We've just passed an important milestone for our Area 51 Statistics. We now have over 1,500 visits per day.

we passed

This adds another "excellent green" statistic to our Area 51 statistics. It's taken just under 2 years to get to this point, but the rate of increase appears to be accelerating. Today we also reached 1500 total questions asked. While this is somewhat of a coincidence, this relationship between total questions and visits per day is in the ball park of what we might expect given the relationship between Google, amount of content, and traffic.

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  • Up-to-date stats are always available at the proposal site on Area51. The first two stats have already improved a bit! Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 14:17
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    We're now in the "okay" range with 5.5 questions per day! Time to start pushing for a launch maybe? It has already been 750 days as of today... Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 22:15
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    Hi Nick, it's great that we've got questions per day in the okay range. My sense from these site stats stackexchange.com/sites#traffic across the network is that we're moving in the right direction, but that we're still a while off launch. Just looking, other sites that are launched typically have 10,000+ visits/day. Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 22:23
  • Wow! That is quite a while off. However, if that's your estimate for currently launched sites, might having been launched already be a causal factor in the extra traffic? That is, I assume SE isn't looking for beta sites to reach the same level of traffic as fully-launched sites before actually launching them. Area51's criteria for "excellent" status in this particular dimension certainly seem to suggest otherwise...but I also suspect that there's more involved in the decision "behind the scenes" than these five statistics, and I'm a little pessimistic of getting any insight by asking... Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 22:33
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    @Nick I just moved this discussion to a separate meta meta.cogsci.stackexchange.com/questions/808/… Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 22:59
  • ...and now we're back down to 4.1? Something's fishy about these site statistics... Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 21:51
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    @NickStauner It's a moving average. I forgot the details on how many days it keeps in "memory", though, so your Discuss.A51 might get an answer on that. Short answer, don't worry about the specific numbers, worry about the trends. Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 22:41
  • My take on that: the specific numbers are relatively useless, and what we actually want to know is hidden. :\ Makes me wonder if we should start sampling our statistics systematically so we can actually analyze the trends. Maybe there's a better place to look of which I'm unaware though? Somewhere with all the data that would preclude the need to sample... Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 23:08

1 Answer 1


To ensure the survival of the site, it seems that the primary priority should be keeping the questions coming. One problem here is that many questions are poorly formulated, and our responses are sometimes more dismissive than dialectic. I've found your efforts to rephrase questions in clearer and more generally useful ways very helpful in this regard. While it entails modifying semantic content in sometimes major ways, I think you've been very tactful in attending to, preserving, and emphasizing the intended, often implicit questions. I haven't seen any objections to your edits from OPs yet (whereas I have seen some endorsements), and rollbacks are always an option, so I don't see any harm in the practice so far, and I advocate continuing it liberally.

I've also found many of your "sock puppet" questions with self-provided answers helpful. (By this, I mean "sock puppet questions" in the sense of the Winter Bash hat, not in the sense of using multiple accounts.) I'm wary of meddling with the proportion of questions that are asked and answered by one and the same, but at least in the beta phase, this seems like a potentially beneficial pursuit as well. Asking and answering our own questions (while maintaining fairly high standards for what's worthwhile) could be a good way to supplement the rate of content creation here.

A secondary priority seems to be seeing to it that most questions have at least one answer, and preferably two or more. I've revisited some less recent, difficult (i.e., vague and rather unscientific) questions today to post answers of the "as good as it's going to get" variety myself. For old questions with few or no answers and little hope of improvement by the OP (and little direction for editing by the rest of us), lowered standards for the conclusiveness of an answer may be acceptable.

I also advocate spending a little time with the unanswered questions list, and looking for highly upvoted questions with less than three answers to see if there's anything worth adding to those discussions, as any contributions to these kinds of questions is especially likely to be appreciated...except in as much as old OPers may have already moved on, and upvoted questions may be gaining popularity from especially complete answers. I should also admit that these suggestions are also "notes to self," as I haven't really spent any time carrying them out myself.

Otherwise, we seem to be on track, which is very encouraging! I'm a big fan of this site, and feel it's contributing a much-needed, optimally efficient format for global collaboration and communication between the experts and consumers of our sciences. Cheers to all my fellow participants!


I'm starting to get into the habit of referring to this answer when I feel like a question shouldn't be closed, because we need questions, but closed questions count toward questions per day...However, I've asked a related question about percent answered and answer ratio. At the time of this edit, the question is fresh, so I'd like to edit again when/if I receive an answer, but as I've argued in the question itself, I think the matter of closing questions is likely to remain relevant either way:

  • If closed questions don't count, closing questions that won't get answers should be good for these statistics.

  • If closed questions do count, closing a question that seems off-topic / broad / duplicative / etc. might prevent the rare answer from someone who doesn't mind so much, and thus drag down our statistics.

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