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I see the question-asking rate at this site has dropped to 0.4/day. It seems like that alone could threaten the future of the beta, even if there are high quality questions and all the tag and translation issues are sorted out. Is there anything we do to encourage more questions? Is it time to try some "weekly topic challenges" to flesh out the site?

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  • I have spent some time thinking about various ways to improve participation on this site. There are several things other sites have done to promote participation. I'm not sure how many of them would work for this site, but I'd be welcome to hear any and all suggestions. – Flimzy Jun 29 '12 at 18:36
  • @Flimzy: The only thing I can think of is picking a topic each week and encouraging active users to think of a few good questions related to that topic. It might not work, but it's worth a try? – jrdioko Jun 29 '12 at 18:59
  • I'm certainly willing to consider it. I don't know how well a topic would work on a language site. We should see if any of the other language sites have tried that. – Flimzy Jun 29 '12 at 19:49
  • @Flimzy: Well languages still have topics (subjunctive, syntax, Mexican Spanish, adjectives, slang, etc.). We could find tags that could use fleshing out or top-question tags on other language sites and use those as ideas. – jrdioko Jun 29 '12 at 20:10
  • As a native speaker, I try to think subtle or high level questions I come around, but they don't come so often... – JoulSauron Jun 30 '12 at 0:10
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I wonder if a good way to encourage Spanish questions would be to do a weekly or monthly campaign around a piece of work written in Spanish. That is, we could encourage questions about a particular Spanish-language novel, author, web site, or literary genre.

This would encourage people to read something in that particular area, then ask questions to understand what it's saying.

This might be particularly valuable if the selected piece is less contemporary and uses more obscure language constructs.

It would also be easier to participate if the resource was available online for free. So maybe some Spanish classics with expired copyrights.

Don Qujote de la Mancha might be one example. And it's such a vast work, perhaps the weekly campaign could focus on one chapter at a time, rather than the entire piece of literature.

SE has offered real prizes for some sites, but AFAIK, those are all sites out of the beta stage. We might have to be content offering an "Honorable mention" as the prize of the week for now.

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  • That's an interesting idea. I think the questions might be focused on particular topics (archaic vocabulary or old verb tenses, etc), but it wouldn't hurt to generate some more questions. Or I'd say combine the two approaches, do some sort of topic every week, whether it's some area of grammar or some author or work. – jrdioko Jun 29 '12 at 21:06
  • And I think we'd be fine without a real prize. A lot of us want to see this site succeed, I just think maybe people need a little push to come up with and ask good questions. – jrdioko Jun 29 '12 at 21:07
  • I like the proposal but I see a problem: Spanish classics use a very old style which could discourage users from participating. Instead, I'd recommend to look for modern works, such as novels (e.g., goo.gl/xuEvD from Alberto Vazquez-Figueroa) or essays (e.g., goo.gl/gyxF1 from Enrique Dans and available also in English, which could also be a help), both available for free, of course. – jlcanovas Jul 10 '12 at 18:09

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