site's moderation, privileges and tools, visit chat first. It doesn't matter if no one's around, say what you have to say, and someone will certainly get back at you.

  4. Promotion

    I've been scouting the web for mentions of the site, and I can't say I found anything. That's expected given the site's age, but looking at our Publicists and Boosters (hint: the same two users), I feel we aren't doing much to promote The Workplace. Now, don't get me wrong, that's not an invitation to spam all the things about the site, but I kinda feel we have a great site and community here and we aren't telling people about it. Doesn't really make sense now, does it?

    If you check out our traffic stats at Quantcast, you'll notice that we did keep some of the visitors after the two large spikes (first two Publicist badges, the third one will appear tomorrow). Advertise our stellar questions in other communities, always being respectful to their rules & guidelines and help The Workplace grow even more!

That's about it ;) Thoughts? Cookies?

  • 3
    Oh good, you typed this up so I don't have to – Rarity Jul 10 '12 at 13:03
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    @Rarity isn't he just the best non-mod mod we have? :) – jcmeloni Jul 10 '12 at 14:30
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    Also, regarding questions asked; questions asked has remained pretty stable after the initial rush of private/early public beta questions. That's pretty normal. – Rarity Jul 11 '12 at 13:36
  • wrt Editing - per my review of ~4/5 questions that have been active until mid June, spelling looks much better than that on Programmers and MSO and infinitely better than on SO. Note I reviewed really hard, trying to squeeze every chance to get +2 from suggested edits and get closer to Strunk & White badge :) – gnat Jul 16 '12 at 7:43

Seems like our "avid" users has been going slowly, but steadily upward. If I understand what that stat is about, it's the number of people who regularly visit the site. That, I would say, is great. The other temporary bumps in stats appear to be on especially popular days and/or from a question getting spread around a lot on the web: e.g. "drive by" traffic.

I think this drive-by traffic isn't necessarily a bad thing so long as we catch a small percentage of those people as new users, especially avid users.

Stats trend from the 35th day of beta to today is summarized below.

The thing that catches my eye is that avid user seems to be about 8% of total users (avid users is the yellow/orange line in both graphs, so you can see that, except for a few days where we had large growth in total users, both of these lines trend up together). Today we also crossed the point where the number of avid users exceeds the number of 200-2,000 reputation users.

It is true that our questions per day and visits per day are down vs. 30 days ago, but over the 90 day beta (so far), we're definitely "up" overall, so some of the drive-by traffic is obviously converting into new community members. If we keep feeding the community with quality and effort, we should keep going in that direction (assuming there isn't some other limit to how far we can go, but I think we've got plenty of room for growth yet).

Anyhow, the beta isn't about the numbers of course - it's about building a real community. The numbers are a result, not the cause.

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Evident from the stats, what we still need is growth. Promotion is nice, but what can be just as effective is word of mouth and social networking sharing. We all have friends with jobs; feel free to throw them a link to an interesting question/answer that is relevant to them, or invite them to ask a question or just check out the site. They don't have to ask questions to help the site either; just getting regular readers helps grow the site organically.

To share a post (question or answer) easily, just click the share button at the bottom of the post like this:

enter image description here

You can share that link to Facebook/Twitter/whathaveyou to show your friends or coworkers interesting stuff.

  • 2
    I'm usually sharing questions from other sites on Reddit, but is there a subreddit I can post these questions to? – Dynamic Jul 12 '12 at 17:07
  • @Dynamic I know Yannis posts some of the software industry questions to Reddit. I'm not a redditor so I don't know what workplace related ones they have myself. Maybe ask in chat, someone else probably has a better idea – Rarity Jul 12 '12 at 17:36
  • @Dynamic /r/jobs and /r/work – yannis Jul 28 '12 at 18:51
  • @YannisRizos Thanks! – Dynamic Jul 28 '12 at 20:52

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