As we approach the six month mark, I think we can start to take stock of how far the site has come. In particular, I think the active users of the site have done a great job of maintaining a degree of scientific rigour. I also think at this point with around 400 questions, we are starting to have something that can be showcased.
In particular, after a drop in activity over April and early May, June 2012 has been particularly successful, with 3.4 questions per day, maintaining the answer rate at a respectable level, and maintaining our standards (see also this June 2012 progress report). 3.4 questions per day puts us above over 30 other Stack Exchange sites. It translates to around 100 additional questions per month. I imagine if we can keep this rate of questions per day going that in a couple of months we will be into the "okay range" for avid users and in perhaps 3 or 4 months we will have the 500 visits per day to be in the "okay range" for page views (see Area 51 stats for cogsci).
I think part of this success has come from the increase in number of questions asked by active users (E.g., @chuck, @artem, @Josh), and part of it is coming from organic growth as the site becomes better known. Personally, I really like incorporating asking questions on the site into my research process. Sometimes it means I answer my own question after doing a little bit more research; other times, someone else provides me with a great answer. I also think this keeps the balance of the site between novice and expert questions at a reasonable level, which is arguably important for attracting future expert users of the site.
Anyway, I was wondering
- What thoughts do people have for how we can keep the momentum going over the next few months?
- Given the site's successes, how can we communicate what this site is about to fellow academics, research students, scientists, practitioners and others?
- What kind of goals do you think are reasonable regarding Area51 metrics and time frames for achieving them? And what concrete ways could we go about achieving them?