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I just wish to express and share some of my concerns. Below a bullet list with here and there a link to an example case.

  • Question views are generally awkwardly low: between 10 and 30;
  • Even seemingly good questions are left unanswered;
  • Low quality questions are not being commented on, or even downvoted without mod intervention;
  • Great answers receive no more than 3 upvotes, OK answers sometimes 1 or even less;
  • Answers with less than 2 upvotes do not even make it into the Area51 stats and questions are listed as being unanswered in that case (bad for site stats overall);
  • I get the impression there are less than 10 active users at this time;
  • There are often less than 5 people handling the review queues;
  • Moderators are visiting less, and hence voting less;


In all, I am concerned that we are not surviving according to SE's standards. I am putting a lot (too much) of my time in this site, which kind of jeopardizes my mod duties over at Bio. I am considering taking a few steps back over here and that may further aggravate matters stated above. Of course I will continue modding actively, handing flags and so forth, but I may take a few steps back in sifting through all the posts, upvoting good stuff, and answering questions, as I am not convinced it is helping this site much. Anyway, apart from that -

Are we beyond help?

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    First of all: anything you do is helping the site. :) Do not worry about that. Second: of course, if you feel this site is taking up too much of your time, take a few steps back! – Steven Jeuris Apr 11 '18 at 8:30
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    @StevenJeuris - thanks for that. Seeing Jeromy and you more here in the last 48h is already a big boost for my morale. Gracias – AliceD Apr 12 '18 at 8:02
  • I'm not sure why you think the intelligence vs skill question is easy to answer. Wikipedia's entry on the former starts with: "Intelligence has been defined in many different ways [...]" And when it gets to the actual definitions section, that starts with "The definition of intelligence is controversial" (and there's an inline citation for that statement.) – Fizz Apr 15 '18 at 12:39
  • @Fizz I've never said it was an easy question. It's a good one imo. Despite that, it hasn't received the attention it deserves. That's what I mean that things are too quiet. – AliceD Apr 15 '18 at 17:59
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I really love this site. It scares me a bit when you say something as dramatic as this. I agree, it would be great if it was more vibrant and had more experts, but the sites been ticking away for over six years now and doing good stuff.

So just to list some positives:

  • By site traffic (https://stackexchange.com/sites?view=list#traffic) we're doing better than about 30% of other stack exchange sites. At the time of writing, there are eight graduated sites with less daily visitors than Psychology (3.9k, 6y3m). For example: Software Recommendations (3.8k, 4y2m); Emacs (3k, 3y7m); Theoretical Computer Science (1.5k, 7y8m).
  • By the metrics that we are judged on at area51 (q per day, % answered, users and visits per day; with the exception of answer ratio), the site has improved over the last few years (see below). See in particular, the early days where we were low on traffic, questions per day and so on. If I were to guess, I wonder whether we are getting a few more questions since the name change, but I'm not sure.
  • There's a lot of great content on the site and it represents an important space in the stackexchange world (i.e., psychological and neuro- science).
  • I think more generally, this site has never been a superstar in the stackexchange world, but we've been ticking away and doing good stuff for many years.
  • And to be clear 3,600 visitors per day represents 1.3 million visits per year (i.e., something like 1.3 million people per year hopefully being helped by the answers they find on this site); I think that's pretty cool.

I think what I take from this is that you've been doing an amazing job and perhaps carrying too much of the modding weight. I need to do (and will do) a bit more modding work. I've been on the mod team since the beginning (early 2012). I've been a bit more immersed in writing papers and building an academic career this last while. But this is a good reminder to get a bit more involved in the site again. And perhaps think about opportunities to promote the site to other academics and other forums. It'd be great to get a few more experts actively involved.

Perhaps we also need to think about getting one more mod involved?

Here are our stats as of 11th April 2018: 2018 cogsci stats

Here are the stats from 2014:

2014 cogsci stats

Here are the stats from Jan 2013 2013 cogsci stats

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    I would agree on getting another mod involved, since @Artem is no longer active. :( AliceD has been doing a disproportionate amount of work. – Steven Jeuris Apr 11 '18 at 8:43
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    My apologies for the confronting post, but I thought it necessary as I am slowly loosing my drive to push this site forward and I don't like that, at all. I really wish the best for this site, but quite a few hi-rep users have left the scene of late and it's getting a bit quiet here. Traffic is one thing, expert answers another. – AliceD Apr 11 '18 at 10:01
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    It's certainly a good nudge for me to get a bit more active. – Jeromy Anglim Apr 11 '18 at 10:20
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    I've thought about posting this question for a long time. But I felt the need to. The more because I've seen similar posts turning up on related sites of late (Bio, Health). Over at Bio it nudged me to do a better job there, but that unfortunately means I have to take a step back here, as I'm drowning in work. I was hoping this post may work a bit like a wake-up call. We have been slowly pushing site stats up, I know, but I just have the feeling a disproportionately number of hi-rep people are leaving the scene. – AliceD Apr 11 '18 at 12:55
  • @StevenJeuris - Yes I have noticed Artem's absence too. Another active mod could certainly help to drive this site. – AliceD Apr 11 '18 at 14:35
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    @StevenJeuris I agree that we need another mod, given we can't depend on Artem anymore. – Seanny123 Apr 13 '18 at 0:56
1

With the other two mods jumping back in (and possibly others gearing up a bit) I can already feel a big difference in site dynamics, especially the number of votes being cast. Given that unaccepted answers with less than two votes do not make it into the site statistics this is already a huge leap forward. However, this observation confirms that we are small and that a few hi-rep users can make a lot of difference (Of course many kudos to the other, sometimes super-long time hi-rep users that have been, and hopefully will remain, active).

Given the high impact I notice of just a few hi-rep users, we may consider to request another pro tem mod to replace Artem. On the other hand we risk that this site's dynamics are dominated by the mods' actions, but I would vote pro.

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