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As is often lamented on A51 and the metas of science sites, the metric of graduation don't make much sense for science sites. Unfortunately, the current metrics make it hard to see how we are doing, so our best option is to look to an older site for guidance.

Our older cousin, Bio.SE, turned 250 days old today. We will turn 250 in exactly 5 weeks, on September 25th. A good way to make sure we are doing well, is to have the same (or similar) stats to Bio on this milestone. This is how they are doing:

Biology at 250 days

For comparison, here are our stats at 215 days:

Cognitive Sciences

As you can see, we are a little behind and have some catching up to do. This is made even more important by the start of the school term (in the Northern Hemisphere at least) and the potential influx of new users we will encounter. Let's be in tip-top shape for that!

From what I can see, our biggest weakness is the number of visits per day. Let us work hard to increase this metric over the next few days. When you ask or answer a question, share it on twitter, G+, or reddit. When you see a good question or answer, do the same! What are some ways we can increase the number of visits?

The questions per day is also lacking, but we are capable of achieving similar numbers as we showed in June. Ask questions and share this site, both offline and on!

What are some other ways we can improve?

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    To be frank, bio appears more accepting of less rigorously researched questions. The kinda stuff I'd close if it's CogSci themed brother showed up on this site. I sincerely hope both sites fair well and attract a scientifically founded audience of experts, but I'm not sure we want to copy the apparent key to their success thus far. – Ben Brocka Aug 21 '12 at 21:33
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    @BenBrocka I am not proposing we relax our standards (in fact, I am usually a proponent of increasing them), but that we should advertise the content on this site more actively through social media. – Artem Kaznatcheev Aug 21 '12 at 21:40
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Share good posts. Ideally to wide, relevant audiences, though I'm afraid I'm not aware of too many easily accessible social media sites related to the cognitive sciences.

There's two kinds of sharing; deep, personal sharing and broad, impersonal sharing. Hopefully if you know anyone that would be personally interested in the site, you'll give them a direct referral and explain what we're about. More generally however, the broad net is easier to cast and can pick up some good traffic.

There are the following Reddit sites related to our scope (feel free to add more relevant social media locations):

Follow etiquette when sharing (share relevant stuff politely, not too many links in too short a time). Try and engage users who comment on your links.

Speaking as Mod on The Workplace and User Experience I can say we've had a couple huge temporary spikes of traffic due to sharing on reddit/Hacker News. After these spikes there's much smaller, but permanent, traffic increases; after the initial wave of new visitors, a significant amount really did stick around. I'd suggest trying to catch a little of that attention and see how it works out. Moderation-wise it can be a bit of a challenge to keep up, but it's been quite manageable in my experience.

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    There seems to be a whole list of subreddits here – Artem Kaznatcheev Aug 21 '12 at 22:54
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    @ArtemKaznatcheev yeah, I noticed those, none of them seemed worth sharing all that much to though; most 10x smaller than the others, though perhaps more academic-level (I'm not very familiar with any) – Ben Brocka Aug 22 '12 at 2:14
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    we don't necessarily need the biggest threads, since it is easy to become just part of the noise there. In the smaller groups it might be easier to have our links noticed even if it is by fewer eyeballs. I tried some posts yesterday, but only one generated any up-votes and that was on Neurophil. – Artem Kaznatcheev Aug 22 '12 at 14:11
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    So the reddit promotion was more effective than expected. I was able to produce a significant visitor spike with just a few shares. – Artem Kaznatcheev Aug 25 '12 at 16:20
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We tried:

enter image description here

We Improved or maintained all of our stats, but the gain was not drastic enough to catch Bio.SE. This is what our traffic looked like (measured by quantcast):

enter image description here

The vertical line separates the last 35 days from the 35 before. The spikes are correlated to popular posts on reddit. I have learnt a few things while advertising there, and will try to make a separate post about that later. However, it seems that most of my shares on the most relevant subreddits did not go through :(.

  • Spikes aside, sure looks like a positive trend nonetheless! Nice work, and FWIW, enjoy the reminder of how far you all have come in the past 16 months :) – Nick Stauner Feb 7 '14 at 0:30

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