It's a well-known fact that our site is mostly only deficient in one area, stastistically speaking: questions per day.

Area 51 stats

We don't have nearly enough. That number varies greatly - 2.5 to 4 - but it's always low.

While one solution to this is the avid users (ie, those of you reading this post) asking more questions, we can't do that forever, and it won't really help in the long run - I'm sure SE knows how to tell the difference between a temporary spike in questions from avid users and a permanent growth in questions (and, really, that permanent growth is what drives us out of beta - the upward-sloping line in traffic and questions needs to be upward-sloping for a while, not just a temporarily higher line).

It's also clear to me that there are a lot of parents out there with questions. Nobody anywhere, other than perhaps three year olds, has more questions than a new parent; and even "old" parents still have lots and lots of questions, and they're more than happy to ask complete strangers most of the time.

What we really need, then, is something that will cause people to come here to ask those questions, instead of asking them on another site, or just asking a random stranger on the street. And we can do that - by taking advantage of our strongest stat.

See that visits per day stat? It's great. Not just great, it's one of the bigger numbers you will see on a beta site. Most of the sites around us in age are lower - 5000 to 15000. 20,000 visits per day is fantastic, and it means we're getting a huge amount of traffic from search engines.

But what that traffic isn't generating, for some reason, is questions. What we need to do is to turn that around. We can do that in two ways.

  1. Users who post one question and stick around post a second, and a third. We need more of those. They're not, though, what this post is about.

  2. Users who search for a topic and find a related question, then ask a question of their own. That's what I'm talking about here.

While we have a lot of questions in total (we've been around for over 4 years, after all!), we don't always have many questions covering the span of topics that is parenting. When we don't have many questions in a particular topic area, people interested in that topic area don't come here and post questions! Surprise.

So, what we can do about this: look at our questions. Perhaps divide Parenting into broad topic areas, for example, and look at where we don't have as many questions.

Then ask questions in those areas. Maybe we don't have many questions asking about children and grade readiness (I have no idea). Ask one. "What does my ascending sixth grader need to do this summer so she's ready for middle school?" That gets in the database, gets some views, and then people looking for "fifth grader" or "ninth grader" ask those questions.

Also, look at our tags. What tags do we not have, that would make it hard for someone to ask a question about a topic? A music site without a tag about minor scales would be missing some important questions I suspect; is there anything we're missing that would be similar?

If you think this is a good idea, I would suggest posting topic areas in an answer (or answers), and how many questions we have for them. Maybe start with the tag list and see what's there to start with.


1 Answer 1


These are our 16 most popular tags (as of June 22, 2015):

16 popular tags as of June 2015

  1. (note: ref. can we find a more age-range-descriptive tag for "primary-schooler"?)
  • Toddler Behavior = 76. Toddler Sleep = 76. Infant Sleep = 66. That's about 10% overlap on some of our popular tags. I'm sure there's more to look at there, too. I mention this to point out that our stack's popular tags tend to reinforce each other. Whereas a stack like SciFi's popular tags (mostly) don't have such overlap. So, here it could be beneficial for individuals to try and focus on multiple tags instead of singular tags.
    – user11394
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 9:36

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