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We are getting a continual trickle of questions and a few new users. I am noticing not many posts are getting many upvotes. When a site first enters private beta, they tend to get a lot of activity and enthusiasm and people vote more frequently. So there is a tendency for older posts to be more upvoted, by this fact and the fact of longer exposure online.

We also have a lot of unanswered questions.

I am wondering what we can do to encourage some participation from our longer term users to vote and perhaps post some answers to encourage people to return and just stimulate the site generally.

It seems a lot of the longer term users are gone awol, which is a shame. When there was a lot of activity with new and prolific users, people were on here like a swarm, why aren't people here now? What can we do to motivate people to participate?

  • I'm quite busy lately, so every now and then go through posts to up vote, but generally mainly handle flags. – Steven Jeuris Oct 31 '13 at 9:49
  • @StevenJeuris good to hear from you, it wasn't aimed at anyone user! please be sure, there has been a general sleepiness about the site.. I don't know how to help jump start it (beyond creating controversy and we all know that's no good) – user3543 Oct 31 '13 at 9:50
  • I like your enthusiasm. I know personally that my stackexchange use ebbs and flows over time. I think that's pretty normal given that it is a volunteer site and people have other commitments. – Jeromy Anglim Oct 31 '13 at 11:05
  • @JeromyAnglim I totally understand, and you're busy and I always see your foot prints on the site :) – user3543 Oct 31 '13 at 11:07
  • @JeromyAnglim can you tweet this? cogsci.stackexchange.com/questions?sort=featured I am trying to get some more activity by placing boutnies, but it has barely encouraged new views. – user3543 Nov 4 '13 at 2:11
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    @Skippy I appreciate the idea of using bounties. I hope it goes well. However, I tend just to tweet things that I think would interest my twitter followers who are generally in the statistics/research methods space. – Jeromy Anglim Nov 4 '13 at 3:27
  • @JeromyAnglim oh sure, I'm still learning the ropes. – user3543 Nov 4 '13 at 4:49
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An Italian user posted questions on writers.SE in italian (here and here). Naturally, the first comment to his questions was that questions (and answers) on this site need to be in English.

This made me wonder. Of course the lingua franca of cogntivive sciences today is English. But it is a simple fact that not everyone interested in cognitive sciences is fluent in English. Even students and researchers in this area are not all comfortable with writing English. Therefore, many potential participants of our site stay away because the language requirement keeps them from writing questions and answers on a topic that they would otherwise be interested in. And of course search results don't even lead them here in the first place, because they search for content and forums in their mother tongue.

But would questions and answers in, say, Italian be so bad? Do they somehow subtract from the quality of the other content of the site? Will they keep English speaking participants away? Or will they bring in a wave of fresh users, some of whom do and will answer on questions in English, thus even contributing to the "core content".

There are few multilingual forums, but there are, and they work well. People just read what they can read and ignore the "gibberish". It would also be easy to tag questions by language and allow users to filter what they see, completely avoiding any confusion and irritation.

So my vote would be to allow content in any language that one of our moderators knows, and to advertise this accordingly.

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This is only one suggestion:

Bounties:

I have started offering bounties on questions. I have gone through my unanswered questions and am offering bounty on the ones that have received some upvotes, so are, hopefully, interesting and am hoping this will attract some people to answer.

https://cogsci.stackexchange.com/?tab=featured

I am willing to do this on a semi-regular basis, I have to make sure I don't run out of rep trying to help the site and lose mod privileges which can assist our mods in their duties.

Perhaps, if other community members are willing to do this (Jeromy used to do this regularly), we could stagger it, so we always have a featured question (question with a bounty).

I only put the minimal 50 rep on the current question, as the last bounty I placed of 100 rep drew no answers. (I already had an answer on it, but cannot award my own answer the bounty and the purpose of the bounty was to attract another answer.) I am hoping that this particular situation was a one off as there seems to be little research in that particular area, so making it hard to answer.

So I thought I'd start off small and if it attracts answers, will continue.

Ideas?


edit

OMG!!!!! Someone answered the the bounty question just before it disappeared!!!

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