When I first joined IoT in Area 51, I selected that I was "just curious", because I was.

Now I'm noticing that lots of the content is above me and I don't understand it.

However, I do understand enough to be helpful moderating the site, such as close votes, downvotes, flags, etc.

So, my big question is, should I unlink my account and move on, or stay around as a (fake) mod? If I stay, however, I won't be asking or answering too many questions. I can elaborate on what I know and don't know if you wish.

  • This meta question from Worldbuilding is worth a read; it's a very similar question.
    – Aurora0001
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 10:02
  • You can always pick up some interesting idea. Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 11:47

4 Answers 4


There is certainly no need to leave, everyone is welcome.

There is truly no need to un-link your account as long as you are curious about the site's topic. On the contrary, if your are interested in the topic just hanging around and reading is not only no problem, it's also how the rest will come. So, it's totally okay to just hang around and read.

A StackExchange site thrives not only by questions and answers, but also by avid readers who help rate the content by voting up and down. Generally in most online communities a distribution of a rather small group of very prolific contributors, another not quite as small group of contributing people and a very large group of readers (cf. 1% rule). The numbers may vary for SE, but the reader group is still likely the biggest group by a large margin. However, unless you actually un-link your account, you have the great democratic power on SE sites to vote on the content you do like. While any Q&A site obviously needs questions and answers, reading and voting has an important function too. It helps the good and interesting content to rise to the top. So, it's even better to hang around, read and vote.

If you do stick around—and I hope you do—that reading and voting will give you more knowledge and a good feeling for good questions and answers as well. And remember we are still in private beta, still a bit finding our scope. So just ask a question about what makes you wondering around the Internet of Things.

However, I do understand enough to be helpful moderating the site, such as close votes, downvotes, flags, etc.

This is a bit tricky. StackExchange is community moderated, following a Theory of Moderation, but those moderation privileges are tied to reputation. As soon as we enter public beta you will lose most of your privileges since the new reputation requirements for privileges apply. You can check them out on any other public beta, e.g. here. So without any questions or answers, you'll be limited to upvoting and flagging—privileges you earned with your association bonus. As I pointed out above, those are important actions that help the site in general. If you want to take part more, you'll have to ask or answer at some point.


Now I'm noticing that lots of the content is above me and I don't understand it

This is understandable, as IoT itself is a newer thing and a broader topic, with the emerging devices and newer communication technologies, it still taking baby steps.

We have 498 users(as of now) and getting questions from around 32 users in which 5-10 people are repeated ones. So the questions you might be looking at will be from these 32 users only and not 500 users. The level of questions, topic areas range changes as we get more and more users.

So don't be worried about the level of questions you see now, it's still in private beta not even a public one.

Be around, poke everyone in the Chat of Things and after one or two months, check the level of questions.

For now, do edit suggestions, read the posts whatever you think is interesting.

  • The scope will probable become wider as more people join, and the technology will evolve. Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 10:19
  • Yes, exactly. Scope changes and the level of questions change, as the OP currently thinks that the level of questions is of a high standard(above). With new users, we get new questions and scope level also changes.
    – bravokeyl
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 10:22

So while we've already got two excellent answers I would like to "pile" on and stress again that all positive contributions are highly welcome. Beyond writing questions and answers that includes the "janitorial" tasks (as I call them... and as I do them) - voting, flagging, editing, and giving comments as to guide new users. All those have a merit on their own. On my primary page (Raspberry Pi) we have some users that have hundreds of edits (which by the way gain you some reputation to a certain threshold) while hardly answering any questions. So, yes, there is a way to be a helpful part of this. Whether one likes that part or not is obviously highly subjective ;-) in either case it is up to you whether you stick around - we certainly invite you to stay. If you are curious about the topic anyways I do not see why to leave instead of staying, reading, learning, and then contributing as you see fit.

Key - as the other answers already said - is that the scope of this site is all but set in stone as of now. In other discussions we've ventured into what level of difficulty questions should have. I think the current concensus is that beginner level questions are perfectly fine.


Agree with @Helmar's answer. There is no need to leave. You are definitely welcome to stick around and do what moderating you can with the privileges you have. In a sense, that is what I am doing myself, as well. I really don't know that much about IoT, sadly, and many of these questions fly so far over my head that I don't even feel the breeze as they pass. :)

I want to add, however, that theoretically, at least, the tolerance for entry level questions and answers should gradually rise. At this point in the site's history, however, the goal is definition, requiring (unfortunately) the closing and downvoting of many good questions which just aren't beneficial to the site at this point in time.

Over time, this is supposed to change. If it doesn't, the site will almost inevitably die. When you look at almost all the graduated SE sites, the reason they still live is because those professionals who were attracted to the site because of its concrete definition have the possibility to answer a wide variety of entry level questions. Most professionals enjoy answering a good technical question from time to time, but a lot of the high rep users gain that rep from entry level questions. So on a healthy graduated site, there is and I would argue must be a constant tension between creating good content and answering easy questions.

Bottom line:

Stick in there. The road will get smoother... if we persevere.

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