9

I reviewed the area 51 stats on this beta and even though lots of people come to the site through Google searches they don't ask questions. A similar question was asked a year ago and the numbers haven't changed since then.

If you compare the quality of answers here to Yahoo or ask.com you can see why people come here. It doesn't seem possible that all the good questions have been asked already.

I don't suppose we can run a survey of people who come to the site with a: why are you here question?

10

15th July, 2012 - On one of the UK gardening sites I belong to, we have had a sudden influx from 14th July of questions from people living in America - seems the site was mentioned on a radio programme over there. I have been busy redirecting people to this site, for many of the questions are not ones ordinary gardening people in the UK can answer - for instance, 3 questions refer to bermuda grass, which is not grown in the UK. Be interesting to see if there is a resultant increase in traffic on here...

UPDATE 7th August, 2012: Seems none of those people actually posted their questions on here. I hesitate to say this, but this site is actually quite daunting - there's an impression of 'having to get it right' for people with questions (not to mention when you answer). This suits me fine, but given that most gardening sites are friendly, 'chatty' places, with blogs and photographs, that might be what puts people off - women in particular, I suspect. Which is unfortunate, because the highest proportion of dedicated home gardeners in the UK, certainly, are women. Not sure whether something can be done about it, or even if it should be, but the need for rising, interactive traffic might call for a slight change in presentation.

  • 1
    Great idea, thanks! – kevinsky Jul 15 '12 at 14:04
  • As far as your edit goes, the barrier to entry is sort of high intentionally. We want good question and good answers. Remember that we are supposed to be an expert site. – wax eagle Aug 7 '12 at 16:50
  • As I said, suits me just fine - but it's clear there is a conflict between the need for rising question traffic and the nature of the site - the latter, I suspect, suppresses the former. – Bamboo Aug 21 '12 at 12:06
5

Questions are, in my opinion, the hardest thing to get more of. All I can say is that more questions and more traffic form a positive feedback loop. As more people come to the site they will naturally ask more questions, as we ask more questions and generate more high quality content we will attract more traffic which starts the cycle over.

All we can really do is try to continue to ask high quality questions and provide good detailed answers, and hope for the best. We can do some promotional stuff, but mostly we are going to rely on google to get us new users.

  • 1
    well I think I'll ask a question then... – kevinsky Jun 8 '12 at 17:28
5

Want to see more questions?

The hard way is to ask more questions yourself

The quick and easy way:

Vote

There's a post out there somewhere from the Stack Overflow team correlating voting levels and question growth in beta sites and it's all down to the first time poster (questioner) feeling as if his participation is welcomed here. He'll go on and post more questions. If I can find the link I'll add it in here.

Oh, but don't forget to vote judiciously. An question with no picture isn't trying hard enough. No mention of location or climate in a question where that's clearly important might need nudging to add it in, rather than votes.

4

Sorry if this is a bit cheeky for someone so new to contribute to this, but ordinary gardeners do have plenty of problems in their gardens. I've spent enough time on ordinary gardening websites to know this is the case. I suspect the problem might be that on here, its made plain that you need to phrase your question accurately, and to add as much information as possible when asking a question. On ordinary sites, questions are asked which would be downvoted in a heartbeat; "what's wrong with my plum tree" being an example of a full question one might find elsewhere. Needless to say, the person with a question like that does not get a good answer without having to supply more information, but it may be that, if they found this site, they think they can get away with less info elsewhere and still get the answer. Erroneously, of course.

2

Given the fact that the people are coming from google search, I can assume these visitors got what they needed from the existing-question. Our questions have already cover a lot of plant and different problems so is it reasonable to deduce that they can easily found what they want from the search result of google. You know, google search is quite accurate.

On the other hand, one must have a existing problem before he asks a question, but the fact could be that there are not so many problem for average gardeners.

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