I'm Tim Post, a Stack Exchange community manager and as you might have noticed, I've been looking at ways that Parenting SE could be better promoted.
We've had discussions about what experts we want to attract, and how as well as who the evangelists for our site could be, and where to find them. This led us to come up with a good list of reasons why we're better than many other sites that serve this topic, where many bullets hinge on the fact that our quality is consistently excellent. Looking forward to graduation, all signs point to excellent except that we average only one new question each day.
That's a lot of links, so if you're new to Parenting SE's meta site, or simply haven't been here for a while, please take a moment and read through the linked posts. My goal for the last few weeks has been to figure out why new users aren't asking very many questions in an effort to see what could be done to encourage it more.
My research and brain storming has led to several conclusions, expressed below as rather simple statements:
- Parenting SE needs more experts in the field of child development and psychology. We have many seasoned, experienced parents that provide great answers and insights based on their experience, but not that many degree or certified professionals speaking from academic knowledge or professional training.
- Parenting SE could really use some parents with a large online following to let a broader portion of the world know that we exist, and what we're about. Our extremely friendly community and very high signal to noise ratio cuts the 'snark', we get down to the business of helping one another right away. This solves a common complaint about more traditional parenting forums, if more people knew about it from someone that they trust.
- As a parent's bond with their child grows, some become increasingly reluctant to ask questions that entail divulging tender, sensitive parts of their child's life. While it is possible and very easy to post anonymously, some would rather not share these circumstances at all. This partly explains the overwhelming frequency of baby questions.
There are of course other things that could be impacting the number of questions we receive every day; some people may just hate blue and a more parenting oriented design might make folks feel more at ease. The bullets above are the main things that I've identified.
I'm opening this conversation with my thoughts on the items I've listed above, and making this post community wiki. If I've missed any major but possibly actionable points, please don't hesitate to add them. By actionable, I mean something that needs improvement that could conceivably be improved through a reasonable amount of collaborative effort.
Please take some time to consider the above items, and then post a single answer regarding the item(s) where you have some ideas. Hopefully, the resulting discussion will serve as more than an outline; a plan for long term promotion that can take place over the remainder of the year.
Participation in this discussion is of course completely voluntary, I realize that these conversations have been touched on previously, some numerous times. My hope is to consolidate ideas here, as a source of inspiration for the community as well as Stack Exchange.