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Meta

How can we grow this community?

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Codidact's communities have a lot of great content that is helping people on the Internet. Our communities are small, though, and sustainable communities depend on having lots of active, engaged participants. The folks already here are doing good work; our challenge is to find more people like you so we can help this community grow.

This calls for a two-pronged approach: reaching more people who would be interested if only they knew about us, and making sure that visitors get a good first impression. I'm here to ask for your help with both.

Reaching more people

The pool of people interested in music is large, from amateur singers to band members to composers to orchestral conductors. My question to you is: where do we find those people? You're the experts on this topic, not us. Where would it be most fruitful to promote Codidact? How should we appeal to them to draw them in?

Please don't give general answers like "clubs". We need your expert input to decide where, specifically, we should be looking. We are now able to pay for some advertising -- where should we direct it, and what message would best reach that audience? Can you help us sell your community?

Finally, some types of promotion are best done peer to peer. You are the experts in your topic; messages from you on subreddits or professional forums or the like will be much more credible than messages from Codidact staff. For these types of settings, we need your help to get the word out. If you know of a suitable place and can volunteer to spread the word there, please leave an answer about it so we all know about it (and know not to also post there).

Making a good first impression

Pretend for a moment that you don't know anything about Codidact. Visit this community in incognito mode. What's your reaction? If it's negative, what can we do about it? Some known deterrents from across the network:

  • Latest activity is not recent. This tells people the community isn't active. Anecdotally, we have lots of people ready to answer good questions, and on some communities, not enough good questions for them to answer. Can you help with that?

  • Latest questions are unanswered. This tells people it might not be worth asking here. Why are our unanswered questions unanswered? Are they poor questions in some regard? Unclear, too basic, too esoteric, just not interesting? Can they be fixed? Should they be hidden?[1]

  • Latest questions have poor scores. This tells people that either there's lots of low-quality material here or the voters are overly picky. If it's a quality problem, same questions as the previous bullet. If good content is getting downvoted, or not getting upvoted, can you help us understand why?

These are issues we've seen or heard about from across the network, but each community is different. What do you see here? What might be turning people away, and what could we do about it?

Are there things about the platform itself, as opposed to content, that discourage people we're trying to attract? If there's something we can customize to better serve this community, please let us know. If there are other changes in presentation or behavior that you think would encourage visitors to stick around, what are they?

Conversely, what is this community doing well? What draws newcomers in? I don't just mean the reverse of those bullets. What do we need to keep doing, and what might be worth highlighting when promoting this community?


  1. Should the question list not show some questions to anonymous visitors? What should the criteria be? ↩︎

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Ummmm, like, the site is nice, but there are some problems.

1- Old Questions

If you take a look at the question page, the last question was asked two months ago (unless Mithical posted a question two hours ago, at the time of writing this post). This really gives people the impression that the site is really old and no one has posted anything since two months ago. People may think that the project is not supported anymore or that there's no one to answer, so it would be time-wasting if you spent time writing a question and no one is going to answer. Even when people write answers, they really wait for someone to upvote them, so they feel like they helped someone.

2- Advertisement

The site is not advertised. The only time the site was advertised was on Stack Overflow Meta, and I see that there are many active users from Stack Overflow. I'm pretty sure the ad made them sign up. The site is OK. There are many interesting questions that haven't been answered yet. The UI is not the best in the world, I admit, but at least it's usable. The rules are really good; they are not very strict. You could advertise anywhere, literally anywhere. Maybe on Google ads? I'm not a marketer, so I can't tell, but a really good ad, to the point, would make people sign up, no? But, for me, as an Internet user, I would like the site to appear in search results. This answer is excellent. I'm not going to repeat the same text, but I really don't care where to find the answer; I just need an answer. Let's imagine a scenario: I searched on Google (or any search engine) for:

What does "Dust Bowl Dance" have to do with the song itself?

You won't find the question that was posted two hours ago. If Mithical's question appears in the results, I believe it'll be a win for Codidact because anyone who searches for the same question (even if slightly rephrased, it should appear) will sign up for Codidact, and they will be very happy. They will follow the question, and they will be even happier if they find the answer they are looking for!

3- The help center

The first thing that I look for is the help center. I search for the very very basics, like answering and questioning, but more advanced topics like "flagging" are not really there. I feel like Meta is much better and has a lot more information than the help center. The only useful thing was the Codidactyl introduction. It's well made, to the point, and in a funny way that anyone can understand, and then I found my way to Meta, where everything is there. So, the help center should be updated. If the admins can't manage it all, maybe they can request help from the community? I don't mind helping with editing the help center, just to make something useful. If not, the help center may be removed altogether, and maybe a little bit at the end of that introduction to teach people what is Meta. But I would like to update the help center.

4- Site proposals

Site proposals should really take more time. Not everyone says, "I'm going to be a casual user", means they are going to be active. Just wait until all sites like Music (the site doesn't have much traffic) are active with a userbase and 2 or 3 moderators, and then launch another site. Just make sure that the last site went well and it's in a healthy state. I like the Area 51 site proposal system. The system is really strict, so sites will definitely be good. They are monitored for a lot of time under the "Beta" label. If they fit the "healthy state" the site is going to launch. If not, the site will "bye." I like quality over quantity, so two active sites are really better than 20 inactive ones.

5- Downvoted questions

The questions page should only contain good, well written, interesting questions that gives good impression for new users that the site is good but a question with "-6" in the home page doesn't give good impression, no?

Anyway, there's a lot more to discuss, but these are the main points that I wanted to note. The project is still small, but it's really doing great so far. And sorry for my bad English. I wrote it in 1 hour. :-)

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