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It appears that our StackExchange overlords are getting panicky about the slow start this beta has experienced. The received wisdom seems to be that the scope is too narrow. If only this site were renamed to Audio, Film, Haberdashery and Motorcycle Repair, then crowds would flock here.

My theory is that the lack of success so far is more to do with:

  1. failure to raise awareness in existing online communities of audio recording enthusiasts, of which there are many (Update: added a link at Jeff's request)
  2. lack of genuinely interesting questions that make it worthwhile checking back on a regular basis

There is already a discussion about how we can raise awareness on other sites, but I am wondering if we also need to pro-actively seed this site with the sorts of questions and answers that will raise this site's profile in search engines and make those who do stumble across it want to stay around a bit longer reading answers to other questions.

For example:

  1. If you participate in other forums, ask some of the most interesting questions others are asking there over here.
  2. Ask the questions you had when you got started recording, e.g. "what are the attack and release knobs on a compressor for and when should I use them?", "why does my recording of my acoustic guitar sound so dull and how can I fix it?"
  3. Ask the type of questions that take advantage of StackExchange's best features. For example, I've added a question on Freeware Reverb VSTs. There are of course loads of forum posts and blog posts answering the same question, but they become stale very quickly, while StackExhange's ability for new answers to be voted up and existing answers to be easily edited give it a major competitive edge.

What do you think? I know it seems a bit artificial to spend time asking questions you don't currently have and providing answers you already know, but if enough of us do this, perhaps we can prove that this site really does have a future without it having to become the Audio, Film and Cake Production site.

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It is simply not a good idea for a new site to "seed" it with questions.

https://physics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/49/is-it-okay-with-you-to-write-seed-questions

Anyway, if the site doesn't work organically, pushing in this highly artificial way isn't going to help.

Also:

failure to raise awareness in existing online communities of audio recording enthusiasts, of which there are many

So many that you can't list even one in your question?

  • Fair enough if seed questions are considered a bad idea (although I remember this being done for the R language on stack overflow). For communities, I did put a link immediately below to another meta question with a list of such sites. – Mark Heath Apr 22 '11 at 12:01
  • @Mark: SO was already pretty well established at that point (I'll ignore the controversy that R and similar campaigns have raised, because the verdict was always pretty much that they were fine only so long as they followed the norms of the site). It wasn't done to inflate the influence of SO, merely to make SO a better resource for new R users. – Shog9 Apr 23 '11 at 20:15
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There's nothing wrong with reminding everyone to use this site more in their everyday work. But simply saying "everyone, ask more questions" is not really a maintainable way to grow this site. The only way to maintain healthy, organic growth is through promoting a broader interest in the site.

Independent of any discussions of expanding audio-video, it is simply not a good idea to launch a campaign of "seeding" the site with questions just to bump up the numbers. But it is the quickest way to help a site fail. Mock questions and uninspired pseudo-questions are not a sustainable way to build a site. They may pump up the question count in the short term, but users will quickly tire of the banality of it all and leave in droves. That will be the end of this site.

It sounds so damn-the-man to talk about the "Stack Exchange overlords getting panicky about low stats," but there is much more to it than that. The absolute lowest priority of all the analytics for this site is to force lots of questions. Pity that people think that is the end goal.

"Audio" as a SUBJECT should do very well on the Stack Exchange Network; But as a site, the Audio Stack Exchange is simply too small to retain enough new users to reach critical mass. The small scope and lingering traffic is a growing problem on this site, without solution.

But we don't want to lose this site. This is a dedicated, engaged group of users producing high quality questions which get answered 94% of the time. It's a great topic that I have a personal interest in as a passion of mine. I also have a strong background in video editing. That is the gist of why I support this merge of two closely tied industries.

It's not that all video involves audio, or that video editors are inherently the same as audio engineers; Not at all. It's fortunate that we have a strong video proposal to even work off of. I feel that this is an effective, and mutually-productive grouping of subjects that will benefit both topics. One does not over-power the other. This is going to be a great site, if we can just retool it a bit to generate a bit broader appeal.

  • Seeding was done on Quantum Computing and was mostly successful. Successful at: 1. giving a base of questions to look at (many quite excellent), 2. successful at forming a clique (lapdogs goes way too far, but some people's posts were always lapped up while many others were 'comment spammed' (improvement extorted), while some were simply 'you know what on'), - that differs entirely from another tough site (Physics) were correctness rules and 3. successful at making double the work for some for the amusement of others. This poor behavior made a reversal as busy experts gained earned votes and – Rob Jan 9 at 5:43
  • restored normalcy. It was almost like the cliche cheerleader movie with a personality transplant and bizarre plots, storylines and characters that were neither developed nor went anywhere. Arguably these two very comments are hypocritical as they are the lengthy and spam seed your answer, but I know you are receptive to polite criticism and were the CM whom oversaw that site. Also hypocritical is my split between complaining and supporting that a couple of the worst offenders were worn down and driven off. I had a number of positive points to make but no time nor space without a 3rd comment. – Rob Jan 9 at 5:58

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