The first chat session is complete and we had some good ideas come up. We are now trying to schedule another one. Stay tuned to the chat room schedule and/or the first linked question for details.

Quite a few people have raised concerns about how well this site is doing, in terms of the number of new questions, new users, page views, etc. that we're getting each day. And indeed, if you look at our proposal page on Area 51, some of the numbers are kind of low. That's okay, but I think we can do better. I feel like we haven't really made our best possible actual effort to promote the site yet. If we want those numbers to improve, it's really up to us, after all.

With that in mind, I was thinking we could use our chat room to hold a more active discussion about how we can get more people, more questions, more good answers, and generally more (and better) activity on the site. Of course, the room is always open, and you can leave messages there any time, but I'd like to try setting a time when as many active users as possible will be able to log on and contribute in near-real-time.

Let's try it like this: I'll put a time suggestion in an answer. If you would join in a chat session at that time, upvote the answer. If you'd like to participate but have a conflict, downvote the answer, and feel free to provide your own time suggestion as a different answer. If you think the whole chat thing is just a terrible idea, downvote the question.


  • $\begingroup$ Not a bad idea but I have a problem. I can join the chat room but the text input box disappeared. Is anyone else experiencing this? I am using firefox 4 beta. Oh, so it might not be so bad to try other browser also. $\endgroup$ – Marek Dec 15 '10 at 19:01
  • $\begingroup$ huh, weird. I'd say check at MSO to see if anyone else has posted about that issue, and if not, you can start a [bug] question. (Make sure you're logged in, of course - I've had issues with not being logged in to chat even when I'm logged in here and on other SE sites) $\endgroup$ – David Z Dec 15 '10 at 19:03
  • $\begingroup$ @David, I think I am logged in properly. It also doesn't work in another browser and I haven't found anything related at MSO. So I guess it's just me :-( I'll think about it some more and probably post a [bug] later. $\endgroup$ – Marek Dec 15 '10 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ It seems I completely missed this. We should have another one at some point. $\endgroup$ – Noldorin Dec 24 '10 at 12:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Noldorin: of course, we will. It'll be announced on meta and on the chat room schedule. $\endgroup$ – David Z Dec 26 '10 at 3:40
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    $\begingroup$ Too bad I was at the AGU while this was being discussed -- any large meetings generally have a message board, and many have poster sessions where people might post other info (job openings, upcoming meetings, etc) along with their poster. Are there any physics specific conferences that people are going to? $\endgroup$ – Joe Dec 27 '10 at 17:21

I read the transcript, so I thought a list of the main ideas collected from the chat session would be useful. Furthermore, it could spark some debate about them.

  1. Seed questions - not allowed but potentially useful.
  2. Simple questions atract more people but discourage experts vs hard questions atract less people but hopefully experts.
  3. 'The important thing is questions that can be answered in a high-quality way' (even if they are simple questions).
  4. Upcoming posters for promotion.
  5. Get promotion by getting relevant blogs and other sites to mention the site.
  6. Rely on the Stack Exchange team to get needed support.
  7. Maybe go over some of the better questions and improve their titles.
  8. Asking elementary questions that require expert answers (how?).
  9. A great answer could be not recognized as such by the asker (e.g. why the sky is blue? maybe the asker doesn't want to hear about the Rayleigh scattering).

I didn't make reference to whom the question originally "belonged" (as I found that a bit cumbersome and frankly unnecessary). As David already wrote in the original post, the transcript can be found easily, in case that information is needed.

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    $\begingroup$ Excellent, thanks for putting that together, Robert. $\endgroup$ – David Z Dec 20 '10 at 4:36
  • $\begingroup$ Also thanks from me who couldn't make it to the discussion. $\endgroup$ – Robert Filter Dec 20 '10 at 8:43
  • $\begingroup$ @David, Robert: No problem. I was expecting to discuss those ideas to implement some of them, maybe in this post or in another, whatever you think is more appropriate. What are your thoughts about it? $\endgroup$ – Robert Smith Dec 20 '10 at 15:34

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