Edit: Happy new year! Let's make 2017 our year!
With the Christmas holidays approaching and before I'm preparing to leave for the family I would like to share some analytics on how we are performing so far. 2016 was the first year of the Ethereum Stack Exchange trial, and with almost 10 months passed since the public beta launch on February 1st we are also getting closer to getting feedback from the Stack Exchange Community Team which might consider our site graduation on some point in the near or distant future.
Looking back at 2016
Ethereum Stack Exchange Beta has been performing above average so far if you allow the (admittedly unfair) comparison to other beta sites in the network. Here are some numbers:
- 335 days in beta, private beta launch January 20th
- 3,967 questions, 11.8 questions per day, 11.3 if you exclude private beta
- 4,813 answers, 14.4 answers per day, 1.21 answers per question
- 503 unanswered questions, or 87.3% questions answered
- 5,026 registered users, 231 active users with 200+ reputation
- 2,587 visitors/day, significantly most traffic comes from search engines
This is already looking okay. Especially the rate of questions raised per day is outstanding. A healthy beta should have at least 10 questions per day constantly. I am personally also satisfied with a dozen high reputation users and a solid active user base which keeps up voting, reviewing and in some cases flagging content for moderator attention. This helps a lot our very busy moderator team to keep up the voluntary work even on the most sunny days :-)
2017 could be our year
However, this is already where my enthusiasm stops. If we want this site and this community to succeed, we still have a long way to go. When I was assigned as a moderator pro-tempore this March, I had the vision to prepare this site for graduation not somewhere in the future but this year.
I have to admit this was overly optimistic and I was always aware of it. As Ethereum community we have everything perfectly required for a new Stack Exchange site: (0) an active developer community, (1) a lot of users and (2) enthusiasts, and (3) a sandbox for a technology stack never seen before: a consent public ledger, a turing-complete distributed virtual machine, programmable with not one but a set of new programming languages, and all this supported by multiple reference client implementations.
To me it was obvious this screams for it's own Stack Exchange environment as this is both: too specialized and too active field of research to be embedded in other Q&A sites in the network (e.g., Bitcoin, Crypto-Currencies, StackOverflow).
To not exceed your 5 minutes reading time on this important item, I'll hereby announce what I personally think are the most important next steps this Stack Exchange Beta site requires for 2017 (assuming active user base and post activity does not drop):
- Community not users. While I see the main site is active as fire of all hells combined, the meta activity compares rather to low Hawaiian tunes on a Sunday morning sun rise (which nobody listens to, unfortunately). I often, and repeatedly raised some topics which required user interaction, but I was either fighting on my own or desperately waiting for someone to help out (moderators excluded). This needs to change, obviously, and will be a strong indicator for community activity. I know, that our community mainly resides on reddit, but we need to create awareness for the importance of this meta and start building a community for this very special site.
- More answers and votes. Let's encourage users to answer already answered questions. It's important for the site's mechanics that we are increasing our answer rate to 2x or 3x. The idea is that multiple answers which are competing in solutions and differing in quality are voted up or down to ease the life for users looking for a quick answer. This does not work out for 1-question-1-answer threads. Let's do this. And when we are done with that, we need to increase voting significantly. Good? Vote up! Bad? Vote down! Simple as that. Misplaced? Close! Inappropriate? Flag!
- Strong moderator team. I am personally not able to be as active currently as I used to be half a year ago. But I will try to continue with my work here next year. Some of you are aware that souptacular joined the Ethereum Foundation and is really busy keeping things going over there. We should discuss increasing our moderator team the first quarter of next year and maybe we find new blood for the team.
A site topic with grip. This is important for this site. I was never really sure whether it is my lack of native-like English skills or just nobody else noticed: Ethereum, the crypto value ... what does that mean? We need a clear topic for this site. Ethereum is much more than a crypto value, whatever that is. I tried to raise this multiple times, but never really got far. Maybe someone else can fix this in the future.status-completed, thanks Shog9♦.
- Community team feedback. Yeah, CM, this is for you. I know you get an hi-prio email-alert for meta posts exceeding 500 characters. I would really like to see an official feedback on this community in 2017, something we can work with after we are done with 1-4. :-)
Thanks everyone for asking questions, posting answers, voting up, and voting down, for flagging posts and comments, and for the few who visit meta from time to time, and thanks for reading this post till the end: See you with more answers than questions in 2017. Happy holidays and don't forget to wear your hats. o/