7

I'm encouraged by some of the new visitors and new questions we've been getting lately. I'm also very encouraged by the fact that we have zero unanswered questions on our site (or sometimes just one or two, if they're very new).

And after nearly 3 years in beta, our numbers are looking very good in practically all areas--except one (number of questions asked), but that is increasing, too, slowly, but surely.

But now I would like to mention one thing that I think we could do immediately, and practically effortlessly, to help encourage more questions, and hopefully get this site out of beta that much sooner.

Let's upvote, folks!

I see a lot of questions, like this one, which (at the time I saw it) had three up-voted answers, but not a single vote on the question itself! If a question is worth answering, it ought to be worth up-voting as well, don't you think?

Let's encourage each other by upvoting--both questions and answers, but especially questions! Up-votes are free. They don't cost you anything! And they encourage questions to be asked, which is the thing our community needs most right now.

5

From the Data Explorer (warning: expensive query), as of a couple of months ago, here is the average number of upvotes and downvotes per non-deleted post, for the language sites plus the top, bottom and median sites.

                    up    down
skeptics           12.08  1.66
french              5.33  0.25
japanese            5.12  0.30
german              4.91  0.22
italian             4.57  0.23
russian             4.00  0.36
english             3.81  0.53
linguistics         3.97  0.24
datascience         3.87  0.26
writers             3.86  0.17
spanish             3.64  0.18
chinese             3.34  0.28
ell                 2.77  0.21
sharepoint          1.13  0.05

Indeed, Spanish.SE could use more voting.

  • Numbers seem to be quite constant over time: Skeptics is still in the top with 16.07 / 1.79 Sharepoint is still the last one with 1.21/0.06. Spanish is now 3.76 / 0.24. It really looks like the trend once set, once remains forever. – fedorqui Jun 29 '16 at 11:02
  • @fedorqui if these are cumulative statistics over the life of each site then it is difficult to move them. You get a better picture of trend if you treat each successive time period separately. – mdewey Aug 1 '16 at 15:40
  • @mdewey indeed, but this is difficult to track: a post can get votes at any time. In this graph (from this post) and doing some math I see the trend is getting better, with 6 votes/question on a week in June and both votes/question and votes/answer stable at 3 from few weeks now. – fedorqui Aug 2 '16 at 6:39
  • There is a technique called "exponential averaging" that allows recent history to have more weight than ancient history. I wonder if that technique might be used to good effect in this situation. – Walter Mitty Aug 7 '16 at 12:52
3

I agree that the statistics of the site look great. Questions are answered within minutes, and as I can see some of them reach the 18K views.

I don't know what would it take to go beyond the beta stage, but I think that we need more questions. I discovered this site through StackOverflow. I'm a software developer. When there's a problem with my code I google the problem and almost always somebody has asked and being answered about a similar problem on StackOverflow.

This site has 100% questions answered, but I think I see a new question per day or so. I would love to see more quality questions, so when people learning Spanish google for an answer to their questions they see a similar question already answered here.

I don't mean that we should relax the site rules about questions nor allow people to post their homework here, but I definitely think that more traffic and content would help.

2

This was also discussed in a slightly different form here It does not seem to have generated much response in either thread.

As someone who is not too good with Spanish I sometimes think about up-voting but I´m not sure if it is just my lack of knowledge that makes it a "good" question or answer (the latter may be totally or partially wrong unbeknownst to me). Also I was not aware of how the voting procedure affects future development of the site. There is always going to be a problem when trying to "standardize" opinion based responses. Certainly I´ll try and be a bit more appreciative in the future. I hope my remarks help some of you more experienced members understand the problem from the lower echelons' viewpoint. P.S. In some ways I hope we don´t get too successful as the likes of Superuser has so many questions it is hard to keep up!

  • 2
    I think if you wonder if it's a good question, it's probably a good question. :) What makes for a good question is a bit subjective, but if you read a question and realize you have the same question, it's probably a good one--regardless of your skill level, or that of the OP. – Flimzy Sep 6 '14 at 9:53
  • I think that people with lack of knowledge usually qualifies more than others to identify interesting questions: those that dig deep in their doubts. – Lucas Oct 2 '14 at 14:37
1

The system sometimes urges me to consider up-voting questions. It's very unclear to me which questions are more valuable than others, at least here in the Spanish forum.

I know Spanish too well to see questions the same way that the askers do, but not nearly as well as the answerers do.

1

From the perspective of a recently joined user, a native English speaker, it is very reassuring when you post your first question(s) to have them up-voted or at least commented on as it does mean at least one person has taken the trouble to read them and act upon them. There are some answers which I can not honestly up-vote as they are about finer points of Spanish grammar which I am not competent to judge (like the use of the subjunctive) so I tend to vote on the basis that the answer sees well researched or made me smile. This thread has made me realise that if I comment on something I should more often up-vote it as otherwise why did I comment.

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